A child and their mother take a trip to the city pool on a hot day.

The sounds of clanking in the locker room, a pause to apply sunblock, the muffling of noises under the water—everything about this outing is thrilling. The young narrator (the tale is told in first person, although there’s no specific character identified as the narrator within the illustrations) notes that swimmers have various body and skin types (“even sunburned skin—OUCH!”), and everyone has different ways of entering the water—some make their way in slowly, one toe at a time, while others dive right in. Everyone swims or lounges in their preferred manner. They float, splash (pausing for the lifeguard’s whistle), flip, dive, and swim through legs like dolphins. For most of this, the swimmers are united (“I” switching to “we”), but never more so than when a cloud covers the sun, everyone waiting until the sun shines again, and there’s a collective cheer! The ritual of leaving is just as important—one more “CANNONBALL!” before everyone gets ice cream at a waiting truck. The merriment, beauty, and comforting routines of a pool day are on full display in this celebration of an urban summer tradition. Both the chatty, child-friendly text and the gouache, colored pencil, and digitally finished artwork ooze exuberance; Cummins’ saturated colors and energetic, curving waves are utterly inviting. The cast is racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Pure summer fun. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: June 13, 2023

ISBN: 9781534499232

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2023

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A soothing, logical, and playful introduction to mindfulness for young listeners.


What can you do when things go wrong?

Two children contemplate different ways to calm themselves down in this straightforward introduction to breathing, relaxation, and mindfulness. The younger, White-presenting child follows suit when the older, brown-skinned child proposes imaginative calming techniques. They picture themselves as various animals (goldfish, elephants, dragons) and objects (pinwheels, dandelions, wind chimes, flowers), inhaling and exhaling, that make deep breathing and calming down concrete and easy to comprehend. Simplified, whimsical illustrations add a touch of humor and a wink to the 1970s while preventing the story from becoming cloying, as soft, gentle instructions help the characters (and listeners) to understand some of the mechanics behind how to intentionally breathe and decompress. While not necessarily something that children will pick up unless they are learning about practicing mindfulness, this informative title has charm and warmth and will give youngsters some ideas as to how to self-regulate and manage their feelings as they learn to be aware of their breathing. Endpapers feature a multiracial array of children’s faces expressing different emotions.

A soothing, logical, and playful introduction to mindfulness for young listeners. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77164-637-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Greystone Kids

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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