FAROLITOS FOR ABUELO

PLB 0-7868-2186-8 Luz and her beloved grandfather (The Farolitos of Christmas, 1995), or abuelo, return in the somber family story set in New Mexico. The two of them enjoy working on Luz’s homework, planning a garden, and going fishing. One spring day while they are fishing, a young boy falls into the stream and Luz’s grandfather must jump in to rescue him. He saves the boy, but catches a chill, gets pneumonia, and dies. Luz mourns him, and at Christmas time asks if she can take farolitos (paper bags with lighted candles set inside) to the cemetery to place around his grave. It launches a new tradition, complete with Christmas carols, in a joyful remembering of the dead. The story, though not as lyrical as the original, is readable and appealing. Gonzales provides flat, rather stiff portraits of the people of Luz’s village that can render dramatic scenes—e.g., the rescue—frozen. In other paintings, however, the stillness adds a kind of haunting beauty, as in the scenes in the cemetery, where the blue ground is lit by the glowing farolitos. (glossary) (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7868-0237-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1999

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WAITING FOR BABY

One of a four-book series designed to help the very young prepare for new siblings, this title presents a toddler-and-mother pair (the latter heavily pregnant) as they read about new babies, sort hand-me-downs, buy new toys, visit the obstetrician and the sonographer, speculate and wait. Throughout, the child asks questions and makes exclamations with complete enthusiasm: “How big is the baby? What does it eat? I felt it move! Is it a boy or girl?” Fuller’s jolly pictures present a biracial family that thoroughly enjoys every moment together. It’s a bit oversimplified, but no one can complain about the positive message it conveys, appropriately, to its baby and toddler audience. The other titles in the New Baby series are My New Baby (ISBN: 978-1-84643-276-7), Look at Me! (ISBN: 978-1-84643-278-1) and You and Me (ISBN: 978-1-84643-277-4). (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84643-275-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

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DAVID GOES TO SCHOOL

The poster boy for relentless mischief-makers everywhere, first encountered in No, David! (1998), gives his weary mother a rest by going to school. Naturally, he’s tardy, and that’s but the first in a long string of offenses—“Sit down, David! Keep your hands to yourself! PAY ATTENTION!”—that culminates in an afterschool stint. Children will, of course, recognize every line of the text and every one of David’s moves, and although he doesn’t exhibit the larger- than-life quality that made him a tall-tale anti-hero in his first appearance, his round-headed, gap-toothed enthusiasm is still endearing. For all his disruptive behavior, he shows not a trace of malice, and it’ll be easy for readers to want to encourage his further exploits. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-48087-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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