Share this lively tale of bighearted friendship and originality with young readers needing a little zest for life. A...

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CRAFTY CHLOE

DRESS-UP MESS-UP

From the Crafty Chloe series

Chloe finds herself once again with a cliffhanger of a problem (Crafty Chloe, 2012). And it involves her two best friends. Can her creative powers get her out of this pickle?  

DiPucchio’s story is filled with entertaining drama and deadpan hilarity. The Parade of Books is a costumed event at school, and Chloe is torn between the ideas of two very best but very different friends. Leo and Chloe are planning to go as Frankenstein and Dracula. But Emma, at their weekly spa day, says they should be Fairy Club fairies and is horrified at Chloe’s plan. “ ‘You’re going to be a MONSTER?’ Emma’s oatmeal mask cracked.” Chloe begins the herculean task of finding a solution to this predicament. The text provides painful insight into the creative process, and Ross’ digitally colored pencil drawings capture this charismatic spirit. Chloe’s frustration is palpable as she dons her winter coat and hat on a beautiful sunny day, hoping a snow day might cancel the impending festivities. With pacing that mimics the first installment, the book gives Chloe a down-to-the-wire moment of inspiration; she begins fussing and fixing through the night. The last page shows Chloe’s creative genius, reflecting it in the adoration of her best friends’ eyes.

Share this lively tale of bighearted friendship and originality with young readers needing a little zest for life. A corresponding website provides crafting ideas and instructions. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 20, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2124-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference.

SOFIA VALDEZ, FUTURE PREZ

From the Questioneers series

Sofia Valdez proves that community organizers of any age can have a positive impact.

After a trash-heap eyesore causes an injury to her beloved abuelo, Sofia springs into action to bring big change to her neighborhood. The simple rhymes of the text follow Sofia on her journey from problem through ideas to action as she garners community support for an idyllic new park to replace the dangerous junk pile. When bureaucracy threatens to quash Sofia’s nascent plan, she digs deep and reflects that “being brave means doing the thing you must do, / though your heart cracks with fear. / Though you’re just in Grade Two.” Sofia’s courage yields big results and inspires those around her to lend a hand. Implied Latinx, Sofia and her abuelo have medium brown skin, and Sofia has straight brown hair (Abuelo is bald). Readers will recognize Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist from Beaty’s previous installments in the Questioneers series making cameo appearances in several scenes. While the story connects back to the title and her aptitude for the presidency in only the second-to-last sentence of the book, Sofia’s leadership and grit are themes throughout. Roberts’ signature illustration style lends a sense of whimsy; detailed drawings will have readers scouring each page for interesting minutiae.

Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3704-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

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Droll humor that’s sure to elicit guffaws.

PLEASE DON'T EAT ME

A bunny negotiates with a bear to avoid becoming lunch.

Burrowing along happily through the soil, a tiny white rabbit is stopped short by the beauty of a daisy. Unfortunately, a bear steps out from behind a tree at precisely the same moment. There’s no mistaking the bunny’s disappointment at the timing of the situation: “Aw, nuts.” The bear is hungry, so the quick-thinking rabbit proposes ordering a pizza. The pair share a pie, but before the bunny can leave, Bear muses, “It just doesn’t feel like a meal without dessert.” Will the bunny be dessert?! No. A chuckleworthy page turn reveals the two sharing a milkshake with giant twisty straws. Bear has many other ways of delaying the bunny’s departure until finally, the bunny loses patience: “Fine. That’s it! Just eat me already!” Flopped on a bed of greens, the bunny presents itself as a meal. But Bear has another option—perhaps they could be friends instead. The dumpy little rabbit mirrors Bear’s rotund frame; both state their arguments with deadpan precision. However, via tiny adjustments in body language, Climo masterfully includes a ton of expression behind the two protagonists’ tiny dotted eyes. Minimalist cartoon backgrounds keep the focus on the developing relationship.

Droll humor that’s sure to elicit guffaws. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-31525-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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