Pull this out on the next rainy day and have boots, slickers, and boat at the ready.

AFTER THE RAIN

A young boy who longs to play with his toy boat is thrilled when the rain stops and the gutters and downspouts gush.

Levi watches from his nautically decorated bedroom as the last drops of rain fall, quickly donning his yellow raincoat, boots, and hat and grabbing his boat when he spies the water overflowing the gutters. Krüger mixes wide-angle views with vignettes and close-up, ground-level perspectives to get readers right into the action with Levi as he stomps through puddles. The river of water from the downspout to the drain in the sidewalk provides endless fun for the boy and his toy boat…until Polly arrives and claims the stream as her own. The angry visage on the tot, who wears a raindrop-decorated poncho and red boots, sets the stage for a battle that involves splashes and tossed mud, expressions speaking volumes. But when both kids realize the water is drying up, they call a truce and set about creating a mud, rock, leaf, and stick dam. The subsequent lake is a great place to play: “Battle begun but not won. // Building together is much more fun.” The imagination on display will inspire readers, though the battle’s end is more serendipitous than strategic and won’t teach kids much in the way of problem-solving. Levi is dark skinned, Polly light.

Pull this out on the next rainy day and have boots, slickers, and boat at the ready. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5064-5451-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beaming Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A winning tale about finding new friends.

FOUND

Bear finds a wonderful toy.

Bear clearly loves the toy bunny that he has found sitting up against a tree in the forest, but he wants to help it return to its home. With a wagon full of fliers and the bunny secure in Bear’s backpack, he festoons the trees with posters and checks out a bulletin board filled with lost and found objects (some of which will bring a chuckle to adult readers). Alas, he returns home still worried about bunny. The following day, they happily play together and ride Bear’s tricycle. Into the cozy little picture steps Moose, who immediately recognizes his bunny, named Floppy. Bear has a tear in his eye as he watches Moose and Floppy hug. But Moose, wearing a tie, is clearly grown and knows that it is time to share and that Bear will take very good care of his Floppy. Yoon’s story is sweet without being sentimental. She uses digitized artwork in saturated colors to create a lovely little world for her animals. They are outlined in strong black lines and stand out against the yellows, blues, greens and oranges of the background. She also uses space to great effect, allowing readers to feel the emotional tug of the story.

A winning tale about finding new friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3559-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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Just the thing to get uncertain youngsters jazzed for a first day—at school or anywhere.

THE QUEEN OF KINDERGARTEN

Barnes and Brantley-Newton team up for a follow-up to The King of Kindergarten (2019).

From the very first page, it’s clear that young MJ Malone is ready to face the world—and school. Once Mom bestows her with a glittery tiara and dubs her the queen of kindergarten, MJ is determined to fulfill her duties—brighten up every room she enters, treat others with kindness, and offer a helping hand. Barnes infuses each page with humor and a sense of grace as the immensely likable MJ makes the most of her first day. Barnes’ prose is entertaining and heartwarming, while Brantley-Newton’s vivid and playful artwork will be easily recognizable for anyone who’s seen her work (Grandma’s Purse, 2018; Becoming Vanessa, 2021). The illustrator adds verve to the bold young heroine’s character—from the colorful barrettes to the textured appearance of her adorable denim jumper, the girl has style and substance. MJ Malone embodies the can-do spirit every parent hopes to spark in their own children, though even shy kindergarteners will gladly find a friend in her. MJ and her family are Black; her classroom is diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Just the thing to get uncertain youngsters jazzed for a first day—at school or anywhere. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 24, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-11142-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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