Design flaws aside, the book’s timely message of universality among diversity is a highly relevant one.

ARE YOUR STARS LIKE MY STARS?

No matter how different our lives are, some things are the same.

A child’s world is full of color—and, if they look closely, full of wonder. Most double-page spreads of this picture book feature rhyming verse set on the left-hand page that describes in developmentally appropriate language how a child narrator sees a color. Gold, for example, is “warm” and “full of sparkle,” whereas blue is “deep, wide, and open.” Each stanza ends with versions of the same question, which concludes across the gutter or after a page turn: “Is your gold… / …like my gold?” creating a repetitive pattern that will delight young readers. The text is accompanied by rich illustrations of diverse children from all around the world, including South Asia, Latin America, East Asia, and Western settings. The final page features a black child and a white child sitting arm and arm on a hilltop, looking at the same star, driving home the message that our similarities bring us together and our differences make us more beautiful. The best feature of the book is the highly textured, collage-style illustrations, many of which contain soft strokes of color that give the images a pleasantly dreamlike quality. Unfortunately, the print is small, and the single lines that begin with “…like my” often get swallowed up in the pictures and are difficult to find.

Design flaws aside, the book’s timely message of universality among diversity is a highly relevant one. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4549-3013-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Ideal for any community where children count.

COUNTING ON COMMUNITY

A difficult concept is simply and strikingly illustrated for the very youngest members of any community, with a counting exercise to boot.

From the opening invitation, “Living in community, / it's a lot of FUN! / Lets count the ways. / Lets start with ONE,” Nagaro shows an urban community that is multicultural, supportive, and happy—exactly like the neighborhoods that many families choose to live and raise their children in. Text on every other page rhymes unobtrusively. Unlike the vocabulary found in A Is for Activist (2013), this book’s is entirely age-appropriate (though some parents might not agree that picketing is a way to show “that we care”). In A Is for Activist, a cat was hidden on each page; this time, finding the duck is the game. Counting is almost peripheral to the message. On the page with “Seven bikes and scooters and helmets to share,” identifying toys in an artistic heap is confusing. There is only one helmet for five toys, unless you count the second helmet worn by the girl riding a scooter—but then there are eight items, not seven. Seven helmets and seven toys would have been clearer. That quibble aside, Nagara's graphic design skills are evident, with deep colors, interesting angles, and strong lines, in a mix of digital collage and ink.

Ideal for any community where children count. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60980-632-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Triangle Square Books for Young Readers

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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