A noble look at the courage needed for honesty.

TELL THE TRUTH, PANGOLIN

A pangolin must decide whether or not to lie to the Queen.

With a great big smile on his face, Pangolin is swinging in the sunshine on the palace grounds. But suddenly, to his horror, the swing breaks. “Heavens! What have I done? And what will I tell the Queen?” Pangolin consults his friends for advice. Badger suggests saying that a royal musician needed the strings for a lute. Goose has an even stranger idea: “Perhaps you can say that a giant bird mistook the ropes for worms.” And Pug? Well, Pug suggests blaming aliens. Fox and Cat also contribute possibilities. Stammering and quaking, Pangolin must make a decision. What will he tell the Queen? Lush, jewel-toned illustrations thrum with warmth; outside the palace, the rolling landscape is filled with endless flowers and swooping trees. Inside, ornate windows and scalloped archways present a truly royal atmosphere. Beatty expertly taps into a childlike perspective; she’s keenly aware that to avoid trouble, youngsters often spin fantastical explanations and that the push and pull of truth-telling can result in an agonizing internal debate. Luckily, all ends well when Pangolin finally decides to own up to the Queen—and the conclusion will point readers in the right direction when facing similar conundrums. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A noble look at the courage needed for honesty. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-18013-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Anne Schwartz/Random

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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