Much stronger at depicting problem-solving than at reinforcing math concepts.

READ REVIEW

THE RACE CAR PROBLEM

From the Peg + Cat series

Peg and Cat, problem-solvers extraordinaire, put their shape-recognition and comparing skills to the test in this second book based on the Peg + Cat TV series.

On the day of the Tallapegga Twenty car race, Peg and Cat find themselves in the junkyard looking for items for their car, Hot-Buttered Lightning.The competition is fierce: a Pirate Mobile, the Teens in their Pizza Mobile, and the Pig in his Triangle Mobile. Peg and Cat are rather daunted and consider giving up, but Ramone is encouraging: “You never solve a problem by giving up. Keep trying your hardest, no matter what.” As the race gets underway, the numbers placed on the cars as they complete each lap give Peg and Cat the opportunity to compare: 6 > 4 > 1, the last being how many laps of the 20 the duo has completed, though for kids old enough to sit through the lengthy text, this seems a rather simplistic math skill to be practicing. Though Peg and Cat’s car isn’t the fastest, MacGuffins arrive to ensure that slow and steady (and determined and creative) wins the race. Illustrations are bright and cartoony, befitting a TV knockoff. Endpapers offer activities for kids to complete (and give away the ending).

Much stronger at depicting problem-solving than at reinforcing math concepts. (Math picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7558-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you

THE THANK YOU BOOK

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Piggie is “one lucky pig,” and she’s determined to make sure she thanks “everyone who is important to” her in this, the final Elephant & Piggie book.

Gerald is sure his friend will forget someone—“someone important”—but Piggie assures him, “It will be a THANK-O-RAMA!” Piggie proceeds to thank the Squirrels for their great ideas, Snake for playing ball, and the Pigeon “for never giving up.” Piggie thanks and thanks: “I am a thanking machine!” She thanks character after character, even the Flies (“Any time, dude!”), as Gerald continues to interject that she’ll forget “someone VERY important.” Finally Piggie runs out of thanks, and by this time Gerald is steamed. “I goofed,” Piggie says in itty-bitty type, before lavishing thanks on Gerald. But that’s not whom Piggie forgot to thank! A classic Willems tantrum later, Gerald reveals the “someone important”: “Our reader.” Of course. “We could not be ‘us’ without you,” says Gerald, earnestly looking out from the page, and Piggie chimes in, “You are the best!” As Elephant & Piggie books go, this isn’t one of the strongest, but it is a validating valediction to fans of the two characters, who have won Willems two Geisel Medals and five Honors. Yes, Gerald and Piggie have ushered countless readers into literacy, but as they rightly note, reading is a collaborative act.

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you . (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7828-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

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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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