A bright and joyful celebration of the kaleidoscope of colors in readers’ families and communities.

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A GIRL OF COLOR

A girl connects the colors of her life to the people around her in this picture book.

Young Morgan proudly states that she’s a girl of color. She points out that while she is a Black girl, that color doesn’t match her skin. Instead, her tone is golden brown, “like the sun-kissed leaves of autumn.” Her best friend is White, but her skin doesn’t look like snow—she’s peachy. On the following pages, Morgan describes how her family compares her with other colors, depending on her mood and the happiness she brings to others. She touches on the hues, patterns, and skin tones that surround her. Young’s accessible, first-person narrative, along with the clues in each of Hayden’s digital illustrations, makes this a strong selection for emergent readers. Like Young and Hayden’s previous book, I Too Allergic (2018), this title features a child advocating for herself. But in this case, the girl is pointing out the beauty of colors everywhere and encouraging readers to join her in loving that splendor. Hayden deftly depicts Morgan in a number of outfits and hairstyles, showing the huge array of expressions girls can embrace. The illustrator also offers a range of skin tones both in Morgan’s family and in her community to emphasize the uplifting message. One particularly funny image shows Morgan experimenting with bright red lipstick, to her mother’s humorous dismay.

A bright and joyful celebration of the kaleidoscope of colors in readers’ families and communities.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2021

ISBN: 979-8-58-776223-7

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to...

PUMPKIN COUNTDOWN

A class visits the pumpkin patch, giving readers a chance to count down from 20.

At the farm, Farmer Mixenmatch gives them the tour, which includes a petting zoo, an educational area, a corn maze and a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch. Holub’s text cleverly though not always successfully rhymes each child’s name within the line: “ ‘Eighteen kids get on our bus,’ says Russ. / ‘But someone’s late,’ says Kate. / ‘Wait for me!’ calls Kiri.” Pumpkins at the tops of pages contain the numerals that match the text, allowing readers to pair them with the orange-colored, spelled-out numbers. Some of the objects proffered to count are a bit of a stretch—“Guess sixteen things we’ll see,” count 14 cars that arrived at the farm before the bus—but Smith’s artwork keeps things easy to count, except for a challenging page that asks readers to search for 17 orange items (answers are at the bottom, upside down). Strangely, Holub includes one page with nothing to count—a sign marks “15 Pumpkin Street.” Charming, multicultural round-faced characters and lots of detail encourage readers to go back through the book scouring pages for the 16 things the kids guessed they might see. Endpapers featuring a smattering of pumpkin facts round out the text.

Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to many library shelves. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8075-6660-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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