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From the Another Charlie Book series

Another triumphant adventure for this ever-striving hero to the bespectacled and undersized.

Nerdy, feckless Charlie faces a new challenge: camping!

Charlie’s antithesis, Big Louis, with his bowling-ball physique, glowering unibrow, and huge, tapering arms, intimidates everyone. But not Charlie! He’s excited to partner with Big Louis on the class camping trip. Admittedly, Charlie’s backpack is “a little heavier than usual,” thanks to his family members, who have advised him to be as prepared as possible. On the trip, a combination of Charlie’s clumsiness, carelessness, and errors soon incapacitates Big Louis: He is wounded, drenched, and hoping to be freed from his well-meaning partner. Then, confronted by a huge bear, Big Louis turns “whiter than a vampire’s backside.” Charlie’s intervention seems futile, and when he runs to his tent, it looks like he’s abandoning his buddy. Instead, he returns with an improvised catapult. Why the bear hasn’t already dined on Big Louis isn’t explained, but the catapult sends several jugs of honey into the forest, where the bear happily follows, earning Charlie a new title: “the Scarebear.” The hyperbolic line drawings—predominantly black and white (emphasizing Louis’s black, skull-adorned T-shirt and black hair) with touches of color (Charlie’s enormous red eyeglasses)—play up the absurd contrast between the two characters. While the conclusion to this tale, translated from Spanish, may feel a bit out of the blue, it’s nevertheless a funny and satisfying one. Characters have skin the white of the page.

Another triumphant adventure for this ever-striving hero to the bespectacled and undersized. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 4, 2024

ISBN: 9788419607508

Page Count: 44

Publisher: NubeOcho

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2024

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

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 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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From the Growing With Buddy series , Vol. 3

Making friends isn’t always this easy and convenient.

How do you make a new friend when an old one moves away?

Buddy (from Sorry, Grown-Ups, You Can’t Go to School, 2019, etc.) is feeling lonely. His best friend just moved across town. To make matters worse, there is a field trip coming up, and Buddy needs a bus partner. His sister, Lady, has some helpful advice for making a new pal: “You just need to find something you have in common.” Buddy loves the game Robo Chargers and karate. Surely there is someone else who does, too! Unfortunately, there isn’t. However, when a new student arrives (one day later) and asks everyone to call her Sunny instead of Alison, Buddy gets excited. No one uses his given name, either; they just call him Buddy. He secretly whispers his “real, official name” to Sunny at lunch—an indication that a true friendship is being formed. The rest of the story plods merrily along, all pieces falling exactly into place (she even likes Robo Chargers!), accompanied by Bowers’ digital art, a mix of spot art and full-bleed illustrations. Friendship-building can be an emotionally charged event in a child’s life—young readers will certainly see themselves in Buddy’s plight—but, alas, there is not much storytelling magic to be found. Buddy and his family are White, Sunny and Mr. Teacher are Black, and Buddy’s other classmates are racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Making friends isn’t always this easy and convenient. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-30709-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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