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ARCHIE CELEBRATES DIWALI

This sweet picture book about sharing Diwali will ring true in many households.

Archana—Archie for short—loves Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

This year, for the first time, she’s invited her friends Virgil, Nora, and Paisley to her house for her family’s annual Diwali party, which makes her excited but also nervous. Before her friends arrive, she tidies up the rangoli, sets out the diyas, and plugs in the strings of lights around the house. But her family’s preparations make her anxious all over again. What if Dida’s food is too spicy for her friends? Then it starts to pour, ruining all of Archie’s careful decorations. Shortly after her friends arrive, the power goes out, and Archie is sure that this is the worst Diwali ever—until her friends ask her what the holiday is really about. By the end of the party, Archie’s friends aren’t the only ones who develop an appreciation of Diwali: Archie, too, realizes why it’s the most special day of the year. The book’s vivid illustrations utilize a bright color palette that perfectly matches the spirit of the holiday. The storyline is compelling, accurately reflecting the reality of children who celebrate religions outside the mainstream American culture, and it ends in an organic and believable way. Unfortunately, in the afterword, the author does not specify that Diwali is a Hindu celebration, a flattening omission.

This sweet picture book about sharing Diwali will ring true in many households. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62354-119-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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

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 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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RUBY FINDS A WORRY

From the Big Bright Feelings series

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their...

Ruby is an adventurous and happy child until the day she discovers a Worry.

Ruby barely sees the Worry—depicted as a blob of yellow with a frowny unibrow—at first, but as it hovers, the more she notices it and the larger it grows. The longer Ruby is affected by this Worry, the fewer colors appear on the page. Though she tries not to pay attention to the Worry, which no one else can see, ignoring it prevents her from enjoying the things that she once loved. Her constant anxiety about the Worry causes the bright yellow blob to crowd Ruby’s everyday life, which by this point is nearly all washes of gray and white. But at the playground, Ruby sees a boy sitting on a bench with a growing sky-blue Worry of his own. When she invites the boy to talk, his Worry begins to shrink—and when Ruby talks about her own Worry, it also grows smaller. By the book’s conclusion, Ruby learns to control her Worry by talking about what worries her, a priceless lesson for any child—or adult—conveyed in a beautifully child-friendly manner. Ruby presents black, with hair in cornrows and two big afro-puff pigtails, while the boy has pale skin and spiky black hair.

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their feelings (. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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