For those kids who find nasty sisters, cleaning, and losing a shoe to be too tame, this is a daredevil alternative.

THE DARING PRINCE DASHING

A daredevil prince meets his perfect Cinderella, and they begin a “most adventurous friendship.”

Bathing in the crocodile-filled moat and toasting marshmallows by dragon’s breath are par for the course for Prince Dashing. At the royal ice cream social, he meets a blonde who can keep up with his crazy antics—playing “Für Elise” with her toes while doing a backbend while the prince roller-blades across the top of the piano. But at the stroke of bedtime, she is gone, leaving behind only her pogo stick, which the prince calls a “stick-thingy.” The girl who can make the right sound with the stick—ZING-BOING!—will be the honored guest at the prince’s birthday party. But of course, the prince can’t do things the easy way; he will search for “Stickerella” blindfolded, which makes for lots of humorous mishaps and near misses. West’s brightly colored vignette and double-page-spread illustrations are full of funny details, especially the scenes in the zoo. Nicely, this fairy-tale heroine isn’t in need of saving—there’s no stepmother and no forced labor, though she does clean her own home.

For those kids who find nasty sisters, cleaning, and losing a shoe to be too tame, this is a daredevil alternative. (Fractured fairy tale. 4-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-63450-161-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

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A straightforward, effective approach to helping children cope with one of life’s commonplace yet emotionally fraught...

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A PROBLEM?

A child struggles with the worry and anxiety that come with an unexpected problem.

In a wonderful balance of text and pictures, the team responsible for What Do You Do With an Idea (2014) returns with another book inspiring children to feel good about themselves. A child frets about a problem that won’t go away: “I wished it would just disappear. I tried everything I could to hide from it. I even found ways to disguise myself. But it still found me.” The spare, direct narrative is accompanied by soft gray illustrations in pencil and watercolor. The sepia-toned figure of the child is set apart from the background and surrounded by lots of white space, visually isolating the problem, which is depicted as a purple storm cloud looming overhead. Color is added bit by bit as the storm cloud grows and its color becomes more saturated. With a backpack and umbrella, the child tries to escape the problem while the storm swirls, awash with compass points scattered across the pages. The pages brighten into splashes of yellow as the child decides to tackle the problem head-on and finds that it holds promise for unlooked-for opportunity.

A straightforward, effective approach to helping children cope with one of life’s commonplace yet emotionally fraught situations, this belongs on the shelf alongside Molly Bang’s Sophie books. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-943-20000-9

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2016

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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

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