Sadie is terrific.

READ REVIEW

SADIE AND THE SILVER SHOES

Sadie loses a shoe but finds a friend.

Sadie is self-confident, adventurous, and the recipient of her older brothers’ outgrown clothes. She likes wearing the hand-me-downs in spite of negative comments from classmate Annabelle. But she can pick out her own shoes, and her new ones are marvelous, silver and sparkly and a bit big so she can wear them longer. She wears them everywhere, even on a family picnic. Sadie and her brothers have fun rock-hopping in a stream until Sadie’s shoe comes off and they all get wet trying to retrieve it. Her brothers have some very creative suggestions as to what she can do with the one shoe, but she decides to wear it unmatched, staring down Annabelle. Ellie, a new girl at school, tells her that she recently found one shiny shoe just like Sadie’s. Of course it’s a match, and Sadie has a wonderful idea. The two girls will share the shoes, and sometimes even wear one each, a perfect match. Godwin’s syntax is brief and spare, telling the fast-paced tale without adornment. The text is placed in white space around and within Walker’s action-filled, earth-toned watercolor-and-collage vignettes. The illustrations enhance the text beautifully, providing sharp-eyed readers with visual hints of the shoe’s movements. The characters, depicted as mostly white, are distinct and expressive.

Sadie is terrific. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0480-3

Page Count: 31

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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Lost and found was never so riotously funny or emotionally draining.

DON'T FORGET DEXTER!

A lost toy goes through an existential crisis.

The setup is on the copyright page. Amid the markers of a universally recognizable waiting room—fish tank, chairs against the wall, receptionist’s window, kids’ coloring table—is a tiny orange T. Rex with a dialogue balloon: “Hello?” A turn of the page brings Dexter T. Rexter into close view, and he explains his dilemma directly to readers. He and his best friend came for a checkup, but Jack’s disappeared. Maybe readers can help? But when Jack is still MIA, Dexter becomes disconsolate, believing his friend might have left him behind on purpose; maybe he likes another toy better? Dexter weighs his good qualities against those he lacks, and he comes up short. But when readers protest (indicated by a change in Dexter’s tone after the turn of the page), Dexter gains the determination he needs to make a plan. Unfortunately, though hilariously, his escape plan fails. But luckily, a just-as-upset black boy comes looking for Dexter, and the two are reunited. Ward’s ink, colored-pencil, and cut-paper illustrations give readers a toy’s view of the world and allow children to stomp in Dexter’s feet for a while, his facial expressions giving them lots of clues to his feelings. Readers will be reminded of both Knuffle Bunny and Scaredy Squirrel, but Dexter is a character all his own.

Lost and found was never so riotously funny or emotionally draining. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4727-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

I AM ENOUGH

A feel-good book about self-acceptance.

Empire star Byers and Bobo offer a beautifully illustrated, rhyming picture book detailing what one brown-skinned little girl with an impressive Afro appreciates about herself. Relying on similes, the text establishes a pattern with the opening sentence, “Like the sun, I’m here to shine,” and follows it through most of the book. Some of them work well, while others fall flat: “Like the rain, I’m here to pour / and drip and fall until I’m full.” In some vignettes she’s by herself; and in others, pictured along with children of other races. While the book’s pro-diversity message comes through, the didactic and even prideful expressions of self-acceptance make the book exasperatingly preachy—a common pitfall for books by celebrity authors. In contrast, Bobo’s illustrations are visually stunning. After painting the children and the objects with which they interact, such as flowers, books, and a red wagon, in acrylic on board for a traditional look, she scanned the images into Adobe Photoshop and added the backgrounds digitally in chalk. This lends a whimsical feel to such details as a rainbow, a window, wind, and rain—all reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Bobo creates an inclusive world of girls in which wearing glasses, using a wheelchair, wearing a head scarf, and having a big Afro are unconditionally accepted rather than markers for othering.

A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-266712-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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