Clive is a star! (Board book. 6 mos.-3)


From the Clive's Jobs series

A stellar board book—one of four—about pretend play that subverts gender stereotypes.

Clive is a little boy with dark, straight hair and light skin. His diverse group of playmates interacts with him as he pretends to be a nurse: light-brown–skinned Anisa drives an ambulance toting baby dolls and a stuffed animal, white Wilfred is another nurse, and black Amy is a patient and later caregiver to an ill stuffed-animal crocodile. Clive demonstrates gentleness, compassion, and imagination as he bandages Amy’s arm, gives water to a thirsty teddy bear, bathes Penguin with a sponge, and so on. The soft color palette matches the book’s quiet tone, while the illustrations highlight characters and action described in the text, shunning complex detail and backgrounds. The result is an accessible, engaging board-book depiction of young children’s play that offers a matter-of-fact rebuff to strict gender norms. Other books in the Clive’s Jobs series similarly cast Clive in the pretend-play roles of librarian, teacher, and waiter and echo this title’s success.

Clive is a star! (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84643-991-9

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves


A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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With the same delightfully irreverent spirit that he brought to his retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" (1987), Marshall enlivens another favorite. Although completely retold with his usual pungent wit and contemporary touches ("I don't mind if I do," says Goldilocks, as she tries out porridge, chair, and bed), Marshall retains the stories well-loved pattern, including Goldilocks escaping through the window (whereupon Baby Bear inquires, "Who was that little girl?"). The illustrations are fraught with delicious humor and detail: books that are stacked everywhere around the rather cluttered house, including some used in lieu of a missing leg for Papa Bear's chair; comically exaggerated beds—much too high at the head and the foot; and Baby Bear's wonderfully messy room, which certainly brings the story into the 20th century. Like its predecessor, perfect for several uses, from picture-book hour to beginning reading.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0140563660

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1988

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