A strong choice for foodies and all curious children.

TYLER MAKES PANCAKES!

Do pancakes come from a box?

Food Network star Florence has penned a children’s ode to the know-where-your-food-comes-from movement. A story told completely in dialogue, it begins with little Tyler waking from a dream in which he is the captain of a pancake spaceship. With full-on determination, he sets out on his mission to make pancakes, accompanied by his equally inquisitive dog, Tofu. Tyler’s first stop is Mr. Jones’ market for groceries. For each ingredient, the kind and patient grocer transports young Tyler out of the market and back to the farm, where chickens provide the eggs, cows provide the buttermilk and the wheat grows in flat places like Kansas. Florence brings home the message that the best food has the best (or least processed) ingredients. Without the word “organic” appearing once, the cooking-from-scratch message is loud and clear. Capturing the spirit of curiosity is Frazier’s department. The renowned graphic designer has created Tyler as a stick figure with a big round head and a pink nose. Even with a limited palette of mostly blues and ochers, wonder, humor and clarity shine from the pages. The childlike perspective featuring enormous stacks of pancakes and tiny, distant adult faces invites readers into Tyler’s real and imagined worlds.

A strong choice for foodies and all curious children. (recipe, informational page) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-204752-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

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Good fun for all little ninjas and their parents.

NAUGHTY NINJA TAKES A BATH

After swinging out from the jungle after a long day of ninja-ing, Will makes his way home just in time for a bath. But as all ninjas know, danger lurks around every corner.

Even naughty ninjas get hungry, but Dad says, “Pee-yew,” and insists his little ninja get clean before going near a morsel. Ever the Naughty Ninja, Will follows his dad into the bathroom and immediately spies danger: Poisonous flies that have followed him from the jungle! As any parent would, his dad begs him not to say, “Ninja to the rescue,” because we all know what comes after a catchphrase…chaos! Through each increasingly rough rescue, Dad finds himself more and more defeated in his quest to complete bathtime, but ultimately he starts to find the infectious joy that only the ridiculousness of children can bring out in an adult. The art is bright and finds some nifty ninja perspectives that use the space well. It also places an interracial family at its center: Dad has brown skin and dark, puffy hair, and Mom is a white redhead; when out of his ninja cowl, Will looks like a slightly lighter-skinned version of his father. Kids will laugh at everything the dad is put through, and parents will knowingly nod, because we have all had nights with little ninjas soaking the bathroom floor. The book starts out a little text heavy but finds its groove quickly, reading smoothly going forward. Lots of action means it’s best not to save this one for bedtime.

Good fun for all little ninjas and their parents. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9433-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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A warm and necessary message of empowerment for black children, helping them see that raising their hands is a celebration...

HANDS UP!

This picture book offers a different take on a black body raising “hands up.”

Vibrant, colorfully textured illustrations show different displays of black children raising hands, such as playing peekaboo, getting dressed, and other mundane activities. The book follows one little girl as she puts her hands up to do chores, to reach for books on a high shelf at the library, and even to assume the fifth position in ballet class. She holds up her bun as her grandmother does her hair, throws her arms up “in praise and worship,” and hoists a trophy after a victorious basketball game. Riding her bike with her hands up results in a fall, but there is a caring adult there to pick her back up. McDaniel sends a positive and affirming message that normalizes for black children the gesture of raising their hands, redeeming it from the very negative, haunting images of black people raising their hands while being confronted by police. The book closes with a bold illustration of children of all colors raising their hands and holding signs such as “Water = Life,” “Spread Love,” and “Black Lives Matter.” Evans employs a pastel palette that amplifies McDaniel’s sunny message. Outlines are done in purple, blue, brown—there are no literally black marks in this book.

A warm and necessary message of empowerment for black children, helping them see that raising their hands is a celebration of their humanity. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55231-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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