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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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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A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy.

ROBOBABY

Robo-parents Diode and Lugnut present daughter Cathode with a new little brother—who requires, unfortunately, some assembly.

Arriving in pieces from some mechanistic version of Ikea, little Flange turns out to be a cute but complicated tyke who immediately falls apart…and then rockets uncontrollably about the room after an overconfident uncle tinkers with his basic design. As a squad of helpline techies and bevies of neighbors bearing sludge cake and like treats roll in, the cluttered and increasingly crowded scene deteriorates into madcap chaos—until at last Cath, with help from Roomba-like robodog Sprocket, stages an intervention by whisking the hapless new arrival off to a backyard workshop for a proper assembly and software update. “You’re such a good big sister!” warbles her frazzled mom. Wiesner’s robots display his characteristic clean lines and even hues but endearingly look like vaguely anthropomorphic piles of random jet-engine parts and old vacuum cleaners loosely connected by joints of armored cable. They roll hither and thither through neatly squared-off panels and pages in infectiously comical dismay. Even the end’s domestic tranquility lasts only until Cathode spots the little box buried in the bigger one’s packing material: “TWINS!” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.)

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-544-98731-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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