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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This earnest Latino first-grader who overcomes obstacles and solves mysteries is a winning character

PEDRO, FIRST-GRADE HERO

From the Pedro series , Vol. 1

The creators of the Katie Woo series turn their focus to a peripheral character, first-grader Pedro—Katie’s friend and schoolmate.

Four short chapters—“Pedro Goes Buggy,” “Pedro’s Big Goal,” “Pedro’s Mystery Club,” and “Pedro For President”—highlight a Latino main character surrounded by a superbly diverse cast. At times unsure of himself, Pedro is extremely likable, for he wants to do his best and is a fair friend. He consistently comes out on top, even when his younger brother releases all the bugs he’s captured for a class assignment or when self-assured bully Roddy tries to unite opposition to Pedro’s female opponent (Katie Woo) in the race for first-grade class president. Using a third-person, past-tense narrative voice, Manushkin expands her repertoire by adding a hero comparable to EllRay Jakes. What is refreshing about the book is that for the most part, aside from Roddy’s gender-based bullying, the book overcomes boy-girl stereotypes: girls and boys play soccer, boys and girls run for president, girls and boys hunt for bugs, all setting a progressive standard for chapter books. With mixed-media illustrations featuring colorful bugs, soccer action, a mystery hunt, and a presidential campaign, Lyon’s attention to detail in color and facial expressions complements the story nicely.

This earnest Latino first-grader who overcomes obstacles and solves mysteries is a winning character . (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5158-0112-2

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Picture Window Books

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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