HUNTER’S BEST FRIEND AT SCHOOL

Hunter wonders what to do when his best friend Stripe decides to be naughty at school and expects Hunter to join in on the roguish behavior. After all, as best buddies, Hunter and Stripe have always done things together; from clothes to food, their interests and activities were always on par. Elliott (Under a War-torn Sky, not reviewed) sympathetically addresses the prickly topic of peer pressure from a child’s perspective, revealing how easy it is for the well-intentioned to slide into trouble just by going with the flow. Initially, Hunter finds Stripe’s antics humorous and easily participates. Yet, when Stripe encourages him to destroy an art project, Hunter finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. Although he is proud of his artwork, Hunter wrecks his project, instantly feeling remorse. With the guidance of his teacher and mother, Hunter learns a critical lesson regarding the importance of staying true to one’s self. Bolstered by the affirmation of the adults around him, he resolves to provide a stellar example of good behavior for his wayward pal. Munsinger’s (Tackylocks and the Three Bears, below, etc.) anthropomorphic raccoons are irresistibly cute and cuddly. The accouterments of early childhood education are liberally scattered throughout the illustrations, depicting a familiar setting for young readers. Elliot does a remarkable job portraying how difficult it is for Hunter to resist Stripe’s entreaties and later, not react to his teasing. Readers will readily respond to Hunter’s dilemma and be reassured by his ultimate success. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-06-000230-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2002

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

BECAUSE YOUR DADDY LOVES YOU

Give this child’s-eye view of a day at the beach with an attentive father high marks for coziness: “When your ball blows across the sand and into the ocean and starts to drift away, your daddy could say, Didn’t I tell you not to play too close to the waves? But he doesn’t. He wades out into the cold water. And he brings your ball back to the beach and plays roll and catch with you.” Alley depicts a moppet and her relaxed-looking dad (to all appearances a single parent) in informally drawn beach and domestic settings: playing together, snuggling up on the sofa and finally hugging each other goodnight. The third-person voice is a bit distancing, but it makes the togetherness less treacly, and Dad’s mix of love and competence is less insulting, to parents and children both, than Douglas Wood’s What Dads Can’t Do (2000), illus by Doug Cushman. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 23, 2005

ISBN: 0-618-00361-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2005

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