A charming tale exploring themes of change, migration, and resilience told from a child’s point of view.

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MY FAVORITE MEMORIES

In this German import, a little girl comes to understand that even though she cannot bring all her favorite things with her when she moves, she can keep them in her heart.

One day, a little girl’s papa says to her, “We’ll fly in an airplane to another country and live in a new house there.” Mama gives her daughter a new suitcase to pack her “most favorite things.” As the little girl makes a mental list—an aquarium; the wooden chair her grandpa made for her; her school bus driver, who always “sang songs with them”; and especially her very best friend, who is “such a good listener”—she realizes she can’t bring any of them with her. Sadly, she walks down to the docks by the ocean, also one of her favorite things. Then, looking out to the open sea, she has a brilliant idea and everything falls into place. Sarihi’s simple, heartfelt story is equally matched by Völk’s unfussy yet evocative illustrations. Blending fantasy and reality, her delicate line drawings are sparsely filled and deliberately surrounded by white space—calling attention to details and opening room for the imagination. The protagonist and her family have white skin and black hair; some background characters appear to be people of color.

A charming tale exploring themes of change, migration, and resilience told from a child’s point of view. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7331212-4-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Blue Dot Kids Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference.

SOFIA VALDEZ, FUTURE PREZ

From the Questioneers series

Sofia Valdez proves that community organizers of any age can have a positive impact.

After a trash-heap eyesore causes an injury to her beloved abuelo, Sofia springs into action to bring big change to her neighborhood. The simple rhymes of the text follow Sofia on her journey from problem through ideas to action as she garners community support for an idyllic new park to replace the dangerous junk pile. When bureaucracy threatens to quash Sofia’s nascent plan, she digs deep and reflects that “being brave means doing the thing you must do, / though your heart cracks with fear. / Though you’re just in Grade Two.” Sofia’s courage yields big results and inspires those around her to lend a hand. Implied Latinx, Sofia and her abuelo have medium brown skin, and Sofia has straight brown hair (Abuelo is bald). Readers will recognize Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist from Beaty’s previous installments in the Questioneers series making cameo appearances in several scenes. While the story connects back to the title and her aptitude for the presidency in only the second-to-last sentence of the book, Sofia’s leadership and grit are themes throughout. Roberts’ signature illustration style lends a sense of whimsy; detailed drawings will have readers scouring each page for interesting minutiae.

Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3704-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

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Droll humor that’s sure to elicit guffaws.

PLEASE DON'T EAT ME

A bunny negotiates with a bear to avoid becoming lunch.

Burrowing along happily through the soil, a tiny white rabbit is stopped short by the beauty of a daisy. Unfortunately, a bear steps out from behind a tree at precisely the same moment. There’s no mistaking the bunny’s disappointment at the timing of the situation: “Aw, nuts.” The bear is hungry, so the quick-thinking rabbit proposes ordering a pizza. The pair share a pie, but before the bunny can leave, Bear muses, “It just doesn’t feel like a meal without dessert.” Will the bunny be dessert?! No. A chuckleworthy page turn reveals the two sharing a milkshake with giant twisty straws. Bear has many other ways of delaying the bunny’s departure until finally, the bunny loses patience: “Fine. That’s it! Just eat me already!” Flopped on a bed of greens, the bunny presents itself as a meal. But Bear has another option—perhaps they could be friends instead. The dumpy little rabbit mirrors Bear’s rotund frame; both state their arguments with deadpan precision. However, via tiny adjustments in body language, Climo masterfully includes a ton of expression behind the two protagonists’ tiny dotted eyes. Minimalist cartoon backgrounds keep the focus on the developing relationship.

Droll humor that’s sure to elicit guffaws. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-31525-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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