Both brilliant and bristling in its purpose.

RECOGNIZE!

AN ANTHOLOGY HONORING AND AMPLIFYING BLACK LIFE

A multifaceted, sometimes disheartening, yet consistently enriching primer on the unyielding necessity of those three words: Black Lives Matter.

Husband-wife duo Wade and Cheryl Willis Hudson curate and contribute to this collection of varied perspectives on the mattering of Black lives and how the fact of the infamous three-word call to action has been most put into question by America’s long White supremacist history, traumatic present, and potential future. Award-winning poets such as Carole Boston Weatherford and Nikki Grimes, children’s-book authors including Kelly Starling Lyons and Ibi Zoboi, visual artists like Keith Knight and Don Tate, and historic Black American figures like Frederick Douglass and Daisy Bates provide potent responses to incidents of anti-Black violence, mis- or underrepresentation of Black identities, and personal challenges in parenting or just existing while Black. They also reflect on the movement for Black lives that activists have codified recently with #BLM but nonetheless has an extensive, hard-fought history. When, for example, kid journalist Adedayo Perkovich recounts her learning about Seneca Village, the community of mostly Black Americans that were displaced to make way for New York’s Central Park, the threads that link the 19th-century village, a coastal Ghanaian site of centuries of enslavement and commerce of Black bodies, and the contemporary reminders that Black Lives Matter are poignantly presented for readers of all ages.

Both brilliant and bristling in its purpose. (artists' notes, contributor biographies, editors' note) (Anthology. 10-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-38159-5

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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Little Blue Truck keeps on truckin’—but not without some backfires.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S VALENTINE

Little Blue Truck feels, well, blue when he delivers valentine after valentine but receives nary a one.

His bed overflowing with cards, Blue sets out to deliver a yellow card with purple polka dots and a shiny purple heart to Hen, one with a shiny fuchsia heart to Pig, a big, shiny, red heart-shaped card to Horse, and so on. With each delivery there is an exchange of Beeps from Blue and the appropriate animal sounds from his friends, Blue’s Beeps always set in blue and the animal’s vocalization in a color that matches the card it receives. But as Blue heads home, his deliveries complete, his headlight eyes are sad and his front bumper droops ever so slightly. Blue is therefore surprised (but readers may not be) when he pulls into his garage to be greeted by all his friends with a shiny blue valentine just for him. In this, Blue’s seventh outing, it’s not just the sturdy protagonist that seems to be wilting. Schertle’s verse, usually reliable, stumbles more than once; stanzas such as “But Valentine’s Day / didn’t seem much fun / when he didn’t get cards / from anyone” will cause hitches during read-alouds. The illustrations, done by Joseph in the style of original series collaborator Jill McElmurry, are pleasant enough, but his compositions often feel stiff and forced.

Little Blue Truck keeps on truckin’—but not without some backfires. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-358-27244-1

Page Count: 20

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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Wonderful, indeed

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THE WONDERFUL THINGS YOU WILL BE

A GROWING-UP POEM

A love song to baby with delightful illustrations to boot.

Sweet but not saccharine and singsong but not forced, Martin’s text is one that will invite rereadings as it affirms parental wishes for children while admirably keeping child readers at its heart. The lines that read “This is the first time / There’s ever been you, / So I wonder what wonderful things / You will do” capture the essence of the picture book and are accompanied by a diverse group of babies and toddlers clad in downright adorable outfits. Other spreads include older kids, too, and pictures expand on the open text to visually interpret the myriad possibilities and hopes for the depicted children. For example, a spread reading “Will you learn how to fly / To find the best view?” shows a bespectacled, school-aged girl on a swing soaring through an empty white background. This is just one spread in which Martin’s fearless embrace of the white of the page serves her well. Throughout the book, she maintains a keen balance of layout choices, and surprising details—zebras on the wallpaper behind a father cradling his child, a rock-’n’-roll band of mice paralleling the children’s own band called “The Missing Teeth”—add visual interest and gentle humor. An ideal title for the baby-shower gift bag and for any nursery bookshelf or lap-sit storytime.

Wonderful, indeed . (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-37671-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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