¡VAMOS! LET'S CROSS THE BRIDGE

From the World of ¡Vamos! series

Traffic threatens to thwart Little Lobo’s delivery.

Little Lobo and his friends make another appearance in Raúl the Third’s latest installment in the World of ¡Vamos! series. Like “thousands of people [who] cross from one side of the bridge to the other,” Little Lobo heads over from one country to the other, bound for “la gran celebración” with party supplies and a band made up of frogs and a snake who rattles a maraca. As the hours go by and the group waits for their turn to cross the bridge, “the day turns into night,” and the characters begin to lose their patience and get hungry. But there are food trucks in line too! Soon Little Lobo and his friends discover the smorgasbord of culinary options around them and that so long as you have good friends and good music, you can have a party anywhere. Like the other books in the series, this outing excels in its inclusion of cultural references in its illustrations: Cantinflas, El Chavo del Ocho’s barrel, tuna-fruit vendors, T-shirts displaying El Paso’s area code, and the Juárez X are only some of the details that Raúl the Third gets right about life and culture in the depicted area. Spanish vocabulary is intertwined throughout the text as well as appearing in both the occasional labels in the illustrations and the handy glossary at the end. The iconic illustration style is enhanced by Bay’s colors, which bring the vibrant spirit of the border to the page. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Totally fun and dynamic. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-38040-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Versify/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash.

JABARI JUMPS

Young Jabari decides today is the day he is going to jump from the diving board, even though it’s a little high and a little scary.

Jabari’s father and baby sister accompany him to the swimming pool in the city, where Jabari has already made up his mind about today’s goal: jumping off the diving board. “I’m a great jumper,” he says, “so I’m not scared at all.” But that’s not entirely true. Readers see Jabari play the waiting game as the other children (a diverse bunch) make their ways past him in line. Once Jabari finally begins to climb up, he slyly remembers that he forgot to “stretch.” The stalling techniques don’t faze his dad, who sees an opportunity for a life lesson. “It’s okay to feel a little scared,” offers his dad at the side of the pool. With renewed will, Jabari returns to the towering diving board, ready to embrace the feat. In her debut, Cornwall places her loving black family at the center, coloring the swimming pool and park beyond in minty hues and adding whimsy with digitally collaged newspaper for skyscrapers. A bird’s-eye view of Jabari’s toes clinging to the edge of the diving board as he looks way, way down at the blue pool below puts readers in his head and in the action.

This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7838-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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An early reader that kids will want to befriend.

NOT ME!

In an odd-couple pairing of Bear and Chipmunk, only one friend is truly happy to spend the day at the beach.

“Not me!” is poor Chipmunk’s lament each time Bear expresses the pleasure he takes in sunning, swimming, and other activities at the beach. While controlled, repetitive text makes the story accessible to new readers, slapstick humor characterizes the busy watercolor-and-ink illustrations and adds interest. Poor Chipmunk is pinched by a crab, buried in sand, and swept upside down into the water, to name just a few mishaps. Although other animal beachgoers seem to notice Chipmunk’s distress, Bear cheerily goes about his day and seems blithely ignorant of his friend’s misfortunes. The playful tone of the illustrations helps soften the dynamic so that it doesn’t seem as though Chipmunk is in grave danger or that Bear is cruel. As they leave at the end of the book Bear finally asks, “Why did you come?” and Chipmunk’s sweet response caps off the day with a warm sunset in the background.

An early reader that kids will want to befriend. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3546-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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