A sweet read-aloud featuring a fearless and athletic girl to share with funny little monkeys.

WILD ONE

An exuberant little girl, the titular “wild one,” romps energetically all day before finally collapsing into a well-deserved slumber.

A series of similes compares the child, who has glossy, straight black hair and light brown skin, to various animals: “Wild one, through the grass, // bounding like a puppy. / Wild one, at the pool, // swimming like a guppy.” Most of the time she is pictured alone, except for a sprinkler scene in which she plays with one white and one black child, the section where she walks home with her mother, and one illustration in which her mother and father (who resemble her in physical appearance) gaze fondly at her as she sleeps alone in her own bedroom. The rhyming text flows smoothly and has a jaunty rhythm that lends itself well to reading aloud. The playful watercolors start off saturated with bright colors that become muted as the child’s day comes to a sleepy end.

A sweet read-aloud featuring a fearless and athletic girl to share with funny little monkeys. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77278-036-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Pajama Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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PRINCESSES WEAR PANTS

This book wants to be feminist.

Princess Penelope Pineapple, illustrated as a white girl with dark hair and eyes, is the Amelia Bloomer of the Pineapple Kingdom. She has dresses, but she prefers to wear pants as she engages in myriad activities ranging from yoga to gardening, from piloting a plane to hosting a science fair. When it’s time for the Pineapple Ball, she imagines wearing a sparkly pants outfit, but she worries about Grand Lady Busyboots’ disapproval: “ ‘Pants have no place on a lady!’ she’d say. / ‘That’s how it has been, and that’s how it shall stay.’ ” In a moment of seeming dissonance between the text and art, Penny seems to resolve to wear pants, but then she shows up to the ball in a gown. This apparent contradiction is resolved when the family cat, Miss Fussywiggles, falls from the castle into the moat and Princess Penelope saves her—after stripping off her gown to reveal pink, flowered swimming trunks and a matching top. Impressed, Grand Lady Busyboots resolves that princesses can henceforth wear whatever they wish. While seeing a princess as savior rather than damsel in distress may still seem novel, it seems a stretch to cast pants-wearing as a broadly contested contemporary American feminist issue. Guthrie and Oppenheim’s unimaginative, singsong rhyme is matched in subtlety by Byrne’s bright illustrations.

Skip it . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2603-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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RED WAGON

A mundane task fills with delicious thrills. 

Lucy asks permission to play with her new red wagon, so mom agreeably sends her to market with it—but, hmm, “That sounded like a chore. Lucy didn’t want to do chores.” Never fear; this journey is anything but dull. Adroitly pairing innocently understated prose with pictures of simple but imaginative adventures, Liwska invites readers to giggle at Lucy’s impressive escapades that unfold entirely visually. When the rainy countryside becomes a roaring ocean, the wagon’s a sailboat riding cresting waves. The wagon also becomes a rocket ship, a train, a construction-site truck and a covered wagon. At the carnival/circus (market), “Lucy neatly loaded the wagon with vegetables from her list”—by juggling them with help from a trapeze flyer. The illustrator’s pencil work is nimble, her backgrounds airy and free, with hatched grasses for these child animals—cousins of her characters in Deborah Underwood’s Quiet Book (2010)—to romp in. The colors glow softly. Red wagon’s last role? The perfect nap-spot for a girl all played out. 

A winner. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25237-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2010

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