There’s a little luck in each person’s day; here’s hoping young children’s eyes are open to theirs.

KINDERGARTEN LUCK

Theodore’s gloomy morning improves when he finds a penny that brings him luck all day long.

Or at least that’s what he believes. It’s hard to imagine anything bringing down Borden’s mostly upbeat, positive protagonist. He compliments his mother, celebrates the sun, is happy to see his favorite bus driver, Slim, and believes his school’s the best in the world. And things do go right for him: he’s the calendar helper, has his poem read aloud, dominates at tetherball, and is the line leader—and that’s just the morning. On the bus, after a chat with Slim about luck, Theodore secretly leaves the penny in a spot where Slim is sure to find it. “Theodore had found his own luck in a shiny penny…enough to give to a friend…and enough for tomorrow, too.” While kids may not be able to relate to the effervescent Theodore or ever imagine a day as good as his, those new to school may be comforted by the depicted routines of his day in kindergarten. Godbout’s colored-pencil illustrations reflect the wide range of emotions children experience during the school day, and readers who look closely are sure to be rewarded by small, humorous details, though her rosy-cheeked and -nosed characters might take some getting used to.

There’s a little luck in each person’s day; here’s hoping young children’s eyes are open to theirs. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4521-1394-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Spires’ understanding of the fragility and power of the artistic impulse mixes with expert pacing and subtle...

THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING

Making things is difficult work. Readers will recognize the stages of this young heroine’s experience as she struggles to realize her vision.

First comes anticipation. The artist/engineer is spotted jauntily pulling a wagonload of junkyard treasures. Accompanied by her trusty canine companion, she begins drawing plans and building an assemblage. The narration has a breezy tone: “[S]he makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!” The colorful caricatures and creations contrast with the digital black outlines on a white background that depict an urban neighborhood. Intermittent blue-gray panels break up the white expanses on selected pages showing sequential actions. When the first piece doesn’t turn out as desired, the protagonist tries again, hoping to achieve magnificence. A model of persistence, she tries many adjustments; the vocabulary alone offers constructive behaviors: she “tinkers,” “wrenches,” “fiddles,” “examines,” “stares” and “tweaks.” Such hard work, however, combines with disappointing results, eventually leading to frustration, anger and injury. Explosive emotions are followed by defeat, portrayed with a small font and scaled-down figures. When the dog, whose expressions have humorously mirrored his owner’s through each phase, retrieves his leash, the resulting stroll serves them well. A fresh perspective brings renewed enthusiasm and—spoiler alert—a most magnificent scooter sidecar for a loyal assistant.

Spires’ understanding of the fragility and power of the artistic impulse mixes with expert pacing and subtle characterization for maximum delight. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-55453-704-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more