Never underestimate the power of good, especially when it’s wrapped up in as sweet a package as Ginny Louise.

GINNY LOUISE AND THE SCHOOL SHOWDOWN

A classroom’s three terrors don’t know what’s hit them when new student Ginny Louise arrives in town.

Cap’n Catastrophe, Destructo Dude, and Make-My-Day May are a teacher’s worst nightmare. Their naughtiness knows no bounds, and their classmates suffer the consequences—hysterically illustrated by Munsinger, who plays up the humor by putting the anthropomorphized animal trio in costumes and depicting the types of things that would make teachers run screaming from the school (and just may give readers some ideas of their own). Supersweet and cheery Ginny Louise does not improve their moods: “Yer sweetness makes me seasick!” growls Cap’n Catastrophe. May’s threat is always a curt “Yer gonna pay,” but Ginny Louise, who only hears what she wants, hears “stay” and “play” instead of “pay,” declaring May her best friend ever. When May’s finally had enough, she challenges Ginny to a showdown. Ginny’s hoedown fiddle tune sings the praises of her new best friend, and just like that, the three change their ways. No matter whether Ginny Louise truly mishears May or is just putting her on, Sauer may just be onto something in the struggle against bullying.

Never underestimate the power of good, especially when it’s wrapped up in as sweet a package as Ginny Louise. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4231-6853-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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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 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Making friends isn’t always this easy and convenient.

BUDDY'S NEW BUDDY

From the Growing With Buddy series , Vol. 3

How do you make a new friend when an old one moves away?

Buddy (from Sorry, Grown-Ups, You Can’t Go to School, 2019, etc.) is feeling lonely. His best friend just moved across town. To make matters worse, there is a field trip coming up, and Buddy needs a bus partner. His sister, Lady, has some helpful advice for making a new pal: “You just need to find something you have in common.” Buddy loves the game Robo Chargers and karate. Surely there is someone else who does, too! Unfortunately, there isn’t. However, when a new student arrives (one day later) and asks everyone to call her Sunny instead of Alison, Buddy gets excited. No one uses his given name, either; they just call him Buddy. He secretly whispers his “real, official name” to Sunny at lunch—an indication that a true friendship is being formed. The rest of the story plods merrily along, all pieces falling exactly into place (she even likes Robo Chargers!), accompanied by Bowers’ digital art, a mix of spot art and full-bleed illustrations. Friendship-building can be an emotionally charged event in a child’s life—young readers will certainly see themselves in Buddy’s plight—but, alas, there is not much storytelling magic to be found. Buddy and his family are White, Sunny and Mr. Teacher are Black, and Buddy’s other classmates are racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Making friends isn’t always this easy and convenient. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-30709-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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