STANDING ON MY OWN TWO FEET

A CHILD’S AFFIRMATION OF LOVE IN THE MIDST OF DIVORCE

A simple, clearly worded text about divorce for the youngest children, this will help parents hammer home the twin messages that it is not the child’s fault and that the child is loved very much by each parent, no matter what happens. Blond-haired, blue-eyed Addison narrates his own tale, showing a map of his town and the two houses he lives in. He matter-of-factly explains his situation, telling readers that he sometimes misses the parent he is not with, but that he is safe with each of them: “Even when we are apart, we can look out our windows...and enjoy the same moon.” While not particularly artful, Schmitz’s brightly colored, realistic illustrations portray real people with real emotions. While readers never see Mom and Dad in friendly communication with each other, they are both present at Addison’s activities, supporting him and patently acknowledging their love for him. Meeting a real need, this is an excellent choice for the preschool set. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8431-3221-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2008

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A forgettable tale.

THE LITTLEST REINDEER

Dot, the smallest reindeer at the North Pole, is too little to fly with the reindeer team on Christmas Eve, but she helps Santa in a different, unexpected way.

Dot is distressed because she can’t jump and fly like the other, bigger reindeer. Her family members encourage her and help her practice her skills, and her mother tells her, “There’s always next year.” Dot’s elf friend, Oliver, encourages her and spends time playing with her, doing things that Dot can do well, such as building a snowman and chasing their friend Yeti (who looks like a fuzzy, white gumdrop). On Christmas Eve, Santa and the reindeer team take off with their overloaded sleigh. Only Dot notices one small present that’s fallen in the snow, and she successfully leaps into the departing sleigh with the gift. This climactic flying leap into the sleigh is not adequately illustrated, as Dot is shown just starting to leap and then already in the sleigh. A saccharine conclusion notes that being little can sometimes be great and that “having a friend by your side makes anything possible.” The story is pleasant but predictable, with an improbably easy solution to Dot’s problem. Illustrations in a muted palette are similarly pleasant but predictable, with a greeting-card flavor that lacks originality. The elf characters include boys, girls, and adults; all the elves and Santa and Mrs. Claus are white.

A forgettable tale. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-338-15738-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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LOLA LOVES STORIES

From the Lola & Leo series

Lola’s daddy takes her to the library every Saturday, where she finds “excellent books,” and every night her mommy or daddy reads them to her. The next day Lola acts out the story. On Sunday she’s a fairy princess; on Monday she takes her toy animals “on fantastic trips to places like Paris”; on Wednesday she’s a tiger, etc. Each new book and day provides Lola with a variety of tales to play out, with the last one—which is about a wild monster—posing the question, “What will Lola be tomorrow?” The final page shows her in a wolf suit just like Max’s. The library books, the pretending and the incorporation of the days of the week work together as a simple and pleasing premise. Beardshaw’s acrylic illustrations depict the multicultural kids and Lola’s black family with childlike charm, while the title will have librarians, parents and booksellers smiling. Alert: The book will be an invitation for lap kids to follow Lola’s lead—not such a bad thing. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-58089-258-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2010

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