Parents beware: there are a lot of “magic” words kids will have to try out before getting to “please,” and if you see a...

READ REVIEW

THE MAGIC WORD

Getting everything you want isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Paxton doesn’t know why he does it, but one night, instead of using the expected magic word to get a cookie, the little white boy says, “Can I have a cookie, / ALAKAZOOMBA?” Magically, a cookie appears in his hand. Not one to let this opportunity pass him by, Paxton asks for another cookie…and a glass of milk…and a walrus that will chase his annoyed and demanding babysitter to the North Pole. But that’s only the beginning. Before too long, Paxton’s house is a veritable utopia of play with everything a young boy could want, except parents or a best friend, who all got the walrus treatment. Eventually, the novelty of being able to do whatever he wants pales next to untucked bed sheets and no partner for a game of Go Fish. But what magic word can make it all right again? It’s not hard to guess. Parsley’s digital illustrations are the stuff of kids’ wildest dreams—roller coasters and water slides, a pet elephant—and facial expressions and body language masterfully convey emotion, especially the devious scene in which the white, teenage babysitter starts to count to three, Paxton hiding in the corner with his forbidden snack, eyebrow cocked evilly as he asks for that walrus.

Parents beware: there are a lot of “magic” words kids will have to try out before getting to “please,” and if you see a walrus, run! (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-235484-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you

THE THANK YOU BOOK

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Piggie is “one lucky pig,” and she’s determined to make sure she thanks “everyone who is important to” her in this, the final Elephant & Piggie book.

Gerald is sure his friend will forget someone—“someone important”—but Piggie assures him, “It will be a THANK-O-RAMA!” Piggie proceeds to thank the Squirrels for their great ideas, Snake for playing ball, and the Pigeon “for never giving up.” Piggie thanks and thanks: “I am a thanking machine!” She thanks character after character, even the Flies (“Any time, dude!”), as Gerald continues to interject that she’ll forget “someone VERY important.” Finally Piggie runs out of thanks, and by this time Gerald is steamed. “I goofed,” Piggie says in itty-bitty type, before lavishing thanks on Gerald. But that’s not whom Piggie forgot to thank! A classic Willems tantrum later, Gerald reveals the “someone important”: “Our reader.” Of course. “We could not be ‘us’ without you,” says Gerald, earnestly looking out from the page, and Piggie chimes in, “You are the best!” As Elephant & Piggie books go, this isn’t one of the strongest, but it is a validating valediction to fans of the two characters, who have won Willems two Geisel Medals and five Honors. Yes, Gerald and Piggie have ushered countless readers into literacy, but as they rightly note, reading is a collaborative act.

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you . (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7828-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

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
more