Pleasant pictures for pretend-play fanatics; a sweet story for siblings.

READ REVIEW

NURSE CLEMENTINE

Clementine receives a first-aid kit (complete with otoscope, tongue depressor and reflex hammer!) as a birthday present and assumes a new identity: Nurse Clementine.

Minor injuries and ailments (her dad’s stubbed toe and her mom’s headache) require thorough examinations and generous application of bandages. Pen, ink and watercolor illustrations appear on roomy white pages that flatter James’ gestural black lines and palette of muted terra cottas, sandy yellows, and subdued blues and greens. Multiple scenes surface on double-page spreads, floating cheerily in a placid white ocean. Eyes move easily between these islands of image and the well-placed (and -spaced) text, making this read fast and loose—a lot like the nimble artwork. Clementine’s quick exchanges with little brother Tommy, shown scattered across the page, work particularly well as visual banter. Tommy has no use for Nurse Clementine, but he quickly calls for his big sister when he gets stuck in a tree. Brothers and sisters will appreciate authentic family friction (Tommy’s “Leave me alone!”) and the kindness exchanged after Clementine’s rescue mission and Tommy's scrape (“You can bandage it if you like”).

Pleasant pictures for pretend-play fanatics; a sweet story for siblings. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6382-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

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A visual feast for families interested in seeing the Native world through small, kind deeds.

WHEN WE ARE KIND

Distinctive illustrations amplify a pointed moral lesson in this Native picture book for kids.

An intergenerational Native family sits in a drum circle on the cover, suggesting the importance of cooperation and community that’s elucidated in the pages that follow. What does it mean to be kind to your family, your elders, your environment, and yourself? In simple, repetitive language, Smith (who is of mixed Cree, Lakota, and Scottish heritage) explores how our behaving with generosity toward others makes us feel happy in return. By helping with laundry, walking the family dog, sharing with friends, and taking food to our elders, we learn that the gift of kindness involves giving and receiving. The first half of the book is constructed entirely on the phrase “I am kind when,” while the second half uses “I feel.” Strung together, the simple statements have the resonance of affirmations and establish a clear chain of connectedness, but there is no story arc in the conventional sense. What the book lacks in plot, it makes up for with its illustrations. Drawing on her mother’s Diné traditions, Neidhardt prominently features Navajo hair buns, moccasins, and baskets; a panoply of Indigenous characters—including one child who uses a wheelchair—is featured in rich detail. A French edition, translated by Rachel Martinez, publishes simultaneously.

A visual feast for families interested in seeing the Native world through small, kind deeds. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4598-2522-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Helpful for the right child-adult pair or group.

THE BIG BOOK ABOUT BEING BIG

A multiracial cast of children demonstrates that “BIG is being the / BIGGEST YOU / that you can be.”

An Asian child rides a two-wheeler, a younger black child rides a bike with training wheels, and a white preschooler rides a tricycle as the book’s central question is introduced: “Are you BIG yet? / When, exactly, does BIG happen?” People who say that big is “measured / by years, or / weight, or inches” are “wrong.” The text continues, “BIG is BIGGER than that.” Big is being “bright” and “kind” and “an active citizen.” Big is being “a friend to the Earth” and “a friend to yourself.” And how will you know when you’ve become big? You’ll feel “a pride inside, / a feeling of goodness… / in your heart.” Scenes show the three children spending time with family, helping elders, teaching friends, growing a garden, and outgrowing training wheels. The final spread asks, “How many little ways can you think of to be… / BIG?” Fennell’s collage illustrations use a wide range of colors and patterns for a fun, if busy, effect. A lengthy, slightly redundant endnote lists things readers can do to “Choose to Be Big!” What this purposive conversation starter lacks in artistry it may make up for in utility. This is worth a try when redirecting children’s focus from things and abilities to relationships and character is the goal.

Helpful for the right child-adult pair or group. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-9684-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Pickle Press

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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