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

READ REVIEW

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: May 5, 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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A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared.

IMAGINE

Former Poet Laureate Herrera encourages his young readers to imagine all they might be in his new picture book.

Herrera’s free verse tells his own story, starting as a young boy who loves the plants and animals he finds outdoors in the California fields and is then thrust into the barren, concrete city. In the city he begins to learn to read and write, learning English and discovering a love for words and the way ink flows “like tiny rivers” across the page as he applies pen to paper. Words soon become sentences, poems, lyrics, and a means of escape. This love of the word ultimately leads him to make writing his vocation and to become the first Chicano Poet Laureate of the United States, an honor Herrera received in 2015. Through this story of hardship to success, expressed in a series of conditional statements that all begin “If I,” Herrera implores his readers to “imagine what you could do.” Castillo’s ink and foam monoprint illustrations are a tender accompaniment to Herrera’s verse, the black lines of her illustrations flowing across the page in rhythm with the author’s poetry. Together this makes for a charming read-aloud for groups or a child snuggled in a lap.

A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared. (Picture book/memoir. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9052-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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A high-spirited impetus to clap hands—or better yet, someone else’s.

HIGH FIVE

The Dragons Love Tacos (2012) crew invites readers to the 75th Annual High Five Tournament.

It’s not going to be a walkover, as opponents in the five rounds range from Gigantic the Bear (“700 Pounds of Hair”) and, after her, dizzying bouncer Kangaroo Paul to the ultimate challenger, eight-limbed Octopus Jones. Fortunately, young contenders have a yetilike ex-champ in their corner to offer vigorous if unevenly rhymed and metered commentary (“Was that your new signature slap? / My grandma fives better than that!”) as well as savvy advice on hand positioning and style points. Accentuated by block letters in diverse hues and the occasional outsized “HIGH FIVE!” Salmieri’s scribbly ink-and–colored-pencil drawings of the all-animal cast, audience, and panel of judges reflect the infectiously rising suspense and wild excitement as the unseen “Kid” the narrator addresses sends each foe in succession reeling away in stunned defeat. Just one thing left to do: “Hold up your trophy / and shout out ‘woo-hoo!’ / The new high five champ is you!” Along with the verbal coaching, a chart of variations on “The Classic,” such as “The Windmill,” “The Double Behind the Back Slam,” and even “The High Foot,” offers further challenges to ambitious fivers of all genders. As characters frequently address “Kid” directly and hold up dramatically foreshortened hands or paws to viewers, caregivers should be ready for this book to take a beating.

A high-spirited impetus to clap hands—or better yet, someone else’s. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-42889-3

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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