A solid conversation starter on topics of self-control.

HOW CAN I WAIT WHEN THERE'S A TREAT ON MY PLATE?

Pete and Dell are sweet-toothed brothers who learn strategies to help them delay gratification in this rhyming picture book.

The brown-skinned twin boys with kinky-curly brown hair are given what amounts to Dr. Walter Mischel’s famous 1960s-era “Marshmallow Test” when their mom says they can have a marshmallow now or ice cream later, after the T-ball game. Pete eats the treat immediately while Dell decides to wait until after the game for the ice cream, which both boys prefer to marshmallows. In moments of temptation, the scale of the enticing treat is emphasized to show its overpowering effect. The brothers are tested the following week when a friend comes over with a jar of gummy worms. Like the marshmallow, the jar of gummy worms takes up the double-page spread. Again, Pete cannot resist the temptation of the treat (his arm takes on gargantuan proportions as he reaches in), but Dell is able once again to wait for the higher-value ice cream treat. Pete asks Dell how he’s able to resist, and Dell shares some strategies that hopefully will equip both Pete and young readers with some research-backed tools that help children delay gratification. The aftermatter further explains the history of the Marshmallow Test, expands on the strategies touched on in the narrative, and provides additional strategies for caregivers to use with kids. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-16-inch double-page spreads viewed at 67% of actual size.)

A solid conversation starter on topics of self-control. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3226-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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A hilarious but enlightening guide to the online world—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

BAD KITTY GETS A PHONE (GRAPHIC NOVEL)

A craving for the latest tech leads to cat-astrophe in this new addition to the Bad Kitty series.

With her heart set on owning a cellphone, anthropomorphic house cat Kitty plows through three solid months of chores without complaining before her owners reluctantly grant her fervent wish. Then things go rapidly downhill. She becomes obsessed with violent mobile games, gets catfished (no pun intended), divulges too much personal information online, becomes consumed with rage at cyberbullies, and grows listless from excessive screen time. Only after the intervention of a Sphynx cat named Strange Kitty and a monthlong technology fast enforced by her owners does Kitty come to understand that while smartphones are fun, they can also be a serious distraction from real life and true friends. Using a digestible graphic-novel format, the book tackles internet safety and digital media literacy with purr-fect aplomb. The “Uncle Murray’s Fun Facts” section serves as a deep dive into the differences between facts and opinions, and many of Kitty’s quirky feline behaviors ring true. It’s unfortunate that the word lame—a disability-related term with negative connotations—is used by the internet trolls who deride the video Kitty makes and posts on “ViewTube.” Occasional misstep aside, Kitty’s tribulations provide ample fodder for this instructive and amusing tale.

A hilarious but enlightening guide to the online world—the good, the bad, and the ugly. (Graphic novel. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-74996-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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