Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2022

MY PAPA MY PRINCE

Offering graceful rhymes, this imaginative celebration of fathers and daughters dances across the page.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2022

Four girls wait for their fathers to pick them up from ballet class in this picture book.

Four young ballet dancers with different skin tones, hair colors, and features are all dressed in their leotards and tutus in a performance studio overlooking a rainy city scene. Each is “awaiting a prince from their part of the world,” and the story shifts to the fathers as they travel from their jobs—as a fisherman, train conductor, taxi driver, and briefcase-carrying businessman. Three of the papas have journeys that dovetail: The fisherman takes the train with the conductor, and both get into the taxi driver’s cab. But the last father, after losing his umbrella to the wind, is sidetracked rescuing a dog stranded in a sinkhole. When the three papas arrive at the studio, they dance a waltz with their daughters, and the last girl feels left out and worried. The rest bring her into a group dance, but she sadly makes to leave the studio—until her father arrives at the last moment. (“And the stars lit a waltz by the sea.”) In this lively and inventive tale, Brown’s rhythmic, dance-centered rhymes focus on the rain and the waltz metaphor, allowing much of the poignant storytelling to happen in the pictures. Tabakh’s beautiful digital illustrations, completed in Procreate, appear hand-drawn, using a painterly style with vivid textures that encourage young readers to pore over the pages.

Offering graceful rhymes, this imaginative celebration of fathers and daughters dances across the page.

Pub Date: April 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-73774-474-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: 4 Blank Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2022

CARPENTER'S HELPER

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

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

Close Quickview