Young readers are sure to want to join Pablo, Lily, and all of their friends, and it’s wonderful to note that the diverse...

WANT TO PLAY?

From the Confetti Kids series

In the companion title to Yoo and Ng-Benitez’s Lily’s New Home (2015), Lily enjoys playing with a diverse group of friends in her new neighborhood.

A helpful title-page illustration introduces Lily and her friends, Henry (the only white child), Mei, Pablo, and Padma, by name in order to support new readers in keeping track of them from one page to the next. Then, the first brief chapter opens with Pablo heading outside to read after being distracted by his sisters’ indoor play. He abandons his book, however, when Lily comes by with her mother and invites him to go to the park. They are soon joined by Mei, Henry, and Padma, and they go on the swings, play basketball, and climb on the play structure. Ng-Benitez’s inviting multimedia art deftly conveys a shift when the children’s play moves into imaginary scenarios as verso-page depictions of the playground come into dialogue with facing recto images of imagined scenes in a cave, at the beach, in space, and so on. When rain threatens, the children all go to Pablo’s house, where they join his sisters in their play.

Young readers are sure to want to join Pablo, Lily, and all of their friends, and it’s wonderful to note that the diverse characterization will aid in making many feel all the more included. (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62014-250-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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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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