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THE RAINBOW PARADE

An exploration of community and belonging that’s highly recommended for all families and all bookshelves.

Inspired by the author’s childhood memories of attending San Francisco Pride, this picture book offers a delightfully dynamic child’s-eye view of the festivities.

Emily, a young White girl, and her two White moms take the train to join their “family of friends” alongside the parade route. Emily narrates the story in the first person, relaying her observations. She admires the bikers and the loud, proud, colorful marchers and performers, who vary in size, skin color, physical ability, and age and who wear “whatever makes them feel most like themselves.” But when Mommy spots a group of LGBTQ+ families (“just like us!”) marching and suggests they join them, Emily worries she’s “not loud or proud enough to be in the parade.” Her moms’ poignant, encouraging responses are just what she (and likely, many readers) needs to hear. Neilson employs simple, accessible language to deliver a buoyant tale that fleshes out the notion of Pride—an integral cultural concept within the LGBTQ+ community—by showing rather than telling. The stylized digital illustrations include true-to-life details that affectionately reflect the array of outfits, identities, and signage one might encounter at a Pride celebration. Meanwhile, the pitch-perfect visual pacing (the artwork shifts effortlessly between immersive, full-bleed pages and spot illustrations) captures the movement, scope, and many moods of the parade. Readers familiar with San Francisco may recognize the BART train, which helps establish the setting. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An exploration of community and belonging that’s highly recommended for all families and all bookshelves. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-32658-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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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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WILLOW THE WHITE HOUSE CAT

Kids will enjoy the opportunity to “mews” on the doings of a presidential pet.

First Lady Biden and Capucilli, author of the Biscuit series, explain how Willow the cat came to reside at the White House.

Willow lives contentedly in a barn. One day, she’s curious when cars approach and people gather to hear a blond woman speak. Willow draws closer, then is delighted as the woman lifts her up and hugs her. That evening, light-skinned Farmer Rick tells Willow she made “quite an impression”: The visitor has invited Willow to live with her. A car arrives to drive Willow away to the White House, her new home in Washington, D.C. There, she’s welcomed by the first lady—the same woman who tenderly held her at the farm. Willow meets the president and explores her new home, filled with elegantly furnished rooms, grand staircases, and historic portraits. Plus, there’s a toy-filled basket! Best of all, there are wonderful people who work in and visit this beautiful house who show Willow kindness and affection. Willow’s favorite resting spot is at the president’s side in the Oval Office, though she also enjoys watching the first lady read to children on the lawn. Animal lovers will especially appreciate this sweet, cat’s-eye view of the White House, which helps humanize the first family by depicting them as ordinary feline fanciers. The loose ink, acrylic, and paint illustrations are cheerful and cozy. Background characters are racially diverse.

Kids will enjoy the opportunity to “mews” on the doings of a presidential pet. (author’s note from Biden, photos) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 4, 2024

ISBN: 9781665952057

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 20, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2024

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