A sweet, family-based story of Lola’s expanding world.

LOLA SLEEPS OVER

From the Lola & Leo series

Lola’s newest experience is sleeping over at her cousin Hani’s house.

Lola is looking forward to her first sleepover tonight. She wears her favorite kanga dress with a matching hair tie, and she packs her overnight bag. She needs several outfits for the different activities they will do, as well as her favorite books and stuffed animals. Daddy walks her over to Hani’s house and says goodbye. Lola and Hani play outside and inside, have dinner with Auntie Zari and Auntie Jina, then watch a movie while Auntie Zari does Lola’s hair before bed. Bedtime is special, with a surprise from Auntie Zari, and Auntie Jina’s French toast makes a delicious breakfast. Like other books in the Lola series, this outing keeps readers engaged with delightful illustrations and simple, straightforward narration perfect for introducing young ones to new experiences. Realistic natural hairstyles are a lovely visual detail, and Lola’s two aunties are an accepted part of her world. All characters are depicted as Black. Lola’s fans will be pleased to add this volume to their collections and see how Lola’s first sleepover goes. Caregivers can use it to talk about what to expect at a first sleepover.

A sweet, family-based story of Lola’s expanding world. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62354-291-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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A forgettable tale.

THE LITTLEST REINDEER

Dot, the smallest reindeer at the North Pole, is too little to fly with the reindeer team on Christmas Eve, but she helps Santa in a different, unexpected way.

Dot is distressed because she can’t jump and fly like the other, bigger reindeer. Her family members encourage her and help her practice her skills, and her mother tells her, “There’s always next year.” Dot’s elf friend, Oliver, encourages her and spends time playing with her, doing things that Dot can do well, such as building a snowman and chasing their friend Yeti (who looks like a fuzzy, white gumdrop). On Christmas Eve, Santa and the reindeer team take off with their overloaded sleigh. Only Dot notices one small present that’s fallen in the snow, and she successfully leaps into the departing sleigh with the gift. This climactic flying leap into the sleigh is not adequately illustrated, as Dot is shown just starting to leap and then already in the sleigh. A saccharine conclusion notes that being little can sometimes be great and that “having a friend by your side makes anything possible.” The story is pleasant but predictable, with an improbably easy solution to Dot’s problem. Illustrations in a muted palette are similarly pleasant but predictable, with a greeting-card flavor that lacks originality. The elf characters include boys, girls, and adults; all the elves and Santa and Mrs. Claus are white.

A forgettable tale. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-338-15738-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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