A fanciful celebration of the pleasures of reading.

READ REVIEW

SHHH! I'M READING!

On a rainy Sunday afternoon Bella is so engrossed in the ending of her book that she does not want to be interrupted by her usual imaginary playmates.

First, Capt. Bluebottom invites Bella to join in “another adventure with the Windy Pirates.” Then Maurice Penguin and his dancing troupe show up for a staged tap-dance routine. Politely, but firmly Bella asks everyone to be quiet because “I AM BUSY READING!” When the tentacled Emperor Flabulon the Wobbulous of the Lardon Empire arrives, Bella’s patience gives way and she emphatically demands, “BE QUIET! For the last time. I AM BUSY READING!” Although her friends don’t understand how a book could possibly be as exciting as their usual play, Bella is then allowed to finish her story, absorbed in its intrigue. Satisfied, she announces, “That was the BEST BOOK EVER!” Digital, colorful drawings of a dark-haired, light-skinned child and a host of invented cartoon personalities illuminate the narrative while key phrases are enhanced with black, bold capital lettering. And when Bella’s finally ready to spend time with her friends in an “INCREDIBLE adventure,” the group turns the page on Bella by stating: “Maybe later, Bella, but right now…WE ARE BUSY READING!” The final scene shows Capt. Bluebottom reading aloud, surrounded by the others, all animatedly absorbed in the story. The pirates display stereotypical disability accessories.

A fanciful celebration of the pleasures of reading. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68010-134-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their...

RUBY FINDS A WORRY

Ruby is an adventurous and happy child until the day she discovers a Worry.

Ruby barely sees the Worry—depicted as a blob of yellow with a frowny unibrow—at first, but as it hovers, the more she notices it and the larger it grows. The longer Ruby is affected by this Worry, the fewer colors appear on the page. Though she tries not to pay attention to the Worry, which no one else can see, ignoring it prevents her from enjoying the things that she once loved. Her constant anxiety about the Worry causes the bright yellow blob to crowd Ruby’s everyday life, which by this point is nearly all washes of gray and white. But at the playground, Ruby sees a boy sitting on a bench with a growing sky-blue Worry of his own. When she invites the boy to talk, his Worry begins to shrink—and when Ruby talks about her own Worry, it also grows smaller. By the book’s conclusion, Ruby learns to control her Worry by talking about what worries her, a priceless lesson for any child—or adult—conveyed in a beautifully child-friendly manner. Ruby presents black, with hair in cornrows and two big afro-puff pigtails, while the boy has pale skin and spiky black hair.

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their feelings . (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An unfortunately simplistic delivery of a well-intentioned message.

I'LL WALK WITH YOU

Drawing on lyrics from her Mormon children’s hymn of the same title, Pearson explores diversity and acceptance in a more secular context.

Addressing people of varying ages, races, origins, and abilities in forced rhymes that omit the original version’s references to Jesus, various speakers describe how they—unlike “some people”—will “show [their] love for” their fellow humans. “If you don’t talk as most people do / some people talk and laugh at you,” a child tells a tongue-tied classmate. “But I won’t! / I won’t! / I’ll talk with you / and giggle too. / That’s how I’ll show my love for you.” Unfortunately, many speakers’ actions feel vague and rather patronizing even as they aim to include and reassure. “I know you bring such interesting things,” a wheelchair user says, welcoming a family “born far, far away” who arrives at the airport; the adults wear Islamic clothing. As pink- and brown-skinned worshipers join a solitary brown-skinned person who somehow “[doesn’t] pray as some people pray” on a church pew, a smiling, pink-skinned worshiper’s declaration that “we’re all, I see, one family” raises echoes of the problematic assertion, “I don’t see color.” The speakers’ exclamations of “But I won’t!” after noting others’ prejudiced behavior reads more as self-congratulation than promise of inclusion. Sanders’ geometric, doll-like human figures are cheery but stiff, and the text’s bold, uppercase typeface switches jarringly to cursive for the refrain, “That’s how I’ll show my love for you.” Characters’ complexions include paper-white, yellow, pink, and brown.

An unfortunately simplistic delivery of a well-intentioned message. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4236-5395-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Gibbs Smith

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

more