Emerging readers looking for a just-right book for reading fun will welcome this new series and its heroine.

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LET'S HAVE A PARADE

From the Lana's World series

Bright-eyed Lana’s big imagination draws her whole family into her play.

Despite the rain, Lana is determined to have a parade, but her parents and brothers are disinclined. Even her dog, Furry, is unenthusiastic when Lana suggests, “Let’s have a parade.” Undeterred, Lana decides to have an inside parade, complete with stuffed animals, a clown on skates, and a queen doll in a wagon as a float, lining them up in the hall. The page turn reveals Lana’s imagination at work as the figures come to full-sized life, led by Lana and her drum. Soon, Mama and Papa and Jay and Ray join the fun, playing their own instruments. Even Furry adds his woof. The simultaneously publishing sequel, Let’s Go Fishing, follows the same pattern, but this time with an imaginary fishing expedition. In both, full-color illustrations show a modern, confident little girl with her own sense of style, happy playing alone but with enthusiasm that is impossible to resist. Hers is a modern family, in which Papa helps with the meals and the brothers know how to serve themselves. Repeated words and phrases, including onomatopoeia, will help young readers build confidence as the story unfolds.

Emerging readers looking for a just-right book for reading fun will welcome this new series and its heroine. (Early reader. 4-9)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-544-10677-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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Positively refreshing.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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HAIR LOVE

A black girl helps her dad learn how to give her the perfect hairstyle for a very special day.

Zuri’s voluminous head of hair “has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way.” She is pictured asleep with a large Afro framing her face. She is proud of her hair, which she sometimes wears in braids with beads like a princess and other times in pigtail puffs. But today is a special day. She knows Daddy is “worn-out” and probably needs a break, so she lets him sleep in while she looks up hairstyles on a tablet. When Daddy wakes and offers to help, he tries a series of hairstyles that just don’t work. Finally, Zuri grabs some hair supplies and shows him a tutorial. “Watching carefully… / Daddy combed, / parted, oiled, and twisted. / He nailed it!” Zuri is lovely and happy with her freshly done hairstyle, and when Mommy arrives to their “Welcome Home” sign, she loves Zuri’s look too. The digital illustrations feature details that feel just right: Zuri’s thick, textured hair, Daddy’s locs and tattoo, and dark-skinned Mom’s bright headwrap. While it’s unclear where Mommy is returning from (she is dressed casually and has a rolling black suitcase), this authentic depiction of a loving and whole black family broadens the scope of representation.

Positively refreshing. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55336-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kokila

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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A thoughtfully layered text and powerful illustrations address this sensitive topic in a uniquely nurturing way.

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SULWE

With the help of a legend about Day and Night, a dark-skinned black child learns that she is beautiful inside and out.

Sulwe is “the color of midnight,” the darkest in her multihued family, and is teased in school. She tries everything to lighten her skin: an eraser, makeup, eating light foods, prayer. Her mother tells her she is beautiful and that her name, Sulwe, or “star,” refers to an inner brightness, but she can’t see it in herself. Then a shooting star comes to her window, sent by the night, and brings Sulwe out to tell her about Night and Day, two sisters who loved each other but were treated differently. When Night left after people called her names like “scary,” “bad,” and “ugly,” the people realized that they needed her. The stars added that “some light can only be seen in the dark.” After learning how Night and Day are both needed, Sulwe knows that she is “dark and beautiful, bright and strong.” Harrison’s glossy illustrations faithfully render the features of black people, allowing the beauty of different skin tones to shine, with deep purple tones in the darkness, reinforcing the story’s message. In an author’s note, Nyong’o shares her own past struggles with her complexion.

A thoughtfully layered text and powerful illustrations address this sensitive topic in a uniquely nurturing way. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2536-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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