A broadly appealing bilingual and bicultural celebration of being oneself and the love of family.

MARISOL MCDONALD AND THE CLASH BASH/MARISOL MCDONALD Y LA FIESTA SIN IGUAL

The confident, exuberant, bicultural-and-proud Marisol McDonald is back in this follow-up to Brown’s introduction to the character, Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/Marisol McDonald no combina (2011).

Marisol struggles to pick a theme for her upcoming eighth birthday party. How can she choose among princesses and unicorns and soccer when she loves them all? As her mom gently reminds her, maybe she doesn’t have to! What Marisol really hopes for her birthday is to see her abuela, who lives in Peru and with whom she rarely visits. The story’s contemporary solution to this problem will resonate with many families who are living across great distances. The “unique, different and one-of-a-kind” Marisol McDonald continues to stand out as a character. She is self-assured and caring, without straying into didacticism. Her bicultural identity is a point of pride that imbues her personality. Pura Belpré Honor recipient Palacios’ mixed-media illustrations once again visually express Marisol’s originality. Bits of cut paper add unexpected texture, and the warm tones convey the closeness in Marisol’s family. Domínguez’s Spanish translation is also noteworthy; its emphasis on capturing the spirit of the language over literal words makes this book equally joyful in both English and Spanish.

A broadly appealing bilingual and bicultural celebration of being oneself and the love of family. (author’s note, bilingual glossary) (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-89239-273-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2013

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The message is worthy, but this phoned-in follow-up doesn’t add anything significant.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE SCHOOLS

From the My Purple World series

A color-themed vision of what school should be like.

In what amounts to a rehash of The World Needs More Purple People (2020), Bell and Hart address adult as well as young readers to explain what “curious and kind you” can do to make school, or for that matter the universe, a better place. Again culminating in the vague but familiar “JUST. BE. YOU!” the program remains much the same—including asking questions both “universe-sized” (“Could you make a burrito larger than a garbage truck?”) and “smaller, people-sized” (i.e., personal), working hard to learn and make things, offering praise and encouragement, speaking up and out, laughing together, and listening to others. In the illustrations, light-skinned, blond-haired narrator Penny poses amid a busy, open-mouthed, diverse cast that includes a child wearing a hijab and one who uses a wheelchair. Wiseman opts to show fewer grown-ups here, but the children are the same as in the earlier book, and a scene showing two figures blowing chocolate milk out of their noses essentially recycles a visual joke from the previous outing. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

The message is worthy, but this phoned-in follow-up doesn’t add anything significant. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 21, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-43490-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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