Nevertheless, an infectiously warm celebration of friendship.

CECILIA AND MIGUEL ARE BEST FRIENDS / CECILIA Y MIGUEL SON MEJORES AMIGOS

A childhood friendship remains steady and true throughout teenage years and beyond into adult life and marriage.

Despite mishaps, flaws and good-natured teasing, Cecilia and Miguel maintain strong ties—even when, for example, her fishing results in a nice catch while his line gets tangled or when at an Easter party, much to her chagrin, he purposely cracks his cascarones (confetti-filled eggs) over her head. Situations like these might create animosity or resentment, but Cecilia and Miguel’s commitment to each other only grows. Their disappointment at her quinceañera dance, when Miguel sits out with a broken leg, presages a long-distance relationship during college years that eventually leads to proposal, wedding and parenthood. The simple, bilingual text repeats the titular lines in both English and Spanish on every double-page spread, introducing a succession of events that tie them together as they grow older. These are illustrated with “snapshots” depicting the various vignettes, with a smaller, scene-setting image separating the blocks of text and a larger, facing one on the opposite page. Readers from outside the culture will need to work out such concepts as quinceañera, cascarones and flan from the illustrations, as there is no glossary. “Best friends forever” is universal in most children’s experience, though taking it all the way through marriage and parenthood is a wee bit far-fetched.

Nevertheless, an infectiously warm celebration of friendship. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-55885-794-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Piñata Books/Arté Público

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference.

SOFIA VALDEZ, FUTURE PREZ

From the Questioneers series

Sofia Valdez proves that community organizers of any age can have a positive impact.

After a trash-heap eyesore causes an injury to her beloved abuelo, Sofia springs into action to bring big change to her neighborhood. The simple rhymes of the text follow Sofia on her journey from problem through ideas to action as she garners community support for an idyllic new park to replace the dangerous junk pile. When bureaucracy threatens to quash Sofia’s nascent plan, she digs deep and reflects that “being brave means doing the thing you must do, / though your heart cracks with fear. / Though you’re just in Grade Two.” Sofia’s courage yields big results and inspires those around her to lend a hand. Implied Latinx, Sofia and her abuelo have medium brown skin, and Sofia has straight brown hair (Abuelo is bald). Readers will recognize Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist from Beaty’s previous installments in the Questioneers series making cameo appearances in several scenes. While the story connects back to the title and her aptitude for the presidency in only the second-to-last sentence of the book, Sofia’s leadership and grit are themes throughout. Roberts’ signature illustration style lends a sense of whimsy; detailed drawings will have readers scouring each page for interesting minutiae.

Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3704-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

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This multigenerational snuggle will encourage the sharing of old memories and the creation of new ones.

GRANDMA'S GIRL

Hill and Bobbiesi send a humungous hug from grandmothers to their granddaughters everywhere.

Delicate cartoon art adds details to the rhyming text showing multigenerational commonalities. “You and I are alike in such wonderful ways. / You will see more and more as you grow” (as grandmother and granddaughter enjoy the backyard together); “I wobbled uncertainly just as you did / whenever I tried something new” (as a toddler takes first steps); “And if a bad dream woke me up in the night, / I snuggled up with my lovey too” (grandmother kisses granddaughter, who clutches a plush narwhal). Grandmother-granddaughter pairs share everyday joys like eating ice cream, dancing “in the rain,” and making “up silly games.” Although some activities skew stereotypically feminine (baking, yoga), a grandmother helps with a quintessential volcano experiment (this pair presents black, adding valuable STEM representation), another cheers on a young wheelchair athlete (both present Asian), and a third, wearing a hijab, accompanies her brown-skinned granddaughter on a peace march, as it is “important to speak out for what you believe.” The message of unconditional love is clear throughout: “When you need me, I’ll be there to listen and care. / There is nothing that keeps us apart.” The finished book will include “stationery…for a special letter from Grandma to you!”

This multigenerational snuggle will encourage the sharing of old memories and the creation of new ones. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-0623-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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