Help for coping when the cookie crumbles.

RED RED RED

This British import serves up lessons in emotional regulation, with a side of biscuits.

The young protagonist of this picture book has light brown skin, curly dark hair, and a taste for biscuits. (This British term for what Americans call cookies is preserved in the American edition.) Via first-person narration, the child thinks out loud while climbing a stool to reach a cookie jar high on the shelf—until “CRASH! BANG! BUMP!” Mum (who shares the child’s coloring) comes running to provide comfort, but she can’t head off her little one’s ensuing fit. Upset about the fall, the child rages, “My socks are down. My pants are twisted. / I want...I want...I WANT A BISCUIT!” A climactic spread gives the protagonist of Molly Bang’s When Sophie Gets Angry—Really Really Angry (1999) a run for her money. It depicts the child in a full-blown tantrum, spiky red lines emanating forth to dominate the page and bold, block letters filling one half of the spread to evoke furious yelling. Patient Mum intercedes and helps her child count to 10 to calm down while Dunbar’s art, typography, and symbolic scribbly lines combine to depict the child eventually relaxing. A scene of deep breathing precedes the final reward of a biscuit, and then another to stave off any risk of additional tantrums.

Help for coping when the cookie crumbles. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68464-026-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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UMBRELLA

Momo longed to carry the blue umbrella and wear the bright red rubber boots she had been given on her third birthday. But day after day Indian summer continued. Momo tried to tell mother she needed to carry the umbrella to nursery school because the sunshine bothered her eyes. But Mother didn't let her use the umbrella then or when she said the wind bothered her. At last, though, rain fell on the city pavements and Momo carried her umbrella and wore her red boots to school. One feels the urgency of Momo's wish. The pictures are full of the city's moods and the child's joy in a rainy day.

Pub Date: March 1, 1958

ISBN: 978-0-14-050240-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Dec. 9, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1958

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