Following on Library Day (2016), this is a lovely addition to the creators’ series on first experiences.

ZOO DAY

From the My First Experience series

A little boy visits the zoo for the first time and is enthralled by all its wonders.

Joined by his parents and sister, Lucy, the boy relates each part of the day, from buying tickets to studying the zoo map and the slightly alarming animal sounds he hears in the near distance. But as they wind their way through the park, visiting the Jungle House to see the monkeys, the Gorilla Forest, the African Plain and its elephants, the lions inside the Grasslands building, the Reptile House, and polar bears and sea lions, the new experience of seeing the animals and their behaviors up close fascinates this youngster. The initial trepidation the boy felt at the beginning of his day gives way to sheer delight in the Bird House, where the birds fly freely and a parrot lands on his shoulder for a sip of nectar. A picnic lunch and a couple of balloons for souvenirs complete the perfect Saturday outing for this brown-skinned family of four. Detailed watercolors rendered in soft hues fluently complement the boy’s first-person narrative and give readers a firsthand view of the zoo’s residents.

Following on Library Day (2016), this is a lovely addition to the creators’ series on first experiences. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-2734-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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Just the thing to get uncertain youngsters jazzed for a first day—at school or anywhere.

THE QUEEN OF KINDERGARTEN

Barnes and Brantley-Newton team up for a follow-up to The King of Kindergarten (2019).

From the very first page, it’s clear that young MJ Malone is ready to face the world—and school. Once Mom bestows her with a glittery tiara and dubs her the queen of kindergarten, MJ is determined to fulfill her duties—brighten up every room she enters, treat others with kindness, and offer a helping hand. Barnes infuses each page with humor and a sense of grace as the immensely likable MJ makes the most of her first day. Barnes’ prose is entertaining and heartwarming, while Brantley-Newton’s vivid and playful artwork will be easily recognizable for anyone who’s seen her work (Grandma’s Purse, 2018; Becoming Vanessa, 2021). The illustrator adds verve to the bold young heroine’s character—from the colorful barrettes to the textured appearance of her adorable denim jumper, the girl has style and substance. MJ Malone embodies the can-do spirit every parent hopes to spark in their own children, though even shy kindergarteners will gladly find a friend in her. MJ and her family are Black; her classroom is diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Just the thing to get uncertain youngsters jazzed for a first day—at school or anywhere. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 24, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-11142-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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