A clever way to ensure everyone is ready for the first day.

HOW TO GET YOUR TEACHER READY

From the How To... series

After all the school-supply shopping and the back-to-school night, students are ready for their first days of school, but what about their teachers?

In this primer, Reagan and Wildish (How to Raise a Mom, 2017, etc.) teach kids how to make their teachers feel welcome in their classrooms and how to ease their fears about the first day and the many special days sprinkled throughout the calendar. It’s a clever ruse that just may work on those kids who are very nervous—after all, easing someone else’s fears often soothes one’s own, not to mention the fact that by going through the school day and year, the book is prepping readers for what they can expect. From greeting your teacher with a big smile and putting on a smock in the art room to combing your hair and avoiding messy snacks on picture day and counting to 100 many ways on the 100th day, the basics are all covered. Wildish’s teacher is a white woman with brown hair, her class a mix of genders and skin and hair colors; one child sports glasses. Vignette, full-, and double-page illustrations against solid or simple backgrounds keep the focus on what children can expect at school, though emotion tends to be rather one-note (happy) and the kids lack the individual personalities of those in Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten.

A clever way to ensure everyone is ready for the first day. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-553-53825-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy.

ROBOBABY

Robo-parents Diode and Lugnut present daughter Cathode with a new little brother—who requires, unfortunately, some assembly.

Arriving in pieces from some mechanistic version of Ikea, little Flange turns out to be a cute but complicated tyke who immediately falls apart…and then rockets uncontrollably about the room after an overconfident uncle tinkers with his basic design. As a squad of helpline techies and bevies of neighbors bearing sludge cake and like treats roll in, the cluttered and increasingly crowded scene deteriorates into madcap chaos—until at last Cath, with help from Roomba-like robodog Sprocket, stages an intervention by whisking the hapless new arrival off to a backyard workshop for a proper assembly and software update. “You’re such a good big sister!” warbles her frazzled mom. Wiesner’s robots display his characteristic clean lines and even hues but endearingly look like vaguely anthropomorphic piles of random jet-engine parts and old vacuum cleaners loosely connected by joints of armored cable. They roll hither and thither through neatly squared-off panels and pages in infectiously comical dismay. Even the end’s domestic tranquility lasts only until Cathode spots the little box buried in the bigger one’s packing material: “TWINS!” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.)

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-544-98731-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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