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An affirming and kid-friendly history lesson.

A small family gets ready for the next day’s Pride march.

On “the night before Pride,” drag queens brush their wigs “with great care,” while bikers check the air pressure in their motorcycle tires. Across the city, marchers-to-be plan their outfits or polish musical instruments. Inside a family’s home, a brown-skinned mom encourages everyone to “go to bed early,” while the other mom, a White woman, packs snacks. At the older, wavy-haired, light-brown-skinned child’s behest, the family tells light-brown-skinned, curly-haired baby Sammy “the whole story” about “Prides past.” Harking back to 1969—“a less fair time”—the family’s account abridges some of the many injustices that led to the famous Stonewall riot that sparked “a march that spread worldwide.” Going beyond “tutus and rainbow suspenders,” the family tells Sammy about “rights for queers and all our beautiful genders.” As they settle into bed, the older child notes what Pride means to them: being yourself! Debut author McClintick, a social worker, joins forces with award-winning illustrator Medina to present a child’s-eye view of Pride that borrows its cadence and rhyming scheme from Clement Clarke Moore’s classic Christmas poem. Rainbows abound in Medina’s full-color digital illustrations, which incorporate historical references and depict a wonderfully diverse cast, including background characters with disabilities. While there is no shortage of picture books about Pride, this one may be the most inclusive and expansive yet. Endpapers depict over 80 important historical LGBTQ+ figures, including some prominent children’s book authors and illustrators. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An affirming and kid-friendly history lesson. (author's note, illustrator's note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1343-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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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

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From the Food Group series

From curds to riches, from meltdown to uplift—this multicourse romp delivers.

A winning wheel of cheddar with braggadocio to match narrates a tale of comeuppance and redemption.

From humble beginnings among kitchen curds living “quiet lives of pasteurization,” the Big Cheese longs to be the best and builds success and renown based on proven skills and dependable results: “I stuck to the things I was good at.” When newcomer Wedge moves to the village of Curds-on-Whey, the Cheese’s star status wobbles and falls. Turns out that quiet, modest Wedge is also multitalented. At the annual Cheese-cathlon, Wedge bests six-time winner Cheese in every event, from the footrace and chess to hat making and bread buttering. A disappointed Cheese throws a full-blown tantrum before arriving at a moment of truth: Self-calming, conscious breathing permits deep relief that losing—even badly—does not result in disaster. A debrief with Wedge “that wasn’t all about me” leads to further realizations: Losing builds empathy for others; obsession with winning obscures “the joy of participating.” The chastened cheddar learns to reserve bragging for lifting up friends, because anyone can be the Big Cheese. More didactic and less pun-rich than previous entries in the Food Group series, this outing nevertheless couples a cheerful refrain with pithy life lessons that hit home. Oswald’s detailed, comical illustrations continue to provide laughs, including a spot with Cheese onstage doing a “CHED” talk.

From curds to riches, from meltdown to uplift—this multicourse romp delivers. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023

ISBN: 9780063329508

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

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