Share this well-designed story with those grappling with sibling issues or with a small group come October. Truly, it is a...

LULU AND THE WITCH BABY

Newly independent readers with younger siblings will be sympathetic with Lulu Witch’s frustrations concerning Witch Baby and amused when her remedial potion and spell deliver unexpected results.

With Witch Baby around, Lulu does not get the attention she once did. Witch Baby gets all the presents, Mama Witch has no time to watch Lulu fly on her broom, and Daddy Witch is too busy to fix Lulu’s dollhouse. Everyone is focused on Witch Baby even when she does bad things. When Mama Witch asks Lulu to watch the baby while she runs an errand, Lulu sees her chance, finding a recipe for a magic brew to make her little sister disappear. At first the potion does not seem to work, but then Witch Baby is nowhere to be found. Lulu’s initial moment of triumph is quickly replaced by worry, then remorse. What will happen when Mama comes home? This reissue of O’Connor’s classic tale (originally illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully in 1986) has new illustrations by Sinclair with a retro feel, charming with comic details. Industrious mice scurry about many of the pages, worms crawl out of an overturned cauldron, and Mama Witch knits with freshly spun spider silk.

Share this well-designed story with those grappling with sibling issues or with a small group come October. Truly, it is a good title to pick up anytime. (Early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 22, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-230517-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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