Kids everywhere will be honing their tantrum skills in hopes of riding their very own strollercoasters.

STROLLERCOASTER

It’s that time—the hour of doom wedged between when a toddler first becomes overtired and finally blissfully naps.

Frustration crackles through la casa like a downed power line. Tyrannical tantrums terrorize. Parental paroxysms of panic provoke pandemonium. Quick—to the STROLLERCOASTER! Down the streets of their barrio, Papi and daughter Sam whoosh, clack, and dive. Past the sugar-blasting pastelería, up the hill of no return, down the viaduct of trepidation, along the psychedelic wall of paleta rapture, and through the scratchboard black of Morpheus’ tunnel. The cranky, exhausted toddler is finally overcome by the whirlwind outing and is soon cuddled on the comfy couch with her slumbering Papacito. Ringler’s energetic narrative perfectly mimics the staccato thrills of a roller coaster. From the snap of the buckle to the paternal admonition “Keep your hands and feet inside at all times,” the stroller transforms into a ride Batman would envy. Raúl the Third and Bay’s tongue-in-cheek bilingual commentary planted in illustration details follows the frantic pair everywhere. From the encouraging “Corre” painted on the building they’re whizzing past at the beginning of their adventure to graffiti messages of “Estoy cansada” and “Tired?” as the toddler finally starts winding down, the whole barrio urges the fun-loving father and his thrill-seeking daughter to greater feats of glory.

Kids everywhere will be honing their tantrum skills in hopes of riding their very own strollercoasters. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49322-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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Comfy and cozy, with nary a meanie in sight.

GRANDUDE'S GREEN SUBMARINE

Following Hey, Grandude (2019), more jolly fun as the title character squires his four young “Chillers” aboard a green sub (where does Sir Paul get his ideas?) to catch up with his partner in adventure: Nandude!

Casting about for something to do on a sweltering day, the multiracial quartet eagerly follows their grizzled White gramps down to an underground chamber where a viridian vessel awaits to take them soaring through the sky to a distant land. There, Grandude’s old friend Ravi plays a tune of Nandude’s that accompanies them after they leave him. It leads them under the sea to an octopus’s garden and a briefly scary tangle with the ink-spraying giant. The monster’s set to dancing, though, as Nandude floats up in her own accordion-shaped ship to carry everyone home for tea, biscuits, and bed in a swirl of notes. Aside maybe from the odd spray of shiny stars here and there, Durst steers clear of sight gags and direct visual references to the film or music in her cheery cartoon scenes. Both she and the text do kit Ravi out, appropriately, with a sitar, but there’s no 1960s-style psychedelia to be seen. Nostalgic adults may be disappointed to see that even the submarine bears no resemblance to the iconic vessel of the film but instead just looks like a plush, smiling toy whale, eyes and all. Children, of course, won’t care. That this book does not try to trade (heavily) on its antecedents makes it a refreshing change from so many other celebrity titles. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Comfy and cozy, with nary a meanie in sight. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-37243-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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