¡VAMOS! LET'S CROSS THE BRIDGE

From the World of ¡Vamos! series

Traffic threatens to thwart Little Lobo’s delivery.

Little Lobo and his friends make another appearance in Raúl the Third’s latest installment in the World of ¡Vamos! series. Like “thousands of people [who] cross from one side of the bridge to the other,” Little Lobo heads over from one country to the other, bound for “la gran celebración” with party supplies and a band made up of frogs and a snake who rattles a maraca. As the hours go by and the group waits for their turn to cross the bridge, “the day turns into night,” and the characters begin to lose their patience and get hungry. But there are food trucks in line too! Soon Little Lobo and his friends discover the smorgasbord of culinary options around them and that so long as you have good friends and good music, you can have a party anywhere. Like the other books in the series, this outing excels in its inclusion of cultural references in its illustrations: Cantinflas, El Chavo del Ocho’s barrel, tuna-fruit vendors, T-shirts displaying El Paso’s area code, and the Juárez X are only some of the details that Raúl the Third gets right about life and culture in the depicted area. Spanish vocabulary is intertwined throughout the text as well as appearing in both the occasional labels in the illustrations and the handy glossary at the end. The iconic illustration style is enhanced by Bay’s colors, which bring the vibrant spirit of the border to the page. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Totally fun and dynamic. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-38040-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Versify/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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The snappy text will get toes tapping, but the information it carries is limited.

LET'S DANCE!

Dancing is one of the most universal elements of cultures the world over.

In onomatopoeic, rhyming text, Bolling encourages readers to dance in styles including folk dance, classical ballet, breakdancing, and line dancing. Read aloud, the zippy text will engage young children: “Tappity Tap / Fingers Snap,” reads the rhyme on the double-page spread for flamenco; “Jiggity-Jig / Zig-zag-zig” describes Irish step dancing. The ballet pages stereotypically include only children in dresses or tutus, but one of these dancers wears hijab. Overall, children included are racially diverse and vary in gender presentation. Diaz’s illustrations show her background in animated films; her active child dancers generally have the large-eyed sameness of cartoon characters. The endpapers, with shoes and musical instruments, could become a matching game with pages in the book. The dances depicted are described at the end, including kathak from India and kuku from Guinea, West Africa. Unfortunately, these explanations are quite rudimentary. Kathak dancers use their facial expressions extensively in addition to the “movements of their hands and their jingling feet,” as described in the book. Although today kuku is danced at all types of celebrations in several countries, it was once done after fishing, an activity acknowledged in the illustrations but not mentioned in the explanatory text.

The snappy text will get toes tapping, but the information it carries is limited. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63592-142-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An early reader that kids will want to befriend.

NOT ME!

In an odd-couple pairing of Bear and Chipmunk, only one friend is truly happy to spend the day at the beach.

“Not me!” is poor Chipmunk’s lament each time Bear expresses the pleasure he takes in sunning, swimming, and other activities at the beach. While controlled, repetitive text makes the story accessible to new readers, slapstick humor characterizes the busy watercolor-and-ink illustrations and adds interest. Poor Chipmunk is pinched by a crab, buried in sand, and swept upside down into the water, to name just a few mishaps. Although other animal beachgoers seem to notice Chipmunk’s distress, Bear cheerily goes about his day and seems blithely ignorant of his friend’s misfortunes. The playful tone of the illustrations helps soften the dynamic so that it doesn’t seem as though Chipmunk is in grave danger or that Bear is cruel. As they leave at the end of the book Bear finally asks, “Why did you come?” and Chipmunk’s sweet response caps off the day with a warm sunset in the background.

An early reader that kids will want to befriend. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3546-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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