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SUMMER VACATION, HERE I COME!

From the Here I Come! series

Summertime fun.

Summer vacation is the stuff children’s dreams are made of.

This collection of verse begins with that first day a child can sleep in instead of being woken up for school by the alarm clock (“BEEP-BEEP-SNOOZE”) and ends with the first day back at school. In between, full-color cartoon illustrations and short, upbeat poems, usually one per page, explore how children in diverse communities spend their summers. They line up on the sidewalk after hearing “the jingle jangle of the ice-cream truck!” They cool off by playing on a backyard slip 'n slide or by visiting the neighborhood pool, the lake, or the beach (where a child builds a sand castle only to see it washed away and another listens to a seashell). Summer also means a family road trip with all-too-frequent rest stops and a motel stay with treats like a giant TV, “teensy soaps and teensy shampoo / and beds made for bouncing.” A trip to an amusement park is captured in a creative shape poem about the thrills of a log ride and playful font changes that emphasize the ever changing perspective found on a Ferris wheel. Summer also includes going to camp as well as camping out in the backyard and enjoying s’mores and an astronomy lesson from Grandpa. As in the creators’ other Here I Come! books, the verse is peppy, with details sure to get kids jazzed, brought to life by the exuberant cartoon art. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Summertime fun. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 25, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-38721-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

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ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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A LIBRARY

A lushly illustrated homage to librarians who provide a welcome and a home away from home for all who enter.

A love letter to libraries.

A Black child, with hair in two puffballs tied with yellow ribbons, a blue dress with a Peter Pan collar, and black patent leather Mary Janes, helps Grandmother with the housework, then, at Grandmother’s suggestion, heads to the library. The child’s eagerness to go, with two books under an arm and one in their hand, suggests that this is a favorite destination. The books’ wordless covers emphasize their endless possibilities. The protagonist’s description of the library makes clear that they are always free to be themselves there—whether they feel happy or sad, whether they’re reading mysteries or recipes, and whether they feel “quick and smart” or “contained and cautious.” Robinson’s vibrant, carefully composed digital illustrations, with bright colors that invite readers in and textures and patterns in every image, effectively capture the protagonist’s passion for reading and appreciation for a space where they feel accepted regardless of disposition. In her author’s note, Giovanni states that she spent summers visiting her grandmother in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she went to the Carnegie Branch of the Lawson McGhee Library. She expresses gratitude for Mrs. Long, the librarian, who often traveled to the main library to get books that Giovanni could not find in their segregated branch. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A lushly illustrated homage to librarians who provide a welcome and a home away from home for all who enter. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-358-38765-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Versify/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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