Readers will appreciate the clean design and the warm and humorous story; they’ll hope Rory sets off again soon.

RORY THE DINOSAUR

ME AND MY DAD

From the Rory the Dinosaur series

Rory is a young dinosaur who loves to do things with his dad, but when his father takes some time to relax, Rory decides to set off on a solo adventure.

Rory “has a lot of energy. Sometimes too much.” When his dad takes a break with a book, Rory thinks, “Everything is quiet. Too quiet.” He hatches a plan to leave their island home in search of fun. Readers will notice his father not far behind. Soon Rory encounters obstacles such as a river and a wild pig. Unbeknownst to Rory, his dad has slipped under the water so his spines can act as “stepping stones” allowing Rory to cross the river, and his unnoticed assistance doesn’t end there. As Rory’s confidence in his accomplishments grows, his poor dad becomes increasingly bedraggled. Climo uses abundant white space to set off her digitally rendered characters. Hand-lettering sets off Rory’s thoughts from the text, as when he realizes he forgot his drink: “aw, man.” (His dad helps there, too.) Returning home (one step behind dad), Rory excitedly recounts his adventure while his father patiently listens. Rory proclaims, “I’ll wait a while before I leave home again. I don’t want you to miss me too much.” Indeed.

Readers will appreciate the clean design and the warm and humorous story; they’ll hope Rory sets off again soon. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-27728-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

I AM ENOUGH

A feel-good book about self-acceptance.

Empire star Byers and Bobo offer a beautifully illustrated, rhyming picture book detailing what one brown-skinned little girl with an impressive Afro appreciates about herself. Relying on similes, the text establishes a pattern with the opening sentence, “Like the sun, I’m here to shine,” and follows it through most of the book. Some of them work well, while others fall flat: “Like the rain, I’m here to pour / and drip and fall until I’m full.” In some vignettes she’s by herself; and in others, pictured along with children of other races. While the book’s pro-diversity message comes through, the didactic and even prideful expressions of self-acceptance make the book exasperatingly preachy—a common pitfall for books by celebrity authors. In contrast, Bobo’s illustrations are visually stunning. After painting the children and the objects with which they interact, such as flowers, books, and a red wagon, in acrylic on board for a traditional look, she scanned the images into Adobe Photoshop and added the backgrounds digitally in chalk. This lends a whimsical feel to such details as a rainbow, a window, wind, and rain—all reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Bobo creates an inclusive world of girls in which wearing glasses, using a wheelchair, wearing a head scarf, and having a big Afro are unconditionally accepted rather than markers for othering.

A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-266712-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

BE YOU!

An inspirational picture book offers life advice for readers who want to be themselves.

Replete with sparkling, often quirky illustrations of children living their best lives, this book is a gorgeous guidebook for those seeking encouragement while encountering life’s challenges. The children featured—a racially diverse group ranging from infants to preschoolers—cheerfully navigate the various injunctions that flow through the text: “Be curious.…Be adventurous.…Be persistent.…Be kind.” What is remarkable about the book is that even though the instructions and the brief sentences explaining them are at times vague, the illustrations expand on them in ways readers will find endearing and uplifting. Those depicting painful or challenging moments are especially effective. The “Be persistent” double-page spread shows a child in a boat on stormy seas; it’s rich with deep blues as it emphasizes the energy of wind and rain and struggle in the face of challenge. Together with the accompanying repeated phrase “Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop,” this spread arrests readers. By contrast, the “Be kind. Be understanding” spread simply presents two children’s faces, one cast in blue and the other in gold, but the empathy that Reynolds conveys is similarly captivating. While there is no plot to pull readers through the pages, the book provides rich fodder for caregivers to use as teachable moments, both informally and in classroom settings.

Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-57231-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more