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READING, FINDING, HELPING

This passionate librarian may not possess any actual superpowers, though her limitless energy suggests otherwise. The unnamed professional gaily prowls her shelves to connect the right read with each of her young students. She balances a tower of books, prepares art projects and shelves materials without assistance. The fun of reading is the emphasis in this succinct selection, while research’s valuable role receives only a brief nod. There’s no conflict or nuance to be found in the upbeat story, but the positive message and its brief rhyming text remain unforced throughout. Short phrases merrily clip along, “books with pictures, books with none, / books about the moon and sun.” Smiling youngsters against cheery, solid backgrounds are all sunny smiles. Creative activities encourage classmates to participate; children march along in an exuberant parade with tomes from Harry Potter to Peter Rabbit. There’s a glimpse into the school’s physical space (the technology appears more prehistoric than cutting edge), but the focus is on the career and not the library’s location. While there's no denying the idealism beneath this book, it does shatter the unflattering stereotype haunting librarians (“Shh!”) and replaces it with one wonder of a woman. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5803-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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UMBRELLA

Momo longed to carry the blue umbrella and wear the bright red rubber boots she had been given on her third birthday. But day after day Indian summer continued. Momo tried to tell mother she needed to carry the umbrella to nursery school because the sunshine bothered her eyes. But Mother didn't let her use the umbrella then or when she said the wind bothered her. At last, though, rain fell on the city pavements and Momo carried her umbrella and wore her red boots to school. One feels the urgency of Momo's wish. The pictures are full of the city's moods and the child's joy in a rainy day.

Pub Date: March 1, 1958

ISBN: 978-0-14-050240-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Dec. 9, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1958

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