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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Mia recognizes that she’s been given a special treat that doesn’t come to all children whose loved ones live far away, which...

LAST STOP ON THE REINDEER EXPRESS

Mia makes a Christmas card to send to her faraway grandfather, although she’s afraid it won’t reach him in time.

At the Christmas market with her mother, she finds a mysterious mailbox emblazoned with the words “The Reindeer Express” and “Turn knob three times to send parcel.” Mia steps through a door to a marvelously decorated room, where a cheerful woman directs her through another door. Mia finds herself in a magical, snowy forest. A reindeer whisks her away over a moonlit harbor, past a wondrous, sparkly city, and finally to Grandpa’s home in the mountains. Rare for picture books, Grandpa is on the youngish side, with the same red hair and white skin as Mia and her mother; Mia’s glasses are another welcome feature. Stepping back through the mailbox, she finds herself back in the market and that no time has elapsed. She and her mother return home to celebrate a joyful Christmas. Die-cut pages and lift-the-flap doors—some pleasingly challenging to find—creatively provide a sense of magic throughout. The book’s delightful, quiltlike design and geometric shapes allow readers’ eyes to move easily across the pages to spot hidden doors and windows. Fir trees and onion-domed buildings decorate the northern scenes, and endpapers include maps with an arctic feel.

Mia recognizes that she’s been given a special treat that doesn’t come to all children whose loved ones live far away, which makes this title especially resonant for readers in her circumstance. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-7166-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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A fascinating, splendidly executed peek into both the mundane and the dramatic aspects of lighthouse life.

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HELLO LIGHTHOUSE

This tribute to lighthouses of an earlier era focuses on one lighthouse and its dedicated keeper.

Perched “on the highest rock of a tiny island / at the edge of the world,” the lighthouse shines for seafaring ships. A new keeper arrives, continuing the endless routine of polishing the lens, refilling the oil, trimming the wick, winding the clockwork, painting the round rooms, fishing, making tea, sending letters to his wife (in bottles), and writing daily in his logbook. One day, a ship delivering supplies brings the keeper’s wife! The keeper rings a warning bell in fog, rescues wrecked sailors, and logs his baby’s birth. When he’s ill, his stalwart wife tends the light and maintains the logbook. Eventually, a mechanical light replaces the keeper. While the spare, unemotional text resembles a keeper’s log, the book’s vertical orientation echoes a lighthouse tower. Rendered in Chinese ink and watercolor, precise, detailed illustrations present the lighthouse surrounded by patterned blue, green, or gray waves depending on the weather or season, reinforcing its solitary enterprise. A cutaway interior view exposes a compact, contained world. Close-ups of the keeper and his wife (both white) in porthole-shaped frames and from unusual aerial views emphasize their isolated, intimate, circular environment. An “About Lighthouses” section adds insightful detail.

A fascinating, splendidly executed peek into both the mundane and the dramatic aspects of lighthouse life. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-36238-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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