From the I Like To Read Comics series

Charming evidence that compromise and inventiveness can produce the best day yet!

In their sophomore outing, supportive bird buddies recognize their differences and devise workarounds that satisfy both of them.

“Playtime” sees Owl wanting to play catch with a beach ball while Penguin holds a racquet, ready for tennis. Short sentences in sans-serif panel captions set out the dilemma: “They cannot agree.” “They play alone.” “Playing alone is no fun.” Light bulbs indicate their simultaneous ideas: They play catch, then bat the beach ball with racquets, then play tennis—and engage in some acrobatics. “Best day ever!” In “Fish,” Penguin wants Owl to see the colorful fish underwater. “But Owl cannot swim.” Penguin tries to submerge Owl in a glass bowl—but “Owl is scared.” So Penguin fills the sphere with fish and holds it up to Owl. While Owl loves the film they watch on “Movie Night,” Penguin is terrified. But they find something to agree on: “Best popcorn ever!” When Owl plays the ukelele, Penguin pushes for Owl to take part in a talent show. On stage, Owl panics until Penguin cheers and Owl relaxes and wins. Finally, Owl finds a creative way to help Penguin fly a kite. Inside simplified outlines, Penguin is pale blue, Owl brown, both with appealing googly-eye faces. The friendship lessons are sound but never heavy-handed. The multiple-frame graphics on every page get the plot across; in fact, the visuals render the text almost superfluous.

Charming evidence that compromise and inventiveness can produce the best day yet! (Graphic early reader. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 6, 2023

ISBN: 9780823451517

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2023


Charming and thought-provoking proof that we all contain multitudes.

Oscar winner McConaughey offers intriguing life observations.

The series of pithy, wry comments, each starting with the phrase “Just because,” makes clear that each of us is a mass of contradictions: “Just because we’re friends, / doesn’t mean you can’t burn me. / Just because I’m stubborn, / doesn’t mean that you can’t turn me.” Witty, digitally rendered vignettes portray youngsters diverse in terms of race and ability (occasionally with pets looking on) dealing with everything from friendship drama to a nerve-wracking footrace. “Just because I’m dirty, / doesn’t mean I can’t get clean” is paired with an image of a youngster taking a bath while another character (possibly an older sibling) sits nearby, smiling. “Just because you’re nice, / doesn’t mean you can’t get mean” depicts the older one berating the younger one for tracking mud into the house. The artwork effectively brings to life the succinct, rhyming text and will help readers make sense of it. Perhaps, after studying the illustrations and gaining further insight into the comments, kids will reread and reflect upon them further. The final page unites the characters from earlier pages with a reassuring message for readers: “Just because the sun has set, / doesn’t mean it will not rise. / Because every day is a gift, / each one a new surprise. BELIEVE IT.” As a follow-up, readers should be encouraged to make their own suggestions to complete the titular phrase. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Charming and thought-provoking proof that we all contain multitudes. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023

ISBN: 9780593622032

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2023


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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