Next book

SNAPPSY THE ALLIGATOR (DID NOT ASK TO BE IN THIS BOOK)

More than merely meta, Snappsy is clearly a book, if not a protagonist, with bite.

Picture Rita Skeeter as a chicken for a general sense of this book’s goofy take on intrusive narration and one-sided reporting.

The tale of Snappsy the alligator hits a snag from the start when his trip to the grocery store is interpreted with inaccurate (according to Snappsy) and increasingly nasty commentary. While the authoritative narrator presents Snappsy as a vicious predator, readers who look at the pictures and hear Snappsy’s objections to this misrepresentation will see another side to the story. "Snappsy looked hungrily at the other shoppers,” intones the narrator, while the illustration reveals the alligator mildly smiling and waving as he studies a jar of peanut butter. Eventually Snappsy decides to throw a house party, more to please the narrator by making the tale sound interesting than anything else. And who just happens to come knocking at the door in a party hat? None other than the narrator, ready for the chicken dance. What sets this apart from standard-issue picture-book metafiction is its commentary on selective reporting. Unreliable narration is normally the purview of the novel, but this picture book asks elementary-age readers to question the truth of what they’re being told. Illustrator Miller’s style is cartoonish, showing how background characters are initially swayed by the narrator’s erroneous charges and then won over by Snappsy’s charisma.

More than merely meta, Snappsy is clearly a book, if not a protagonist, with bite. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-451-46945-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

Next book

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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

Next book

BUDDY'S NEW BUDDY

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

Close Quickview