Imaginative play at its most fun.

READ REVIEW

IMAGINE THAT!

A young boy learns to expand his sense of wonder.

When Elliot leaves to go to school one rainy morning, he’s surprised to see his new neighbor, an irrepressibly cheerful girl, skipping and jumping behind him. When Elliot questions what she is doing, she patiently explains, “I’m trying to avoid these portal puddles, of course. And you should, too. You never know where you might end up.” She spins a fantastical yarn about how she was transported to Capt. Blackbeard’s ship the last time she stepped in one. The next day, she spies the pebble Elliot is kicking and declares it must be a shrunken space ship, filled with tiny ET’s. Elliot rolls his eyes, but he can’t help thinking about those space travelers throughout the day. As the week goes on, Ruby’s tales grow, and so does Elliot’s curiosity. Mundane objects like a piece of newspaper, a fallen branch, and a stinky garbage can unleash wild, inventive stories—with Elliot finally joining in. Wavy-edged pictorial thought balloons depict the imagined adventures while real life occurs in full-bleed images with generous white space. Sanchez cleverly portrays Ruby and Elliot with large, off-kilter heads and expressive eyes, which makes one speculate about the many stories filled to the brim inside. Diversity is only found in the background; both protagonists present white, though Elliot is a smidge darker than Ruby.

Imaginative play at its most fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-192-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Gently encourages empathy, compassion, and consideration.

TOMORROW I'LL BE KIND

How will you behave tomorrow?

Utilizing the same format and concept of her popular Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave (2018), Hische presents young listeners with short, studied rhymes that describe various positive attributes (being helpful, patient, gentle, honest, generous, graceful, and kind). Also included are kid-friendly ways to incorporate these behaviors into daily life, with the underlying goal of making the world a better place. The illustrations, which feature friends in the forms of a mouse, cat, and rabbit, are colorful and appealing, and they extend the text by showing some additional ways of realizing the characteristics mentioned. Overall, the intentions are aboveboard, but this is a volume intended to teach about positive values and behavior, and as such, it comes across as somewhat treacly and proselytizing. The key words, incorporated into the illustrations in a graphic manner, are sometimes a bit difficult to read, and occasionally, select vocabulary and phrases (“to myself I will be true”; “my heart, my guiding light”) seem better suited for an older readership. Still, as an introduction to personality characteristics, beneficial behaviors, and social-emotional skills, this is a solid choice, and fans of the previous volume are likely to embrace this one as well. “I’ll dream of all the good that comes / when we all just do our best,” the text explains—a sentiment that’s hard to rebut.

Gently encourages empathy, compassion, and consideration. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5247-8704-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A nice sentiment marred somewhat by its forced verse.

A BOOK OF LOVE

A how-to book of love.

Valentine’s Day brings a new crop of books each year about love, including at least one that attempts to define and exemplify love. This is that book for 2020. “We often show our love with touch, / like a great big hug or kiss. / But there are lots of ways to show you care, / and ideas not to miss.” These include being patient, listening to someone who’s having a tough day, gifts, kind deeds (like washing the dishes), “forgiving and forgetting,” sharing with siblings, standing up for people, and looking past faults. In some cases, the pictures may not aid much in comprehension, especially with the younger audience the rhymes are meant to appeal to: “To offer a gentle word or two, / and consider how others feel, / are both examples of selfless acts / that prove your love is real” (one child cheers on a frightened soloist at a recital—does that really illustrate selflessness?). The meter is sometimes off, and in a few cases it’s clear words were chosen for rhyme rather than meaning. Bright illustrations fill the pages with adorable children readers can trace throughout the book. The final two spreads are the strongest: One depicts a robustly diverse crowd of people all holding hands and smiling; the other is a starry spread over a neighborhood full of homes, hearts spangling the sky.

A nice sentiment marred somewhat by its forced verse. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9331-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more