Fast-paced, with supersimple vocabulary and a smattering of earth science to spark interest in young rock collectors...

JADA JONES, ROCK STAR

From the Jada Jones series , Vol. 1

Easy to read and sprinkled with science, a contemporary tale of friendship, loss, acceptance, and learning how to be who you are and rock what you’ve got.

Jada Jones will remind caregivers of that time when the outdoors was fascinating. Who doesn’t remember collecting rocks as a kid? Even though Jada is in fourth grade, the language and tempo of the book are best suited to emergent readers new to chapter books. It’s an engaging tale about a little black girl whose best friend has moved away. When her mom advises Jada to try making new friends, Jada soon learns that two is company but three might be a crowd. Jada must maneuver through the minefield of new friends vs. old friends while working on a class project about rocks. She also struggles with jealousy from someone afraid Jada is trying to steal her best friend. Brantley-Newton’s illustrations of Jada, her African-American family, and her classmates, mostly children of color, are fun and inspiring, reminiscent of Sophie Blackall’s whimsical, wide-eyed depictions in the Ivy + Bean series. In fact, this first in the Jada Jones series feels very much like the perfect fit for fans of Ivy + Bean or Clementine, as Lyons sprinkles her latest character with warmth and a touch of sass. Sequel Class Act publishes simultaneously.

Fast-paced, with supersimple vocabulary and a smattering of earth science to spark interest in young rock collectors everywhere . (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-448-48751-9

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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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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