I WANT MY LIGHT ON!

From the Little Princess Stories series

This long-running British series (the first Little Princess book was published in 1986) has been adapted for television there. In this installment, her dad (in a jacket and tie, wearing his crown) has read her a story and is about to turn off the light when the Little Princess shouts, “I WANT MY LIGHT ON!”—with her entire face subsumed into one of those scarlet, tooth-edged mouths. She’s not afraid of the dark but of ghosts. Dad checks under the bed, and General, Admiral, Doctor and Maid assure her there are no ghosts. The Little Princess’s room is a bright yellow, but readers see glimpses of the castle’s arches and stone steps past her doorway—and then there is a little ghost behind her bedpost, with a skeleton toy the shape of Little Princess’s own stuffie. Ghost and Princess scare each other, and he dashes off to his mother, who, as she stirs her pot of frog, worm and spider stew, assures him that there are no such things as little girls.... The pictures are clear, bold and exaggerated to great humorous effect. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7613-6443-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Andersen Press USA

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

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Mixed-race children certainly deserve mirror books, but they also deserve excellent text and illustrations. This one misses...

BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL, STRONG LITTLE ME!

This tan-skinned, freckle-faced narrator extols her own virtues while describing the challenges of being of mixed race.

Protagonist Lilly appears on the cover, and her voluminous curly, twirly hair fills the image. Throughout the rhyming narrative, accompanied by cartoonish digital illustrations, Lilly brags on her dark skin (that isn’t very), “frizzy, wild” hair, eyebrows, intellect, and more. Her five friends present black, Asian, white (one blonde, one redheaded), and brown (this last uses a wheelchair). This array smacks of tokenism, since the protagonist focuses only on self-promotion, leaving no room for the friends’ character development. Lilly describes how hurtful racial microaggressions can be by recalling questions others ask her like “What are you?” She remains resilient and says that even though her skin and hair make her different, “the way that I look / Is not all I’m about.” But she spends so much time talking about her appearance that this may be hard for readers to believe. The rhyming verse that conveys her self-celebration is often clumsy and forced, resulting in a poorly written, plotless story for which the internal illustrations fall far short of the quality of the cover image.

Mixed-race children certainly deserve mirror books, but they also deserve excellent text and illustrations. This one misses the mark on both counts. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63233-170-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eifrig

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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THE LAST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Loewen’s story is a simple snapshot of kindergarten graduation day, and it stays true to form, with Yoshikawa’s artwork resembling photos that might be placed in an album—and the illustrations cheer, a mixed media of saturated color, remarkable depth and joyful expression. The author comfortably captures the hesitations of making the jump from kindergarten to first grade without making a fuss about it, and she makes the prospect something worth the effort. Trepidation aside, this is a reminder of how much fun kindergarten was: your own cubbyhole, the Halloween parade, losing a tooth, “the last time we’ll ever sit criss-cross applesauce together.” But there is also the fledgling’s pleasure at shucking off the past—swabbing the desks, tossing out the stubbiest crayons, taking the pictures off the wall—and surging into the future. Then there is graduation itself: donning the mortarboards, trooping into the auditorium—“Mr. Meyer starts playing a serious song on the piano. It makes me want to cry. It makes me want to march”—which will likely have a few adult readers feeling the same. (Picture book. 4-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5807-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2011

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