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From the Olive Oh series

Olive carries this chapter-book series opener with plenty of spunk and heart.

This young artist is in desperate need of inspiration.

Olive Oh is the youngest in her family. She is bubbly and a bit messy, and she overflows with creativity, which she believes comes from her lucky red beret made by her grandmother. Her days are eventful as she brainstorms innovative strategies to share with her older brother, sister, mother, and grandmother. (Her father passed away when she was a baby.) When her teacher announces a schoolwide art show, Olive is excited at her chance to prove she’s a real artist. However, her lack of ideas, even with the help of her red beret, for the theme “Portraits” grows concerning, especially when her supposedly nonartistic best friend, Marcus Wong, comes up with one before her. As the rest of her peers move forward with their own submissions, Olive starts to question her inspirations and artistic abilities. Eventually some introspection helps her find clarity. Illustrator Bartel provides bold black-and-white cartoons with pops of color that are interspersed throughout the text. Kim touches on themes of identity and family—hers is Korean American, while Marcus’ is Chinese American—while writing characters with plenty of spark and embedding cultural terms within her evenly paced narrative. Readers will be amused as those around Olive are unwittingly drawn into her well-meaning messes. Sequel Olive Oh Saves Saturday publishes simultaneously.

Olive carries this chapter-book series opener with plenty of spunk and heart. (discussion questions) (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-63163-567-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Jolly Fish Press

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists.

How to raise money for a coveted poster: put your friends to work!

John, founder of the FUBU fashion line and a Shark Tank venture capitalist, offers a self-referential blueprint for financial success. Having only half of the $10 he needs for a Minka J poster, Daymond forks over $1 to buy a plain T-shirt, paints a picture of the pop star on it, sells it for $5, and uses all of his cash to buy nine more shirts. Then he recruits three friends to decorate them with his design and help sell them for an unspecified amount (from a conveniently free and empty street-fair booth) until they’re gone. The enterprising entrepreneur reimburses himself for the shirts and splits the remaining proceeds, which leaves him with enough for that poster as well as a “brand-new business book,” while his friends express other fiscal strategies: saving their share, spending it all on new art supplies, or donating part and buying a (math) book with the rest. (In a closing summation, the author also suggests investing in stocks, bonds, or cryptocurrency.) Though Miles cranks up the visual energy in her sparsely detailed illustrations by incorporating bright colors and lots of greenbacks, the actual advice feels a bit vague. Daymond is Black; most of the cast are people of color. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-56727-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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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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