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JO JO MAKOONS

SNOW DAY

From the Jo Jo Makoons series , Vol. 3

An absolute delight.

An Ojibwe girl learns that being healthy goes beyond diet.

It seems everyone in 7-year-old Jo Jo’s life is trying to be healthy—her Mama, her Kokum, even her cat, Mimi, who takes vitamins. When her first grade class begins a unit on healthy eating, Jo Jo jumps in with both feet, even if her ideas of “healthy” are often harebrained (like substituting ice cream for milk in her cereal). At the same time, Jo Jo, who lives on the fictional Pembina Ojibwe Reservation, does her best to heed her tribal chair and check in on her neighbors, especially her Elders. When school is canceled due to a snowstorm, Jo Jo proposes that she and her classmates hold their own “winner” Olympics and invite Elders to participate, too. What unfolds are the Ojibwe Olympics, complete with lip-pointing races and round-dancing, and Jo Jo learns that being in community is an important part of being healthy. This third book in Quigley’s (Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe) series is a charmer, with the spunky, bighearted protagonist continuing to raise laughs and inspire. Readers will be enchanted by Jo Jo’s voice and Audibert’s (of Wolastoqey and French heritage) cute, cartoon-style illustrations, rendered in grayscale. Ojibwe values are woven deftly into the fabric of the story. A glossary of the Ojibwe and Michif words enhances the reading experience. Jo Jo’s classmates are diverse in the artwork.

An absolute delight. (about this story, author’s note, letter to readers by editor Cynthia Leitich Smith) (Fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2023

ISBN: 9780063015432

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Heartdrum

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023

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LITTLE DAYMOND LEARNS TO EARN

It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists.

How to raise money for a coveted poster: put your friends to work!

John, founder of the FUBU fashion line and a Shark Tank venture capitalist, offers a self-referential blueprint for financial success. Having only half of the $10 he needs for a Minka J poster, Daymond forks over $1 to buy a plain T-shirt, paints a picture of the pop star on it, sells it for $5, and uses all of his cash to buy nine more shirts. Then he recruits three friends to decorate them with his design and help sell them for an unspecified amount (from a conveniently free and empty street-fair booth) until they’re gone. The enterprising entrepreneur reimburses himself for the shirts and splits the remaining proceeds, which leaves him with enough for that poster as well as a “brand-new business book,” while his friends express other fiscal strategies: saving their share, spending it all on new art supplies, or donating part and buying a (math) book with the rest. (In a closing summation, the author also suggests investing in stocks, bonds, or cryptocurrency.) Though Miles cranks up the visual energy in her sparsely detailed illustrations by incorporating bright colors and lots of greenbacks, the actual advice feels a bit vague. Daymond is Black; most of the cast are people of color. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-56727-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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STELLA DÍAZ HAS SOMETHING TO SAY

From the Stella Díaz series , Vol. 1

A nice and timely depiction of an immigrant child experience.

Speaking up is hard when you’re shy, and it can be even harder if you’ve got two languages in your head.

Third-grader Estrella “Stella” Díaz, is a shy, Mexican-American girl who draws pictures and loves fish, and she lives in Chicago with her mother and older brother, Nick. Jenny, Stella’s best friend, isn’t in her class this year, and Stella feels lonely—especially when she sees that Vietnamese-American Jenny is making new friends. When a new student, Stanley Mason, arrives in her class, Stella introduces herself in Spanish to the white former Texan without realizing it and becomes embarrassed. Surely Stanley won’t want to befriend her after that—but he seems to anyway. Stella often confuses the pronunciation between English and Spanish sounds and takes speech classes. As an immigrant with a green card—a “legal alien,” according to her teacher—Stella feels that she doesn’t fully belong to either American culture or Mexican culture, and this is nicely reflected in her not being fully comfortable in either language, an experience familiar to many immigrant and first-generation children. This early-middle-grade book features italicized Spanish words and phrases with direct translations right after. There is a small subplot about bullying from Stella’s classmate, and readers will cheer as they see how, with the help of her friends and family, Stella overcomes her shyness and gives a presentation on Jacques Cousteau. Dominguez’s friendly black-and-white drawings grace most pages.

A nice and timely depiction of an immigrant child experience. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62672-858-5

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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