There’s really only one reason to read this book: it’s a hoot.

101 REASONS WHY I'M NOT TAKING A BATH

A filth-encrusted gamin ticks off precisely why a trip to the tub is not on the list of priorities.

Sporting grimy skin and twiggy hair, a brown-haired, fair-skinned child decides to list the 101 reasons why bathing is not an appealing option. Starting with “I’m not dirty” and proceeding from there, the grubby kid plays every card in the deck. McAnulty manages to keep the action hopping in a narrative that really is just a very long list. There are the expected excuses (“Monsters live in the drain”), the unexpected (“I have a self-cleaning button like the oven”—that would be a bellybutton), and the downright clever (“Most household accidents happen in the bathroom. Scientific fact!”). When confronted with the kicker that only 88 reasons have been listed (a sly twist adults won’t see coming), the child responds with an additional 13 repetitions of “I don’t want to” (the title of the book isn’t 101 Unique Reasons Why I’m NOT Taking a Bath, after all). In the end bathtime is achieved, and the child has a sudden change of heart. Ang provides a peppy visual narrative to pair with the extensive monologue, though, alas, the art never quite reaches the levels of eclectic, original insanity the text leaves openings for.

There’s really only one reason to read this book: it’s a hoot. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-385-39189-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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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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