A cute story that imparts lessons for kids about friendship and family.


Little Jessie's Beach Fun

In Nat’s debut picture book, a young girl spends the day exploring and learning at the beach with her dad.

Jessie is very excited as she and her dad prepare to head out for the day. She puts on her favorite dress, a matching hat, and sandals and sets off with him on a walk to the beach. Once they arrive, she watches the waves, meets a little crab, and decides to build a sand castle for her new crustacean friend to live in. When she heads home, she reflects on what a great day she had. Overall, Nat offers a sweet tale that focuses on friendship and family. Jessie and her father are shown to have a good relationship as they hold hands and share thoughts while walking down the beach: “She pointed at the tides and said to her dad, ‘It’s like they are singing a song.’ ” He also personally introduces her to the crab on the beach by picking it up and putting it in her hand. Going to the beach is an exciting prospect for Jessie because it’s not only fun in itself, it also means spending quality time with her father. A beach trip is about exploration as well—Jessie is thrilled to see the baby crab in the sand and enjoys how it climbs up on her shoulder and tickles her. A sign of friendship from the creature inspires her to build a house for him as a kindness, and she’s rewarded for her efforts: “Jessie enjoyed looking at the baby crab settling in his new home.” With its easy vocabulary and repetition, this is a story that will be ideal for youngsters who are practicing their reading skills. The simple, brightly colored illustrations by Kumari effectively reflect what’s happening in the text, which will allow children to easily interpret any unfamiliar words.

A cute story that imparts lessons for kids about friendship and family.

Pub Date: April 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-1478750895

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Outskirts Press Inc.

Review Posted Online: June 9, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.


From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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Unhei has just left her Korean homeland and come to America with her parents. As she rides the school bus toward her first day of school, she remembers the farewell at the airport in Korea and examines the treasured gift her grandmother gave her: a small red pouch containing a wooden block on which Unhei’s name is carved. Unhei is ashamed when the children on the bus find her name difficult to pronounce and ridicule it. Lesson learned, she declines to tell her name to anyone else and instead offers, “Um, I haven’t picked one yet. But I’ll let you know next week.” Her classmates write suggested names on slips of paper and place them in a jar. One student, Joey, takes a particular liking to Unhei and sees the beauty in her special stamp. When the day arrives for Unhei to announce her chosen name, she discovers how much Joey has helped. Choi (Earthquake, see below, etc.) draws from her own experience, interweaving several issues into this touching account and delicately addressing the challenges of assimilation. The paintings are done in creamy, earth-tone oils and augment the story nicely. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-80613-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2001

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