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SMILE, BREATHE, AND GO SLOWLY

SLUMBY THE SLOTH GOES TO SCHOOL

Look elsewhere to learn about sloth behavior, punctuality, and how to be a good friend to someone who’s different from you.

Think your school mornings are hectic?

Slumby and his sloth family take things very slowly, which is fine until he starts school. A double-page spread with small scenes marked by an analog clock showing different times depicts Slumby’s morning rush. Those who can tell time will be astounded at just how long his routine takes him; even beginning at 3:45 a.m., he’s still a half-day late to school, just in time for recess. But Slumby does everything so slowly that he can’t jump rope, participate in the turtle race, or play armadillo ball (yep, that’s what it sounds like). Sad, he spends his recesses observing the butterflies that constantly surround him (á la Pigpen’s dirt in “Peanuts”) until the day the armadillo lands in the river with a hungry crocodile. It’s Slumby to the rescue! Though the book doesn’t provide this fact, sloths can swim up to three times as fast as they can walk on land. Whether that’s fast enough to effect a rescue from a crocodile is debatable, but regardless, Slumby’s classmates are now willing to change their activities so the hero sloth can be included. While the title and cover may bring to mind meditation, this is not a mindfulness book but one about a unique newcomer who’s accepted only once he proves his worth. Angaramo’s adorable cartoon animals wear clothing and have pleasingly mobile expressions. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 31% of actual size.)

Look elsewhere to learn about sloth behavior, punctuality, and how to be a good friend to someone who’s different from you. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4246-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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ADDIE ANT GOES ON AN ADVENTURE

Young readers will be “antsy” to join the hero on her satisfying escapade.

An ant explores her world.

Addie Ant’s ready for adventure. Despite some trepidation about leaving the Tomato Bed, where she lives with her aunt, she plucks up her courage and ventures forth across the garden to the far side of the shed. On her journey, she meets her pal Lewis Ladybug, who greets her warmly, points the way, and offers sage advice. When Addie arrives at her destination, she’s welcomed by lovely Beatrix Butterfly and enjoys an “ant-tastic” helping of watermelon. Beatrix also provides Addie with take-home treats and a map for the “Cricket Express,” which will take her straight home. Arriving at the terminal, Addie’s delighted to meet another friend, Cleo Cricket, whose carriage service returns Addie home in “two hops.” After eating a warm tomato soup dinner, Addie falls asleep and dreams of future exploits. Adorable though not terribly original, this story brims with sensuous pleasures, both textual and visual. Kids who declare that they dislike fruits or veggies may find their mouths watering at the mentions and sights of luscious tomatoes, peas, beans, watermelons, berries, and other foodstuffs; insect-averse readers may likewise think differently after encountering these convivial, wide-eyed characters. And those flowers and herbs everywhere! The highlights are the colors that burst from the pages. Addie’s an endearing, empowering character who reassures children they’ll be able to take those first independent steps successfully.

Young readers will be “antsy” to join the hero on her satisfying escapade. (author’s note about ants) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 9, 2024

ISBN: 9781797228914

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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