A sleepwalking child picks up an animal entourage—every night—in this winsome, circular debut.

When her annoyed mom wonders how her room came to be such a mess, Tippy can only shrug and speculate: “Maybe last night I walked out the door….” In a re-enactment that is also a new adventure, she passes over a dock, through a misty wood, down a deep hole, through a cactus patch and so back home. Along the way, she unconsciously collects a train of creatures, from a bee to a bear, that all make a new mess for her mother to discover in the morning. Interactions among the animals following her add small subplots and side actions: A frog pursues a bumblebee that’s always just out of tongue’s reach; a little mole falls in love with a bear that does not reciprocate. Dressed in a comfy gown and striped socks, Tippy strolls, climbs and drifts in smiling slumber through a succession of flat, sometimes-silhouetted scenes done in restful blues and grays. Occasional sound effects and comments in dialogue balloons furnish the text for her nightly ramble. A dreamy, slightly more visually sophisticated alternative to Peggy Rathmann’s Good Night, Gorilla (1994). (Graphic early reader. 4-6)


Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-9351-7957-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: TOON/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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


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

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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

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