A charming celebration of reading told through rhyming text and an atmospheric mix of photos and colorful illustrations.

THE BOOK BANDIT

MYSTERY OF THE MISSING BOOKS

When their storybooks disappear, two siblings set out to find the thief, meeting friends along the way.

Bedtime for white siblings Evan and Mila means sharing a good book before settling down to sleep. But choosing their story won’t be easy when they discover their bookshelves are bare. After seeing a trail of scattered books outside, the children “climbed out the window and followed the trail, / Bringing their wagon to collect every tale.” Told in rhyme as a cumulative story, this appealing debut picture book by Groberman and Solomon follows Evan and Mila on their quest. The siblings find their volumes in the clutches of animals—including a raccoon, a bear, and a snake—who turn out to be book-loving opportunists, not bandits. Each furred, feathered, and scaly character the children encounter joins in the search for the rest of the missing books until they locate the culprit (whose identity is a comic surprise). The message—that books are treasures and reading is fun that can be shared—comes through clearly in the simple, pleasantly rhythmic text and Solomon’s vivid, cartoon-style illustrations, superimposed over Groberman’s original photographs of night skies, fields, lakes, and forest. The authors are partners in a company specializing in children’s wall murals and prints.

A charming celebration of reading told through rhyming text and an atmospheric mix of photos and colorful illustrations.

Pub Date: July 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5255-3225-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

With the same delightfully irreverent spirit that he brought to his retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" (1987), Marshall enlivens another favorite. Although completely retold with his usual pungent wit and contemporary touches ("I don't mind if I do," says Goldilocks, as she tries out porridge, chair, and bed), Marshall retains the stories well-loved pattern, including Goldilocks escaping through the window (whereupon Baby Bear inquires, "Who was that little girl?"). The illustrations are fraught with delicious humor and detail: books that are stacked everywhere around the rather cluttered house, including some used in lieu of a missing leg for Papa Bear's chair; comically exaggerated beds—much too high at the head and the foot; and Baby Bear's wonderfully messy room, which certainly brings the story into the 20th century. Like its predecessor, perfect for several uses, from picture-book hour to beginning reading.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0140563660

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1988

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Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children.

THE NIGHT IS YOURS

On hot summer nights, Amani’s parents permit her to go outside and play in the apartment courtyard, where the breeze is cool and her friends are waiting.

The children jump rope to the sounds of music as it floats through a neighbor’s window, gaze at stars in the night sky, and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. It is in the moonlight that Amani and her friends are themselves found by the moon, and it illumines the many shades of their skin, which vary from light tan to deep brown. In a world where darkness often evokes ideas of evil or fear, this book is a celebration of things that are dark and beautiful—like a child’s dark skin and the night in which she plays. The lines “Show everyone else how to embrace the night like you. Teach them how to be a night-owning girl like you” are as much an appeal for her to love and appreciate her dark skin as they are the exhortation for Amani to enjoy the night. There is a sense of security that flows throughout this book. The courtyard is safe and homelike. The moon, like an additional parent, seems to be watching the children from the sky. The charming full-bleed illustrations, done in washes of mostly deep blues and greens, make this a wonderful bedtime story.

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55271-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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