A sunny tale for rainy days that encourages energy and hope.



A hurricane can’t dampen the spirits of a little girl and her vibrant neighborhood in this children’s book for young readers.

Martine, curly-haired and brown-skinned, is an optimistic girl, the kind who skips to school and enjoys every feature of her mostly African-American neighborhood. And who wouldn’t love it. The streets are lined with brightly painted and appealing businesses owned by friendly proprietors. But Hurricane Willis wrecks the town, leaving people gloomy. The irrepressible Martine has an idea that fills her with new energy: She greets each good-weather day by name—for example, “Hey, Lisa girl!”; “Bonjour, Penelope”; or “Ello, Jill!” Why? “People on TV named the rainy days ‘Willis.’ Well, I want to name the sunny days too,” she explains to one storekeeper. He spreads the word, which inspires the neighborhood to start rebuilding. Martine helps, and soon the area is brighter and happier than ever: “People in her community found new joy and strength in each other and themselves.” Byrd (King Penguin, 2017) presents a young heroine who fairly bursts with energy, optimism, and exuberance, exploding into exclamation points when Martine regains her optimism: “She wiggled into her school clothes! She brushed her teeth in a flash!” Martine’s spirit is echoed in the neighborhood’s pre- and post-hurricane abundance: Mr. Pip’s Bakery is full of yummy treats that smell delicious; the students at Ms. Shirley’s Music Studio sometimes spill outside with their instruments, making people dance in the streets; and Mr. Johnny’s Grocery Store has “peaches so big you needed to hold them with two hands.” Ku’s (Silly Face Castle, 2017, etc.) full-page illustrations beautifully convey Martine’s emotions and the neighborhood’s moods as well as its diversity. Given the book’s preference for optimism, it downplays the real difficulties—financial, emotional, and logistical—of recovery after a major hurricane. Everyone, it seems, can easily afford to rebuild; no one lost a prized possession, a family member, or even a pet; no one has nightmares, depression, or lasting stress. Children who are less resilient post-disaster could find it hard to relate to Martine’s buoyancy.

A sunny tale for rainy days that encourages energy and hope.

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9997050-0-1

Page Count: 62

Publisher: Jesse B. Creative Inc.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2018

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.


From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...


Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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