Predictably upbeat and inviting.

I AM ME

A BOOK OF AUTHENTICITY

A celebration of difference, connection, and community.

Verde and Reynolds continue their “I Am” picture books with this installment encouraging individuality. A nameless child with brown skin and tight purple curls leads the way. Throughout, a silver remote-control dog, an orange cat, a lion, and another nameless person, with brown skin and a larger body frame, weave in and out alongside statements such as “Difference is what makes life beautiful and miraculous.” Caregivers may want to encourage little ones to spot the characters as they read or listen—a straightforward way to engage alongside the high-level messages of the book. The primary character grows to care and ultimately declare love for the other human character—which could be read as deep friendship or romantic love. “I” statements dominate the text, offering conversation starters. Statements like “I can surround myself with those who see me, stand up for me, and support me” may require longer explanations or discussion. These are balanced by simpler declarations like “I can dance to my own rhythm any time I want to move and groove.” Text and illustrations, featuring graceful, energetic linework, will draw a wide audience. The content will be most meaningful for children who need the confidence boost offered to stay true to themselves while still seeking positive relationships. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Predictably upbeat and inviting. (author’s note with meditation instructions) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4648-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more