FUTURE PRESIDENT

From the Future Baby series

A book for very young readers who are already ready to lead.

Babies have all the qualities necessary to be leaders of the free world.

Does Baby have what it takes to be the president of the United States of America? Baby knows how to take charge, command attention, and negotiate complex trades. Besides these professional qualifications, Baby is used to working in a play space shaped surprisingly like the oval office. With all of these credentials, Baby seems like the perfect fit for the highest office in the land. The illustrations in this board book feature racially and ethnically diverse examples of both babies and presidents, notably including women of color and at least one woman wearing hijab, and a brown, female-presenting child beams from the cover. (It is, however, disappointing that the very first potential president within the book is a white, male-presenting child rather than one of the more diverse babies featured in later pages). The cartoon illustrations are bright and cheerful, featuring bold blocks of color that are especially appealing to very young children. The clever parallels drawn between a baby’s relationship to the world and the president’s job are sure to delight adults reading the book aloud, although many are too sophisticated for children to understand. The final pages feature facts about the U.S. presidency that are interesting but more appropriate for readers who are slightly older than the typical board-book age.

A book for very young readers who are already ready to lead. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-31224-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

COUNTING ON COMMUNITY

Ideal for any community where children count.

A difficult concept is simply and strikingly illustrated for the very youngest members of any community, with a counting exercise to boot.

From the opening invitation, “Living in community, / it's a lot of FUN! / Lets count the ways. / Lets start with ONE,” Nagaro shows an urban community that is multicultural, supportive, and happy—exactly like the neighborhoods that many families choose to live and raise their children in. Text on every other page rhymes unobtrusively. Unlike the vocabulary found in A Is for Activist (2013), this book’s is entirely age-appropriate (though some parents might not agree that picketing is a way to show “that we care”). In A Is for Activist, a cat was hidden on each page; this time, finding the duck is the game. Counting is almost peripheral to the message. On the page with “Seven bikes and scooters and helmets to share,” identifying toys in an artistic heap is confusing. There is only one helmet for five toys, unless you count the second helmet worn by the girl riding a scooter—but then there are eight items, not seven. Seven helmets and seven toys would have been clearer. That quibble aside, Nagara's graphic design skills are evident, with deep colors, interesting angles, and strong lines, in a mix of digital collage and ink.

Ideal for any community where children count. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60980-632-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Triangle Square Books for Young Readers

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

FAMILIES

Vibrant photographs—especially action shots—will capture children’s attention, build language skills and, one hopes, start...

“We hope this book…will lead children and their parents to engage in conversation about their families.”

So begins this good-sized book, which is packed with photographs of families of many different sizes, shapes, ages and colors (although most wear casual clothing familiar to most American children). Bold, colorful type announces: “There are all kinds of families.” Engaging photographs throughout complement a simple text that informs readers about differences—such as big vs. small; genders and generations of parents; adoption vs. birth children. Positive similarities follow, as families get together for celebrations and family members help one another out and enjoy activities together. Only childless families are excluded, but that can be forgiven by the book’s noble, stated goal. Kelly adds an endnote to further encourage parents: “Recently, research psychologists have found that children who developed a strong family narrative from speaking with their parents about family history and hearing family stories, both good and bad, exhibited greater self-esteem….” As the photographs’ emotional spectrum covers the tiny range from cheerful to exuberant, it’s an open question whether this will encourage or inhibit truthful family-history revelations. However, the emphatic ending will certainly start a dialogue: “There are many different kinds of families. What about yours?”

Vibrant photographs—especially action shots—will capture children’s attention, build language skills and, one hopes, start conversations. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3053-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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