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Shamelessly saccharine and delightfully queer.

A fairy-tale retelling with a sprinkle of gender swapping (and actual sprinkles!).

Cinderelliot absolutely adores baking, from measuring ingredients to putting on the finishing touches. But as (ful)filling as baking can be, Cinderelliot wishes for more—for someone to love him as much as they love what he bakes. Unfortunately, his stepsiblings don't fit that bill, though they do love his desserts—so much so that when the prince holds a competition to choose a new palace baker, the cruel pair demand that Cinderelliot make pastries that they can pass off as their own. Readers can guess what comes next—a desperate wish to attend the competition granted by a stylishly besuited fairy godfather; instant sparks with the smitten, sweet-toothed prince; and a midnight dash leaving only a chef's hat behind. Gender play in fairy-tale retellings is hardly new, and some elements are a bit overdone here, but the baking spin and dash of fluffy romance sealed with a kiss on the cheek keep the plot from going stale. Animated illustrations look as though they might jump off the page with cascades of color and all the frenetic energy one expects of a sugar-charged adventure. Cinderelliot and his stepsiblings are light-skinned, and Prince Samuel is dark-skinned along with a smattering of background cast in the palace. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Shamelessly saccharine and delightfully queer. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-7624-9959-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: April 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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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 Big Bright Feelings series

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their...

Ruby is an adventurous and happy child until the day she discovers a Worry.

Ruby barely sees the Worry—depicted as a blob of yellow with a frowny unibrow—at first, but as it hovers, the more she notices it and the larger it grows. The longer Ruby is affected by this Worry, the fewer colors appear on the page. Though she tries not to pay attention to the Worry, which no one else can see, ignoring it prevents her from enjoying the things that she once loved. Her constant anxiety about the Worry causes the bright yellow blob to crowd Ruby’s everyday life, which by this point is nearly all washes of gray and white. But at the playground, Ruby sees a boy sitting on a bench with a growing sky-blue Worry of his own. When she invites the boy to talk, his Worry begins to shrink—and when Ruby talks about her own Worry, it also grows smaller. By the book’s conclusion, Ruby learns to control her Worry by talking about what worries her, a priceless lesson for any child—or adult—conveyed in a beautifully child-friendly manner. Ruby presents black, with hair in cornrows and two big afro-puff pigtails, while the boy has pale skin and spiky black hair.

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their feelings (. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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