Next book

HOW ARE YOU, VERITY?

An effective breakdown of a common greeting from a neurodivergent point of view.

A child learns the nuances of a typical social interaction.

Verity is excited for their upcoming field trip to the aquarium. They know a lot about marine life, like vampire squid and sea sheep (a type of sea slug). Whenever anyone asks Verity, “How are you?” the child responds with interesting facts about sea creatures or the effect of plastics on the oceans. Later, their brother John explains that when most people ask that question, they are just making conversation and don’t want a long answer. Verity experiments, asking different people how they’re doing, and determines that most of the time, “ ‘How are you?’ seems like a fancy way to say hello,” but other times, people can be tricky to understand. When the field trip is canceled, John asks Verity how they’re feeling. Verity is quiet (“Were they supposed to say ‘Good’ now?”) until John explains he knows Verity must be upset. Verity vents their frustration, John thanks them for sharing, and Verity asks for help with an idea. This gentle, encouraging story centers the experience of a neurodivergent child learning a societal norm—as well as times when it doesn’t apply. The reader’s note offers more information on neurodiversity and advice to caregivers and educators. The illustrations have an airbrushlike quality that, combined with the vibrant colors, emits a playful energy. Verity and John have brown skin and Afro-textured hair, while the neighbors are racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An effective breakdown of a common greeting from a neurodivergent point of view. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2023

ISBN: 9781433841514

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023

Next book

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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

Next book

THE BIG CHEESE

From the Food Group series

From curds to riches, from meltdown to uplift—this multicourse romp delivers.

A winning wheel of cheddar with braggadocio to match narrates a tale of comeuppance and redemption.

From humble beginnings among kitchen curds living “quiet lives of pasteurization,” the Big Cheese longs to be the best and builds success and renown based on proven skills and dependable results: “I stuck to the things I was good at.” When newcomer Wedge moves to the village of Curds-on-Whey, the Cheese’s star status wobbles and falls. Turns out that quiet, modest Wedge is also multitalented. At the annual Cheese-cathlon, Wedge bests six-time winner Cheese in every event, from the footrace and chess to hat making and bread buttering. A disappointed Cheese throws a full-blown tantrum before arriving at a moment of truth: Self-calming, conscious breathing permits deep relief that losing—even badly—does not result in disaster. A debrief with Wedge “that wasn’t all about me” leads to further realizations: Losing builds empathy for others; obsession with winning obscures “the joy of participating.” The chastened cheddar learns to reserve bragging for lifting up friends, because anyone can be the Big Cheese. More didactic and less pun-rich than previous entries in the Food Group series, this outing nevertheless couples a cheerful refrain with pithy life lessons that hit home. Oswald’s detailed, comical illustrations continue to provide laughs, including a spot with Cheese onstage doing a “CHED” talk.

From curds to riches, from meltdown to uplift—this multicourse romp delivers. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023

ISBN: 9780063329508

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

Close Quickview