Kids are likely to want to mimic the pseudo musical chairs device, and the story will be just as much fun to share with a...

A PLACE TO READ

Finding the perfect comfortable place to read can be a problem, as a young reader discovers.

“When I want to read, what I REALLY REALLY need is a place to sit.” As the black-haired, paper-white child tries out a number of chairs, in each case something is bothersome: the first one tried is “comfy” but “buzz-buzzy,” as a bee zooms by. In each scene the child sits in a different chair, but something is wrong. One is too itchy, and another is both dark and noisy. “GIANT STOMPING boots" make another setting inhospitable to reading, and a chair next to the garbage can just will not do. Seat after seat is pronounced unsuitable, until….“But wait, hang on—YES THAT’S IT! It doesn’t matter where you sit… / a book is best anywhere…a book is best when you SHARE.” Though the plot’s not much to speak of, this extended, playful reading-centered riff on “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is enlivened by the quirky multimedia art in sophisticated, earthy colors that reflect the author/illustrator’s animation background. Busy patterns and unexpected angles make each page a seek-and-find exercise, and the child picks up a new animal friend, unmentioned in the text, in each scene. The clever page design flaunts bouncy, vigorous typefaces.

Kids are likely to want to mimic the pseudo musical chairs device, and the story will be just as much fun to share with a group as one-on-one. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68119-323-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Mixed-race children certainly deserve mirror books, but they also deserve excellent text and illustrations. This one misses...

BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL, STRONG LITTLE ME!

This tan-skinned, freckle-faced narrator extols her own virtues while describing the challenges of being of mixed race.

Protagonist Lilly appears on the cover, and her voluminous curly, twirly hair fills the image. Throughout the rhyming narrative, accompanied by cartoonish digital illustrations, Lilly brags on her dark skin (that isn’t very), “frizzy, wild” hair, eyebrows, intellect, and more. Her five friends present black, Asian, white (one blonde, one redheaded), and brown (this last uses a wheelchair). This array smacks of tokenism, since the protagonist focuses only on self-promotion, leaving no room for the friends’ character development. Lilly describes how hurtful racial microaggressions can be by recalling questions others ask her like “What are you?” She remains resilient and says that even though her skin and hair make her different, “the way that I look / Is not all I’m about.” But she spends so much time talking about her appearance that this may be hard for readers to believe. The rhyming verse that conveys her self-celebration is often clumsy and forced, resulting in a poorly written, plotless story for which the internal illustrations fall far short of the quality of the cover image.

Mixed-race children certainly deserve mirror books, but they also deserve excellent text and illustrations. This one misses the mark on both counts. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63233-170-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eifrig

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE LAST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Loewen’s story is a simple snapshot of kindergarten graduation day, and it stays true to form, with Yoshikawa’s artwork resembling photos that might be placed in an album—and the illustrations cheer, a mixed media of saturated color, remarkable depth and joyful expression. The author comfortably captures the hesitations of making the jump from kindergarten to first grade without making a fuss about it, and she makes the prospect something worth the effort. Trepidation aside, this is a reminder of how much fun kindergarten was: your own cubbyhole, the Halloween parade, losing a tooth, “the last time we’ll ever sit criss-cross applesauce together.” But there is also the fledgling’s pleasure at shucking off the past—swabbing the desks, tossing out the stubbiest crayons, taking the pictures off the wall—and surging into the future. Then there is graduation itself: donning the mortarboards, trooping into the auditorium—“Mr. Meyer starts playing a serious song on the piano. It makes me want to cry. It makes me want to march”—which will likely have a few adult readers feeling the same. (Picture book. 4-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5807-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more