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LITTLE TROUBLEMAKER MAKES A MESS

A lighthearted tale perfect for setting little ones on the path to good trouble.

Speaker, bestselling author, and self-proclaimed troublemaker Ajayi Jones’ debut picture book follows a child learning what it means to make good trouble.

When Luvvie and her older sister, Kami, who are of Nigerian descent, are left home alone, Luvvie decides to have a snack before dinner. Disappointed to find sandwiches in the fridge, Luvvie tries to convince Kami to help her make jollof rice to surprise their mother. Kami declines. Undeterred, Luvvie proceeds to make a mess prepping ingredients that seem to land everywhere except the pot. Ready to begin cooking, Luvvie calls Kami, who is stunned by the huge mess in the kitchen. Though Kami offers to clean up after she finishes her own project, Luvvie once again defies her older sister, creating—if possible—an even bigger mess. When Mom returns, she’s shocked. Is Luvvie in “BIG TROUBLE”? Not quite—Mom understands that Luvvie just wanted to help, and she tells the girl that later they’ll brainstorm ways to make good trouble (which, per the backmatter, “makes the world a better place”). This adorable tale will resonate with children who recognize feelings of impatience, being too small, and wanting to be helpful. The playful and brightly colored illustrations match the book’s cheerful mood. Ideal for storytime, this one will also help kids develop social-emotional skills. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A lighthearted tale perfect for setting little ones on the path to good trouble. (note about jollof rice) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9780593526095

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

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CLAYMATES

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...

Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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