Even with adorable children playing with healthy food, choose another for teaching the new dietary guidelines.

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YUMMY!

GOOD FOOD MAKES ME STRONG!

A photo essay depicts children preparing and eating healthy food.

With the release of revised dietary guidelines in 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture also replaced the food pyramid with an initiative called MyPlate. This title aims to teach children to make healthy food choices based on these guidelines. Kids pour their own milk, make their own shakes and crack eggs all by themselves. (Depicting solo use of blenders and knives, however, may cause concern for some.) With bold background colors, staged photographs of youngsters in every shape and skin tone cover the pages in a simple layout. The diversity of faces is the book’s strongest point. The text, however, cannot decide if the audience is children or their adults. Captions repeatedly exclaim, “Good food makes me strong!” while each sidebar provides a tip for caregivers. “Buy pastas that are high in protein, legumes, and multigrains.” Contradictorily, the photo shows both wheat and white pasta, while other pages clearly show white flour and rice choices. The endnote contains information on the five food groups, along with the link to the new MyPlate initiative.

Even with adorable children playing with healthy food, choose another for teaching the new dietary guidelines. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2426-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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This deeply satisfying story offers what all children crave when letting go—security and a trusted companion.

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SLEEP LIKE A TIGER

The stages and script preceding this child’s passage into dreamland are so appealing they will surely inspire imitation.

When the protagonist announces that she is not sleepy, her wise parents counter that they are not requiring sleep, only pajama-wearing, face-washing and teeth-brushing. She then feels so good that “she loved / …stretching her toes / down under the crisp sheets, / lying as still as an otter / floating in a stream.” Logue’s words lull and caress as parents and child converse about how and where animals sleep. (Many appeared on earlier pages as toys.) Alone, the youngster replays each scene, inserting herself; the cozy images help her relax. Zagarenski’s exquisite compositions are rendered digitally and in mixed-media on wood, offering much to ponder. The paintings are luminous, from the child’s starry pajamas to the glowing whale supporting her sleep journey. Transparent layers, blending patterns, complex textures and wheeled objects add to the sense of gentle movement. The tiger, both the beloved cloth version and the real deal, is featured prominently; it is the child who contributes this example, narrating the connection between strength and rest. When sleep arrives, the stuffed animal is cradled in her arms; she leans against the jungle beast, and he clings to her doll.

This deeply satisfying story offers what all children crave when letting go—security and a trusted companion. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-64102-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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When Llama Llama’s feeling “just not right” turns into a full-blown sickness complete with aches, sneezing, fever and sore...

LLAMA LLAMA HOME WITH MAMA

From the Llama Llama series , Vol. 5

Proving once again that she understands the preschool set, Dewdney shows what life is like when first Llama Llama and then Mama get sick.

When Llama Llama’s feeling “just not right” turns into a full-blown sickness complete with aches, sneezing, fever and sore throat, Mama sends him back to bed (wearing red pajamas, of course) and administers the inevitable yucky medicine. The listless boy struggles to occupy himself, but Mama saves the day with a book, after which he takes a curative snooze. But after lunch the tables turn—Llama Llama is feeling better, but Mama now has the sniffles: “Llama Llama, red pajama, / sick and bored, at home with Mama.” Luckily, he’s still in that delightful preschool stage where helping out is a favorite playtime activity, and he has learned how to care for sick people from a master. A fluffed pillow, new box of tissues and stack of books are just what Mama needs. While his actions are sweet and endearing, it’s the togetherness that sets both on the road to recovery. Dewdney’s artwork is the ideal foil to her rhyming verses—her characters’ bleary, sick expressions alone are sure to elicit giggles and knowing smiles.

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-01232-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

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