This new offering is tailor-made for children who are ready for books they can read independently with confidence.

BLOCK PARTY SURPRISE

From the Bradford Street Buddies series

Another friend-filled neighborhood event is in store for folks on Bradford Street in this new early-reader series.

It’s the annual fall block party, and twins Jada and Jamal Perkins are excited. Their dad has some sort of surprise planned. When they look out the window, they are thrilled to see their parents outside with four large robot dinosaurs! After learning how to work the controls, everyone is ready for the trip to the park, where the dinosaurs will undoubtedly be the hit of the party. But in the fourth and final chapter, the crew has a big problem: the truck carrying the dinosaurs has broken down, and there is no way to get them to the party. The kids put their heads together and come up with a clever idea to create a dinosaur parade. New readers might wonder why Mr. Perkins supplies such an unusual addition to a block party, but they will marvel at the cooperation and creativity of the youngsters and parents on Bradford Street. Full-color, detailed watercolor illustrations show a welcome cast of ethnically diverse characters.

This new offering is tailor-made for children who are ready for books they can read independently with confidence. (Early reader. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-544-35862-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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