An adorable first book in a new series for animal lovers.

TRUMAN THE DOG

From the My Furry Foster Family series

A rescue dog gets into some silly hijinks with his foster family.

Eight-year-old Japanese American Kaita Takano and her family have decided to foster a black Lab named Truman. When Truman arrives, he’s a little shy, but it doesn’t take long for him to get comfortable with the Takano family and their dachshund, Ollie. Fostering brings new challenges and lessons, especially when Truman finds trouble, like eating a whole box of treats or rolling in the trash. Kaita grows to love Truman and learns fostering an animal is difficult when you have to say goodbye. Florence’s first in a new chapter-book series is divided into five chapters meant for readers making the transition from early readers. The focus on fostering animals rather than adopting them brings the topics of caregiving and sacrifice to light. Demmer adds fun, full-color illustrations, bringing the lovable Truman to life. The characters are culturally diverse, and cultural customs are reflected in the illustrations—characters go barefoot inside the Takano house, for instance. Based on a real-life Kaita, the book offers a backmatter section with photographs comparing the real and fictional Kaitas. It also provides discussion questions, activities, and a glossary. Buttons the Kitten releases simultaneously, and the Takanos will foster hamsters and a bearded dragon in future outings.

An adorable first book in a new series for animal lovers. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5158-4560-7

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Picture Window Books

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape.

RAFI AND ROSI MUSIC!

From the Rafi and Rosi series

The fourth installment in Delacre’s early-reader series centers on the rich musical traditions of Puerto Rico, once again featuring sibling tree frogs Rafi and Rosi Coquí.

Readers learn along with Rafi and Rosi as they explore bomba, plena, and salsa in three chapters. A glossary at the beginning sets readers up well to understand the Spanish vocabulary, including accurate phoneticization for non-Spanish speakers. The stories focus on Rafi and Rosi’s relationship within a musical context. For example, in one chapter Rafi finds out that he attracts a larger audience playing his homemade güiro with Rosi’s help even though he initially excluded her: “Big brothers only.” Even when he makes mistakes, as the older brother, Rafi consoles Rosi when she is embarrassed or angry at him. In each instance, their shared joy for music and dance ultimately shines through any upsets—a valuable reflection of unity. Informational backmatter and author’s sources are extensive. Undoubtedly these will help teachers, librarians, and parents to develop Puerto Rican cultural programs, curriculum, or home activities to extend young readers’ learning. The inclusion of instructions to make one’s own homemade güiro is a thoughtful addition. The Spanish translation, also by Delacre and published simultaneously, will require a more advanced reader than the English one to recognize and comprehend contractions (“pa’bajo-pa-pa’rriba”) and relatively sophisticated vocabulary.

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape. (Early reader. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-89239-429-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Children's Book Press

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

more