A passel of fun activities—dancing, crafting, biking and dress up—are tucked into Janni's tonic tale of imagination and...

READ REVIEW

EVERY COWGIRL NEEDS DANCING BOOTS

What better way to make friends than throwing a party?

Nellie Sue has a new pair of pink dancing boots, but she can't go out dancing alone. Mama suggests befriending the new girls that she sees playing on the street. Nellie Sue saddles up her pink "two-wheeled horse" and invites the three girls to go for a ride; the youngest (about Nellie Sue's age) seems interested, but her older sister says, "Not in ballet slippers." Nellie Sue is discouraged, but only for a minute; her dog Ginger gives her a great idea! She makes some pretty invitations and gets back on her horse, galloping "like the Pony Express" to ask the neighbor girls to her "Barn Dance." The whole neighborhood shows up, and Nellie Sue commences to dance. But the floor is slick and she takes a tumble, bringing the refreshments and most of the guests down with her. Ginger starts giving everybody on the floor sloppy dog kisses. It looks like Nellie Sue's party will be a disaster until that youngest girl, whose name is Anna, laughs. Finally, the ice is broken. Nellie Sue drops g’s and uses cowgirl idiom with abandon; her adherence to the cowgirl "code of honor" is endearing. Avril's line-and-watercolor cartoons keep the visual tone light.

A passel of fun activities—dancing, crafting, biking and dress up—are tucked into Janni's tonic tale of imagination and optimism . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-525-42341-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Gently encourages empathy, compassion, and consideration.

TOMORROW I'LL BE KIND

How will you behave tomorrow?

Utilizing the same format and concept of her popular Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave (2018), Hische presents young listeners with short, studied rhymes that describe various positive attributes (being helpful, patient, gentle, honest, generous, graceful, and kind). Also included are kid-friendly ways to incorporate these behaviors into daily life, with the underlying goal of making the world a better place. The illustrations, which feature friends in the forms of a mouse, cat, and rabbit, are colorful and appealing, and they extend the text by showing some additional ways of realizing the characteristics mentioned. Overall, the intentions are aboveboard, but this is a volume intended to teach about positive values and behavior, and as such, it comes across as somewhat treacly and proselytizing. The key words, incorporated into the illustrations in a graphic manner, are sometimes a bit difficult to read, and occasionally, select vocabulary and phrases (“to myself I will be true”; “my heart, my guiding light”) seem better suited for an older readership. Still, as an introduction to personality characteristics, beneficial behaviors, and social-emotional skills, this is a solid choice, and fans of the previous volume are likely to embrace this one as well. “I’ll dream of all the good that comes / when we all just do our best,” the text explains—a sentiment that’s hard to rebut.

Gently encourages empathy, compassion, and consideration. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5247-8704-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This is a tremendously moving story, but some people will be moved only on the second reading, after they’ve Googled “How to...

I NEED A HUG

A hug shouldn’t require an instruction manual—but some do.

A porcupine can frighten even the largest animal. In this picture book, a bear and a deer, along with a small rabbit, each run away when they hear eight simple words and their name: “I need a hug. Will you cuddle me,…?” As they flee, each utters a definitive refusal that rhymes with their name. The repetitive structure gives Blabey plenty of opportunities for humor, because every animal responds to the question with an outlandish, pop-eyed expression of panic. But the understated moments are even funnier. Each animal takes a moment to think over the request, and the drawings are nuanced enough that readers can see the creatures react with slowly building anxiety or, sometimes, a glassy stare. These silent reaction shots not only show exquisite comic timing, but they make the rhymes in the text feel pleasingly subtle by delaying the final line in each stanza. The story is a sort of fable about tolerance. It turns out that a porcupine can give a perfectly adequate hug when its quills are flat and relaxed, but no one stays around long enough to find out except for an animal that has its own experiences with intolerance: a snake. It’s an apt, touching moral, but the climax may confuse some readers as they try to figure out the precise mechanics of the embrace.

This is a tremendously moving story, but some people will be moved only on the second reading, after they’ve Googled “How to pet a porcupine.” (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-29710-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more