For readers who are going places.

FOLLOW THAT MAP!

From the Confetti Kids series

Sometimes getting there is half the fun!

Pablo and his friends Henry, Lily, Mei, and Padma (the kids present as Latinx, white, black, Asian, and South Asian, respectively) decide to go to Coney Island as a fun way to end the summer. Pablo’s dad, who, like his son, has brown skin, agrees to accompany the children. “But how do we get there?” asks Lily. Pablo suggests that they use maps, and then he excitedly plots out their journey: First they will walk to the bus stop; then they will take a bus to the subway; then they will arrive at Coney Island. A true cartophile, Pablo experiences a moment of worry that his friends won’t “think it [is] fun to follow a map,” but his map-reading expertise ends up helping the children be patient as they traverse the city. The best map of all is the one that shows all of the fun rides on Coney Island. An activity suggestion in the backmatter prompts readers to make maps of their own neighborhoods, potentially extending this title’s use beyond its accessibility and support of emergent-literacy skills and into the realm of map-reading, too. As in her other work in this series, Ng-Benitez’s warm, engaging illustrations help define the individual, diverse characters while creating a sense of vibrancy and excitement in the urban setting.

For readers who are going places. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 18, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62014-569-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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Doubles down on a basic math concept with a bit of character development.

DOUBLE PUPPY TROUBLE

From the McKellar Math series

A child who insists on having MORE of everything gets MORE than she can handle.

Demanding young Moxie Jo is delighted to discover that pushing the button on a stick she finds in the yard doubles anything she points to. Unfortunately, when she points to her puppy, Max, the button gets stuck—and in no time one dog has become two, then four, then eight, then….Readers familiar with the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” or Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona will know how this is going to go, and Masse obliges by filling up succeeding scenes with burgeoning hordes of cute yellow puppies enthusiastically making a shambles of the house. McKellar puts an arithmetical spin on the crisis—“The number of pups exponentially grew: / They each multiplied times a factor of 2!” When clumsy little brother Clark inadvertently intervenes, Moxie Jo is left wiser about her real needs (mostly). An appended section uses lemons to show how exponential doubling quickly leads to really big numbers. Stuart J. Murphy’s Double the Ducks (illustrated by Valeria Petrone, 2002) in the MathStart series explores doubling from a broader perspective and includes more backmatter to encourage further study, but this outing adds some messaging: Moxie Jo’s change of perspective may give children with sharing issues food for thought. She and her family are White; her friends are racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Doubles down on a basic math concept with a bit of character development. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-101-93386-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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Accessible, reassuring and hopeful.

THE INVISIBLE BOY

This endearing picture book about a timid boy who longs to belong has an agenda but delivers its message with great sensitivity.

Brian wants to join in but is overlooked, even ostracized, by his classmates. Readers first see him alone on the front endpapers, drawing in chalk on the ground. The school scenarios are uncomfortably familiar: High-maintenance children get the teacher’s attention; team captains choose kickball players by popularity and athletic ability; chatter about birthday parties indicates they are not inclusive events. Tender illustrations rendered in glowing hues capture Brian’s isolation deftly; compared to the others and his surroundings, he appears in black and white. What saves Brian is his creativity. As he draws, Brian imagines amazing stories, including a poignant one about a superhero with the power to make friends. When a new boy takes some ribbing, it is Brian who leaves an illustrated note to make him feel better. The boy does not forget this gesture. It only takes one person noticing Brian for the others to see his talents have value; that he has something to contribute. Brian’s colors pop. In the closing endpapers, Brian’s classmates are spread around him on the ground, “wearing” his chalk-drawn wings and capes. Use this to start a discussion: The author includes suggested questions and recommended reading lists for adults and children.

Accessible, reassuring and hopeful. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-582-46450-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

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