An imaginative and playful escapade.

READ REVIEW

AUGUST THE TIGER

A boy named August can’t help but make a carefree mess.

His mom admonishes him with a smile, “August, don’t act so WILD!” The stripe-shirted boy reasons, “tigers are WILD, so [he] must be a TIGER.” Mom relocates the rambunctious August to the sandbox. Bemoaning his banishment, August wants to yell, but, instead, he lets loose a roar. Surprised, he realizes he has turned into an actual, child-sized tiger. He leaves his backyard and carouses in his new feline freedom, hunting prey (a butterfly; a zebra-striped crosswalk). August finds his friends at the park, but they run away in fear, not recognizing him. Sad and alone, he hears his mom calling. After running home, tiger and mom good-naturedly roughhouse until August, now back in human form, is ready for bed. August declares that he’s done being a tiger, but, since “tomorrow is another day,” he might be a dinosaur! The text, translated from Dutch, is fairly prosaic and not always fluid, but the illustrations serve the straightforward story well. Paintbrush effects keep visuals smooth, as when giving tiger fur its apropos softness, and even the urban elements seem arcadian. The tiny ears and tail that appear as August wishes to be a real tiger are well-placed hints at the change to come—some of the many elements for readers to laugh at and explore. Both August and his mom present white.

An imaginative and playful escapade. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62371-936-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Crocodile/Interlink

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year.

LOVE MONSTER AND THE LAST CHOCOLATE

From the Love Monster series

The surprised recipient of a box of chocolates agonizes over whether to eat the whole box himself or share with his friends.

Love Monster is a chocoholic, so when he discovers the box on his doorstep, his mouth waters just thinking about what might be inside; his favorite’s a double chocolate strawberry swirl. The brief thought that he should share these treats with his friends is easily rationalized away. Maybe there won’t be enough for everyone, perhaps someone will eat his favorite, or, even worse, leave him with his least favorite: the coffee one! Bright’s pacing and tone are on target throughout, her words conveying to readers exactly what the monster is thinking and feeling: “So he went into his house. And so did the box of chocolates…without a whisper of a word to anyone.” This is followed by a “queasy-squeezy” feeling akin to guilt and then by a full-tilt run to his friends, chocolates in hand, and a breathless, stream-of-consciousness confession, only to be brought up short by what’s actually in the box. And the moral is just right: “You see, sometimes it’s when you stop to think of others…that you start to find out just how much they think of you.” Monster’s wide eyes and toothy mouth convey his emotions wonderfully, and the simple backgrounds keep the focus on his struggle.

A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-00-754030-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children.

THE NIGHT IS YOURS

On hot summer nights, Amani’s parents permit her to go outside and play in the apartment courtyard, where the breeze is cool and her friends are waiting.

The children jump rope to the sounds of music as it floats through a neighbor’s window, gaze at stars in the night sky, and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. It is in the moonlight that Amani and her friends are themselves found by the moon, and it illumines the many shades of their skin, which vary from light tan to deep brown. In a world where darkness often evokes ideas of evil or fear, this book is a celebration of things that are dark and beautiful—like a child’s dark skin and the night in which she plays. The lines “Show everyone else how to embrace the night like you. Teach them how to be a night-owning girl like you” are as much an appeal for her to love and appreciate her dark skin as they are the exhortation for Amani to enjoy the night. There is a sense of security that flows throughout this book. The courtyard is safe and homelike. The moon, like an additional parent, seems to be watching the children from the sky. The charming full-bleed illustrations, done in washes of mostly deep blues and greens, make this a wonderful bedtime story.

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55271-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more