A tartan twist on an old standard with plenty of humor both visual and verbal.

Everyone knows about King Midas’ golden touch, but what about Madison Pratt’s tartan touch?

When Madison picks up a plaid purse in the park, “Her fingers tingled. / Her thumbs were hot. / Her arm started twitching and itching a lot. / Then the plaid from the purse crept slowly up her sleeve” and eventually covers all her clothing. Madison even weeps plaid tears at her plaid predicament. Her mother, a nurse, consults How To Cure a Plaid Curse, of course. Madison tries to comply with the remedy, but “a little plaid burp escaped her lips,” and giggleworthy cartoon illustrations of plaid houses, cars, trees, poodles, and even squirrels capture the “plaid germ” spreading throughout the town. Madison races to the park to find the purse again so they can “reverse the plaidening curse!” Turning the purse inside out to hide the plaid reveals a “sad shade of blue,” which infects Madison, the town, and the illustrations with the blues. But luckily, Madison knows how to “cure the blues”: by singing “an extra-silly round of ‘Piddly-diddly-doo’s,” which spreads silliness from place to place. “And as you probably already knew, / with a silly grin on, you CAN’T stay blue!” Readers will pore over the illustrations, which range from typical city scenes to spreads amusingly infected with the “plaid germ” and the blues before returning to normal. Madison and her mother present white, and their community includes individuals with skin tones and hairstyles that suggest diversity.

A tartan twist on an old standard with plenty of humor both visual and verbal. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-358-17244-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020


While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016


From the Growing With Buddy series , Vol. 3

Making friends isn’t always this easy and convenient.

How do you make a new friend when an old one moves away?

Buddy (from Sorry, Grown-Ups, You Can’t Go to School, 2019, etc.) is feeling lonely. His best friend just moved across town. To make matters worse, there is a field trip coming up, and Buddy needs a bus partner. His sister, Lady, has some helpful advice for making a new pal: “You just need to find something you have in common.” Buddy loves the game Robo Chargers and karate. Surely there is someone else who does, too! Unfortunately, there isn’t. However, when a new student arrives (one day later) and asks everyone to call her Sunny instead of Alison, Buddy gets excited. No one uses his given name, either; they just call him Buddy. He secretly whispers his “real, official name” to Sunny at lunch—an indication that a true friendship is being formed. The rest of the story plods merrily along, all pieces falling exactly into place (she even likes Robo Chargers!), accompanied by Bowers’ digital art, a mix of spot art and full-bleed illustrations. Friendship-building can be an emotionally charged event in a child’s life—young readers will certainly see themselves in Buddy’s plight—but, alas, there is not much storytelling magic to be found. Buddy and his family are White, Sunny and Mr. Teacher are Black, and Buddy’s other classmates are racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Making friends isn’t always this easy and convenient. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-30709-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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