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

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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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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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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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