A great read-aloud for any child going through early life changes.

GOODBYE BRINGS HELLO

A BOOK OF FIRSTS

A book of firsts and transitions for young kids growing up and becoming more independent.

As the seasons change, White and Wiseman follow many diverse children as they experience new changes in their lives. It begins in autumn with a small white child who learns to swing independently by pumping. During winter, a black child says goodbye to an outgrown sweater and hello to a new coat. In the spring, a ponytailed white child says goodbye to an old “preschool trike” and hello to a “big-kid bike.” Summer brings great splashes in the pool. Finally, autumn comes back around, bringing new haircuts, shoes with laces, and first days of school. Written in rhyme, the text is short, making it engaging and accessible to young children. The illustrations are simple—some so casual as to look almost like colored doodles. Wiseman leaves the matte backgrounds plain but adds color and details to the characters, bringing them into focus. There is humor: An Asian child with glasses and a huge tuft of snarly hair is initially grumpy about a haircut but smiles at the result. Even though the text is short and illustrations are simple, both are sweet, and this book will give courage to any child feeling a little nervous or scared to try something new.

A great read-aloud for any child going through early life changes. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-79875-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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Uncomplicated and worthwhile for any age.

THE THANKFUL BOOK

Parr focuses his simplistic childlike art and declarative sentences on gratitude for the pleasures and wonders of a child’s everyday life.

Using images of both kids and animals, each colorful scene in bold primary colors declaims a reason to be thankful. “I am thankful for my hair because it makes me unique” shows a yellow-faced child with a wild purple coiffure, indicating self-esteem. An elephant with large pink ears happily exclaims, “I am thankful for my ears because they let me hear words like ‘I love you.’ ” Humor is interjected with, “I am thankful for underwear because I like to wear it on my head.” (Parents will hope that it is clean, but potty-humor–loving children probably won’t care.) Children are encouraged to be thankful for feet, music, school, vacations and the library, “because it is filled with endless adventures,” among other things. The book’s cheery, upbeat message is clearly meant to inspire optimistic gratitude; Parr exhorts children to “remember some [things to be thankful for] every day.”

Uncomplicated and worthwhile for any age. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-316-18101-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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Though books on childhood anxiety are numerous, it is worth making space on the shelf for this one.

WAY PAST WORRIED

Brock may be dressed like a superhero, but he sure doesn’t feel like one, as social anxieties threaten to rain on his fun    .

Juan’s superhero-themed birthday party is about to start, but Brock is feeling trepidatious about attending without his brother as his trusty sidekick. His costume does not fit quite right, and he is already running late, and soon Brock is “way past worried.” When he arrives at the party he takes some deep breaths but is still afraid to jump in and so hides behind a tree. Hiding in the same tree is the similarly nervous Nelly, who’s new to the neighborhood. Through the simple act of sharing their anxieties, the children find themselves ready to face their fears. This true-to-life depiction of social anxiety is simply but effectively rendered. While both Nelly and Brock try taking deep breathes to calm their anxieties without success, it is the act of sharing their worries in a safe space with someone who understands that ultimately brings relief. With similar themes, Brock’s tale would make a lovely companion for Tom Percival’s Ruby Finds a Worry (2019) on social-emotional–development bookshelves. Brock is depicted with black hair and tan skin, Nelly presents White, and peers at the party appear fairly diverse.

Though books on childhood anxiety are numerous, it is worth making space on the shelf for this one. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8075-8686-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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