PITCHING IN FOR EUBIE

Lily is thrilled when her sister Eubie wins a college scholarship. The only thing is that Eubie will have to pay $3,000 for room and board, so the whole family decides to pitch in. Papa will do some extra work, Mama will sew, brother Jacob has a paper route and is going to check for something more and Eubie can babysit. But what can Lily do? She tries to help out around the house, but that’s not enough. No one stops at her iced-tea stand, and her plan to sell worms as fishing bait goes awry. She tries pet-sitting but gets no offers. Then Mrs. Tolliver comes to pick up the dress Mama has made, and an opportunity arises. Mrs. Tolliver is worried about leaving her mother alone, so Lily offers to help out. Now Lily can relax; she’s going to help her sister’s dreams come true. Finely rendered realistic paintings bring life to Lily and her family in this story about taking responsibility and being there for a family member who needs help. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-688-14917-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2007

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A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy.

ROBOBABY

Robo-parents Diode and Lugnut present daughter Cathode with a new little brother—who requires, unfortunately, some assembly.

Arriving in pieces from some mechanistic version of Ikea, little Flange turns out to be a cute but complicated tyke who immediately falls apart…and then rockets uncontrollably about the room after an overconfident uncle tinkers with his basic design. As a squad of helpline techies and bevies of neighbors bearing sludge cake and like treats roll in, the cluttered and increasingly crowded scene deteriorates into madcap chaos—until at last Cath, with help from Roomba-like robodog Sprocket, stages an intervention by whisking the hapless new arrival off to a backyard workshop for a proper assembly and software update. “You’re such a good big sister!” warbles her frazzled mom. Wiesner’s robots display his characteristic clean lines and even hues but endearingly look like vaguely anthropomorphic piles of random jet-engine parts and old vacuum cleaners loosely connected by joints of armored cable. They roll hither and thither through neatly squared-off panels and pages in infectiously comical dismay. Even the end’s domestic tranquility lasts only until Cathode spots the little box buried in the bigger one’s packing material: “TWINS!” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.)

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-544-98731-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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FIRST GRADE, HERE I COME!

Henry has graduated from kindergarten, but that doesn’t mean he has necessarily left it behind. When his mother asks how his first day in first grade went, he says, “I didn’t like it because I missed kindergarten.” His mother encourages him to talk about it. As Henry goes about debriefing her, he develops a whole new picture. The teacher was new—and a man!—but he was also a good guy, as evidenced by the fact that he liked Henry’s pet worm. There were new kids, too, but Henry had already made a friend in Oswaldo. There was a cool science corner with a really fast guinea pig (discovered when you just happen to open Curly’s cage door). Minor problems are knit up, a little independence is dispensed and the first day of first grade turns out actually to be pretty neat. Prospective first-graders will find Carlson’s story enormously buoyant, floating those first-day cares away on the backs of her sweet, lopsided characters. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-670-06127-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2006

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