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A lighthearted biographical good-night tale for the very young.

“Time to go to bed, Ted! / Head to the tub. / Come down from that tree now / and get a good scrub.”

In this rhyming good-night book, future president Theodore Roosevelt is only a boy—and he simply won’t go to sleep. Young listeners will recognize themselves at bedtime as the energetic, retro-styled illustrations and playful rhymes trace Ted’s progress toward bed (or lack thereof). In her entreaties, his mother gently admonishes her active son by calling attention to the very attributes he will someday be known for, including his love of nature and the great outdoors, scouting, sailing, safaris, bears—and snoring. Maybe one day he’ll even find a way to help take care of the mountains he loves. (An innovative note in the backmatter draws the connections and explains the historical references.) Youngsters will be interested to see how much they may have in common with the future president as they giggle over his antics and then settle down for the night, perhaps dreaming of someday becoming president themselves. Though the meter is occasionally a bit forced, overall, this is an effective and entertaining introduction to biographies in general and Teddy Roosevelt in particular, as well as a very pleasant invitation to sleep. Ted and his mom, the only characters, present White.

A lighthearted biographical good-night tale for the very young. (Picture book/biography. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-951836-24-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cameron + Company

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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Share this with young readers as a series of homilies on dreams and a family love strong enough to overcome any adversity.

Frederick Douglass’ mother imparts 12 lessons, one for each mile she walks on her clandestine nighttime visits to him.

The author has taken as her inspiration the line from Douglass’ writings in which he remembers his mother teaching him that he was “somebody’s child.” Douglass was in fact separated from his mother as an infant and rarely saw her. She died when he was 7. In this story, she walks the 12 miles from plantation to plantation and shares with him what each means. The first mile is for forgetting about being tired, and the following miles are for praying, giving thanks to God, singing, smiling, hoping to live together as a family, dreaming about freedom and loving her son, among others. In this, her debut effort, Armand focuses on the positive aspects of maternal devotion and a mother’s dreams of greatness for her son. The full-page watercolor paintings capture the nighttime setting and depict a loving mother and child with no overt signs of the horrors of slavery. Unfortunately, the text is sometimes difficult to read on the dark background.

Share this with young readers as a series of homilies on dreams and a family love strong enough to overcome any adversity. (afterword) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-60060-245-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Overall, merely adequate.

The grass has been greener on the other side for millennia—just ask our prehistoric friend Dave.

Dave lives in a cave decorated with realistic wall paintings, there’s green grass outside, and his woodland friends—a bird and a squirrel—enjoy spending time at his prehistoric bachelor pad. Yet even with all of his comforts, Dave is worried that he may be missing out on a bigger and better cave. It’s this fear that drives Dave out to find a better home and leads readers to question if the grass really is greener on the other side. While readers ponder the existential gravitas of this inquiry, they’ll follow Dave as he travels from caves that are too small, too big, etc. Unsurprisingly, the cave that Dave ultimately ends up in is very familiar. The message of the book is strong, but the writing weakens the point through irregular cavemanspeak that includes words such as “quite” and “cozy” but misses basic verbs. Adults reading the book aloud will quickly tire of the narrative style. The digitally created illustrations are done in the collage style but lack the energy and whimsy of the medium. Dave’s pale skin tone and mop of green hair are roughly styled in The Flintstones school, but he is far more inscrutable than Fred or Barney ever were; his facial expressions do not easily reflect the emotional responses of his situations.

Overall, merely adequate. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9628-3

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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