A thoughtful protagonist makes his series debut; sports lovers and the athletic-averse alike will be charmed.

KING OF THE ICE

From the Miles Lewis series , Vol. 1

A first-time ice skater frets about an upcoming field trip to the rink.

When Miles’ friend RJ bets that Miles can’t skate without falling, Miles reluctantly accepts the challenge. After school, Miles learns that his nana, who lives with his family, was an ice skater when she was young; she tells him that though, as a Black woman, she didn’t see many skaters who looked like her on TV, she wanted to change that. At dinner, his father, a Black history professor, tells Miles about Willie O’Ree, the first Black man to enter the National Hockey League, and Miles researches O’Ree online. But soon Miles’ world begins to spiral out of control—a rift grows between him and RJ over the bet, and when he sees flyers for luxury apartments for seniors, he fears that Nana is thinking of moving. Readers of Lyons’ Jada Jones books will recognize her friend Miles in this new series spinoff. Miles is a smart, sensitive character in an all-too-relatable scenario: navigating friendship and learning to speak up for himself. Miles’ tightknit, multigenerational family exudes warmth, and Lyons deftly folds in information on a little-discussed but important Black trailblazing athlete. Bringing to life the text are black-and-white illustrations with pops of blue. Miles and his family are Black.

A thoughtful protagonist makes his series debut; sports lovers and the athletic-averse alike will be charmed. (biographical information about Willie O’Ree) (Chapter book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-38349-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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