Turning the tables shines the light on poor sportsmanship. Will Fergus and Lowery next address bad behavior in the...

READ REVIEW

THE DAY DAD JOINED MY SOCCER TEAM

Dad is schooled about more than soccer the day he “volunteers” to help out his child’s team.

In this role-reversal book, the unnamed first-person narrator, an avid soccer player, is mortified by the sudden change in Dad’s behavior after he dons a jersey and assumes a position on the field. In fact, Dad exhibits all the bad behaviors: whining to the coach, focusing on winning at all costs, picking flowers on the field, fooling around on the sideline, running off to play on the slides, hogging the ball, grumping when the team’s goalie misses a save, and throwing a fit about an accidental foul. The narrator consults Coach, a dark-skinned bald man, who has some words of wisdom, encouraging them to work with Dad’s energy and enthusiasm to focus on being a good sport (a clipboard lists the four points for readers). Remarkably, the father turns his act around in the second half but in the end decides that volunteering for snacks may be more his speed. Lowery’s Photoshop illustrations are filled with bright, flat colors spotlighting the father’s hijinks and the characters’ emotions. Both dad and child have brown hair and light brown skin. The other players are diverse in terms of both race and gender presentation.

Turning the tables shines the light on poor sportsmanship. Will Fergus and Lowery next address bad behavior in the bleachers? (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77138-654-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference.

SOFIA VALDEZ, FUTURE PREZ

From the Questioneers series

Sofia Valdez proves that community organizers of any age can have a positive impact.

After a trash-heap eyesore causes an injury to her beloved abuelo, Sofia springs into action to bring big change to her neighborhood. The simple rhymes of the text follow Sofia on her journey from problem through ideas to action as she garners community support for an idyllic new park to replace the dangerous junk pile. When bureaucracy threatens to quash Sofia’s nascent plan, she digs deep and reflects that “being brave means doing the thing you must do, / though your heart cracks with fear. / Though you’re just in Grade Two.” Sofia’s courage yields big results and inspires those around her to lend a hand. Implied Latinx, Sofia and her abuelo have medium brown skin, and Sofia has straight brown hair (Abuelo is bald). Readers will recognize Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist from Beaty’s previous installments in the Questioneers series making cameo appearances in several scenes. While the story connects back to the title and her aptitude for the presidency in only the second-to-last sentence of the book, Sofia’s leadership and grit are themes throughout. Roberts’ signature illustration style lends a sense of whimsy; detailed drawings will have readers scouring each page for interesting minutiae.

Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3704-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

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