A dollhouse for everyone.

READ REVIEW

THIS IS MY DOLLHOUSE

Readers will feel right at home with this cozy tribute to imagination.

In pitch-perfect, first-person narration, a young girl introduces readers to her beloved dollhouse, made from a cardboard box and decorated with crafted odds and ends. The toy family living there is made up of dolls and stuffed animals, including a mother doll and twin girl dolls, Grandma Mousey, and a stuffed bear Daddy. She delights in making props for them and tucks them in to sleep in one big bed. On a play date, she discovers that her friend Sophie has a pristine, fully accessorized dollhouse with a matching doll family. (All the human characters, both girls and dolls, are white.) Sophie rejects ideas for crafting decorations or adding characters to their pretend play, so once the family is settled into four tidy beds, the bored girls go outside to play. When Sophie comes to play at her house, the narrator is nervous that her friend will look down on her homemade dollhouse, so she hides it—but Sophie discovers it and is enchanted. The girls make many things to embellish the house and delight in pretend play. The childlike voice in Potter’s text is matched by her downright charming watercolor-and-ink illustrations, which invite close inspection and might inspire readers in their own dollhouse craft—particularly if they can access the inside of the jacket, which provides dollhouse-making instructions.

A dollhouse for everyone. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-553-52154-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2016

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The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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The title says it all: Black boys are “every good thing.”

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I AM EVERY GOOD THING

A much-needed book for Black children when society demonstrates otherwise.

The Kirkus Prize–, Coretta Scott King Honor–, Newbery Honor–, and Caldecott Honor–winning team behind Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (2017) return for another celebration of Black excellence. In a text brimming with imagination and Black-boy joy, Barnes lays the foundation for young Black readers to go forth into the world filled with confidence and self-assurance: “I am brave. I am hope. / I am my ancestors’ wildest dream. / I am worthy of success, / of respect, of safety, of kindness, of happiness.” Simultaneously, he opens a window for non-Black readers to see Black boys’ humanity. They have dreams, feel pain, are polite and respectful—the list of qualities goes on. Barnes also decides to address what is waiting for them as they experience the world. “I am not what they might call me.” With this forceful statement, he provides a tool for building Black resilience, reassuring young Black readers that they are not those names. James supplies his customarily painterly art, his brushy oils painting Black boys of every shade of brown playing, celebrating, achieving, aspiring, and loving. Through every stroke readers will see that Black boys are “worthy / to be loved.” (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 35% of actual size.)

The title says it all: Black boys are “every good thing.” (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-51877-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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