Families looking for ways to converse about safety practices may find this a useful resource.

LITTLE RED CONQUERS HER FEAR OF STORMS

Oldham and Schaller (Little Red Conquers Her Fear of Flying, 2014) bring their heroine back to promote storm safety in their second picture book.

Little Red is a 9-year-old with plenty of spunk but a fear of storms. When the family dog, McDogall, hides under a table, Red and her brother Ian are spurred to action and start looking for supplies, such as flashlights. When a thunderclap interrupts their search, they run to their mother, pictured washing dishes. (Neither Red nor the authors point out that dishwashing, showering, and other chores that use water should wait until after a storm.) The mother, “as calm as a sunny summer day,” reminds the kids of safety tips that they received from a meteorologist at school. Red realizes that when she feels prepared, she no longer feels scared. Young readers will identify with Red and admire her bravery; Mom’s calm, and the well-lit, uncredited illustrations (with minimal storm imagery), should comfort readers with similar fears. The bright color choices for Red’s hair and clothing are particularly appealing. At the end, storm safety tips from “Our Meteorologist” offer a starting point for home preparations; a glossary covers science terms, including a few that aren’t mentioned in the story itself.

Families looking for ways to converse about safety practices may find this a useful resource.

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4808-5756-8

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Archway Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2018

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GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

With the same delightfully irreverent spirit that he brought to his retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" (1987), Marshall enlivens another favorite. Although completely retold with his usual pungent wit and contemporary touches ("I don't mind if I do," says Goldilocks, as she tries out porridge, chair, and bed), Marshall retains the stories well-loved pattern, including Goldilocks escaping through the window (whereupon Baby Bear inquires, "Who was that little girl?"). The illustrations are fraught with delicious humor and detail: books that are stacked everywhere around the rather cluttered house, including some used in lieu of a missing leg for Papa Bear's chair; comically exaggerated beds—much too high at the head and the foot; and Baby Bear's wonderfully messy room, which certainly brings the story into the 20th century. Like its predecessor, perfect for several uses, from picture-book hour to beginning reading.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0140563660

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1988

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Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children.

THE NIGHT IS YOURS

On hot summer nights, Amani’s parents permit her to go outside and play in the apartment courtyard, where the breeze is cool and her friends are waiting.

The children jump rope to the sounds of music as it floats through a neighbor’s window, gaze at stars in the night sky, and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. It is in the moonlight that Amani and her friends are themselves found by the moon, and it illumines the many shades of their skin, which vary from light tan to deep brown. In a world where darkness often evokes ideas of evil or fear, this book is a celebration of things that are dark and beautiful—like a child’s dark skin and the night in which she plays. The lines “Show everyone else how to embrace the night like you. Teach them how to be a night-owning girl like you” are as much an appeal for her to love and appreciate her dark skin as they are the exhortation for Amani to enjoy the night. There is a sense of security that flows throughout this book. The courtyard is safe and homelike. The moon, like an additional parent, seems to be watching the children from the sky. The charming full-bleed illustrations, done in washes of mostly deep blues and greens, make this a wonderful bedtime story.

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55271-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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