A splash! (Picture book. 2-4)

READ REVIEW

1, 2, 3, JUMP!

Playful encouragement for new swimmers.

The text’s second-person address to the unnamed protagonist (a child who’s nervous about starting swim lessons) instructs: “The first thing you need to do is put on your suit.” An accompanying illustration shows the pigtailed tot in a suit and tie with a top hat and loafers. “No, not that type of suit. A swimsuit, silly!” comes the clarification. Once the child has changed into a red, girl’s swimsuit, the text follows as the protagonist nervously listens to the swim teacher’s instructions. The other children in the class don’t share the protagonist’s worries, and they happily follow directions while the protagonist hangs back, too scared even to dip a toe in the pool or to blow bubbles, let alone jump into the water. Words and pictures humorously play with meaning, as when the child blows soap bubbles with a wand rather than getting in the pool to blow bubbles in the water. Throughout, the cartoon illustrations amplify the humor, and translucent washes evoke the watery pool setting. By the book’s end, and after lots of patient encouragement, the protagonist is ready to “1…2…3… / JUMP!” into the water, where all the students get to try out flippers as they swim around together. The protagonist appears white, with long, brown hair; the teacher appears black, and the other three children at the lesson have varied skin tones, with two appearing to be children of color.

A splash! (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-681-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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