Readers will relate to her disappointment and cheer her on as she comes to her own creative solution.

Irrepressible Mimi and her father have named the day after Friday Dadurday. It is their special day to do everything together. But when Dad’s work schedule changes, their weekend tradition is in jeopardy.

Mop-haired Mimi loves Dadurday. She and her dad make silly-shaped pancakes and read the comics, and each writes a list of activities to do for the rest of the day. Ideas that appear on both lists set the schedule. They have fun going to the library, riding bikes, splashing in puddles and playing checkers. So Mimi is understandably upset with the news that her father will no longer be at home on Saturdays. Suddenly the day has become Madurday or Sadurday. Mother is sympathetic but busy caring for baby twins. When her frustration and bad mood become too much, Mimi explodes in an impressive tantrum that lasts for three pages. But after she calms down, the perfect idea comes to her. Sidewalk chalk, craft supplies and balloons come out. Pancakes are made; party hats created. Dad is in for a happy surprise when he arrives. Pulver’s well-crafted story touches upon an all-too-common situation—parents’ work encroaching on family time. Alley combines watercolor, watercolor pencil, pen and ink to deftly portray Mimi as she grapples with her feelings about something beyond her control.

Readers will relate to her disappointment and cheer her on as she comes to her own creative solution. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8027-8691-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: March 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013


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

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 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016


Nice enough but not worth repeat reads.

Emma deals with jitters before playing the guitar in the school talent show.

Pop musician Kevin Jonas and his wife, Danielle, put performance at the center of their picture-book debut. When Emma is intimidated by her very talented friends, the encouragement of her younger sister, Bella, and the support of her family help her to shine her own light. The story is straightforward and the moral familiar: Draw strength from your family and within to overcome your fears. Employing the performance-anxiety trope that’s been written many times over, the book plods along predictably—there’s nothing really new or surprising here. Dawson’s full-color digital illustrations center a White-presenting family along with Emma’s three friends of color: Jamila has tanned skin and wears a hijab; Wendy has dark brown skin and Afro puffs; and Luis has medium brown skin. Emma’s expressive eyes and face are the real draw of the artwork—from worry to embarrassment to joy, it’s clear what she’s feeling. A standout double-page spread depicts Emma’s talent show performance, with a rainbow swirl of music erupting from an amp and Emma rocking a glam outfit and electric guitar. Overall, the book reads pretty plainly, buoyed largely by the artwork. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35207-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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