Gives appreciative preschoolers lots to cheer for.

READ REVIEW

CHEER

A BOOK TO CELEBRATE COMMUNITY

Get ready for audience participation when you read this story out loud.

This enthusiastic tribute to multigenerational family members and community helpers is an ideal preschool-storytime choice to spark discussion, appreciation, and, yes, cheers, especially for local or national recognition observances such as Grandparents’ Day, First Responders’ Day, and even National Authors’ Day. Cartoon illustrations in eye-catching colors depict an inclusive community via a mix of vignettes and single- and double-page spreads. Broadly, often lopsidedly smiling children and adults with a range of skin tones and hairstyles populate most pages. The primary cheerleader appears biracial, with a medium brown skin tone and pigtail puffs and interracial (black and white) parents. Readers are encouraged to “Cheer for the grannies… / the abuelas…the nanas! // Cheer for the dads. / They all act bananas.” (Aurora is not above the convenient, fundamentally meaningless rhyme.) The granny, who is black, is shown in a wheelchair, and several children and adults wear glasses. More than the usual community helpers are included, such as sanitation workers, sales clerks, janitors, and teammates. With short, simply worded rhyming couplets spread over two to four pages, there is plenty of room for rousing cheers and discussion about the important people in a young child’s life.

Gives appreciative preschoolers lots to cheer for. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4867-1808-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flowerpot Press

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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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