So can a girl rough it in ruffles? Silly question.

I'M GONNA CLIMB A MOUNTAIN IN MY PATENT LEATHER SHOES

A little girl takes all her feminine favorites on a camping trip.

Peppy Sadie, who has impossibly big red hair, narrates her adventure in bouncy iambic verse. “Today we’re going camping,” she declares, and lickety-split she starts packing. She’ll absolutely need her pink ballet costume, her patent leather shoes and her tiara, for starters. Even though Sadie’s decked out in frills, she can still help pitch the pup tent and help with other chores, like gathering huckleberries. Things go a bit amiss when a chipmunk makes off with the purple party bag that Sadie was using to gather the berries, and her white gloves get dirty. But no matter; Sadie’s imagination takes over. As she climbs the mountain in those patent leather shoes, she pictures herself capturing Bigfoot with her seven strings of pearls and swimming in the river in her flowered underwear. (She forgot her bathing suit.) That night, with only the campfire to illuminate them, Sadie pretends to protect the family from Bigfoot, played by her brother with a growl and a frown. Singer’s story crackles with humor and attitude, its driving rhythms making it an infectious read-aloud. Avril’s busy illustrations, using pastel chalk over a pencil outline, display a range of bright colors and have a slightly dreamy cast, as if they came right out of Sadie’s head.

So can a girl rough it in ruffles? Silly question. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0336-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash.

JABARI JUMPS

Young Jabari decides today is the day he is going to jump from the diving board, even though it’s a little high and a little scary.

Jabari’s father and baby sister accompany him to the swimming pool in the city, where Jabari has already made up his mind about today’s goal: jumping off the diving board. “I’m a great jumper,” he says, “so I’m not scared at all.” But that’s not entirely true. Readers see Jabari play the waiting game as the other children (a diverse bunch) make their ways past him in line. Once Jabari finally begins to climb up, he slyly remembers that he forgot to “stretch.” The stalling techniques don’t faze his dad, who sees an opportunity for a life lesson. “It’s okay to feel a little scared,” offers his dad at the side of the pool. With renewed will, Jabari returns to the towering diving board, ready to embrace the feat. In her debut, Cornwall places her loving black family at the center, coloring the swimming pool and park beyond in minty hues and adding whimsy with digitally collaged newspaper for skyscrapers. A bird’s-eye view of Jabari’s toes clinging to the edge of the diving board as he looks way, way down at the blue pool below puts readers in his head and in the action.

This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7838-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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An early reader that kids will want to befriend.

NOT ME!

In an odd-couple pairing of Bear and Chipmunk, only one friend is truly happy to spend the day at the beach.

“Not me!” is poor Chipmunk’s lament each time Bear expresses the pleasure he takes in sunning, swimming, and other activities at the beach. While controlled, repetitive text makes the story accessible to new readers, slapstick humor characterizes the busy watercolor-and-ink illustrations and adds interest. Poor Chipmunk is pinched by a crab, buried in sand, and swept upside down into the water, to name just a few mishaps. Although other animal beachgoers seem to notice Chipmunk’s distress, Bear cheerily goes about his day and seems blithely ignorant of his friend’s misfortunes. The playful tone of the illustrations helps soften the dynamic so that it doesn’t seem as though Chipmunk is in grave danger or that Bear is cruel. As they leave at the end of the book Bear finally asks, “Why did you come?” and Chipmunk’s sweet response caps off the day with a warm sunset in the background.

An early reader that kids will want to befriend. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3546-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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