A book that will be a hit with young readers, especially in schools with ethnically diverse student bodies.



Debut author Cole and illustrator Embeli, in this energetic children’s book, question the importance of kids’ selecting future careers.

The narrator of this story, a curly haired, self-confident African-American girl, knows what she likes: “I believe I make the best choices for myself! / I know I can pick my favorite things from my shelf,” she rhymes. She dresses in flower prints and beads and bright colors, and when she arrives in a classroom full of kids in bland shirts, she begins to question why she stands out. Then she realizes that it’s career day and that she hasn’t brought props or a speech like her classmates have. While listening to a diverse group of her peers discuss their job choices (teacher, lawyer, astronaut, doctor, and engineer), she struggles to find a career concept for herself that feels right. At the same time, she lists the pressures of finding a “good” job. In a flower-filled, sunny dream that night, the girl decides that the only thing she wants to be when she grows up is herself. The next day, without props or a speech, she finally makes her presentation, saying that all children should embrace what makes them them instead of worrying about their future jobs, and her classmates praise her for being herself. Cole tells the story partly in verse but drops the rhymes as the children list their future job opportunities; as a result, the text scans unevenly, and its rhythmic shifts may be awkward for newly independent readers. But despite this faltering rhythm, it’s an encouraging story about a girl’s ability to regain her confidence and share what she believes that will resonate with children who aren’t as sure of themselves as the narrator is. Embeli effectively captures the narrator’s spirit and struggle with bright, colorful illustrations that frequently feature backgrounds in a tie-dye style.

A book that will be a hit with young readers, especially in schools with ethnically diverse student bodies.

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4835-9000-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: BookBaby

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...


Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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