The seamless additions of lessons on cooperation and kindness bring this to a new level, but it can’t top the original book...

PLANET KINDERGARTEN

100 DAYS IN ORBIT

Ganz-Schmitt and Prigmore continue the space theme and follow the cast and crew from Planet Kindergarten (2014) as they celebrate the 100th day of school and all that they have learned so far.

Kids who have experienced the 100th day in their own schools will certainly recognize many of things that go on in the narrator’s “capsule” on this special day, and those who haven’t will know what to look forward to, the highlight being each student’s presentation of 100 items collected from home. But a day this out-of-the-ordinary, no matter the school, is bound to have a few mishaps. Luckily, the narrator has learned some stuff on Planet Kindergarten that will help him navigate the problems: coaching a sick classmate to the nurse’s office, taking time to help a crewmate find her medal of honor, and avoiding a collision between a kicked ball and an incomplete rocket ship. But what about the huge mess created when the lid on the narrator’s box of 100 aliens gets stuck…and then suddenly flies off? Quick thinking saves the day, along with some good, old-fashioned cooperation: “Operation Cleanup is a go!” As in the first, Prigmore’s digital art is filled with retro details, bold colors, and the (mostly extraterrestrial) crewmates the brunet white boy calls friends.

The seamless additions of lessons on cooperation and kindness bring this to a new level, but it can’t top the original book for creativity. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4521-3776-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2016

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An honest look at motherhood in the contemporary era and a sweet tribute to the bond between mother and child.

ALWAYS WITH YOU, ALWAYS WITH ME

Grammy-winning, multiplatinum singer/songwriter Rowland teams up with California teacher McKay to celebrate busy moms.

This picture book highlights a mother’s frequent longing to be with her child when life’s demands pull them apart. The story takes us through a busy Black mom’s week: She goes to work (at a construction site where she appears to be an engineer), works from home on her son’s sick day, takes him to a museum, and shares domestic duties with her Black male partner, who is a nurse. She encounters many bumps in the road that will be familiar to working parents. Each day, she gently reassures her son with a lyrical refrain: “Always with you, / Always with me, / Mommy and child / Together we’ll be.” This tender story, narrated in the voice of a mother addressing her child, pulls at the heartstrings. Liem’s digital artwork uses a warm palette and has a calming quality. The characters’ body language and heartfelt facial expressions are spot-on. This book will resonate with any mom who knows the heartache of having to say goodbye to their child or who has faced the teary-eyed frustration of a youngster experiencing separation anxiety. Young readers, on the other hand, will find solace in the reassuring narrative. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An honest look at motherhood in the contemporary era and a sweet tribute to the bond between mother and child. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-46551-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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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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