This cheery selection will bring feelings of accomplishment and security to new readers and budding gymnasts alike.

I WILL TRY

From the I Like To Read series

This girl is ready for a challenge!

In this new addition to the I Like to Read picture-book series for emergent readers, a girl is determined to learn gymnastics. Colorful, digitally enhanced pen-and-ink illustrations show her nervousness as she prepares for her first try at the gym, while simple text, closely aligned with the illustrations, describes the experience from a child’s point of view. As with others in the series, the story itself consists of an uncomplicated plot, short sentences, accessible vocabulary and generous repetition, making this a fine choice for beginning readers. Oddly, there are no teachers or coaches visible at the gym, but children will identify with the girl’s admiration for another gymnast who encourages her and inspires her to try again when she falls. The energetic, multicultural girls are lively and appealing, and the narrator’s initial attempts at gymnastics nicely mirror a young reader’s early efforts at reading, emphasize the necessity of perseverance and include the appropriate thank you. While the story itself is somewhat minimal, it is intentionally so, allowing new or struggling readers to focus on the basics and achieve success.

This cheery selection will bring feelings of accomplishment and security to new readers and budding gymnasts alike. (Picture book/early reader. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2399-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012

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A forgettable tale.

THE LITTLEST REINDEER

Dot, the smallest reindeer at the North Pole, is too little to fly with the reindeer team on Christmas Eve, but she helps Santa in a different, unexpected way.

Dot is distressed because she can’t jump and fly like the other, bigger reindeer. Her family members encourage her and help her practice her skills, and her mother tells her, “There’s always next year.” Dot’s elf friend, Oliver, encourages her and spends time playing with her, doing things that Dot can do well, such as building a snowman and chasing their friend Yeti (who looks like a fuzzy, white gumdrop). On Christmas Eve, Santa and the reindeer team take off with their overloaded sleigh. Only Dot notices one small present that’s fallen in the snow, and she successfully leaps into the departing sleigh with the gift. This climactic flying leap into the sleigh is not adequately illustrated, as Dot is shown just starting to leap and then already in the sleigh. A saccharine conclusion notes that being little can sometimes be great and that “having a friend by your side makes anything possible.” The story is pleasant but predictable, with an improbably easy solution to Dot’s problem. Illustrations in a muted palette are similarly pleasant but predictable, with a greeting-card flavor that lacks originality. The elf characters include boys, girls, and adults; all the elves and Santa and Mrs. Claus are white.

A forgettable tale. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-338-15738-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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The soft cadence of the rhyming verses and the joyous pictures of the elephants will make this a bedtime favorite

THIS IS OUR BABY, BORN TODAY

When a baby elephant is born, “wrinkled and gray,” not just the herd, but the whole world rejoices, from morning to night.

From the proud Mama to the grand Aunts, from the “fertile and firm” Earth to the ancient Banyan tree, everyone and everything around the new baby elephant joins in celebration and care for the Baby “who warms the hearts of the world today.” Glowing with warm golds and greens and shadowed with deep blues and greens, the gorgeous artwork lushly illuminates the day of an elephant’s birth as it is cared for by its family and surroundings. The expressions on the elephant faces are sheer joy to behold; the elephant smiles are realistic and yet radiate affection. Seemingly simple, this gentle rhyming story works on two levels: the playfulness of the young elephant and its friends ensure that young children will be able to see themselves in the story, and given the depiction of the natural scenes, at least some young readers will become fascinated with the lives of elephants as well. An author’s note at the end provides background from the Indian-American author’s own life and also draws attention to the present-day need to protect elephants from poaching and the loss of habitat.

The soft cadence of the rhyming verses and the joyous pictures of the elephants will make this a bedtime favorite . (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-16684-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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