A reminder to be aware of what one says, as well as a discussion starter about actions and consequences.

READ REVIEW

WHAT IF EVERYBODY SAID THAT?

From the What If Everybody? series

A tiny tot learns that words can hurt.

One sassy girl is pictured in 10 different scenarios—each ending with a disappointed adult asking, “What if everybody said that?” These include making fun of someone else’s fashion sense, not sharing, pushing to be first, excluding someone from playground fun, quitting when your team is losing, etc. While the titular questions are different, the concept is very similar to Javernick and Madden’s previous outing (What If Everybody Did That?, 2010), although this venture does portray more inner turmoil than the earlier, with bubbles of victims’ hurt feelings and damaging thoughts. Even the simplest of words can strongly affect others. Madden’s mixed-media illustrations show a large, diverse cast, including men of color in nurturing roles and a child in a wheelchair who, unfortunately, does not appear after an early scene. Among other humorous details, frowning faces are hidden on inanimate objects, and even dogs and cats give judging looks to atrocious behavior. After a string of missteps, the misguided gal does realize the error of her ways, and all ends well. The protagonist has blue eyes, black hair, and light brown skin and is surrounded by a supporting cast of many races and ethnicities.

A reminder to be aware of what one says, as well as a discussion starter about actions and consequences. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5039-4895-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

I AM ENOUGH

A feel-good book about self-acceptance.

Empire star Byers and Bobo offer a beautifully illustrated, rhyming picture book detailing what one brown-skinned little girl with an impressive Afro appreciates about herself. Relying on similes, the text establishes a pattern with the opening sentence, “Like the sun, I’m here to shine,” and follows it through most of the book. Some of them work well, while others fall flat: “Like the rain, I’m here to pour / and drip and fall until I’m full.” In some vignettes she’s by herself; and in others, pictured along with children of other races. While the book’s pro-diversity message comes through, the didactic and even prideful expressions of self-acceptance make the book exasperatingly preachy—a common pitfall for books by celebrity authors. In contrast, Bobo’s illustrations are visually stunning. After painting the children and the objects with which they interact, such as flowers, books, and a red wagon, in acrylic on board for a traditional look, she scanned the images into Adobe Photoshop and added the backgrounds digitally in chalk. This lends a whimsical feel to such details as a rainbow, a window, wind, and rain—all reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Bobo creates an inclusive world of girls in which wearing glasses, using a wheelchair, wearing a head scarf, and having a big Afro are unconditionally accepted rather than markers for othering.

A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-266712-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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