A well-considered, tender tale about sharing history and holidays via the oral tradition.

READ REVIEW

SADIE'S SHABBAT STORIES

The love of storytelling and the importance of family pass from one generation to the next in Stoller’s picture book.

Sadie and Nana help prepare the table for Shabbat every week. They bake challah and set the table with silver candlesticks, a sacred kiddush cup, and a challah cover. Sadie loves to hear Nana tell stories and begs her to tell the tale of each item on the table. Nana explains how each item was kept safe by different ancestors who underwent terrible ordeals, like pogroms. Sadie aspires to tell wonderful stories like Nana, and she soon invents her own about her ancestors joining them to celebrate Shabbat. The book depicts the passage of time, and Sadie eventually passes such stories down to her own grandchildren. Goldberg’s warm, Chagall-inspired illustrations depict a happy Jewish family, with varying skin tones, partaking in cherished customs. Sadie’s desire to pass on her family history will ring true for anyone with immigrant ancestry, regardless of whether they practice Judaism. The story does not go into details about various plights of the Jewish people but offers a good introduction to such topics.

A well-considered, tender tale about sharing history and holidays via the oral tradition.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-950169-33-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Spork

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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Like a faithful teddy, sure to become a favorite for many readers.

LOUIS

A hug is a powerful thing.

Louis, a stuffed teddy bear, has grievances: His owner, a dark-haired kid with light-brown skin, has mistreated Louis in a variety of ways, including using the bear as a hankie, burying the toy in the sand, and subjecting him to the terrors of the washing machine. After Louis suffers the final indignity—almost being left behind on public transportation—the bear plans to make his escape. Savvy readers may surmise that Louis’ heart isn’t completely in this grand departure, as the teddy delays based on rain, cupcake-filled tea parties, and being the star of show-and-tell due to bravery during the bus incident. When the perfect moment to desert finally arrives, a last-minute hug helps Louis realize how much the kid loves and appreciates him. It’s a charming, genuinely sweet ending to a well-crafted story that leaves lots of openings for Rowan-Zoch’s boldly colored, crisp cartoon artwork to deliver a vibrant pop that will be appreciated in both large storytimes and intimate lap reads. Louis is marvelously expressive, panicking, glaring, and unexpectedly softening by turns. Caregivers and educators may see an opportunity in the story to engage in creative writing or storytelling based on the readers’ own favorite stuffed friends. Louis’ owner’s mom appears in one scene wearing a salwar kameez, suggesting the family is of South Asian heritage.

Like a faithful teddy, sure to become a favorite for many readers. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-328-49806-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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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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