High educational value offsets limited literary merit.

ONE MORE TIME

A STORY ABOUT PERSEVERANCE

From the Bright Start Right Start series

Child-friendly examples teach toddlers socio-emotional skills.

In this Bright Start series entry, a grandfather teaches the narrator, a gender-ambiguous child, to ride the blue scooter they got for their birthday. In the process of trying, falling, and trying again, the child learns a lesson in perseverance. In companion title My Turn, Your Turn, Ms. Wright, who is presumably a teacher, helps Malik and Cora share a toy airplane that they were fighting over. Both books feature duotone cartoon illustrations that include characters of color: Grandpa and the narrator in One More Time are black while in My Turn, Your Turn, Malik is dark skinned, and light-skinned Cora is ethnically ambiguous. Textured, chunky pages will appeal to small, curious hands. Laudably, the narratives use examples that children will find both familiar and relevant. While the predictability of the storylines will appeal to young readers, the stories verge on the monotonous. In One More Time, for example, the author spends seven pages detailing how the protagonist learns to balance, then push, then balance and push, a description that feels tedious and does not contribute to the narrative. That said, the limited page length and simple language make these books ideal for teachers or parents looking for quick and easy tools to use to foster socio-emotional development.

High educational value offsets limited literary merit. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4441-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Words & Pictures

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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