Gleefully fun.

Is little Jesús prepared for the awesome responsibility of managing Papá’s magical water-jug clock?

Hooray, it’s Saturday! Jesús can help his gardener father with the family business. Jesús is tasked with taking care of the water jug, which, according to Papá, is “also a magical clock. It tells us how much work is left to do!” Jesús gets ready as Mamá reminds them “to drink lots of agua.” Piling into their trusty van with its supplies and intoxicating smell of gasoline, oil, and “yesterday’s cut grass,” Jesús and Papá head out. First stop: the Saldañas’ house, where Jesús gives water to some thirsty old cats, Papá, and himself (and splashes some water on his face) while Papá tends to the lawn. At Juan-Diego’s super big house with its tiny dog, Jesús hands out lots of water to everyone (plus two face splashes) to ward off the heat. By Stop Número Tres, the magical water-jug clock is out of water. Time to go home? But there are still 11 more houses to go. Oh no! Where did Jesús go wrong? A marvelous portrait of a working-class Latine family, Trejo’s picture-book debut, inspired by his own childhood experiences, brims with humorous, childlike observations. Anchored by its pint-sized mischief-maker, this tale of a loving father-son relationship radiates pure warmth. Kinkz’s scrappy watercolor-blended artwork bursts with bright colors and amusing details, matching its tiny hero’s chaotic spirit. Publishes simultaneously in Spanish. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Gleefully fun. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 6, 2023

ISBN: 9781662651045

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Minerva

Review Posted Online: April 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2023



A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014


A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

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 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Close Quickview