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ARCHIE CELEBRATES AN INDIAN WEDDING

A vivid depiction of a wedding celebration that shortchanges its protagonist.

In this follow-up to Archie Celebrates Diwali (2021), a young Indian girl guides her cousin-to-be through the ins and outs of a Hindu wedding.

Archie’s Poppy Uncle is marrying Miss Julie, and Archie has so much to do: She strings garlands with Dida, folds programs with her dad, and helps her mom select jewelry. Plus, she must watch her little brother, Krishna. So when Poppy Uncle asks her to help Miss Julie’s niece, Emma, feel comfortable, Archie isn’t sure she can handle it all. Miss Julie and Emma, who present white, are unfamiliar with Hindu traditions, and they both need a lot of guidance. Archie assuages Emma’s anxiety about wearing Indian clothes, steps in at the baraat when Emma and her father look lost, and answers Emma’s questions about the Sanskrit mantras the bride and groom repeat during the ceremony. Archie also consoles Miss Julie when she thinks that she’s ruined her henna. By the end of the wedding, Emma and Archie aren’t just cousins—they’re also friends. Though the two girls forge a strong bond, the relationship feels one-sided. And while the vibrant, textured illustrations and clear text provide an excellent introduction to a Hindu wedding ceremony, Archie spends most of the book making Emma and Miss Julie feel at home; many readers will be unsettled by the optics of a child of color putting her own needs aside to prioritize a white family’s comfort.

A vivid depiction of a wedding celebration that shortchanges its protagonist. (about Indian weddings, glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9781623544188

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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HOW TO CATCH A DADDYSAURUS

From the How To Catch… series

This frenetic ode to fatherhood is predictable fare but may please series fans.

It’s time to look for the elusive Daddysaurus.

In this latest installment in the seemingly never-ending series about a group of diverse kids attempting to trap mythical creatures, the youngsters are now on the lookout for a big mauve dinosaur with an emblazoned D on his stomach and a superhero cape. The fast-moving Daddysaurus is always on the go; he will be difficult to catch. Armed with blueprints of possible ideas, the kids decide which traps to set. As in previous works, ones of the sticky variety seem popular. They cover barbells with fly paper (Daddysaurus like to exercise) and spread glue on the handle of a shovel (Daddysaurus also likes to garden). One clever trick involves tempting Daddysaurus with a drawing of a hole, taped to the wall, because he fixes everything that breaks. Daddysaurus is certainly engaged in the children’s lives, not a workaholic or absent, but he does fall into some standard tropes associated with fathers. The rhyming quatrains stumble at times but for the most part bounce along. Overall, though, text and art feel somewhat formulaic and likely will tempt only devotees of the series. The final page of the book (after Daddysaurus is caught with love) has a space for readers to write a note or draw a picture of their own Daddysaurus. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

This frenetic ode to fatherhood is predictable fare but may please series fans. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-72826-618-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

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PETE THE CAT'S 12 GROOVY DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among

Pete, the cat who couldn’t care less, celebrates Christmas with his inimitable lassitude.

If it weren’t part of the title and repeated on every other page, readers unfamiliar with Pete’s shtick might have a hard time arriving at “groovy” to describe his Christmas celebration, as the expressionless cat displays not a hint of groove in Dean’s now-trademark illustrations. Nor does Pete have a great sense of scansion: “On the first day of Christmas, / Pete gave to me… / A road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” The cat is shown at the wheel of a yellow microbus strung with garland and lights and with a star-topped tree tied to its roof. On the second day of Christmas Pete gives “me” (here depicted as a gray squirrel who gets on the bus) “2 fuzzy gloves, and a road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” On the third day, he gives “me” (now a white cat who joins Pete and the squirrel) “3 yummy cupcakes,” etc. The “me” mentioned in the lyrics changes from day to day and gift to gift, with “4 far-out surfboards” (a frog), “5 onion rings” (crocodile), and “6 skateboards rolling” (a yellow bird that shares its skateboards with the white cat, the squirrel, the frog, and the crocodile while Pete drives on). Gifts and animals pile on until the microbus finally arrives at the seaside and readers are told yet again that it’s all “GROOVY!”

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-267527-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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