An encouraging tale for young readers with their own fears to face.

STICKY ICKY VICKY

COURAGE OVER FEAR

An outdoors-loving girl overcomes her fear of water in this picture-book debut about positive self-talk.

Vicky, an enthusiastic girl with warm brown skin, dark brown eyes, and curly puffs of hair, loves being outdoors and playing in mud and dirt with her friends. The rhyming narrative endorses this messiness but points out that this behavior is only OK if Vicky would be willing to take a bath each night: “But no, this is not her way.” Vicky’s fear of water keeps her from bathing more than once a week—and leaves her out when her best friends enjoy swimming at the beach. When one friend invites Vicky to a birthday party at a water park, Vicky determines that the time to overcome her fear has arrived. The Ssentamus, a married Australian team, introduce internal voices Negative Ned and Positive Ted to help readers understand how self-talk—and the voice Vicky chooses to listen to—influences Vicky's ability to overcome her fears. The rhyming stanzas flow well throughout and only occasionally introduce an unfamiliar term (fortnight) that might cause young American readers to stumble. Alshalabi’s warm digital cartoonlike illustrations capture both Vicky’s exuberance and her fear, and Vicky’s diverse friends and family (her mother has peach-toned skin with blue eyes and blond hair; her father, a deeper sepia skin tone and curly brown hair like Vicky’s) offer many young readers a chance to see themselves represented on the page. An afterword offers conversation starters for families to discuss fear and courage.

An encouraging tale for young readers with their own fears to face.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-6451293-0-4

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Pixel Publishing House

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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