SUITCASE

With feet so large that he’s earned the nickname “Suitcase,” sixth-grader Alexander—Xander to family and friends—appears unable to play basketball. He doesn’t enjoy it as much as he enjoys drawing, and he can’t control his body and the ball. Trying hard to please his father, he practices daily, jumping rope and drilling, but the coach, Jeff, recognizes that Xander’s talents lay elsewhere. During a routine baseball practice, Xander shows himself to be a superior pitcher; later, by drawing the winning entry in an art contest, Xander impresses his father, who is finally beginning to recognize that his son has talent. Walter (Second Daughter, 1996, etc.) has created a story that lets readers see and appreciate Xander’s progress; the lesson that everyone has at least one special purpose is familiar, but worth repeating. Those who have been teased will relish Xander’s ability to disregard labels and prove the bullies wrong. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 1999

ISBN: 0-688-16547-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1999

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WAITING FOR BABY

One of a four-book series designed to help the very young prepare for new siblings, this title presents a toddler-and-mother pair (the latter heavily pregnant) as they read about new babies, sort hand-me-downs, buy new toys, visit the obstetrician and the sonographer, speculate and wait. Throughout, the child asks questions and makes exclamations with complete enthusiasm: “How big is the baby? What does it eat? I felt it move! Is it a boy or girl?” Fuller’s jolly pictures present a biracial family that thoroughly enjoys every moment together. It’s a bit oversimplified, but no one can complain about the positive message it conveys, appropriately, to its baby and toddler audience. The other titles in the New Baby series are My New Baby (ISBN: 978-1-84643-276-7), Look at Me! (ISBN: 978-1-84643-278-1) and You and Me (ISBN: 978-1-84643-277-4). (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84643-275-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

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THE PARTY

A girl and her sister start off rather glumly in the back seat of the car, leaving all their friends behind, because they are off to a family party. When they arrive, they are kissed by Aunt Joan—the worst—and then there is more kissing and a bunch of cousins just hanging around. But the kids start sharing war stories (hair cuts, lost teeth, split lips) and playing shark on the lawn; there are hideouts under Uncle John’s chair and potato-chip thievery; and then there is all that food beloved of family gatherings, for it is Gran’s birthday. At the end, of course, no one wants to go home. In sprightly rhyme, Reid captures the range of experience, from initial wariness to high hilarity, present at parties full of relatives. Her illustrations, done in painted Plasticine on board, have a wonderful texture, making a Hawaiian shirt, three-bean salad, and Mary Jane shoes pop out of the page. A treat. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-97801-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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