Poppy’s paper is hard-won but worth the A it gets.

READ REVIEW

POPPY'S BEST PAPER

Following her decision to become a writer when she grows up, Poppy takes a significant step in the right direction—after a few false starts.

Poppy is blithely positive that the perfunctory career declaration she’s produced for a writing assignment will be selected for a class read-aloud. She is therefore deeply miffed when her methodical friend Lavender’s “Why I Want to Be a Brain Surgeon” is chosen instead. When, next time, Lavender’s “My Wish for World Peace” gets the nod over Poppy’s shallow, self-absorbed effort, her fury is so open that she lands a stint in the Chill-Out Chair. Third time’s the charm though, as for the assigned topic “How to Do Something,” a repentant Poppy tallies up her own rude behavior in a paper titled “How to Get in Trouble.” This ingenious apology not only earns applause from the class, but mends fences with Lavender too. Poppy, a flop-eared bunny, leads a cast of small, individualized animals drawn with an expressive delicacy reminiscent of Kevin Henkes’ figures. Also, along with sly notes like Poppy’s bright visions of future school visits and celebrity-autograph sessions, Bonnet depicts the writer-to-be in authentic throes of composition—breaking a pencil, throwing her notebook across the room, and weeping with frustration before finally buckling down. Take note, budding authors.

Poppy’s paper is hard-won but worth the A it gets. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58089-614-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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Questioneers fans will not be disappointed; new fans will find this outing a timely introduction to the series.

SOFIA VALDEZ AND THE VANISHING VOTE

From the Questioneers series

The Questioneers are back for a new early chapter book, this one featuring Sofia Valdez, of Sofia Valdez, Future Prez (2019) fame.

Sofia and her friends from Miss Greer’s second grade class are back for another adventure. This time around, an election to select the new class pet offers lots of what Miss Greer likes to call Learning Experiences. Young civic activist Sofia is put in charge of managing the election, which pits candidates backed by two of her best friends against one another. Meanwhile, her cousin Marisella grapples with a pet problem of her own. Between friends and family, the election pulls Sofia in all directions, and she realizes that overseeing a fair election that runs smoothly proves to be a real challenge. Fortunately, she has sage advice from Abuelo and help from the local library to guide her. The short chapters and ample illustrations make for an accessible and entertaining early chapter book, full of fun and, yes, learning experiences. Extensive backmatter includes information on the importance of a free press, the true historical events behind Abuelo’s stories, and more information on how the voting process in the United States works. Sofia and her family have brown skin and are of Mexican heritage; her friends are diverse; and Miss Greer presents White. Marisella uses a wheelchair.

Questioneers fans will not be disappointed; new fans will find this outing a timely introduction to the series. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4350-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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