A must-have picture book that educates while it thoroughly entertains.

TO CARNIVAL!

A CELEBRATION IN SAINT LUCIA

A festive Creole story that will encourage readers to dance, sing, and celebrate Carnival.

Melba’s excitement for Carnival makes it hard for her to sleep the night before. On her way to the festival, she encounters Misyé Francois, who plays steel pan drums and sings a song about a “crazy mannikou.” Melba stops to listen a little too long and misses her bus, and both a mannikou (readers unfamiliar with St. Lucian Creole will recognize this as an opossum from the illustrations) and the drummer follow her to Carnival, as does everyone else she encounters along the way, both human and animal. When Melba nears town, she sees a crowd of brown-skinned St. Lucians dressed in costumes and bright, patterned clothes. Glatt’s stylized illustrations portray most characters with reddish-brown skin, long noses, and rosy cheeks; she paints the tropics in deep greens and bright yellows and the cityscape in an array of bright colors. Melba and friends miss the parade but make their own, delighting bystanders. The backmatter bridges cultural gaps by explaining what Creole is, defining the culturally specific language, and explaining where St. Lucia is and what Carnival celebrates, both historically and now. The author’s note reveals St. Lucian writer Paul’s motivation for creating the book, and Glatt’s illustrator’s note explains her Brazilian experience of Carnival. Glatt’s paint, pencil, and crayon illustrations truly capture the festive spirit of this celebration.

A must-have picture book that educates while it thoroughly entertains. (glossary, maps) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64686-161-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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The tips garnered here could be used to scare just about anyone, and for those scared of ghosts, at least your carpets will...

HOW TO SCARE A GHOST

From the How To... series

Reagan and Wildish continue their How to… series with this Halloween-themed title.

If you’ve ever had a hankering to scare a ghost, this handbook is what you need. In it, a pair of siblings shows readers “how to attract a ghost” (they like creepily carved pumpkins and glitter), identify a ghost (real ghosts “never, ever open doors”), and scare a ghost (making faces, telling scary stories). Also included is a warning not to go too far—a vacuum is over-the-top on the scary chart for ghosts. Once you’ve calmed your ghost again, it’s time to play (just not hide-and-seek or on a trampoline) and then decide on costumes for trick-or-treating. Your ghost will also need to learn Halloween etiquette (knocking instead of floating through doors). The title seems a little misleading considering only two spreads are dedicated to trying to scare a ghost, but the package as a whole is entertaining. Wildish’s digital cartoon illustrations are as bright as ever, and the brother and sister duo have especially expressive faces. Both are white-presenting, as are all the other characters except for some kids in the very last spread.

The tips garnered here could be used to scare just about anyone, and for those scared of ghosts, at least your carpets will be clean from all the vacuuming. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-0190-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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