Subtle lessons about entering a new and unfamiliar territory, finding companions, and the value of a friendly, approachable...

GOOD ROSIE!

A lonely, brown-and-white terrier named Rosie learns how to stand up to a bully and how to make new friends in this understated, gently humorous story.

Rosie lives with her owner, George, a middle-aged, balding man with glasses and suspenders and a rather staid lifestyle. Though Rosie loves George, she would really like to meet another dog, so on their daily walks they begin visiting a dog park. At first Rosie doesn’t know how to make friends, but a tiny, bouncy dog named Fifi teaches Rosie and a blustery Saint Bernard named Maurice how it’s done. Rosie’s journey takes her from loneliness through fear and bravery and then on to joyous companionship with her new pals. By the conclusion, the three dogs are running and playing together, and George is chatting with two women on a park bench, making friends of his own. George is white, and two of the other dog owners are people of color. Each of the three dogs has a distinct personality, conveyed both in the succinct text and in engaging watercolor illustrations laid out in panels of different configurations as well as some full-page illustrations. Cartoonist Bliss’ humor shines as it works with DiCamillo’s understated text.

Subtle lessons about entering a new and unfamiliar territory, finding companions, and the value of a friendly, approachable attitude are all conveyed with a delicate touch. Good Rosie—good story. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8979-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A deliciously sweet reminder to try one’s unique best.

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THE SMART COOKIE

From the Food Group series

This smart cookie wasn’t alwaysa smart cookie.

At the corner of Sweet Street stands a bakery, which a whole range of buns and cakes and treats calls home, including a small cookie who “didn’t feel comfortable speaking up or sharing” any ideas once upon a time. During the early days of gingerbread school, this cookie (with sprinkles on its top half, above its wide eyes and tiny, smiling mouth) never got the best grades, didn’t raise a hand to answer questions, and almost always finished most tests last, despite all best efforts. As a result, the cookie would worry away the nights inside of a cookie jar. Then one day, kind Ms. Biscotti assigns some homework that asks everyone “to create something completely original.” What to do? The cookie’s first attempts (baking, building a birdhouse, sculpting) fail, but an idea strikes soon enough. “A poem!” Titling its opus “My Crumby Days,” the budding cookie poet writes and writes until done. “AHA!” When the time arrives to share the poem with the class, this cookie learns that there’s more than one way to be smart. John and Oswald’s latest installment in the hilarious Food Group series continues to provide plenty of belly laughs (thanks to puns galore!) and mini buns of wisdom in a wholly effervescent package. Oswald’s artwork retains its playful, colorful creative streak. Although slightly less effective than its predecessors due to its rather broad message, this one’s nonetheless an excellent addition to the menu.(This book was reviewed digitally.)

A deliciously sweet reminder to try one’s unique best. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-304540-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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