Teresita's anticipation will ring true to any kid who's been saddled with an evening birthday party.

READ REVIEW

A SURPRISE FOR TERESITA / UNA SORPRESA PARA TERESITA

A young girl celebrating her birthday waits for a gift from her uncle, absorbing the sights and sounds of her city neighborhood.

Teresita wakes up to her seventh birthday knowing that a surprise is coming: a gift from Tío Ramón, who sells piraguas (snow cones) on the street. As the day goes on with no sign of him, her impatience grows, even as she recognizes her own growing maturity. So she goes outside, jumps rope, and plays, while the lively world outside her home continues. Mothers visit the bodega; children ride bikes and play stickball; grown-ups watch the neighborhood from their windows. Eventually Tío Ramón comes, giving Teresita not her usual special iced treat but a tiny black kitten, which the girl names Piragua. With painted illustrations that in near-photorealistic detail convey the emotions and activities of the many people around Teresita, the bilingual story is a simple slice of life that gets at the way so much can happen in half a day, even if the time seems to be dragging. It also conveys Teresita's awareness that she is becoming a "big girl," a more grown-up person with more responsibilities and a wider view of the world. Baeza Ventura’s Spanish translation appears beneath Sánchez-Korrol’s English text on every double-page spread.

Teresita's anticipation will ring true to any kid who's been saddled with an evening birthday party. (Bilingual picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-55885-831-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Piñata Books/Arté Público

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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Only for dedicated fans of the series.

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER

From the How to Catch… series

When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

“I spot my monster right away. / He’s practicing his ROAR. / He almost scares me half to death, / but I won’t be scared anymore!” The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a “bag of tricks” to try to catch the monster: in it are a giant wind-up shark, two cans of silly string, and an elaborate cage-and-robot trap. This last works, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends. The monster greets the boy in the usual monster way: he “rips a massive FART!!” that smells like strawberries and lime, and then they go to the monster’s house to meet his parents and play. The final two spreads show the duo getting ready for bed, which is a rather anticlimactic end to what has otherwise been a rambunctious tale. Elkerton’s bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin. Wallace’s limping verses are uninspired at best, and the scansion and meter are frequently off.

Only for dedicated fans of the series. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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An earnest, emotionally honest effort with lovely illustrations complementing a sweet if sentimental message.

LOVE, SANTA

A girl named Lucy writes letters to Santa each Christmas as she comes to understand who Santa really is.

The story opens when Lucy is 5, as she prints her letter to Santa, tongue sticking out with the effort. The letter is shown in the accompanying illustration, and a facsimile letter is included in a fancy, gold envelope glued into the book. Lucy’s letters from the next two Christmases are included in similar, attached envelopes, along with two letters in red envelopes that Santa leaves in response. When Lucy is 8, she writes a note to her mom asking if she is Santa, on Christmas morning receiving a letter in one of Santa’s red envelopes but written by Lucy’s mom. This letter is long and sentimental, explaining that “parents” give the actual presents, but the spirit of Santa is real. Charming watercolor illustrations show Lucy’s development. One picture of Santa looking on in dismay as Lucy writes a doubtful letter (“Why does your handwriting look like my mom’s?”) introduces ambiguity about what’s real and what isn’t. (Lucy is also shown riding her bike without a helmet.) Lucy, her parents, and Santa are white; background figures are racially diverse. The admission of parental involvement in Santa’s gift deliveries may make it unsuitable in households with little ones who still believe in Santa’s magic.

An earnest, emotionally honest effort with lovely illustrations complementing a sweet if sentimental message. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-70030-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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