Fantastic illustrations and a relatable story.

THAT'S MY SWEATER!

Olivia doesn’t want to give up her favorite sweater.

The only time Olivia is ever away from her red-striped sweater is when it takes a spin in the washing machine. But as Olivia grows, her sweater stays the same size, and eventually it’s given to her little brother. Despite her persistent attempts at getting it back, she eventually realizes that the same sweater actually once belonged to her older sibling. In a sweet and funny ending, Olivia lovingly shares the red-striped sweater with her little brother—and welcomes another hand-me-down from her big sibling. Von Innerebner’s illustrations rely on a limited palette of salmon and red, sage blue, black, and white—an effective choice that allows Olivia’s sweater to pop on every page. Olivia is expressive, every feeling plain on her face. There are plenty of details to notice, like the tattoos on Olivia’s mom’s arms and family photos and posters on the walls. The message is gentle but clear: Growing up often means growing pains, physical and emotional. Watching Olivia struggle shows young readers that it’s OK to be frustrated, angry, and even sad while growing up and moving on. The little winks toward adult readers add to the appeal, too. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Fantastic illustrations and a relatable story. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-46194-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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Gently models kindness and respect—positive behavior that can be applied daily.

THE HUGASAURUS

A group of young “dinosauruses” go out into the world on their own.

A fuchsia little Hugasaurus and her Pappysaur (both of whom resemble Triceratops) have never been apart before, but Hugasaurus happily heads off with lunchbox in hand and “wonder in her heart” to make new friends. The story has a first-day-of-school feeling, but Hugasaurus doesn’t end up in a formal school environment; rather, she finds herself on a playground with other little prehistoric creatures, though no teacher or adult seems to be around. At first, the new friends laugh and play. But Hugasaurus’ pals begin to squabble, and play comes to a halt. As she wonders what to do, a fuzzy platypus playmate asks some wise questions (“What…would your Pappy say to do? / What makes YOU feel better?”), and Hugasaurus decides to give everyone a hug—though she remembers to ask permission first. Slowly, good humor is restored and play begins anew with promises to be slow to anger and, in general, to help create a kinder world. Short rhyming verses occasionally use near rhyme but also include fun pairs like ripples and double-triples. Featuring cozy illustrations of brightly colored creatures, the tale sends a strong message about appropriate and inappropriate ways to resolve conflict, the final pages restating the lesson plainly in a refrain that could become a classroom motto. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Gently models kindness and respect—positive behavior that can be applied daily. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-82869-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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A straightforward tale of conflict and reconciliation for newly emergent readers? Not exactly, which raises it above the...

ROBOT, GO BOT!

In this deceptively spare, very beginning reader, a girl assembles a robot and then treats it like a slave until it goes on strike.

Having put the robot together from a jumble of loose parts, the budding engineer issues an increasingly peremptory series of rhymed orders— “Throw, Bot. / Row, Bot”—that turn from playful activities like chasing bubbles in the yard to tasks like hoeing the garden, mowing the lawn and towing her around in a wagon. Jung crafts a robot with riveted edges, big googly eyes and a smile that turns down in stages to a scowl as the work is piled on. At last, the exhausted robot plops itself down, then in response to its tormentor’s angry “Don’t say no, Bot!” stomps off in a huff. In one to four spacious, sequential panels per spread, Jung develops both the plotline and the emotional conflict using smoothly modeled cartoon figures against monochromatic or minimally detailed backgrounds. The child’s commands, confined in small dialogue balloons, are rhymed until her repentant “Come on home, Bot” breaks the pattern but leads to a more equitable division of labor at the end.

A straightforward tale of conflict and reconciliation for newly emergent readers? Not exactly, which raises it above the rest. (Easy reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 25, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-87083-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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