The slapstick illustrations and the chatty narrative are sure to appeal to transitioning readers and to children who both...

LULU IS GETTING A SISTER

(WHO WANTS HER? WHO NEEDS HER?)

Spoiled Lulu is writhing in the throes of a titanic tantrum.

Readers familiar with little Lulu and this droll early chapter book series won’t be surprised by her wails at all, but the catalyst of this particular fit might stop them in their tracks: a baby sister! Children facing such a seismic family change will immediately understand her fears and frustrations. “Why in the world would they need another child? And why would they want a girl, when they’ve already GOT a girl, namely Lulu, who totally had this girl-in-the-family thing covered?” While understanding (or even believing) Lulu’s extraordinarily rude, smug behavior remains challenging throughout the short, flip chapters of this book, empathizing with her quite-common worries about a new sibling is easy. Her parents’ decision to send her to Camp Sisterhood, a sleep-away camp that prepares girls to act as kind, loving older siblings by pairing them with little-kid stand-ins, doesn’t seem such a bad idea. As it did in Lulu’s Mysterious Mission (2014), Cornell’s artwork quite aptly captures Lulu’s ugly antics and their effects on her audience. Funny grimaces, saucer eyes, furrowed brows, and frowns abound; Lulu and her family seem to be white, while the campers are a diverse group.

The slapstick illustrations and the chatty narrative are sure to appeal to transitioning readers and to children who both love and endure a sibling. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7190-9

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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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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A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their...

RUBY FINDS A WORRY

From the Big Bright Feelings series

Ruby is an adventurous and happy child until the day she discovers a Worry.

Ruby barely sees the Worry—depicted as a blob of yellow with a frowny unibrow—at first, but as it hovers, the more she notices it and the larger it grows. The longer Ruby is affected by this Worry, the fewer colors appear on the page. Though she tries not to pay attention to the Worry, which no one else can see, ignoring it prevents her from enjoying the things that she once loved. Her constant anxiety about the Worry causes the bright yellow blob to crowd Ruby’s everyday life, which by this point is nearly all washes of gray and white. But at the playground, Ruby sees a boy sitting on a bench with a growing sky-blue Worry of his own. When she invites the boy to talk, his Worry begins to shrink—and when Ruby talks about her own Worry, it also grows smaller. By the book’s conclusion, Ruby learns to control her Worry by talking about what worries her, a priceless lesson for any child—or adult—conveyed in a beautifully child-friendly manner. Ruby presents black, with hair in cornrows and two big afro-puff pigtails, while the boy has pale skin and spiky black hair.

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their feelings (. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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