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A warm and bustling Christmas story: “exceptionordinarily” joyful.

For Clarice and her extended family, the Christmas season brings a busy whirl of preparations, crises, and surprises.

Unchanged in age or temperament since her last outing in 2006’s Clarice Bean, Don’t Look Now, Clarice expresses concerns about keeping up the Christmas spirit while recording such promising signs of the season as the lighting of a special Advent candle in place of the usual calendar with chocolates (which they no longer have due to issues with pilfering). It’s time to compile a list for Santa, make and deliver greeting cards, and learn all the words to “The Twelve Days of Christmas” before the school carol concert. Not to mention making fudge for family presents (how hard can it be?), decorating a tree with minimal breakage of heirloom ornaments, and wondering what happened to the Christmas turkey that somehow is no longer in the fridge. On nearly every page, Child’s effervescent mix of sketches and collages stylishly records highs and low on the way to a satisfying, climactic gathering that includes Clarice’s parents, three sibs, grandpa, uncles, aunt, cousins, and best friend Betty Moody’s family (excepting her brown-skinned aunt and cousins, the cast reads as White). Clarice’s account, typographical flights and all, is printed in red, which does underscore the festive air but carries legibility issues that become acute on occasional pages where the white backgrounds turn brown or green.

A warm and bustling Christmas story: “exceptionordinarily” joyful. (musical score, song list) (Holiday fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-2365-1

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 7, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists.

How to raise money for a coveted poster: put your friends to work!

John, founder of the FUBU fashion line and a Shark Tank venture capitalist, offers a self-referential blueprint for financial success. Having only half of the $10 he needs for a Minka J poster, Daymond forks over $1 to buy a plain T-shirt, paints a picture of the pop star on it, sells it for $5, and uses all of his cash to buy nine more shirts. Then he recruits three friends to decorate them with his design and help sell them for an unspecified amount (from a conveniently free and empty street-fair booth) until they’re gone. The enterprising entrepreneur reimburses himself for the shirts and splits the remaining proceeds, which leaves him with enough for that poster as well as a “brand-new business book,” while his friends express other fiscal strategies: saving their share, spending it all on new art supplies, or donating part and buying a (math) book with the rest. (In a closing summation, the author also suggests investing in stocks, bonds, or cryptocurrency.) Though Miles cranks up the visual energy in her sparsely detailed illustrations by incorporating bright colors and lots of greenbacks, the actual advice feels a bit vague. Daymond is Black; most of the cast are people of color. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-56727-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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