A lovely multicultural story about a young friendship, celebrating culture and differences.

MAYA AND ANNIE ON SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS / LOS SÁBADOS Y DOMINGOS DE MAYA Y ANNIE

A childhood friendship and cultural acceptance are at the center of this authentic, special story.

In alternating first-person narration, Annie and Maya take turns describing their weekends: They play video games inside and in the backyard of Annie’s big home; in Maya’s little house, they help with the garden and play with her two dogs. When in Annie’s home, Maya is introduced to different foods: noodles, dumplings, and gai lan. At Maya’s place, Annie enjoys tamales, tacos, and pozole. The two celebrate a posada with Maya’s mother and Lunar New Year with Annie’s dad. Sometimes the girls fight, but they always make up. One Sunday, both families eat together, and the girls learn that their parents, Annie’s dad and Maya’s mom, are getting married. Muraida’s colorful, vibrant illustrations pay special, subtle tribute to the girls’ Latin American and Vietnamese backgrounds; spreads of the girls at their respective homes display culturally appropriate décor and patterns. Most strikingly, perhaps, two spreads depict the families sharing in each other’s religious and cultural celebrations: One displays a candlelit evening parade and children striking a piñata, while the other depicts another vivid parade following red lanterns and an undulating, festive paper dragon. Each page incorporates bilingual text for both English and Spanish readers.

A lovely multicultural story about a young friendship, celebrating culture and differences. (Bilingual picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-55885-859-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Piñata Books/Arte Público

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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Preachy and predictable.

RUBYLICIOUS

From the Pinkalicious series

Pinkalicious is excited to add the 100th rock to her rock collection.

Her brother, Peter, is not impressed. He thinks the rock looks dirty and that it isn’t special at all. When the siblings try to rub the rock clean, though, something wonderful happens: A magical figure emerges in a cloud of red smoke. Rather than ask her name, Pinkalicious and Peter tell her they will call her Rocky. Rocky accepts the new name and nervously says that she can grant the children a wish. But every time the sister and brother make a wish, Rocky initially grants it and then talks them out of it. When Peter and Pinkalicious wish for a gigantic mountain of sweets, for instance, a timorous Rocky shows them how eating so much sugar harms their bodies. When the children wish that they could fly, Rocky shows them how dangerous flying can be. When they wish to live in a castle, Rocky gives them a palace that is too large and cold to be any fun. In the end, Pinkalicious and Peter decide that the best wish they can make isn’t for themselves but for Rocky—a decision that leads to even more magical results. This latest series installment underwhelms. In addition to the arbitrary plot and wooden dialogue, Pinkalicious and Peter come across as maddeningly entitled. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Preachy and predictable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-305521-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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Extremely simple and rather sweet.

BULLDOZER'S CHRISTMAS DIG

From the Bulldozer series

Bulldozer is worried about what to give his friends for Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, Dump Truck is carrying, Digger Truck is stringing, and Crane Truck is lifting—all in service of decorating for Christmas. But Bulldozer is on the side, surrounded by cats, worrying. He has not a single gift for his friends. What can he do? He sees a tire half buried in the snow and wonders what other treasures might be there. He starts to dig, and he hits something…but it turns out to be junk. He keeps on digging and finds something else: “more junk.” He keeps digging and digging. The piles grow larger, the sky gets darker, and Bulldozer’s hope fades. But then he thinks he sees something through the snow. He pokes the pile of junk this way and that. He adds bits and pieces. As his friends call out to him that it’s quitting time, Bulldozer puts last touches on his gift. He moves aside to reveal his creation to his friends, and all are pleased with the gift. The little yellow Bulldozer with his entourage of animal friends is a likable character whose plight children will relate to and whose noncommercial solution is a model for creative youngsters to take as inspiration. Best for wrapping a message of giving within a truck-loving package full of sound effects. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Extremely simple and rather sweet. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3820-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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