Young readers may well be spurred to use Sam’s methodology on their own first days.

THE BEST SEAT IN KINDERGARTEN

A beginning reader introduces readers to one little boy and his method for making new friends.

It’s the first day of kindergarten, and none of the nervous kids know where to sit. Ms. Tate bypasses this problem by taking them all out for a nature walk: “Find something interesting. Then show us what you found.” Each of Sam’s classmates is looking for a different item to add to their bag: Sophie seeks rocks, Miguel’s collecting bugs, Lily wants pine cones, Ollie’s picking flowers, and Nina is bagging acorns. Sam adds to each of their collections, but his own bag remains empty. So when it’s time to share what they found, Sam’s response is “Friends!” Meant for shared reading between an experienced reader and a new learner, this My First level title in the I Can Read! line features lots of repetition, patterned text, and short sentences (though the vocabulary poses an appropriate challenge). One niggling detail is the inapt title of this book. When the kids reenter the classroom, they all suddenly know where to sit without instruction. Carter’s watercolors provide context clues and depict a diverse classroom; Sam presents white while Ms. Tate has pale skin and straight, black hair.

Young readers may well be spurred to use Sam’s methodology on their own first days. (Early reader. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 18, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-268640-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration.

I LOVE DADDY EVERY DAY

Children point out the things they love about their fathers.

“Daddy is always kind. He gives us support and shelter when things go wrong.” A child with a skinned knee (and downed ice cream cone) gets a bandage and loving pat from Daddy (no shelter is visible, but the child’s concerned sibling sweetly extends their own cone). Daddy’s a storyteller, a magician, supportive, loyal, silly, patient, and he knows everything. A die-cut hole pierces most pages, positioned so that the increasingly smaller holes to come can be seen through it; what it represents in each scene varies, and it does so with also-variable success. The bland, nonrhyming, inconsistent text does little to attract or keep attention, though the die cuts might (until they fall victim to curious fingers). The text also confusingly mixes first-person singular and plural, sometimes on the same page: “Daddy is like a gardener. He lovingly cares for us and watches us grow. I’m his pride and joy!” Even as the text mixes number the illustrations mix metaphors. This particular gardener daddy is pictured shampooing a child during bathtime. Más’ cartoon illustrations are sweet if murkily interpretive, affection clearly conveyed. Troublingly, though, each father and his child(ren) seem to share the same racial presentation and hair color (sometimes even hairstyle!), shutting out many different family constellations. Más does, however, portray several disabilities: children and adults wearing glasses, a child with a cochlear implant, and another using a wheelchair.

Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12305-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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Though it is light on specific information about how and why teeth are lost, most children will enjoy relating to Bear in...

BEAR'S LOOSE TOOTH

Wilson and Chapman continue this popular series that began with Bear Snores On (2002).

Bear has invited his friends for lunch, when “something wiggled, and it wobbled…something moved when he chewed! It was… / Bear’s / loose / tooth!” In full-bleed spreads with a palette dominated by blues and greens, Chapman ably portrays Bear’s concern over this dental dilemma as well as the genuine empathy and determination of his many animal friends when they try to help remove the tooth. On several pages Bear looks right at readers as he reacts to his predicament, bringing them immediately into the story. After Hare, Mouse, Wren, Owl, Badger and others all fail at prying it loose, Bear “used his tongue and…gave a little nudge” until it falls out. A fairy comes as Bear sleeps and leaves “blueberries where Bear’s tooth had been!” Wilson keeps young readers engaged with rhyming text that keeps the gentle action flowing.

Though it is light on specific information about how and why teeth are lost, most children will enjoy relating to Bear in his latest oh-so-cozy adventure. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-5855-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

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