Long live Princess Pistachio.

READ REVIEW

PRINCESS PISTACHIO AND THE PEST

From the Princess Pistachio series

Princess Pistachio Shoelace’s summer vacation is not starting out on a high note.

She has big plans to meet with her friends to search for treasure. But her mother insists that she must take her little sister, Penny, to the park. Penny is delighted, but Pistachio is definitely feeling put-upon. Penny, dressed in a bunny hat and a cape and perched in a wagon filled with toys and the dog, exhorts Pistachio to “giddy up.” The day goes from bad to worse, as Penny manages to cause a great deal of trouble, especially when Pistachio has momentary lapses of attention. Penny sneaks fruit from the grocer, Mr. Pomodoro, and Pistachio is blamed. Penny climbs a wall and falls off, into the garden of Mrs. Oldtooth, the neighborhood witch. When Penny swims in the park fountain and pulls out some coins, Pistachio is blamed again. It has been a decidedly unroyal day, and her frustration is compounded by their mother’s clueless reaction. In four breathless, fast-paced chapters, Gay once again weaves a frantically funny tale with deliciously named characters, while subtly recognizing some underlying concerns regarding sibling responsibility and difficulties with adult-child communication. Descriptive and age-appropriate language flows naturally and is in perfect tandem with the brightly hued illustrations that depict redheaded, freckle-faced Pistachio’s every changing emotion. Young readers will cheer for her.

Long live Princess Pistachio. (Early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-927485-73-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Pajama Press

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Sincere and wholehearted.

I PROMISE

The NBA star offers a poem that encourages curiosity, integrity, compassion, courage, and self-forgiveness.

James makes his debut as a children’s author with a motivational poem touting life habits that children should strive for. In the first-person narration, he provides young readers with foundational self-esteem encouragement layered within basketball descriptions: “I promise to run full court and show up each time / to get right back up and let my magic shine.” While the verse is nothing particularly artful, it is heartfelt, and in her illustrations, Mata offers attention-grabbing illustrations of a diverse and enthusiastic group of children. Scenes vary, including classrooms hung with student artwork, an asphalt playground where kids jump double Dutch, and a gym populated with pint-sized basketball players, all clearly part of one bustling neighborhood. Her artistry brings black and brown joy to the forefront of each page. These children evince equal joy in learning and in play. One particularly touching double-page spread depicts two vignettes of a pair of black children, possibly siblings; in one, they cuddle comfortably together, and in the other, the older gives the younger a playful noogie. Adults will appreciate the closing checklist of promises, which emphasize active engagement with school. A closing note very generally introduces principles that underlie the Lebron James Family Foundation’s I Promise School (in Akron, Ohio). (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 15% of actual size.)

Sincere and wholehearted. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-297106-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more