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MILO'S MONSTER

From the Big Bright Feelings series

Sure to help young readers recognize—and reconcile with—their own green-eyed monsters.

Milo grapples with jealousy when a newcomer arrives.

Milo and his best friend, Jay, live next door to each other and are inseparable. But when Suzi moves in across the street, everything changes. Jay and Suzi are always laughing (loudly) together or playing, and Milo feels left out. The “squirmy feeling” inside him suddenly grows into a monster. Not only “a green-eyed monster,” but a bright green spiky splotch that radiates frustration with vectors and stars shooting out. The monster sticks with Milo, validating his anxieties (“IT’S NOT FAIR!” “Jay is YOUR friend, not Suzi’s!”) and encouraging irrational thoughts (“the monster hissed that they were having more fun without him”). Milo’s eyebrows furrow, and his hands clench; he’s the picture of anger and dejection. All of the color drains from his surroundings, the green of the monster popping against the gray setting. Luckily, Suzi breaks the monster’s hold by asking questions, highlighting the importance of communication. Percival’s over-the-top visuals will resonate with young readers, many of whom have likely been in Milo’s shoes and will appreciate seeing someone else conquer their green-eyed monster. Coping methods for when friendships feel a bit “wobbly” are appended in a letter from the author. Milo has slightly tanned skin, while Jay is brown-skinned, and Suzi is pale-skinned with bright red hair. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sure to help young readers recognize—and reconcile with—their own green-eyed monsters. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-5476-1097-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

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ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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RUBY FINDS A WORRY

From the Big Bright Feelings series

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their...

Ruby is an adventurous and happy child until the day she discovers a Worry.

Ruby barely sees the Worry—depicted as a blob of yellow with a frowny unibrow—at first, but as it hovers, the more she notices it and the larger it grows. The longer Ruby is affected by this Worry, the fewer colors appear on the page. Though she tries not to pay attention to the Worry, which no one else can see, ignoring it prevents her from enjoying the things that she once loved. Her constant anxiety about the Worry causes the bright yellow blob to crowd Ruby’s everyday life, which by this point is nearly all washes of gray and white. But at the playground, Ruby sees a boy sitting on a bench with a growing sky-blue Worry of his own. When she invites the boy to talk, his Worry begins to shrink—and when Ruby talks about her own Worry, it also grows smaller. By the book’s conclusion, Ruby learns to control her Worry by talking about what worries her, a priceless lesson for any child—or adult—conveyed in a beautifully child-friendly manner. Ruby presents black, with hair in cornrows and two big afro-puff pigtails, while the boy has pale skin and spiky black hair.

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their feelings (. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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