Another fine lesson couched in a tale that never becomes didactic.

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

From the Life in the Wild series

More Life in the Wild from Canadian Oldland (Up the Creek, 2013, etc.).

A bear, a moose and a beaver are friends, and they love adventure. One day, they decide to climb a nearby mountain. They trek across the countryside and, while having a snack at the base of the mountain, decide to make the trip up the slope a race. The moose’s long legs give him an advantage; he pulls ahead of his friends. Then a boulder comes down the cliffside path. In escaping the boulder, the moose falls over the edge and is left hanging from a tree limb. The bear tries to rescue his buddy, but he falls too. The beaver’s quick thinking saves everyone. The three friends take the rest of the trip at a slower pace; and that is when they actually begin to enjoy their journey. Oldland’s digitally painted, woodcut-style illustrations are as deadpan-charming as ever, and storytime audiences won’t find this as predictable as those who present it to them will. The friends’ competitiveness plays out believably enough, and the characters’ short exclamations in the illustrations will elicit a giggle or two (and participation in subsequent readings).

Another fine lesson couched in a tale that never becomes didactic. (Picture book. 3-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-77138-109-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Penfold and Kaufman have outdone themselves in delivering a vital message in today’s political climate. Let’s hope more...

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ALL ARE WELCOME

A lively city school celebrates its diversity.

Front endpapers show adult caregivers walking their charges to school, the families a delightful mix that includes interracial, same-sex, and heterosexual couples as well as single caregivers; the rear endpapers assemble them again at the conclusion of a successful schoolwide evening potluck. In between, the rhyming verses focus on aspects of a typical school day, always ending with the titular phrase: “Time for lunch—what a spread! / A dozen different kinds of bread. / Pass it around till everyone’s fed. / All are welcome here.” Indeed, this school is diversity exemplified. Several kids point to their home countries on a world map, and some wear markers of their cultural or religious groups: There’s a girl in hijab, a boy wearing a Sikh patka, and a boy in a kippah. A rainbow of hair colors and skin tones is in evidence, and children with disabilities are also included: a blind boy, a girl in a wheelchair, and several kids with glasses. What is most wonderful, though, is the way they interact with one another without regard to their many differences. Kaufman’s acrylic, ink, crayon, collage, and Photoshop illustrations bring the many personalities in this school community to life. “You have a place here. / You have a space here. / You are welcome here.”

Penfold and Kaufman have outdone themselves in delivering a vital message in today’s political climate. Let’s hope more people, starting with this picture book’s audience, embrace it. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-57964-9

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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