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I HAVE SEVEN DOGS

An upbeat, charming reminder that any problem can be solved with the right attitude.

A dog lover prevented from pet ownership finds a creative solution.

“Our apartment is the perfect place for pillow forts and movie nights and family dinners,” Zoe tells us. “Unfortunately, it is not the perfect place for dogs.” But Zoe is a good problem solver, and the young narrator takes us on a walk around the neighborhood, where we meet a variety of dogs, from Wishbone, a Chihuahua whom Zoe reads to, to Marmalade, a Yorkie who has wheels in place of hind legs, to Gabby and Abby, Zoe’s piano teacher’s collies. Conversations with a neighbor at the community garden and later with big sister Meg lead Zoe to a great idea for a birthday party in the park…with all of Zoe’s pals, human and canine. The celebration is a joyous event. Horan’s straightforward, minimal text tells a cheerful story; the closest we get to anything negative occurs when Zoe admits to a pang of jealousy over a friend who has just adopted a pet dachshund. Overall, it’s a sweet and gently humorous tale, with lively, colorful illustrations that bring to life a tightknit urban community. Young children will feel empowered witnessing how Zoe finds a way to deal with a seemingly insurmountable issue. Zoe and Meg are Asian-presenting, while their mother is light-skinned; their neighborhood is diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally; this review has been updated for factual accuracy.)

An upbeat, charming reminder that any problem can be solved with the right attitude. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 13, 2023

ISBN: 9780593324356

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023

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WOO HOO! YOU'RE DOING GREAT!

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones.

What’s better than a cheerleading chicken?

Are you ever blue, unsure, tired, or overworked? Do you ever feel lost or overwhelmed? This uplifting book, expressed in delightful, jaunty verse, explains how to lift your spirits pronto: What you need is a booster chicken telling you’re doing great even when you’re not so confident, as when you’re learning or practicing a new skill, for instance. Your feathered champion will be right there, encouraging you all the way, with a loud “WOO HOO!” that’ll keep you going and remove any doubt you’re super terrific. But what if your cheerful chick errs and doesn’t do what it set out to do? Don’t worry—your cheery chicken just needs a reminder that everyone makes mistakes. That alone is a pep talk, enhanced by the wisdom that making mistakes allows everyone to learn and demonstrate they did their best. So forgive yourself, chickens! But the best thing is…instead of relying on someone else—like a chicken—to strengthen your ego, say a generous daily “WOO HOO!” to yourself. This riotous book hits all the right notes and does so succinctly and hilariously. The energetic, comical illustrations, in Boynton’s signature style, will elicit giggles and go far to make the book’s important point. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-316-48679-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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IZZY GIZMO AND THE INVENTION CONVENTION

From the Izzy Gizmo series

A disappointing follow-up.

Inventor Izzy Gizmo is back in this sequel to her eponymous debut (2017).

While busily inventing one day, Izzy receives an invitation from the Genius Guild to their annual convention. Though Izzy’s “inventions…don’t always work,” Grandpa (apparently her sole caregiver) encourages her to go. The next day they undertake a long journey “over fields, hills, and waves” and “mile after mile” to isolated Technoff Isle. There, Izzy finds she must compete against four other kids to create the most impressive machine. The colorful, detail-rich illustrations chronicle how poor Izzy is thwarted at every turn by Abi von Lavish, a Veruca Salt–esque character who takes all the supplies for herself. But when Abi abandons her project, Izzy salvages the pieces and decides to take Grandpa’s advice to create a machine that “can really be put to good use.” A frustrated Izzy’s impatience with a friend almost foils her chance at the prize, but all’s well that ends well. There’s much to like: Brown-skinned inventor girl Izzy is an appealing character, it’s great to see a nurturing brown-skinned male caregiver, the idea of an “Invention Convention” is fun, and a sustainable-energy invention is laudable. However, these elements don’t make up for rhymes that often feel forced and a lackluster story.

A disappointing follow-up. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-164-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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