Next book


From the Nina Soni series

Snow good!

Nina has a fun winter holiday with some new friends.

It’s Friday, and Nina and her younger sister, Kavita, are excited for the long weekend break from school. Everyone has exciting plans, like Nina’s best friend, Jay, who’s going skiing with his cousins. Nina’s family is getting the house ready to welcome some old friends of her parents, who have two children who are about Nina’s and Kavita’s ages. Nina comes up with the idea of building a snow fort and makes a list of all the fun things they could all do in it, like being snow spies! That night, Nina notices an unknown person visiting one of the houses on her street, but her neighbors are away on a monthslong vacation. Who could this Mystery Person (MP for short) be? Maybe Nina’s idea of snow spies came at just the right time. Nina, who enjoys making lists and sometimes has trouble focusing, is an earnest protagonist with classic worries about the sometimes-intricate levels of friendship. As in other Nina Soni titles, the text keeps to simple sentence structures without many clauses, making this book an optimal choice for emerging readers. Occasional grayscale illustrations, boxed-off definitions of some higher-level words, and Nina’s lists break up the text. Nina and Kavita are of Indian descent, Jay is of Indian and Norwegian descent, and the Sonis’ guests are Indian and Filipino American.

Snow good! (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-68263-498-1

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

Next book


From the Rafi and Rosi series

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape.

The fourth installment in Delacre’s early-reader series centers on the rich musical traditions of Puerto Rico, once again featuring sibling tree frogs Rafi and Rosi Coquí.

Readers learn along with Rafi and Rosi as they explore bomba, plena, and salsa in three chapters. A glossary at the beginning sets readers up well to understand the Spanish vocabulary, including accurate phoneticization for non-Spanish speakers. The stories focus on Rafi and Rosi’s relationship within a musical context. For example, in one chapter Rafi finds out that he attracts a larger audience playing his homemade güiro with Rosi’s help even though he initially excluded her: “Big brothers only.” Even when he makes mistakes, as the older brother, Rafi consoles Rosi when she is embarrassed or angry at him. In each instance, their shared joy for music and dance ultimately shines through any upsets—a valuable reflection of unity. Informational backmatter and author’s sources are extensive. Undoubtedly these will help teachers, librarians, and parents to develop Puerto Rican cultural programs, curriculum, or home activities to extend young readers’ learning. The inclusion of instructions to make one’s own homemade güiro is a thoughtful addition. The Spanish translation, also by Delacre and published simultaneously, will require a more advanced reader than the English one to recognize and comprehend contractions (“pa’bajo-pa-pa’rriba”) and relatively sophisticated vocabulary.

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape. (Early reader. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-89239-429-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Children's Book Press

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Next book


Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look...

Winning actually isn’t everything, as jazz-happy Rooster learns when he goes up against the legendary likes of Mules Davis and Ella Finchgerald at the barnyard talent show.

Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look good—particularly after his “ ‘Hen from Ipanema’ [makes] / the barnyard chickies swoon.”—but in the end the competition is just too stiff. No matter: A compliment from cool Mules and the conviction that he still has the world’s best band soon puts the strut back in his stride. Alexander’s versifying isn’t always in tune (“So, he went to see his cousin, / a pianist of great fame…”), and despite his moniker Rooster plays an electric bass in Bower’s canted country scenes. Children are unlikely to get most of the jokes liberally sprinkled through the text, of course, so the adults sharing it with them should be ready to consult the backmatter, which consists of closing notes on jazz’s instruments, history and best-known musicians.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58536-688-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

Close Quickview