Essential for storytime read-alouds, emotional-literacy curricula, and bedtime snuggles in neighborhoods everywhere.

HELLO, NEIGHBOR!

THE KIND AND CARING WORLD OF MISTER ROGERS

Welcome, friend, to Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood!

The best neighborhoods are filled with all kinds of people, and Mr. Rogers’ is no different. Fred Rogers invited various artists, musicians, and public figures to his make-believe neighborhood, where he worked with puppeteers, actors, and others to create a unique place for his youngest television viewers—one filled with messages, spoken and sung, that underscored the values of love, kindness, and curiosity. Precise narration leads readers through the touchstones of Fred’s life, highlighting how his childhood influenced his mission: to treat children with deep respect for their emotions and intelligence. Cordell’s signature illustration style—scratchy pen and ink with pastel-hued watercolors—immerses readers in this world of make-believe, infusing graphically distinct spreads with warmth and humor, Fred’s recognizable red cardigan popping against the milder tints. Cordell fittingly includes children of color and children with disabilities, demonstrating the universal appeal and relevance of this special program. Extensive backmatter includes a biography, photographs from the show, a visual glossary of icons in the book and their connection to the show, a note from the author about his connection to Fred Rogers, and ways to learn more about this iconic figure of children’s television. Endpapers bookend the story with inspirational quotes from Fred Rogers.

Essential for storytime read-alouds, emotional-literacy curricula, and bedtime snuggles in neighborhoods everywhere. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4618-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Sincere and wholehearted.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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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

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A resplendent masterpiece.

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2018

  • Kirkus Prize
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    finalist

  • New York Times Bestseller

DREAMERS

Based on her experience of leaving Mexico for the United States, Morales’ latest offers an immigrant’s tale steeped in hope, dreams, and love.

This story begins with a union between mother and son, with arms outstretched in the midst of a new beginning. Soon after, mother and son step on a bridge, expansive “like the universe,” to cross to the other side, to become immigrants. An ethereal city appears, enfolded in fog. The brown-skinned woman and her child walk through this strange new land, unwilling to speak, unaccustomed to “words unlike those of our ancestors.” But soon their journey takes them to the most marvelous of places: the library. In a series of stunning double-page spreads, Morales fully captures the sheer bliss of discovery as their imaginations take flight. The vibrant, surreal mixed-media artwork, including Mexican fabric, metal sheets, “the comal where I grill my quesadillas,” childhood drawings, and leaves and plants, represents a spectacular culmination of the author’s work thus far. Presented in both English and Spanish editions (the latter in Teresa Mlawer’s translation), equal in evocative language, the text moves with purpose. No word is unnecessary, each a deliberate steppingstone onto the next. Details in the art provide cultural markers specific to the U.S., but the story ultimately belongs to one immigrant mother and her son. Thanks to books and stories (some of her favorites are appended), the pair find their voices as “soñadores of the world.”

A resplendent masterpiece. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4055-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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