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A nurturing sendoff into a dreamworld of playful wonderment.

Awards & Accolades

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See offers a bedtime story exploring the potential and reality of dreams in this picture book.

For the story’s grateful mother, the birth of her child is the brightest dream come true (“Your first hello made everything right”). In reverence of that, she extolls the virtue of dreams in a bedtime story meant to guide her baby into peaceful slumber. The mother encourages her child to go to the farthest reaches of her mind. Sometimes with mommy in tow and other times with a fuzzy white bunny that has tall, rocket-shaped ears, the small child (who, like her mother, has pale skin and dark hair) ventures out into various landscapes, exploring whatever might exist in each one. While urging her child not to be bound by worldly matters or naysayers, the mother warns of hurdles that are inevitable along the way, reminding the little one that she will always be there to support them and love them. See has rendered this bedtime story in poetic verses broken up into two or three quatrains that question and inspire; this is followed by a couplet that pulls the child back into the safety net of the mother’s warmth and belief in them.  Javier’s chalky illustrations, in deep purples, night and sky blues, and luminous pinks, are speckled with twinkling stars and planets, all hazily softened to evoke a dreamscape primed for subconscious imaginative play.

A nurturing sendoff into a dreamworld of playful wonderment.

Pub Date: June 12, 2024

ISBN: 9786210614275

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2024

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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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Nice enough but not worth repeat reads.

Emma deals with jitters before playing the guitar in the school talent show.

Pop musician Kevin Jonas and his wife, Danielle, put performance at the center of their picture-book debut. When Emma is intimidated by her very talented friends, the encouragement of her younger sister, Bella, and the support of her family help her to shine her own light. The story is straightforward and the moral familiar: Draw strength from your family and within to overcome your fears. Employing the performance-anxiety trope that’s been written many times over, the book plods along predictably—there’s nothing really new or surprising here. Dawson’s full-color digital illustrations center a White-presenting family along with Emma’s three friends of color: Jamila has tanned skin and wears a hijab; Wendy has dark brown skin and Afro puffs; and Luis has medium brown skin. Emma’s expressive eyes and face are the real draw of the artwork—from worry to embarrassment to joy, it’s clear what she’s feeling. A standout double-page spread depicts Emma’s talent show performance, with a rainbow swirl of music erupting from an amp and Emma rocking a glam outfit and electric guitar. Overall, the book reads pretty plainly, buoyed largely by the artwork. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35207-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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