THE SUN, THE MOON, AND THE STARS

A lyrical ode to the children.

The speaker remains unidentified in second-person text, which addresses three children in turn as “you” while also implying child readers. Soft-focus illustrations lend specificity by placing each child in the context of family and interests. First is a child of color in a family that appears to be composed of an Asian father, White mother, Asian grandmother, and biracial younger sibling. The narrator assures the child that “You are like the sun… / rising every day / with your energy and light.” The illustrations depict the child in a bright yellow dress, singing and dancing for the family and then taking the stage before a crowd while yellow confetti falls from the sky and a white dove swoops overhead. Next is a blond, White child who is “like the moon… / sometimes full and big, / sometimes new and small.” This child is depicted as an animal lover doting on a family of kittens they find in a box and bring home to parents and two siblings, all of whom present as White. Finally, a Black-presenting child is likened to “the stars in the night sky, / lighting the way for all to see— / even on their darkest night.” This child wears aviator goggles and plays with a toy airplane as mother and father, both also Black, encourage their offspring’s interest by gazing at the sky as a family before the child takes flight.(This book was reviewed digitally.)

Warm and bright. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-30937-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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