Four-year-old Mitchell loves to knock things down: blocks, cups, papers—even his dad is fair game. Knowing his son’s...

MITCHELL GOES BOWLING

Boisterous Mitchell and his resourceful dad are back in a hilarious father-and-son tale that celebrates working together with wit and warmth (Mitchell’s License, 2011).

Four-year-old Mitchell loves to knock things down: blocks, cups, papers—even his dad is fair game. Knowing his son’s proclivities, Dad finds a creative solution: the bowling alley! Loud crashes, colorful balls and cool shoes make this tyke feel right at home. But after he learns about the gutter and sees his dad’s strikes, Mitchell’s competitive fire runs hot. He tries everything to win. He hollers, he heaves, and then...he wants to go home. That is, until his dad suggests they be on the same team. Mitchell realizes that together, they can’t lose. The artwork, perfectly paced with the text’s comedic beats, is full of energy, physical comedy and emotion. Fucile’s style is reminiscent of the post-war–boom advertising that idealized America’s promise; still, it’s also current, bringing that same sense of hope to a more modern America. Here, the family is mixed-race; the mother works (possibly from home); and the dad is a full and actively engaged partner in the parenting process, showing patience, understanding, creativity and love. Durand and Fucile are a winning combination, and their father/son bonding will leave readers in stitches. Loads of fun with a lot of heart. (Picture book. 3-7)

Durand and Fucile are a winning combination, and their father/son bonding will leave readers in stitches. Loads of fun with a lot of heart(Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6049-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2013

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This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash.

JABARI JUMPS

Young Jabari decides today is the day he is going to jump from the diving board, even though it’s a little high and a little scary.

Jabari’s father and baby sister accompany him to the swimming pool in the city, where Jabari has already made up his mind about today’s goal: jumping off the diving board. “I’m a great jumper,” he says, “so I’m not scared at all.” But that’s not entirely true. Readers see Jabari play the waiting game as the other children (a diverse bunch) make their ways past him in line. Once Jabari finally begins to climb up, he slyly remembers that he forgot to “stretch.” The stalling techniques don’t faze his dad, who sees an opportunity for a life lesson. “It’s okay to feel a little scared,” offers his dad at the side of the pool. With renewed will, Jabari returns to the towering diving board, ready to embrace the feat. In her debut, Cornwall places her loving black family at the center, coloring the swimming pool and park beyond in minty hues and adding whimsy with digitally collaged newspaper for skyscrapers. A bird’s-eye view of Jabari’s toes clinging to the edge of the diving board as he looks way, way down at the blue pool below puts readers in his head and in the action.

This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7838-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration.

I LOVE DADDY EVERY DAY

Children point out the things they love about their fathers.

“Daddy is always kind. He gives us support and shelter when things go wrong.” A child with a skinned knee (and downed ice cream cone) gets a bandage and loving pat from Daddy (no shelter is visible, but the child’s concerned sibling sweetly extends their own cone). Daddy’s a storyteller, a magician, supportive, loyal, silly, patient, and he knows everything. A die-cut hole pierces most pages, positioned so that the increasingly smaller holes to come can be seen through it; what it represents in each scene varies, and it does so with also-variable success. The bland, nonrhyming, inconsistent text does little to attract or keep attention, though the die cuts might (until they fall victim to curious fingers). The text also confusingly mixes first-person singular and plural, sometimes on the same page: “Daddy is like a gardener. He lovingly cares for us and watches us grow. I’m his pride and joy!” Even as the text mixes number the illustrations mix metaphors. This particular gardener daddy is pictured shampooing a child during bathtime. Más’ cartoon illustrations are sweet if murkily interpretive, affection clearly conveyed. Troublingly, though, each father and his child(ren) seem to share the same racial presentation and hair color (sometimes even hairstyle!), shutting out many different family constellations. Más does, however, portray several disabilities: children and adults wearing glasses, a child with a cochlear implant, and another using a wheelchair.

Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12305-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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