Emphasizing financial responsibility, this engaging tale will prompt useful discussions between parents and children.

MADISON'S 1ST DOLLAR

A PICTURE BOOK ABOUT MONEY

A girl wonders what she should do with a dollar bill in this picture book.

After receiving her first dollar, Madison ponders her options. Should she save, spend, donate, or invest? The girl, who has brown eyes, dark skin, and dark hair, considers purchasing toys or candy and also contemplates investing or saving. She weighs giving “away 25 cents because she feels so blessed” and thinks about surprising a friend with a gift or donating to a neighbor. Ultimately, the story leaves Madison’s final decision open-ended. Beckford provides space for readers to offer their opinions (“Tell us how you would spend YOUR dollar!”) and implores them to treat money sensibly. Using an interactive format, the enjoyable book introduces ideas of financial responsibility in a simple, kid-friendly way. The bold, graphic, uncredited illustrations supplement Madison’s thoughts. Some show the girl as she ruminates about spending her money, including at a toy store. Many feature thematic elements, like an image depicting coin jars labeled “save, spend, invest, give.” Several provide information. For instance, Madison looks at a paper titled “Maddie’s Savings Plan” that lists: “Spend 50 cents”; “Save 25 cents”; “Give 25 cents.” Other images are fun and creative; when the text explains that Madison’s money gives her “major buying power,” she is dressed as a superhero. The work includes illustrations of bills and coins for readers to print out and color.

Emphasizing financial responsibility, this engaging tale will prompt useful discussions between parents and children.

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-952684-14-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Thrive Publishing Company LLC

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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As ephemeral as a valentine.

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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