HELP WANTED, MUST LOVE BOOKS by Janet Sumner Johnson


Age Range: 5 - 8
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When her dad gets too busy for bedtime, Shailey gets busy replacing him.

Shailey loves bedtime, basking in its rituals of sliding into her PJ’s, brushing her teeth, and combing her bookshelf for the perfect story. But then her dad gets a new job, and suddenly he is either too busy or too tired to perform his bedtime duties adequately, leading Shailey to fire him and post an announcement for his replacement. Shortly before bedtime, the interview process commences. Illustrations depict the casts of popular stories: the Three Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the Big Bad Wolf, etc. The storybook characters, mostly white, animal, or edible, create quite the ruckus, causing Shailey to tweak the announcement again and again. Finally she finds a promising job seeker. With his familiar looks, just-right voice, and strawberries-and–chocolate chip cookies smell, Dad has all the prerequisites for the job, provided he keeps work off-limits during bedtime! The HR jargon the book depends on may sail over young readers’ heads, but the book’s saucy tone has the potential to delight a broad audience. But even though the book features a black protagonist and her father and a few of the storybook characters are depicted as characters of color, the latter all come from the Western European canon—a telling detail that undermines the fun.

Cheery and lighthearted—and a lot less inclusive than it thinks it is. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-68446-075-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Capstone Editions
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2019


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