Next book


Full of quiet moments of joy and affirmation.

A loving father bakes at work and at home to make a life for his child and himself.

Under a full moon, Dad wakes and walks to work. Streetlights glow as an elevated train passes, and the Rise Up Bakery beckons with its warm light. Inside, Dad works side by side through the night with racially diverse bakers of different ages, returning home in the morning. While he rests, his capable child keeps busy till it’s time to wake Dad. Together they make bread and share in small moments while waiting for the dough to rise—reading, gardening, playing dress-up and soccer. At last they enjoy the teddy-bear–shaped bread on their rooftop before Dad tucks his little one into bed. These peaceful vignettes weave a picture of love and devotion, of parenthood and childhood enjoyed to its fullest. Heartfelt painterly illustrations offer a much-needed depiction of the diversity of fathers. Here, Dad is of Asian descent with a shaved bald head, brown skin, and an abundance of tattoos. Yamasaki’s simple text is accessible to even young readers. Her author’s note also brings a new dimension to the story, as she dedicates it to families affected by incarceration and the organizations helping them to rebuild their lives. Subtle hints that incarceration is a part of the main characters’ past are in the opening, wordless spreads, showing the child reading a box of letters from Dad.(This book was reviewed digitally.)

Full of quiet moments of joy and affirmation. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-324-01541-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Norton Young Readers

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

Next book


Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story.

A home-renovation project is interrupted by a family of wrens, allowing a young girl an up-close glimpse of nature.

Renata and her father enjoy working on upgrading their bathroom, installing a clawfoot bathtub, and cutting a space for a new window. One warm night, after Papi leaves the window space open, two wrens begin making a nest in the bathroom. Rather than seeing it as an unfortunate delay of their project, Renata and Papi decide to let the avian carpenters continue their work. Renata witnesses the birth of four chicks as their rosy eggs split open “like coats that are suddenly too small.” Renata finds at a crucial moment that she can help the chicks learn to fly, even with the bittersweet knowledge that it will only hasten their exits from her life. Rosen uses lively language and well-chosen details to move the story of the baby birds forward. The text suggests the strong bond built by this Afro-Latinx father and daughter with their ongoing project without needing to point it out explicitly, a light touch in a picture book full of delicate, well-drawn moments and precise wording. Garoche’s drawings are impressively detailed, from the nest’s many small bits to the developing first feathers on the chicks and the wall smudges and exposed wiring of the renovation. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12320-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

Next book


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

Close Quickview