A useful resource for a common issue.

READ REVIEW

WHY DO FAMILIES CHANGE?

OUR FIRST TALK ABOUT SEPARATION AND DIVORCE

A simple Q-and-A introduction to a difficult topic.

The psychologist author starts by discussing relationships—animal and human, married and common-law—and the illustrator enhances the text with pictures of diverse couples from different cultures and sexual orientations. The questions in the illustrated text include: “What is separation?”; “What is divorce?”; “Is it ever the kid’s fault?”; What should I expect if my parents are separating or getting a divorce?”; and “What can I do to feel better?” The digital illustrations show a range of situations and emotions, but some may soft-pedal individual kids’ experiences. In demonstrating that both parents remain supportive, for instance, pictures depict two Asian parents side by side cheering a young baseball player on. This may well not happen in real life. On the last page, the author presents a few more-complex issues, including questions about custody, parents’ getting back together, and blended families. While the whole book is meant to facilitate discussion between children and adults, these last few questions and answers, while still directed at child readers, may provide more information to adults. The answers throughout the book are realistic and appropriate. This could provide comfort to children going through serious periods in their young lives, but only if they are reinforced by thoughtful parents and other loving adults.

A useful resource for a common issue. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 21, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4598-0951-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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