We eagerly await Pinny’s winter.

PINNY IN FALL

Pinny packs a small bag full of contingency items before she leaves home for a walk—and everything comes in handy by the end of her adventurous day.

The sweet, self-assured little girl (Pinny in Summer, 2016) has returned, along with her two stalwart friends, Annie and Lou. The story begins as Pinny, alone in her bedroom, wakes up with exercises before packing for her walk. The fall weather is unpredictable, so Pinny packs both a sweater and a rain hat in her bag, as well as an apple, some cookies, a book, and “the most important thing of all—her treasure pouch.” As in the summer tale, there are short, named chapters related in accessible, graceful sentences, with illustrations to match. The color palette captures the muted beauty of a coastal fall. Pinny and friends live in an ideal world of tall, tick-free grasses and no adult supervision. In fact, they rise to the occasion of helping the lighthouse keeper when a sudden fog threatens a ship at sea. It boggles the more sophisticated mind that the lighthouse keeper really needs their help, but the alternative is equally sweet: a man who takes the time to empower local children. Pinny’s pleasure in her friends, in being helpful, and in nature’s ephemeral treats is contagious. Pinny, Lou, and the lighthouse keeper present white; Annie appears to be Asian.

We eagerly await Pinny’s winter. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77306-106-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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An honest look at motherhood in the contemporary era and a sweet tribute to the bond between mother and child.

ALWAYS WITH YOU, ALWAYS WITH ME

Grammy-winning, multiplatinum singer/songwriter Rowland teams up with California teacher McKay to celebrate busy moms.

This picture book highlights a mother’s frequent longing to be with her child when life’s demands pull them apart. The story takes us through a busy Black mom’s week: She goes to work (at a construction site where she appears to be an engineer), works from home on her son’s sick day, takes him to a museum, and shares domestic duties with her Black male partner, who is a nurse. She encounters many bumps in the road that will be familiar to working parents. Each day, she gently reassures her son with a lyrical refrain: “Always with you, / Always with me, / Mommy and child / Together we’ll be.” This tender story, narrated in the voice of a mother addressing her child, pulls at the heartstrings. Liem’s digital artwork uses a warm palette and has a calming quality. The characters’ body language and heartfelt facial expressions are spot-on. This book will resonate with any mom who knows the heartache of having to say goodbye to their child or who has faced the teary-eyed frustration of a youngster experiencing separation anxiety. Young readers, on the other hand, will find solace in the reassuring narrative. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An honest look at motherhood in the contemporary era and a sweet tribute to the bond between mother and child. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-46551-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash.

JABARI JUMPS

Young Jabari decides today is the day he is going to jump from the diving board, even though it’s a little high and a little scary.

Jabari’s father and baby sister accompany him to the swimming pool in the city, where Jabari has already made up his mind about today’s goal: jumping off the diving board. “I’m a great jumper,” he says, “so I’m not scared at all.” But that’s not entirely true. Readers see Jabari play the waiting game as the other children (a diverse bunch) make their ways past him in line. Once Jabari finally begins to climb up, he slyly remembers that he forgot to “stretch.” The stalling techniques don’t faze his dad, who sees an opportunity for a life lesson. “It’s okay to feel a little scared,” offers his dad at the side of the pool. With renewed will, Jabari returns to the towering diving board, ready to embrace the feat. In her debut, Cornwall places her loving black family at the center, coloring the swimming pool and park beyond in minty hues and adding whimsy with digitally collaged newspaper for skyscrapers. A bird’s-eye view of Jabari’s toes clinging to the edge of the diving board as he looks way, way down at the blue pool below puts readers in his head and in the action.

This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7838-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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