This cheery selection will bring feelings of accomplishment and security to new readers and budding gymnasts alike.

READ REVIEW

I WILL TRY

From the I Like To Read series

This girl is ready for a challenge!

In this new addition to the I Like to Read picture-book series for emergent readers, a girl is determined to learn gymnastics. Colorful, digitally enhanced pen-and-ink illustrations show her nervousness as she prepares for her first try at the gym, while simple text, closely aligned with the illustrations, describes the experience from a child’s point of view. As with others in the series, the story itself consists of an uncomplicated plot, short sentences, accessible vocabulary and generous repetition, making this a fine choice for beginning readers. Oddly, there are no teachers or coaches visible at the gym, but children will identify with the girl’s admiration for another gymnast who encourages her and inspires her to try again when she falls. The energetic, multicultural girls are lively and appealing, and the narrator’s initial attempts at gymnastics nicely mirror a young reader’s early efforts at reading, emphasize the necessity of perseverance and include the appropriate thank you. While the story itself is somewhat minimal, it is intentionally so, allowing new or struggling readers to focus on the basics and achieve success.

This cheery selection will bring feelings of accomplishment and security to new readers and budding gymnasts alike. (Picture book/early reader. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2399-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Banal affirmation buoyed by charming illustrations.

I BELIEVE I CAN

Diversity is the face of this picture book designed to inspire confidence in children.

Fans of Byers and Bobo’s I Am Enough (2018) will enjoy this book that comes with a universal message of self-acceptance. A line of children practices ballet at the barre; refreshingly, two of the four are visibly (and adorably) pudgy. Another group tends a couple of raised beds; one of them wears hijab. Two more children coax a trepidatious friend down a steep slide. Further images, of children pretending to be pirates, dragons, mimes, playing superhero and soccer, and cooking, are equally endearing, but unfortunately they don’t add enough heft to set the book apart from other empowerment books for children. Though the illustrations shine, the text remains pedagogic and bland. Clichés abound: “When I believe in myself, there’s simply nothing I can’t do”; “Sometimes I am right, and sometimes I am wrong. / But even when I make mistakes, I learn from them to make me strong.” The inclusion of children with varying abilities, religions, genders, body types, and racial presentations creates an inviting tone that makes the book palatable. It’s hard to argue with the titular sentiment, but this is not the only book of its ilk on the shelf.

Banal affirmation buoyed by charming illustrations. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-266713-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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