Check it out! (Picture book. 3-7)

A BIG SURPRISE FOR LITTLE CARD

What will Little Card be?

Every card has a job. Wide Card’s a postcard who gets to travel. Round Card’s a price tag, and Tiny Card’s a prize ticket. Only Little Card and Long Card don’t know what they’ll be. When a letter arrives telling “L.C.” to report to birthday-card training, Little Card thinks it’s addressed to him. He loves birthday-card school: the surprises, the cake, the games, the presents, and mostly the songs. When Long Card informs him that their letters got mixed up, Little Card learns his real job will be as a library card. After some small trouble with loudness, Little Card learns all about the library, along with Alex, the little girl he’ll belong to. They play games, snack, and read a rainbow of books. And since Little Card loves to sing, he sings a library song. Librarian Miss Penny gives him a gold star. But Little Card believes library day only comes once a year (like birthdays)…then Alex tells him Library Day can be six days a week every week! Fantastic! Harper’s addition to the intro-to-library canon, with its anthropomorphic card cast, is a goofy winner. Raff’s mixed-media collages, digitally colored, are a bright, perfect match for Little Card’s excitement about all things library. Alex is a brown-haired white girl, and Miss Penny is a gray-haired African-American woman with groovy boots.

Check it out! (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7485-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

I AM ENOUGH

A feel-good book about self-acceptance.

Empire star Byers and Bobo offer a beautifully illustrated, rhyming picture book detailing what one brown-skinned little girl with an impressive Afro appreciates about herself. Relying on similes, the text establishes a pattern with the opening sentence, “Like the sun, I’m here to shine,” and follows it through most of the book. Some of them work well, while others fall flat: “Like the rain, I’m here to pour / and drip and fall until I’m full.” In some vignettes she’s by herself; and in others, pictured along with children of other races. While the book’s pro-diversity message comes through, the didactic and even prideful expressions of self-acceptance make the book exasperatingly preachy—a common pitfall for books by celebrity authors. In contrast, Bobo’s illustrations are visually stunning. After painting the children and the objects with which they interact, such as flowers, books, and a red wagon, in acrylic on board for a traditional look, she scanned the images into Adobe Photoshop and added the backgrounds digitally in chalk. This lends a whimsical feel to such details as a rainbow, a window, wind, and rain—all reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Bobo creates an inclusive world of girls in which wearing glasses, using a wheelchair, wearing a head scarf, and having a big Afro are unconditionally accepted rather than markers for othering.

A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-266712-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations.

GOD GAVE US EASTER

From the God Gave Us You series

Bergren and Bryant attempt to explain Easter to young children in a gentle, nonthreatening manner, with partial success.

When Little Cub questions her father about Easter, Papa Bear explains the religious significance of the holiday in various symbolic ways to his cub. He uses familiar things from their world, such as an egg and a fallen tree, to draw parallels with aspects of the Christian story. Papa Bear discusses his close relationships with Jesus and God, encouraging Little Cub to communicate with God on her own. The theme focuses on the renewal of life and the positive aspects of loving God and Jesus. Easter is presented as a celebration of eternal life, but the story skirts the issue of the crucifixion entirely. Some adults will find this an inadequate or even dishonest approach to the Easter story, but others will appreciate the calm and soothing text as a way to begin to understand a difficult subject. Bryant’s charming watercolor illustrations of the polar bear family, their cozy home and snowy forest scenes add to the overall mellow effect.

Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations. (Religion/picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-73072-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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