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

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/Arte Público

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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Essential—the energetic narrative and uplifting illustrations will inspire and empower young readers to get out the vote.

VOTE FOR OUR FUTURE!

The children of fictional Stanton Elementary School educate themselves and their community about the vote in this picture book.

With its illustrations of simple shapes in bright colors imbuing a sense of positive action and a diverse cast of characters, this picture book rocks—and that’s even before the narrative takes hold. When Stanton’s students learn that their school becomes a polling station every two years, they want to be part of it—but learn they can’t vote until they are 18. Undeterred, they take action. The kids do their research and then engage their community to encourage those of voting age to go to the polls. They go door to door with voter-guide pamphlets, they hold a bake sale (with clever reminders like “Donut forget to vote”), and remind their families to vote. Each child-empowering scenario is paired with an adult’s excuse (“I’ll be away”; “I’m not even registered”; “I can’t walk so far”), and with each comment, the kids have an answer that draws on their research: “You can vote by mail”; “It’s not hard to register”; “A volunteer can drive you!” These kids mean business; it’s their future after all. Children and adults depicted represent a range of skin colors, hair textures, and gender presentations; one girl and her aunt wear hijab. Backmatter includes a quick listing of kid-relevant federal legislation.

Essential—the energetic narrative and uplifting illustrations will inspire and empower young readers to get out the vote. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9280-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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Hooray, hooray for this par-tay.

FOX & RABBIT CELEBRATE

From the Fox & Rabbit series , Vol. 3

Five more stories featuring buddy pair Fox and Rabbit.

Following the formula of its predecessors, this third installment of the Fox & Rabbit series focuses on Sparrow’s “super-trooper special” birthday. A slightly unrelated opening story introduces a variety of animal characters as Fox—proudly adopting the moniker “Fix-it Fox”—goes around trying to solve everyone’s “enormous problems.” In the next story, Fox and Rabbit scheme to make the “biggest, roundest, yummiest pizza in the world.” They pilfer ingredients from Sparrow’s garden (a nod to the first book) and ask Mouse for mozzarella. Subsequent stories—each contained in a chapter—involve a pizza-cooking dragon, the “really awesome” party, and a birthday wish that finally comes true. Dudás’ full-color cartoon illustrations complement Ferry’s chipper tone and punny dialogue for an upbeat woodland romp. Even the turtle, who always comically arrives at the end of the chapter and misses most of the action, gets to enjoy the party. Another standout scene, in which Fox assumes Dragon doesn’t speak their language and speaks “Dragonian” unprompted, gently addresses microaggressions. Though all dialogue is clearly linked to each speaker, some scenes with lots of back and forth within a single panel gear this to comics readers with a bit of experience. Still, the eight-panel–per-page max and short chapters keep the text accessible and pace quick.

Hooray, hooray for this par-tay. (Graphic early reader. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5183-7

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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