Hilarious bedtime fun, ideal for sharing—provided the dozes hold off.

THE YAWNS ARE COMING!

Two friends fight personified yawns, dozes, and snoozes in order to get through their to-do list at their sleepover.

A small black child has invited best friend Noodles, a taller, white child, over for a sleepover. “We were planning to stay up all / night / long.” Their list of fun things to do extends over two pages. Dressed in animal onesies, they play games, jump on the trampoline, and catch fireflies. But then, as they are playing cards, it happens. Noodles cries, “The YAWNS are coming! // RUUUUUN!” The kids dash this way and that, trying to lose the adorable, smiling, round blue creatures that pursue them. But to no avail. The yawns catch them. The kids try to resist, but then a big, oozy doze lands on Noodle’s head. And then the snores arrive, with wings. In the morning, the duo find that all is not lost: They make a new to-do list and get to it. Expressive cartoon illustrations set in simple colors against white space combine with varied typesetting to play up the urgency of the situation. Every child who has had a sleepover can relate to this silly tale, which turns the important aspiration of staying up all night into an adventure. The chase will have youngsters giggling all the way through and asking for another read.

Hilarious bedtime fun, ideal for sharing—provided the dozes hold off. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: April 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-1630-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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Positively refreshing.

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HAIR LOVE

A black girl helps her dad learn how to give her the perfect hairstyle for a very special day.

Zuri’s voluminous head of hair “has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way.” She is pictured asleep with a large Afro framing her face. She is proud of her hair, which she sometimes wears in braids with beads like a princess and other times in pigtail puffs. But today is a special day. She knows Daddy is “worn-out” and probably needs a break, so she lets him sleep in while she looks up hairstyles on a tablet. When Daddy wakes and offers to help, he tries a series of hairstyles that just don’t work. Finally, Zuri grabs some hair supplies and shows him a tutorial. “Watching carefully… / Daddy combed, / parted, oiled, and twisted. / He nailed it!” Zuri is lovely and happy with her freshly done hairstyle, and when Mommy arrives to their “Welcome Home” sign, she loves Zuri’s look too. The digital illustrations feature details that feel just right: Zuri’s thick, textured hair, Daddy’s locs and tattoo, and dark-skinned Mom’s bright headwrap. While it’s unclear where Mommy is returning from (she is dressed casually and has a rolling black suitcase), this authentic depiction of a loving and whole black family broadens the scope of representation.

Positively refreshing. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55336-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kokila

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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A thoughtfully layered text and powerful illustrations address this sensitive topic in a uniquely nurturing way.

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SULWE

With the help of a legend about Day and Night, a dark-skinned black child learns that she is beautiful inside and out.

Sulwe is “the color of midnight,” the darkest in her multihued family, and is teased in school. She tries everything to lighten her skin: an eraser, makeup, eating light foods, prayer. Her mother tells her she is beautiful and that her name, Sulwe, or “star,” refers to an inner brightness, but she can’t see it in herself. Then a shooting star comes to her window, sent by the night, and brings Sulwe out to tell her about Night and Day, two sisters who loved each other but were treated differently. When Night left after people called her names like “scary,” “bad,” and “ugly,” the people realized that they needed her. The stars added that “some light can only be seen in the dark.” After learning how Night and Day are both needed, Sulwe knows that she is “dark and beautiful, bright and strong.” Harrison’s glossy illustrations faithfully render the features of black people, allowing the beauty of different skin tones to shine, with deep purple tones in the darkness, reinforcing the story’s message. In an author’s note, Nyong’o shares her own past struggles with her complexion.

A thoughtfully layered text and powerful illustrations address this sensitive topic in a uniquely nurturing way. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2536-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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