More sparkly, delightfully silly fun for Unicorn and Yeti fans.

READ REVIEW

A GOOD TEAM

From the Unicorn and Yeti series , Vol. 2

Pals Unicorn and Yeti return for a second, teamwork-filled adventure!

In the first of three short chapters, Yeti, who is good at kicking, invites Unicorn to play ball. As it turns out, Unicorn is not so good at kicking. Unicorn thinks they’re better at bouncing, but, sadly, the ball just gets stuck on their horn. When Yeti pulls the ball off the horn—POP!—the ball turns into a ring. The pair maintains their positivity by switching to a ring-toss game. In subsequent chapters, Unicorn and Yeti try a racing game (once they can agree on the method) and ice skating (once Unicorn figures out bipedal movement). Throughout, they stay on message: The best fun happens with strengths-based collaboration. Excluding a sentence that sets the scene and a short narrative action sequence, the majority of the story is told through dialogue. As with the first book, dialogue is color-coded (purple for Yeti; orange for Unicorn). The comic-book format mixes panel shapes and sizes, at most six per double-page spread. Repetitive dialogue helpfully recycles phrases and never exceeds three short sentences per speech bubble. Some words are bolded for emphasis. Yeti is identified with the masculine pronoun, but Unicorn is ungendered. Quintanilla’s colorful, expressive art and Burnell’s infectiously whimsical tone make their own good team. The final page includes instructions on how to draw Yeti and a short creative prompt.

More sparkly, delightfully silly fun for Unicorn and Yeti fans. (Graphic early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-32905-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Whimsy, intelligence, and a subtle narrative thread make this rise to the top of a growing list of self-love titles.

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YOU MATTER

Employing a cast of diverse children reminiscent of that depicted in Another (2019), Robinson shows that every living entity has value.

After opening endpapers that depict an aerial view of a busy playground, the perspective shifts to a black child, ponytails tied with beaded elastics, peering into a microscope. So begins an exercise in perspective. From those bits of green life under the lens readers move to “Those who swim with the tide / and those who don’t.” They observe a “pest”—a mosquito biting a dinosaur, a “really gassy” planet, and a dog whose walker—a child in a pink hijab—has lost hold of the leash. Periodically, the examples are validated with the titular refrain. Textured paint strokes and collage elements contrast with uncluttered backgrounds that move from white to black to white. The black pages in the middle portion foreground scenes in space, including a black astronaut viewing Earth; the astronaut is holding an image of another black youngster who appears on the next spread flying a toy rocket and looking lonely. There are many such visual connections, creating emotional interest and invitations for conversation. The story’s conclusion spins full circle, repeating opening sentences with new scenarios. From the microscopic to the cosmic, word and image illuminate the message without a whiff of didacticism.

Whimsy, intelligence, and a subtle narrative thread make this rise to the top of a growing list of self-love titles. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2169-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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