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Codie has a special relationship with her aunt Alix, who lives up the block; though Alix's first child is due in two weeks, she welcomes the little girl for her usual Saturday night sleepover and assures her that, despite the big belly where Codie can see the baby move, ``There will always be room'' for her. Secretly, Codie is making the baby a patchwork quilt—a perfect gift for a seamstress like her aunt. When Alix is rushed to the hospital the night of the sleepover, she's concerned: she knows that ``Aunt Alix has tried having a baby lots of times. This is the closest she's come to a baby fully done.'' The quilt is two weeks short of completion, and so, perhaps, is the baby. Working through the night, Codie finishes her gift with a border of lavender, Aunt Alix's favorite color; morning brings news that the baby's fine, and that ``Lavender'' is her name. This simple, easily read little story is a gem. Each telling detail—Alix's dogs comfortably settled on a lumpy sofa, licking cookie crumbs from each other's whiskers; Codie's joyous powdered sugar fight with her aunt and uncle the night before the baby is born, echoed in Alix's tone (``sweet and light, like powdered sugar'') when she finds the patchwork neatly tucked among the baby's clothes— is a gentle brush-stroke in this tender, but never sentimental, portrait of a particularly nice family welcoming its newest member. Illustrations not seen. (Fiction/Young reader. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-8050-2528-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1993

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Give this child’s-eye view of a day at the beach with an attentive father high marks for coziness: “When your ball blows across the sand and into the ocean and starts to drift away, your daddy could say, Didn’t I tell you not to play too close to the waves? But he doesn’t. He wades out into the cold water. And he brings your ball back to the beach and plays roll and catch with you.” Alley depicts a moppet and her relaxed-looking dad (to all appearances a single parent) in informally drawn beach and domestic settings: playing together, snuggling up on the sofa and finally hugging each other goodnight. The third-person voice is a bit distancing, but it makes the togetherness less treacly, and Dad’s mix of love and competence is less insulting, to parents and children both, than Douglas Wood’s What Dads Can’t Do (2000), illus by Doug Cushman. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 23, 2005

ISBN: 0-618-00361-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2005

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From the J.D. the Kid Barber series , Vol. 2

A strong second outing for Dillard and J.D.

Breakout kid barber J.D. embraces a summer of opportunity.

Readers met J.D. Jones just as he took his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi, by storm, winning himself community acclaim and a chair at the revered Hart and Sons barbershop in series opener J.D. and the Great Barber Battle(2021). What’s next for the haircut prodigy? School’s just getting out, and there’s so much life happening outside—if only one can escape home learning with the grandparents. J.D.’s sister, Vanessa, brings along multitalented mutual friend Jessyka to share an ambitious challenge: “Let’s start a YouTube channel!” Can they get millions of views and wow the whole world? They are already amazing at haircuts and hairstyles—all they need is to learn how to make a great YouTube video. The story models strategies for scripting short videos reflecting the templates of viral YouTube hair tutorials, inviting readers to not only see the journey of the characters, but maybe also practice these skills at home. This book is bound to educate all about some of the most storied and cherished traditions within the Black community. Bringing in Vanessa is a great touch to extend the series across gender, and hopefully she’ll get a chance to lead her own adventures. This book blends skill-building, entrepreneurship, and strong family values to give young Black children visions of what’s possible when they follow their passions and embrace their community.

A strong second outing for Dillard and J.D. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-11155-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Kokila

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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