Read the book and then go brush your teeth.



Children stage a surprising revolution in an ultrasweet kingdom ruled by a sugared tyrant.

Candyville certainly looks delicious, with lollipop trees and cupcake flowers and rivers of root beer, all in sweet, bright colors. But the place is ruled by the evil Juicy Jelly Worm, a pink-and-golden monster that gorges on sweets all day, which he forces the children of the land to harvest. Worst of all, they are not allowed to partake. They dig a secret garden, plant some special seeds and wait for their vegetables to grow. Juicy Jelly Worm learns of their activities and demands to see the garden. The children are one step ahead of him, highlighting the "sweet" in sweet potatoes, the "cherry" in cherry tomatoes, the "butter" in butternut squash. The Juicy Jelly Worm wants it all—"Candy?…Mine!"—and the cleverest of the children makes a provocative proposal. The salivating Worm agrees to trade his kingdom for the garden of the children. And so they get all the sweets! Snyder peppers the book with tiny boxed messages, apparently intended to ensure that readers see her story as a spoof: "Warning: Children have died from eating their veggies." But will they get the irony? Dávila's bright pictures look truly delectable, and nutritionists and dentists everywhere will groan as the children chomp down on all the sweets.

Read the book and then go brush your teeth. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-77147-050-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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A winning tale about finding new friends.


Bear finds a wonderful toy.

Bear clearly loves the toy bunny that he has found sitting up against a tree in the forest, but he wants to help it return to its home. With a wagon full of fliers and the bunny secure in Bear’s backpack, he festoons the trees with posters and checks out a bulletin board filled with lost and found objects (some of which will bring a chuckle to adult readers). Alas, he returns home still worried about bunny. The following day, they happily play together and ride Bear’s tricycle. Into the cozy little picture steps Moose, who immediately recognizes his bunny, named Floppy. Bear has a tear in his eye as he watches Moose and Floppy hug. But Moose, wearing a tie, is clearly grown and knows that it is time to share and that Bear will take very good care of his Floppy. Yoon’s story is sweet without being sentimental. She uses digitized artwork in saturated colors to create a lovely little world for her animals. They are outlined in strong black lines and stand out against the yellows, blues, greens and oranges of the background. She also uses space to great effect, allowing readers to feel the emotional tug of the story.

A winning tale about finding new friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3559-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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Just the thing to get uncertain youngsters jazzed for a first day—at school or anywhere.


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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