THE BLUE GLASS HEART

A quiet and loving story that lingers.

A shard of glass connects a family through time and distance.

Sarah, a Jewish girl who lives in early 20th-century New York City, accidentally breaks her Bubbe’s glass bowl. She is lovingly forgiven and saves a heart-shaped piece of glass, which she takes with her to Coney Island the next day. Playing in the sand, Sarah loses the piece in the ocean; it travels the waves and currents to Florida and then Venezuela before washing ashore in Tel Aviv, Israel. Yael, playing on the beach, finds it and carries it with her to New York, her new home. It is an alien place to her except for Ruth, a girl who befriends her on the playground. Yael gifts Ruth the glass. When Ruth shows it to her mother, she hears a family story from generations ago about a broken bowl. Is this Sarah’s heart-shaped piece? McDonough has crafted a warm story of family love, intergenerational ties, and friendship. At the crux of it is that beautifully compelling found object. Colorful illustrations gently convey beach scenes and ocean expanses. Those looking for a tale of memories from generations past will find it here. Main characters are light-skinned.

A quiet and loving story that lingers. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9781728445526

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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

THERE'S A ROCK CONCERT IN MY BEDROOM

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads.

Emma deals with jitters before playing the guitar in the school talent show.

Pop musician Kevin Jonas and his wife, Danielle, put performance at the center of their picture-book debut. When Emma is intimidated by her very talented friends, the encouragement of her younger sister, Bella, and the support of her family help her to shine her own light. The story is straightforward and the moral familiar: Draw strength from your family and within to overcome your fears. Employing the performance-anxiety trope that’s been written many times over, the book plods along predictably—there’s nothing really new or surprising here. Dawson’s full-color digital illustrations center a White-presenting family along with Emma’s three friends of color: Jamila has tanned skin and wears a hijab; Wendy has dark brown skin and Afro puffs; and Luis has medium brown skin. Emma’s expressive eyes and face are the real draw of the artwork—from worry to embarrassment to joy, it’s clear what she’s feeling. A standout double-page spread depicts Emma’s talent show performance, with a rainbow swirl of music erupting from an amp and Emma rocking a glam outfit and electric guitar. Overall, the book reads pretty plainly, buoyed largely by the artwork. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35207-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

Close Quickview