GONE CAMPING

A NOVEL IN VERSE

An uplifting tale showing what fun may be had when one summons the courage to head into the woods and off the grid.

A much-anticipated family camping trip goes slightly awry.

In a follow-up to Gone Fishing (2013), Wissinger and Cordell again present a playful, delightfully illustrated verse narrative for primary graders centered on a family outing for white siblings Sam and Lucy. Where the previous book was largely told by Sam, as he fretted over his little sister’s hijacking of the fishing trip he’d envisioned alone with their father, here many of the poems reveal Lucy’s thoughts, giving equal time to her hopes and fears associated with their upcoming adventure in the woods. Everything is set for the family’s camping trip until Dad wakes up with a cold so fierce both he and Mom are forced to stay home. Though absent-minded Grandpa, who “putters” and “rarely goes outdoors,” steps in to salvage the trip, Lucy and Sam can hardly contain their disappointment. With his signature scribbly sketches, Cordell hilariously nails the change of mood from unbridled excitement, as Sam and Lucy race to surprise their parents with breakfast in bed, to Sam glowering as he eats his cereal and Lucy flat-on-her-back disconsolate on the floor, dropping cornflakes into her mouth at arm’s length with operatic affect, thinking: “This must be a trick. / Dad is never ever sick. / … / Say it isn’t true. / We won’t go camping without you two.” But the three venture off to the forest as Wissinger again takes occasion to explore myriad lyric poetic forms, explained in several pages of backmatter.

An uplifting tale showing what fun may be had when one summons the courage to head into the woods and off the grid. (bibliography) (Verse novel. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-63873-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

J.D. AND THE FAMILY BUSINESS

From the J.D. the Kid Barber series , Vol. 2

A strong second outing for Dillard and J.D.

Breakout kid barber J.D. embraces a summer of opportunity.

Readers met J.D. Jones just as he took his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi, by storm, winning himself community acclaim and a chair at the revered Hart and Sons barbershop in series opener J.D. and the Great Barber Battle(2021). What’s next for the haircut prodigy? School’s just getting out, and there’s so much life happening outside—if only one can escape home learning with the grandparents. J.D.’s sister, Vanessa, brings along multitalented mutual friend Jessyka to share an ambitious challenge: “Let’s start a YouTube channel!” Can they get millions of views and wow the whole world? They are already amazing at haircuts and hairstyles—all they need is to learn how to make a great YouTube video. The story models strategies for scripting short videos reflecting the templates of viral YouTube hair tutorials, inviting readers to not only see the journey of the characters, but maybe also practice these skills at home. This book is bound to educate all about some of the most storied and cherished traditions within the Black community. Bringing in Vanessa is a great touch to extend the series across gender, and hopefully she’ll get a chance to lead her own adventures. This book blends skill-building, entrepreneurship, and strong family values to give young Black children visions of what’s possible when they follow their passions and embrace their community.

A strong second outing for Dillard and J.D. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-11155-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Kokila

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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RAFI AND ROSI MUSIC!

From the Rafi and Rosi series

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape.

The fourth installment in Delacre’s early-reader series centers on the rich musical traditions of Puerto Rico, once again featuring sibling tree frogs Rafi and Rosi Coquí.

Readers learn along with Rafi and Rosi as they explore bomba, plena, and salsa in three chapters. A glossary at the beginning sets readers up well to understand the Spanish vocabulary, including accurate phoneticization for non-Spanish speakers. The stories focus on Rafi and Rosi’s relationship within a musical context. For example, in one chapter Rafi finds out that he attracts a larger audience playing his homemade güiro with Rosi’s help even though he initially excluded her: “Big brothers only.” Even when he makes mistakes, as the older brother, Rafi consoles Rosi when she is embarrassed or angry at him. In each instance, their shared joy for music and dance ultimately shines through any upsets—a valuable reflection of unity. Informational backmatter and author’s sources are extensive. Undoubtedly these will help teachers, librarians, and parents to develop Puerto Rican cultural programs, curriculum, or home activities to extend young readers’ learning. The inclusion of instructions to make one’s own homemade güiro is a thoughtful addition. The Spanish translation, also by Delacre and published simultaneously, will require a more advanced reader than the English one to recognize and comprehend contractions (“pa’bajo-pa-pa’rriba”) and relatively sophisticated vocabulary.

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape. (Early reader. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-89239-429-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Children's Book Press

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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