This powerful ode to community delivers a timeless message of humility, perseverance, and hope.

OUTSIDE, INSIDE

Pham addresses the adversity and resulting growth experienced individually and collectively while the world sheltered in place.

This uplifting reflection on the spring 2020 coronavirus lockdowns expounds on the resiliency of the human spirit as everyone the world over shut themselves indoors. Several different locales and styles of homes are depicted, highlighting the global impact of this almost universal experience. The simple, first-person narrative emphasizes we through deliberate pacing and repetitive use, firmly cementing the theme of togetherness and connection. While the narrative never explicitly names the virus, this accounting is sensitive to both the challenges and triumphs of navigating this new reality of shared vulnerability. A busy street scene filled with masked first responders and other essential workers is followed by a double-page montage of hospital views inspired by real events. One double-page spread shows families cooking and playing while also featuring anxious faces of adults and a frustrated child at a computer screen. These vignettes are outlined in angular edges, reflecting the uncertain, disjointed feelings experienced by all. A following spread shows a larger spectrum of daily moments, this time shaped in sturdy squares and rectangles that signal a newfound stability as people learned to endure and adapt. Told with a gentle but steadying reassurance, this book posits that despite differences or the distances among us, everyone stayed inside because “it was the right thing to do.” Intentionally diverse, the characters represent a wide range of racial presentations. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 30.5% of actual size.)

This powerful ode to community delivers a timeless message of humility, perseverance, and hope. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-79835-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

New dads will eat this up.

MADE FOR ME

A giant hulk of a man describes his emotions as his child captures his heart.

“On the day you were born, I beamed with pride. / My eyes filled with tears. I joyfully cried. / From the moment I saw you and called out your name, / the world as I knew it was never the same.” The rest of the book proceeds to demonstrate just how thoroughly this tot has their father wrapped around their finger and shows the dad lovingly caring for his growing child’s every need: bottles, diapers, soothing, tickling, feeding, bathing, playing, reading, and exploring the world. While the rhyme and rhythm aren’t always spot-on and one illustration depicts a crib instead of the cradle referred to in the text, there is no denying the appeal of this father-child pair, as their bond is more than apparent. The dichotomy between the tiny redheaded tot and the giant lumberjack–look-alike dad—red plaid shirt, blue jeans, full red beard and mustache, and tiny head perched atop a round body with tree-trunk forearms—both white, adds to the sweet sentimentality (sometimes slipping into saccharine) of this book. While young children may relish the opportunity to use this as a springboard for hearing about their own babyhoods with their dads, new fathers are just as likely an audience, the sweet refrain—“Of all the children that ever could be, / you are the one made just for me”—tugging at heartstrings.

New dads will eat this up. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-945547-69-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Familius

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

  • Caldecott Honor Book

  • Newbery Medal Winner

LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET

A young boy yearns for what he doesn’t have, but his nana teaches him to find beauty in what he has and can give, as well as in the city where they live.

CJ doesn’t want to wait in the rain or take the bus or go places after church. But through Nana’s playful imagination and gentle leadership, he begins to see each moment as an opportunity: Trees drink raindrops from straws; the bus breathes fire; and each person has a story to tell. On the bus, Nana inspires an impromptu concert, and CJ’s lifted into a daydream of colors and light, moon and magic. Later, when walking past broken streetlamps on the way to the soup kitchen, CJ notices a rainbow and thinks of his nana’s special gift to see “beautiful where he never even thought to look.” Through de la Peña’s brilliant text, readers can hear, feel and taste the city: its grit and beauty, its quiet moments of connectedness. Robinson’s exceptional artwork works with it to ensure that readers will fully understand CJ’s journey toward appreciation of the vibrant, fascinating fabric of the city. Loosely defined patterns and gestures offer an immediate and raw quality to the Sasek-like illustrations. Painted in a warm palette, this diverse urban neighborhood is imbued with interest and possibility.

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-25774-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more