Helpful reading practice where needed.

THE BEST FRIEND PLAN

From the Adventures of Allie and Amy series , Vol. 1

Best friends Allie and Amy have plans for their summer, but when they are nearly separated, they have to zoom through their summer to-do list.

It’s the first day of summer vacation, and Amy and Allie can’t wait to get started on their short list of “Things To Do This Summer.” But they’ve only completed one item when Allie’s parents tell her that she got a spot at Camp Merry Moose. At first she is excited, but when she calls Amy, Amy tells her she can’t go because then they’ll be separated. Allie tries to back out of camp, but her parents won’t hear of it. So she devises a plan to bind herself to Amy, which, predictably, doesn’t last long. The best friends decide they will have to rush through their list. Using the alarms on their watches, they speed through their fun in time for Allie to pack for camp. Their farewell is too quick to take seriously, but it turns out they don’t have to separate after all. The large, generously spaced typeset is broken up by half-page black-and-white illustrations, and a word list gives pronunciations and definitions of less-common words. The story is more fast than fun, and it sacrifices realism and emotional resonance for speed. Still, it serves its narrow purpose of bridging the gap between beginning readers and chapter books. Allie and her family are black, Amy and her family are white, and an annoying-boy secondary character has a Spanish surname.

Helpful reading practice where needed. (reading questions) (Fiction. 4-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5251-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Aladdin QUIX

Review Posted Online: Oct. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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