From the Cece Loves Science series

Smart girls, friendship, and fun: a winning combination.

Cece uses her science skills at camp with her friends.

Cece is excited for her Adventure Girls camping trip, where, with her mother as group leader, she’ll be able to explore science in nature with her friends Daisy and Caroline. As a scout and as a scientist, she uses checklists to pack and be prepared. At camp, the girls work together to set up their tent; a series of illustrations shows how. When they go on a hike, Cece takes pictures of landmarks to track their route. When the sky grows dark, Cece uses her knowledge of types of clouds and the timing between thunder and lightning to figure out how far away the storm is. When her mom’s GPS stops working, Cece recommends using her pictures to make a map back to the campsite. With some clever improvisation, they make a shelter to stay dry and then find their way back to camp. For their problem-solving and science, the girls earn more than just the camping badge. (One wonders how prepared the leader was, but no matter; Cece to the rescue!) The bright, animation-style illustrations depict fluffy-haired Cece and her straight-haired mother; Daisy sports braids and a darker skin tone, and Caroline appears Asian. (Cece’s white dad, introduced in Cece Loves Science, 2018, stays at home in this outing.) Cece’s checklists and notes are interspersed throughout, Magic Schoolbus–style, and an endnote defines science terms.

Smart girls, friendship, and fun: a winning combination. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-249962-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019


From the Rafi and Rosi series

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape.

The fourth installment in Delacre’s early-reader series centers on the rich musical traditions of Puerto Rico, once again featuring sibling tree frogs Rafi and Rosi Coquí.

Readers learn along with Rafi and Rosi as they explore bomba, plena, and salsa in three chapters. A glossary at the beginning sets readers up well to understand the Spanish vocabulary, including accurate phoneticization for non-Spanish speakers. The stories focus on Rafi and Rosi’s relationship within a musical context. For example, in one chapter Rafi finds out that he attracts a larger audience playing his homemade güiro with Rosi’s help even though he initially excluded her: “Big brothers only.” Even when he makes mistakes, as the older brother, Rafi consoles Rosi when she is embarrassed or angry at him. In each instance, their shared joy for music and dance ultimately shines through any upsets—a valuable reflection of unity. Informational backmatter and author’s sources are extensive. Undoubtedly these will help teachers, librarians, and parents to develop Puerto Rican cultural programs, curriculum, or home activities to extend young readers’ learning. The inclusion of instructions to make one’s own homemade güiro is a thoughtful addition. The Spanish translation, also by Delacre and published simultaneously, will require a more advanced reader than the English one to recognize and comprehend contractions (“pa’bajo-pa-pa’rriba”) and relatively sophisticated vocabulary.

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape. (Early reader. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-89239-429-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Children's Book Press

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019


Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look...

Winning actually isn’t everything, as jazz-happy Rooster learns when he goes up against the legendary likes of Mules Davis and Ella Finchgerald at the barnyard talent show.

Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look good—particularly after his “ ‘Hen from Ipanema’ [makes] / the barnyard chickies swoon.”—but in the end the competition is just too stiff. No matter: A compliment from cool Mules and the conviction that he still has the world’s best band soon puts the strut back in his stride. Alexander’s versifying isn’t always in tune (“So, he went to see his cousin, / a pianist of great fame…”), and despite his moniker Rooster plays an electric bass in Bower’s canted country scenes. Children are unlikely to get most of the jokes liberally sprinkled through the text, of course, so the adults sharing it with them should be ready to consult the backmatter, which consists of closing notes on jazz’s instruments, history and best-known musicians.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58536-688-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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