A fun, bubbly early reader featuring an endearing Deaf protagonist.

PARTY PROBLEMS

From the Emma Every Day series

Eight-year-old Emma is worried that being Deaf will make it hard to enjoy her best friend’s party.

In this first entry of Reid’s debut early-reader series, the author introduces Emma, who is white and Deaf, as she nervously gets ready for Izzie’s birthday party. Emma has worries common to all children, like whether her black, hearing best friend will like her gift, as well as the uniquely d/Deaf concern that she won’t understand what anyone says at the party. Izzie and her cousin Sarah, who is white, make sure Emma feels welcome, and she ultimately has a great time. Emma uses both a cochlear implant and American Sign Language. The author refreshingly presents this simply as Emma’s reality, as it is for many Deaf children, and does not set up cochlear implants and signing as mutually exclusive. The cute, simple, big-eyed illustrations show off Emma’s cochlear implant and support the text. The book includes a guide to ASL fingerspelling and a few basic signs as well as fingerspelled words sprinkled throughout the text. These are a fun addition, though it’s too bad there are not working signs included as well, as that would be even more useful to readers who want to learn to use ASL. The backmatter does present some signs relevant to the story as well as a glossary and writing and discussion prompts.

A fun, bubbly early reader featuring an endearing Deaf protagonist. (learn to sign, glossary, write about it, talk about it, about the author, about the illustrator) (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5158-7180-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Picture Window Books

Review Posted Online: April 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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A strong, accessible diary story for readers seeking an adorable animal tale.

PUG'S SNOW DAY

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 2

Bub the anxious pug tackles snow days and new neighbors in his second outing.

Bub, acclaimed by some as “the cutest pug on the planet,” at first shares the enthusiasm owner Bella expresses about snow days even though he doesn’t know what they are. Then Duchess the cat (mildly antagonistic, in typical feline fashion) rains on Bub’s parade by pointing out that snow is water—and Bub’s no fan of rain or baths. After a comedic and disastrous first attempt, Bub learns how to properly dress for snow and enjoy it. The outdoor fun’s cut short by mysterious noises coming from the new neighbor, which frighten Bella into thinking there’s a monster. Bub puts on a Sherlock Holmes get-up to investigate but becomes afraid himself of the new neighbor’s large dog. Finally, Bella meets Jack, who’s been working on a tree fort, and his dog, Luna, who is enthusiastically friendly. The story ends on a positive note, as they all happily work together on the fort. The full-color cartoon illustrations, especially of Bub, are adorably expressive and certain to please the age group. The generous font and format—short, diary-entry paragraphs and speech-bubble conversations—create a quick pace. Bub’s stylized emoji bubbles return and are most hilarious when used to express his nervous flatulence. Bella and Jack both present white.

A strong, accessible diary story for readers seeking an adorable animal tale. (Fantasy. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53006-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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