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HEATWAVE

Intense summertime heat never looked this good.

Extreme weather brings life to a halt.

On a hot, steamy day in an urban environment where it’s “100 degrees, // in the shade,” a young person tries to beat the heat. After brutal temperatures force the cancellation of a basketball game, the unnamed protagonist, an adult caregiver, and their trusty dog go to the beach to get some relief. Not even shade from an umbrella or sunscreen with a high SPF can protect them from the sun’s harsh rays. As the "wind picks up" and "clouds roll in," “one raindrop” turns to a “downpour,” with relief in sight as day turns to night and the strong sun gives way to cool moonlight. Relying on a uniform color palette throughout, the mixed-media illustrations beautifully evoke the oppressive nature of summer in the city. For daytime scenes, Redniss uses a fiery red, while for nighttime scenes, she employs a cool deep blue. Bigger issues of global warming are captured in little details throughout, such as a newspaper headline trumpeting “record heat across globe” and a book on icebergs in the protagonist’s bedroom. Redniss pairs her efficacious art with spare text. Human characters have elongated limbs and torsos, further capturing the sluggish vibe of a summer day. Characters’ skin tones match the colors of the page.

Intense summertime heat never looked this good. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: tomorrow

ISBN: 9780593645949

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House Studio

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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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

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A BIKE LIKE SERGIO'S

Embedded in this heartwarming story of doing the right thing is a deft examination of the pressures of income inequality on...

Continuing from their acclaimed Those Shoes (2007), Boelts and Jones entwine conversations on money, motives, and morality.

This second collaboration between author and illustrator is set within an urban multicultural streetscape, where brown-skinned protagonist Ruben wishes for a bike like his friend Sergio’s. He wishes, but Ruben knows too well the pressure his family feels to prioritize the essentials. While Sergio buys a pack of football cards from Sonny’s Grocery, Ruben must buy the bread his mom wants. A familiar lady drops what Ruben believes to be a $1 bill, but picking it up, to his shock, he discovers $100! Is this Ruben’s chance to get himself the bike of his dreams? In a fateful twist, Ruben loses track of the C-note and is sent into a panic. After finally finding it nestled deep in a backpack pocket, he comes to a sense of moral clarity: “I remember how it was for me when that money that was hers—then mine—was gone.” When he returns the bill to her, the lady offers Ruben her blessing, leaving him with double-dipped emotions, “happy and mixed up, full and empty.” Readers will be pleased that there’s no reward for Ruben’s choice of integrity beyond the priceless love and warmth of a family’s care and pride.

Embedded in this heartwarming story of doing the right thing is a deft examination of the pressures of income inequality on children. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6649-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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