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GOODBYE, OLD HOUSE

Moving house can be fun and not scary with the right attitude.

A young child visits their old haunts for the last time with affection and greets their new home with enthusiasm.

Tousle-headed and lively, the child runs through the landscape of their old home, naming all the activities they will never do again in this place: fishing in the river, running through the trees, petting the pony, swinging on the gate, eating at the table, dreaming by the fire. They stand at the open door, looking wistfully out at the familiar scenery, then bounce from room to room, saying goodbye to each one in turn. They even change the writing on their bedroom wall to the past tense: It now reads “Sam lived here.” The process is reversed as they travel to their new home and explore all the activities in the new place: pushing open the gate, climbing a tree, petting a new cat, and saying “Hello” to the new rooms. They add an inscription on the bedroom wall: “Sam lives here now.” The visual treatment is striking: Loose black-and-white cutout sketches of the child (whose skin is, therefore, paper-white) are collaged over soft, muted, almost abstract landscapes. The effect is pleasing, but there is little detail for a child to pore over. In spite of the paucity of detail, this would serve well to soothe a child anxious about a potentially traumatic experience.

Moving house can be fun and not scary with the right attitude. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-73622-645-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Blue Dot Kids Press

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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WOO HOO! YOU'RE DOING GREAT!

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones.

What’s better than a cheerleading chicken?

Are you ever blue, unsure, tired, or overworked? Do you ever feel lost or overwhelmed? This uplifting book, expressed in delightful, jaunty verse, explains how to lift your spirits pronto: What you need is a booster chicken telling you’re doing great even when you’re not so confident, as when you’re learning or practicing a new skill, for instance. Your feathered champion will be right there, encouraging you all the way, with a loud “WOO HOO!” that’ll keep you going and remove any doubt you’re super terrific. But what if your cheerful chick errs and doesn’t do what it set out to do? Don’t worry—your cheery chicken just needs a reminder that everyone makes mistakes. That alone is a pep talk, enhanced by the wisdom that making mistakes allows everyone to learn and demonstrate they did their best. So forgive yourself, chickens! But the best thing is…instead of relying on someone else—like a chicken—to strengthen your ego, say a generous daily “WOO HOO!” to yourself. This riotous book hits all the right notes and does so succinctly and hilariously. The energetic, comical illustrations, in Boynton’s signature style, will elicit giggles and go far to make the book’s important point. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-316-48679-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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IZZY GIZMO AND THE INVENTION CONVENTION

From the Izzy Gizmo series

A disappointing follow-up.

Inventor Izzy Gizmo is back in this sequel to her eponymous debut (2017).

While busily inventing one day, Izzy receives an invitation from the Genius Guild to their annual convention. Though Izzy’s “inventions…don’t always work,” Grandpa (apparently her sole caregiver) encourages her to go. The next day they undertake a long journey “over fields, hills, and waves” and “mile after mile” to isolated Technoff Isle. There, Izzy finds she must compete against four other kids to create the most impressive machine. The colorful, detail-rich illustrations chronicle how poor Izzy is thwarted at every turn by Abi von Lavish, a Veruca Salt–esque character who takes all the supplies for herself. But when Abi abandons her project, Izzy salvages the pieces and decides to take Grandpa’s advice to create a machine that “can really be put to good use.” A frustrated Izzy’s impatience with a friend almost foils her chance at the prize, but all’s well that ends well. There’s much to like: Brown-skinned inventor girl Izzy is an appealing character, it’s great to see a nurturing brown-skinned male caregiver, the idea of an “Invention Convention” is fun, and a sustainable-energy invention is laudable. However, these elements don’t make up for rhymes that often feel forced and a lackluster story.

A disappointing follow-up. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-164-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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