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Will set youngsters on the path to fostering self-acceptance and -forgiveness.

Instructions on cultivating mindfulness and meeting challenges.

“Sometimes things don’t go the way I want. I feel sad, and it is hard.” A brown-skinned soccer player who has obviously had a tough game soon remembers that everyone feels this way sometimes. The child puts their hand on their heart and says, “It’s OK—I love you. I’m with you today.” On another page, a Black-presenting child playing with a dog knocks over a plant and feels upset but is reminded that “everyone feels bad sometimes” and performs the same ritual. A light-skinned child throws a tantrum over the idea of cleaning their room, an Asian-presenting child feels left out when a new sibling is born, the child who knocked over the plant reappears and feels scared of the ocean…but they, and other diverse children, help themselves feel better by repeating the refrain mindfully. O’Leary’s text is fine as bibliotherapeutic mindfulness instruction, but it is Eide’s illustrations that save this offering from being too didactic by presenting concrete, recognizable situations. Children will readily identify with the scenarios depicted and will feel reassured by this lesson in self-love. Exercises to help kids develop self-kindness and an afterword by Christopher Germer, a lecturer on psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, round out the package. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Will set youngsters on the path to fostering self-acceptance and -forgiveness. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: March 28, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-64547-095-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bala Kids/Shambhala

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

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From the Find Momo series , Vol. 7

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute.

Readers bid farewell to a beloved canine character.

Momo is—or was—an adorable and very photogenic border collie owned by author Knapp. The many readers who loved him in the previous half-dozen books are in for a shock with this one. “Momo had died” is the stark reality—and there are no photographs of him here. Instead, Momo has been replaced by a flat cartoonish pastiche with strange, staring round white eyes, inserted into some of Knapp’s photography (which remains appealing, insofar as it can be discerned under the mixed media). Previous books contained few or no words. Unfortunately, virtuosity behind a lens does not guarantee mastery of verse. The art here is accompanied by words that sometimes rhyme but never find a workable or predictable rhythm (“We’d fetch and we’d catch, / we’d run and we’d jump. Every day we found new / games to play”). It’s a pity, because the subject—a pet’s death—is an important one to address with children. Of course, Momo isn’t gone; he can still be found “everywhere” in memories. But alas, he can be found here only in the crude depictions of the darling dog so well known from the earlier books.

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781683693864

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

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A sweet and endearing feathered migration.

A relationship between a Latina grandmother and her mixed-race granddaughter serves as the frame to depict the ruby-throated hummingbird migration pattern.

In Granny’s lap, a girl is encouraged to “keep still” as the intergenerational pair awaits the ruby-throated hummingbirds with bowls of water in their hands. But like the granddaughter, the tz’unun—“the word for hummingbird in several [Latin American] languages”—must soon fly north. Over the next several double-page spreads, readers follow the ruby-throated hummingbird’s migration pattern from Central America and Mexico through the United States all the way to Canada. Davies metaphorically reunites the granddaughter and grandmother when “a visitor from Granny’s garden” crosses paths with the girl in New York City. Ray provides delicately hashed lines in the illustrations that bring the hummingbirds’ erratic flight pattern to life as they travel north. The watercolor palette is injected with vibrancy by the addition of gold ink, mirroring the hummingbirds’ flashing feathers in the slants of light. The story is supplemented by notes on different pages with facts about the birds such as their nest size, diet, and flight schedule. In addition, a note about ruby-throated hummingbirds supplies readers with detailed information on how ornithologists study and keep track of these birds.

A sweet and endearing feathered migration. (bibliography, index) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0538-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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