A cheerful story about a spirited girl who saves the day. What could be better than that? (Picture book. 4-8)

READ REVIEW

TIARA'S HAT PARADE

Tiara enjoys the laughter and warmth in her mother’s millinery shop, but when a store with lower-priced hats comes to town, Tiara must find a way to help her mother get her spark—and her customers—back.

“We can’t eat dreams,” Momma tells Daddy and Tiara as they pack up the hat studio and her hopes. Because she can no longer sell hats, Momma accepts a job as an art teacher at Tiara’s school, Height Elementary (a nod, perhaps, to activist Dorothy I. Height, renowned for her hats). Tiara encourages her mother to begin making hats again, but Momma is not ready to talk about or work with hats. One Friday afternoon, in an art class, however, Tiara and the other children convince Momma to allow them to make hats. When Momma helps Tiara’s friend Matti adjust hers, Tiara has an idea that just might remind Momma of the passion she had for hat-making and the joy her hats brought to so many. With this touching tale of tradition and can-do spirit, Lyons interweaves an important element of the African American experience into a well-told story. Tadgell’s illustrations are mostly pastels with punches of bright color, especially on the hats, and have a pleasant dreamlike quality.The author’s note provides background on the African American hat tradition, including a mention of Crowns, by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry (2000).  

A cheerful story about a spirited girl who saves the day. What could be better than that? (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8075-7945-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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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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