HOPE

Monk takes a didactic tack in presenting one girl’s ancestry, weaving into a story of several generations the scene of her African-American mother and Caucasian father’s wedding. The stumbling narration establishes that the protagonist is in sixth grade, looking back on a summer weekend before she entered second grade. Her loving Aunt Prudence, known as Aunt Poogee, takes the narrator to an open-air market, where they encounter another relative, Miss Violet. Miss Violet asks outright, “My goodness, Prudence, is the child mixed?” The question haunts the girl, whose name is revealed as Hope, until Aunt Poogee steps in with a bedtime story that is overblown, invoking the faith of immigrants and slaves across generations who “look forward to a future where you will be proud to be part of a race that is simply ‘human.’ “ The sentiments are strong, but the delivery borders on mawkish. Sturdy faces, tender postures, and vibrant backgrounds considerably enliven the bibliotherapeutic proceedings. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 9, 1999

ISBN: 1-57505-230-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1999

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WAITING FOR BABY

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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LUCKY PENNIES AND HOT CHOCOLATE

Anticipating the visit of a favorite person is half the fun. Planning all the things he likes to do, the narrator of this celebration of childhood, includes telling knock-knock jokes, visiting a construction site, picking up lucky pennies, drinking hot chocolate, cooking, eating and cleaning up together, and just having a good time. What the narrator doesn’t like is putting on scratchy dress-up clothes, eating “funny-looking food,” or watching movies that are too “kissy.” Shields (Martian Rock, 1999, etc.) tells the story from the narrator’s point of view and then delivers a punchy surprise ending for this absolutely charming tale of grandfather and grandson. Nakata’s gentle watercolors for her first picture-book illustrations are alive with color, movement, and humor. They support and extend the text with funny little bits that provoke a grin and a chuckle. The love this grandfather and grandchild have for each other fills every page. A good read-aloud selection for the younger crowd and a nice addition to grandparents’ collections of books to share. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-525-46450-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2000

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