The characters’ energy explodes from this endearing tribute to sibling interactions and affection.

READ REVIEW

WHEN MY BROTHER GETS HOME

What’s better than a big brother? A big brother who asks, “So what do you want to do?”!

A ponytailed little sister impatiently searches for any sign of the school bus. Propped against a tree, she anticipates the death-defying exploits she and her brother will embark upon—after feeding their loyal subjects. Will they ford the mighty Amazon, or will they find themselves locked in a fierce struggle against a snarling alligator? As the feisty sprite conjures up a round-the-world trip on their very own jumbo jet, the school bus is turning the corner…“MY BROTHER’S HOME!” Lichtenheld’s sibling lovefest launches right from the clever endpapers. The bus route is plotted in black dashes from the school to the tree—broken up halfway home by the story itself. As the refrain, “When my brother gets home,” is repeated, a childlike crayon drawing clues readers in to the bus’s progress. Each repetition is followed up by thought bubbles depicting their very next adventure—maybe it will be a daredevil plunge into a raging waterfall! From the striped, marmalade cat to the scruffy, up-for-anything dog, everyone is supercharged and ready to go—not a screen to be had on any of the pages. Both kids have brown skin and black hair, and their imaginations make their ordinary suburb quite extraordinary.

The characters’ energy explodes from this endearing tribute to sibling interactions and affection. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-328-49805-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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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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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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