A book of warmhearted mix-ups, good for learning types of transportation and emotions.

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I REALLY WANT TO SEE YOU, GRANDMA

Yumi and Grandma leave their separate houses to see each other at the same time, but they keep missing each other in this book first published in Japan in 1979 but only now being published in the United States.

Yumi decides she wants to visit Grandma at the same time Grandma decides to go see Yumi. They both leave their respective homes happy. While Yumi takes a bus alone, Grandma takes a train. When they arrive at their destinations, they realize their mix-up and head back to their homes. Yumi gets a ride in a truck with an adult and a cow, while Grandma takes a taxi. After missing each other again, Yumi takes a scooter and Grandma rides a motorcycle. They finally spot each other and decide to meet under a big tree. Gomi’s illustrations tell many details the text does not, placing Yumi’s home in a suburb and Grandma’s in a mountainous countryside. The simple backgrounds, painted in tans and browns, allow the characters (both brown-skinned) and modes of transportation to stand out on the page. The faces are simple, done in Gomi’s trademark style, but the emotions are conveyed clearly and add to both humor and meaning. American readers may be taken aback when they realize that Yumi travels alone on the bus, in a truck with an unidentified adult, and on her scooter, an independence that may be less remarkable in the author/illustrator’s Japanese culture.

A book of warmhearted mix-ups, good for learning types of transportation and emotions. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4521-6158-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force.

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LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET

A young boy yearns for what he doesn’t have, but his nana teaches him to find beauty in what he has and can give, as well as in the city where they live.

CJ doesn’t want to wait in the rain or take the bus or go places after church. But through Nana’s playful imagination and gentle leadership, he begins to see each moment as an opportunity: Trees drink raindrops from straws; the bus breathes fire; and each person has a story to tell. On the bus, Nana inspires an impromptu concert, and CJ’s lifted into a daydream of colors and light, moon and magic. Later, when walking past broken streetlamps on the way to the soup kitchen, CJ notices a rainbow and thinks of his nana’s special gift to see “beautiful where he never even thought to look.” Through de la Peña’s brilliant text, readers can hear, feel and taste the city: its grit and beauty, its quiet moments of connectedness. Robinson’s exceptional artwork works with it to ensure that readers will fully understand CJ’s journey toward appreciation of the vibrant, fascinating fabric of the city. Loosely defined patterns and gestures offer an immediate and raw quality to the Sasek-like illustrations. Painted in a warm palette, this diverse urban neighborhood is imbued with interest and possibility.

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-25774-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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