Though the series continues, readers are not likely to want to meet Freckleface Strawberry and Windy Pants Patrick again.

BACKPACKS!

From the Freckleface Strawberry series

Two students learn to own up to their mistakes—and not to put gum or doughnuts in their backpacks—in actor Moore’s new early-reader series.

Freckleface Strawberry loves bugs, and her backpack has bugs on it. Inside, she has pencils, homework, and gum. Similarly, Windy Pants Patrick (readers don’t find out the reason for the name) loves dogs, and his backpack contains pencils, homework, and a doughnut. Their parents (mom and dad for Freckleface, two moms for Patrick) don’t know the kids have added snacks to their bags. The next day at school, when it’s time to hand in their homework, the two learn why it’s such a bad idea. The teacher praises their maps, thinking they’ve added mountains, but after school, they own up to the truth. While Moore uses short sentences, repetition, and relatively easy vocabulary (aside from her characters’ names), those are not the only ingredients for a successful early reader. Readers also want a compelling story and interesting, three-dimensional characters, both of which are seriously lacking here. Pham’s illustrations are serviceable and feature people with brightly colored hair and skin that lacks color—they are all literally white, save a single brown girl with black hair.

Though the series continues, readers are not likely to want to meet Freckleface Strawberry and Windy Pants Patrick again. (Early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-39195-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Nice enough, but its twinkle is on the faint side.

TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE KID

A boy gets an unusual payoff after wishing on a star.

Sitting outside one night, Clyde notices a lone star in the sky. He recites the “Star light, star bright” incantation and makes a wish. Disappointed when it doesn’t come true, he returns home. But later, while he’s asleep, the star he’d wished on sneaks into his bedroom and makes a wish on him! Startled awake, Clyde wonders how to grant Star’s wish. He shares some ideas (and actual objects) with her: a game of checkers, tent camping, tossing a Frisbee, and walkie-talkies. Star likes them, but they’re not her wishes; Clyde confides there’s no one to enjoy them with—and wonders if perhaps Star had wished for a friend. No one will be surprised at what Clyde next confesses to Star. The pair winds up playing together and becoming besties. This is a sweet but thin and predictable story about making friends. Still, readers will appreciate meeting feisty, celestial Star. The author reaches for humor using colloquialisms (“freaked out”), and kids will like the comfortable familiarity that develops between the cheery protagonists. The colored-pencil illustrations are rendered in a limited palette of mostly dark blues and purples, appropriate to the nighttime setting. Star is a luminous, pale yellow with a white topknot and has a star-dappled aura around her. Purple-pj’d Clyde wears bunny slippers and presents White. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough, but its twinkle is on the faint side. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-399-17132-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more