Emerging readers looking for a just-right book for reading fun will welcome this new series and its heroine.

LET'S HAVE A PARADE

From the Lana's World series

Bright-eyed Lana’s big imagination draws her whole family into her play.

Despite the rain, Lana is determined to have a parade, but her parents and brothers are disinclined. Even her dog, Furry, is unenthusiastic when Lana suggests, “Let’s have a parade.” Undeterred, Lana decides to have an inside parade, complete with stuffed animals, a clown on skates, and a queen doll in a wagon as a float, lining them up in the hall. The page turn reveals Lana’s imagination at work as the figures come to full-sized life, led by Lana and her drum. Soon, Mama and Papa and Jay and Ray join the fun, playing their own instruments. Even Furry adds his woof. The simultaneously publishing sequel, Let’s Go Fishing, follows the same pattern, but this time with an imaginary fishing expedition. In both, full-color illustrations show a modern, confident little girl with her own sense of style, happy playing alone but with enthusiasm that is impossible to resist. Hers is a modern family, in which Papa helps with the meals and the brothers know how to serve themselves. Repeated words and phrases, including onomatopoeia, will help young readers build confidence as the story unfolds.

Emerging readers looking for a just-right book for reading fun will welcome this new series and its heroine. (Early reader. 4-9)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-544-10677-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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This outing lacks the sophistication of such category standards as Clementine; here’s hoping English amps things up for...

DOG DAYS

From the Carver Chronicles series , Vol. 1

A gentle voice and familiar pitfalls characterize this tale of a boy navigating the risky road to responsibility. 

Gavin is new to his neighborhood and Carver Elementary. He likes his new friend, Richard, and has a typically contentious relationship with his older sister, Danielle. When Gavin’s desire to impress Richard sets off a disastrous chain of events, the boy struggles to evade responsibility for his actions. “After all, it isn’t his fault that Danielle’s snow globe got broken. Sure, he shouldn’t have been in her room—but then, she shouldn’t be keeping candy in her room to tempt him. Anybody would be tempted. Anybody!” opines Gavin once he learns the punishment for his crime. While Gavin has a charming Everyboy quality, and his aversion to Aunt Myrtle’s yapping little dog rings true, little about Gavin distinguishes him from other trouble-prone protagonists. He is, regrettably, forgettable. Coretta Scott King Honor winner English (Francie, 1999) is a teacher whose storytelling usually benefits from her day job. Unfortunately, the pizzazz of classroom chaos is largely absent from this series opener.

This outing lacks the sophistication of such category standards as Clementine; here’s hoping English amps things up for subsequent volumes. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 17, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-547-97044-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2013

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