Perfect for young giraffes—or children—who stand out in the very best of ways and just need to know they’re all right...

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GERALDINE

Meet Geraldine, a boisterous, dramatic giraffe with a lanky, expressive neck, who is miserable about leaving her giraffe city for a town where she will be the only giraffe.

Rarely do picture books featuring life transitions—such as a new baby, moving, or the first day of school—depict them with such humor, poignancy, and believability. Hilarious yet heartwarming illustrations depict Geraldine in melodramatic poses, trying to run away and breaking her belongings to avoid packing. When she arrives at her new school (populated only by humans), her neck sticks out no matter what, foiling her attempts to play hide-and-seek, swim in the pool, and just blend in. That is, until she meets Cassie—a young girl of color who has her own distinctive traits that make her stand out, too. Together, they build trust, friendship, and confidence. With more than a little drama, lots of heart, and the most expressive neck in all of children’s literature, Geraldine learns to embrace her own uniqueness and that of her new friend, and soon her classmates do, too. Lilly’s bright, classic watercolors, brimming with whimsy and charm, create an immersive world full of details big and small. Readers will fall in love with Geraldine in this stellar debut.

Perfect for young giraffes—or children—who stand out in the very best of ways and just need to know they’re all right exactly how they are . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62672-359-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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A must-have book about the power of one’s voice and the friendships that emerge when you are yourself.

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THE DAY YOU BEGIN

School-age children encounter and overcome feelings of difference from their peers in the latest picture book from Woodson.

This nonlinear story centers on Angelina, with big curly hair and brown skin, as she begins the school year with a class share-out of summer travels. Text and illustrations effectively work together to convey her feelings of otherness as she reflects on her own summer spent at home: “What good is this / when others were flying,” she ponders while leaning out her city window forlornly watching birds fly past to seemingly faraway places. López’s incorporation of a ruler for a door, table, and tree into the illustrations creatively extends the metaphor of measuring up to others. Three other children—Rigoberto, a recent immigrant from Venezuela; a presumably Korean girl with her “too strange” lunch of kimchi, meat, and rice; and a lonely white boy in what seems to be a suburb—experience more-direct teasing for their outsider status. A bright jewel-toned palette and clever details, including a literal reflection of a better future, reveal hope and pride in spite of the taunting. This reassuring, lyrical book feels like a big hug from a wise aunt as she imparts the wisdom of the world in order to calm trepidatious young children: One of these things is not like the other, and that is actually what makes all the difference.

A must-have book about the power of one’s voice and the friendships that emerge when you are yourself. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-399-24653-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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