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Young readers will definitely call dibs on this one.

Two brothers call dibs, starting a war that escalates to epic proportions.

In Gehl’s simple narration, older brother Julian always calls dibs on everything. Dibs on the plate with the planets on it and on the star-shaped cookies, while his baby brother, Clancy, observes. It is no surprise that Clancy’s first word is “Dibs!” However, Clancy has upped the ante. Instead of calling dibs on mere toys and treats, he goes for their parents’ bed. Mom and Dad relent: “Well, he did call dibs.” Clancy continues, calling dibs on the entire bakery (and stuffing his face), on an airplane, and even on the White House. All of the adults cede to Clancy, even the Secret Service: “Well, he did call dibs.” Julian attempts to explain the rules of dibs and democracy, insisting that “you can’t call dibs on the White House! You need to be elected”—but to no avail. It is not until Clancy calls dibs on NASA and blasts into space on a rocket that Julian reflects on his relationship with his sibling. Gehl provides a steady pace of increasing suspense and silliness, capping Clancy’s demands with a cosmic climax and ending with a punchline. Piwowarski provides realistic characters with bright blended colors and blurred borders that capture the mischievous spirit of the story. Julian, Clancy, and their parents all appear to be Asian. Adults, beware of the dibs wars this title will initiate.

Young readers will definitely call dibs on this one. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5124-6532-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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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

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From the Growing With Buddy series , Vol. 3

Making friends isn’t always this easy and convenient.

How do you make a new friend when an old one moves away?

Buddy (from Sorry, Grown-Ups, You Can’t Go to School, 2019, etc.) is feeling lonely. His best friend just moved across town. To make matters worse, there is a field trip coming up, and Buddy needs a bus partner. His sister, Lady, has some helpful advice for making a new pal: “You just need to find something you have in common.” Buddy loves the game Robo Chargers and karate. Surely there is someone else who does, too! Unfortunately, there isn’t. However, when a new student arrives (one day later) and asks everyone to call her Sunny instead of Alison, Buddy gets excited. No one uses his given name, either; they just call him Buddy. He secretly whispers his “real, official name” to Sunny at lunch—an indication that a true friendship is being formed. The rest of the story plods merrily along, all pieces falling exactly into place (she even likes Robo Chargers!), accompanied by Bowers’ digital art, a mix of spot art and full-bleed illustrations. Friendship-building can be an emotionally charged event in a child’s life—young readers will certainly see themselves in Buddy’s plight—but, alas, there is not much storytelling magic to be found. Buddy and his family are White, Sunny and Mr. Teacher are Black, and Buddy’s other classmates are racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Making friends isn’t always this easy and convenient. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-30709-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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