Wallace tells a story about his grandfather, who worked in the mines. It is a touching tale about the son of a coal miner, who goes with his father for the first time to work underground. “You’ll be a good miner, boy,” says the father. “You have coal in your blood same as me.” His mother tells him, “Take care, my son. You know the deeps is dangerous.” Father and son file into a steel cage and are lowered into the darkness with all the other miners. It is exhausting work, and the boy falls asleep during lunch. While they are working in the afternoon, the ceiling in the mine collapses, knocking them to the ground, and giving them a scare as they dig themselves out. “They headed toward the steel cage, the light, and home. Tomorrow they would go down into the deeps again, for they were miners and that was their job.” Wallace’s simple and direct language gives the story power; the textured and shadowy illustrations, as still as photographs, convey what it was like to grow up long ago, when a boy went to do a man’s work, and toiled willingly alongside his Da. (Picture book. 6-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7894-2569-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1999

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One of a four-book series designed to help the very young prepare for new siblings, this title presents a toddler-and-mother pair (the latter heavily pregnant) as they read about new babies, sort hand-me-downs, buy new toys, visit the obstetrician and the sonographer, speculate and wait. Throughout, the child asks questions and makes exclamations with complete enthusiasm: “How big is the baby? What does it eat? I felt it move! Is it a boy or girl?” Fuller’s jolly pictures present a biracial family that thoroughly enjoys every moment together. It’s a bit oversimplified, but no one can complain about the positive message it conveys, appropriately, to its baby and toddler audience. The other titles in the New Baby series are My New Baby (ISBN: 978-1-84643-276-7), Look at Me! (ISBN: 978-1-84643-278-1) and You and Me (ISBN: 978-1-84643-277-4). (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84643-275-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

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A girl and her sister start off rather glumly in the back seat of the car, leaving all their friends behind, because they are off to a family party. When they arrive, they are kissed by Aunt Joan—the worst—and then there is more kissing and a bunch of cousins just hanging around. But the kids start sharing war stories (hair cuts, lost teeth, split lips) and playing shark on the lawn; there are hideouts under Uncle John’s chair and potato-chip thievery; and then there is all that food beloved of family gatherings, for it is Gran’s birthday. At the end, of course, no one wants to go home. In sprightly rhyme, Reid captures the range of experience, from initial wariness to high hilarity, present at parties full of relatives. Her illustrations, done in painted Plasticine on board, have a wonderful texture, making a Hawaiian shirt, three-bean salad, and Mary Jane shoes pop out of the page. A treat. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-97801-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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