This humorous struggle for self-control also models apology and restitution.

I REALLY WANT THE CAKE

A child and a dog fight a losing battle to resist a tempting—but forbidden—chocolate cake.

Each step in this hilarious struggle is narrated by the child in a three-line rhyme that culminates in an increasingly emotional refrain (in fun type to match) as the battle for self-control escalates. “I think I want the cake” leads to “You must not eat the cake” and “I must… / … forget the cake” until “I’m going BACK for cake.” Undone, the child licks the cake, then takes a bite—and then dog and child annihilate the cake. “I know I’ve not been very wise. / And what I’ve done I can’t disguise. / I might have to apologize… / …because I ate the cake.” To make amends, the child, who’s never baked, decides to replace the cake. “It’s EASY making cake!” until things go wrong. Eggs smash on the table, batter splatters, and a predictable mess engulfs the kitchen, child, and dog. Despite stress and mess, the child is at last able to say, “but hey, I’ve made you cake!” And it’s a delightfully decorated cake at that. Multipanel spreads with exuberantly scribbly cartoon illustrations keep the action moving, and close-ups of the pale-skinned, black-haired child’s face capture the emotional turmoil that ensues. 

This humorous struggle for self-control also models apology and restitution. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-58941-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children.

THE NIGHT IS YOURS

On hot summer nights, Amani’s parents permit her to go outside and play in the apartment courtyard, where the breeze is cool and her friends are waiting.

The children jump rope to the sounds of music as it floats through a neighbor’s window, gaze at stars in the night sky, and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. It is in the moonlight that Amani and her friends are themselves found by the moon, and it illumines the many shades of their skin, which vary from light tan to deep brown. In a world where darkness often evokes ideas of evil or fear, this book is a celebration of things that are dark and beautiful—like a child’s dark skin and the night in which she plays. The lines “Show everyone else how to embrace the night like you. Teach them how to be a night-owning girl like you” are as much an appeal for her to love and appreciate her dark skin as they are the exhortation for Amani to enjoy the night. There is a sense of security that flows throughout this book. The courtyard is safe and homelike. The moon, like an additional parent, seems to be watching the children from the sky. The charming full-bleed illustrations, done in washes of mostly deep blues and greens, make this a wonderful bedtime story.

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55271-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more