Cohen uses tongue-in-cheek humor to slyly point out to kids that not everything they are told about school is true; here’s...

EVA AND SADIE AND THE BEST CLASSROOM EVER!

From the Eva and Sadie series

An older sister is determined to make sure her little sis is ready for kindergarten…even if it kills her.

Sadie is starting second grade, so she’s an old pro at school, and she’s just the person to make sure that Eva is prepared. After all, kindergarten is way different from preschool: there are no naps, there are choices to make at lunchtime, and there’s so much to learn. So Sadie keeps Eva from napping on the weekends and makes use of their home classroom, complete with desks and a blackboard, to quiz, drill, and teach her poor frazzled sister, whose facial expressions, posture, and riot of curls clearly reflect her every feeling—and those feelings are not good. Sadie’s parents gently point out Sadie’s missteps, and she feels bad about making Eva so upset. When the first day finally arrives, though, Eva proves more than ready to tackle it, and her sister’s lessons are not the key. Allen’s illustrations, done in pencil, watercolor, and a touch of Photoshop, are a delight. Eva is adorably enthusiastic about life, while Sadie is just over-the-top, a pint-sized drill sergeant.

Cohen uses tongue-in-cheek humor to slyly point out to kids that not everything they are told about school is true; here’s hoping they will take his message to heart. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-224938-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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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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