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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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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A girl and her sister start off rather glumly in the back seat of the car, leaving all their friends behind, because they are off to a family party. When they arrive, they are kissed by Aunt Joan—the worst—and then there is more kissing and a bunch of cousins just hanging around. But the kids start sharing war stories (hair cuts, lost teeth, split lips) and playing shark on the lawn; there are hideouts under Uncle John’s chair and potato-chip thievery; and then there is all that food beloved of family gatherings, for it is Gran’s birthday. At the end, of course, no one wants to go home. In sprightly rhyme, Reid captures the range of experience, from initial wariness to high hilarity, present at parties full of relatives. Her illustrations, done in painted Plasticine on board, have a wonderful texture, making a Hawaiian shirt, three-bean salad, and Mary Jane shoes pop out of the page. A treat. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-97801-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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