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

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A simple story enhanced by its funny, gently ironic illustrations.

MY GOOD MORNING

A little girl diligently gets ready for her day but leaves lots of messes in her wake.

The unnamed girl has light brown skin and dark brown curls similar to her dad’s, and her mom is white. The characters in the digital illustrations have big, exaggerated eyes. The child narrates the text matter-of-factly in simple rhyming sentences: “Time to go potty. I can do this! / Mommy is there to make sure I don’t miss.” Each double-page spread presents a slightly different, humorous visual interpretation of the situation, and it’s in this juxtaposition that the book shines. The cat’s in the hamper, underwear and socks are on the floor, and the pink toilet paper is trailing all over. The two parents seem a little overwhelmed. As they both try to get the girl into her clothes, one arm escapes, and the dad is really sweating from exertion. She insists on tying her laces and buttoning her coat, and the illustrations show the exuberant but incomplete results. As the girl grabs her backpack, her apple rolls out, and Mommy has to grab it. At school, she hangs her coat up, but somehow it lands on the floor (her scarf is also awry), and observant viewers will notice that her shoelace is still untied. In her diverse classroom, she proudly announces: “But this time Daddy, I won’t cry”—and now readers can believe her: there’s nary a tear in sight.

A simple story enhanced by its funny, gently ironic illustrations. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-60537-342-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A story that feels outdated despite its sturdy, timeless message.

PRINCESS CHARMING

A young princess struggles to find something she is good at.

Princess Charming finds it hard to be perfect—something, she says, everyone expects of her. She tries cooking, dancing, and singing but admits she’s hopeless at them, although she keeps trying. When glamorous movie star Stella Sparkle—illustrated with brown hair and light brown skin—visits the palace to determine if it is a good filming location for her next movie, the princess, a huge fan, is excited to meet her. But when the princess’s dog jumps on Stella and her earring goes missing, will the movie plan be put in jeopardy? It is at this tenuous juncture that Princess Charming finds out exactly what she is good at—a point that is made with some heavy-handedness. While the story includes many racially diverse secondary characters, the fact that the princess and the rest of the royal family are White suggests a power imbalance that undermines the book’s attempt at racial inclusiveness. Princess Charming’s jocular, self-deprecating narration is cute enough. The digital illustrations are lively and colorful, but they merely mirror the text instead of elevating the storyline. The final twist, a play on an old fairy tale, is pleasingly unexpected and solidifies the story’s message in a nuanced way. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A story that feels outdated despite its sturdy, timeless message. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-32678-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Flamingo Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more