The ballerina-to-be explores new and challenging steps—successfully.

TALLULAH'S TAP SHOES

From the Tallulah series , Vol. 4

To toe or to tap—that is the question for Tallulah.    

Tallulah happily looks forward to summer dance classes except for one hitch. She will have to take tap lessons. Younger brother Beckett is eager for them, but Tallulah is disdainful. As expected, she does well in ballet, even receiving compliments from the teacher. A girl in her class, Kacie, is also not a happy camper. She is a tap dancer and loves it because it is “so much cooler.” In her continuing tales of the Brooklyn balletomane, Singer sets up a see-saw scenario that sees Tallulah struggle with tapping and Kacie grapple with ballet. Self-confidence takes a direct hit as both girls refuse to face less-than-stellar class performances. When Kacie turns up as a surprise dinner guest, Beckett prods the two girls into admitting their fears. They help each other with steps and exchange friendship bracelets. Boiger continues to provide lovely watercolor paintings; summery greens for the camp setting and for costumes are just the right touch. Endpapers depict the four moves in tap’s flap step. Kacie demonstrates them at the beginning of the book, and Tallulah joins her at the conclusion. And, of course, Tallulah’s front-cover green-and-pink tutu is satisfyingly glittery.

The ballerina-to-be explores new and challenging steps—successfully. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-544-23687-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2015

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Nice enough, but its twinkle is on the faint side.

TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE KID

A boy gets an unusual payoff after wishing on a star.

Sitting outside one night, Clyde notices a lone star in the sky. He recites the “Star light, star bright” incantation and makes a wish. Disappointed when it doesn’t come true, he returns home. But later, while he’s asleep, the star he’d wished on sneaks into his bedroom and makes a wish on him! Startled awake, Clyde wonders how to grant Star’s wish. He shares some ideas (and actual objects) with her: a game of checkers, tent camping, tossing a Frisbee, and walkie-talkies. Star likes them, but they’re not her wishes; Clyde confides there’s no one to enjoy them with—and wonders if perhaps Star had wished for a friend. No one will be surprised at what Clyde next confesses to Star. The pair winds up playing together and becoming besties. This is a sweet but thin and predictable story about making friends. Still, readers will appreciate meeting feisty, celestial Star. The author reaches for humor using colloquialisms (“freaked out”), and kids will like the comfortable familiarity that develops between the cheery protagonists. The colored-pencil illustrations are rendered in a limited palette of mostly dark blues and purples, appropriate to the nighttime setting. Star is a luminous, pale yellow with a white topknot and has a star-dappled aura around her. Purple-pj’d Clyde wears bunny slippers and presents White. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough, but its twinkle is on the faint side. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-399-17132-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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An expertly crafted, soulful, and humorous work that tenderly explores identity, culture, and the bond between father and...

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THUNDER BOY JR.

Thunder Boy Smith Jr. hates his name.

The Native American boy is named after his father, whose nickname is Big Thunder. Thunder Boy Jr. says his nickname, Little Thunder, makes him "sound like a burp or a fart." Little Thunder loves his dad, but he longs for a name that celebrates something special about him alone. He muses, “I love playing in the dirt, so maybe my name should be Mud in His Ears.…I love powwow dancing. I’m a grass dancer. So maybe my name should be Drums, Drums, and More Drums!” Little Thunder wonders how he can express these feelings to his towering father. However, he need not worry. Big Thunder knows that the time has come for his son to receive a new name, one as vibrant as his blossoming personality. Morales’ animated mixed-media illustrations, reminiscent of her Pura Belpré Award–winning work in Niño Wrestles the World (2013), masterfully use color and perspective to help readers see the world from Little Thunder’s point of view. His admiration of his dad is manifest in depictions of Big Thunder as a gentle giant of a man. The otherwise-muted palette bursts with color as Thunder Boy Jr. proudly enumerates the unique qualities and experiences that could inspire his new name.

An expertly crafted, soulful, and humorous work that tenderly explores identity, culture, and the bond between father and son. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-01372-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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