Essential for storytime read-alouds, emotional-literacy curricula, and bedtime snuggles in neighborhoods everywhere.

HELLO, NEIGHBOR!

THE KIND AND CARING WORLD OF MISTER ROGERS

Welcome, friend, to Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood!

The best neighborhoods are filled with all kinds of people, and Mr. Rogers’ is no different. Fred Rogers invited various artists, musicians, and public figures to his make-believe neighborhood, where he worked with puppeteers, actors, and others to create a unique place for his youngest television viewers—one filled with messages, spoken and sung, that underscored the values of love, kindness, and curiosity. Precise narration leads readers through the touchstones of Fred’s life, highlighting how his childhood influenced his mission: to treat children with deep respect for their emotions and intelligence. Cordell’s signature illustration style—scratchy pen and ink with pastel-hued watercolors—immerses readers in this world of make-believe, infusing graphically distinct spreads with warmth and humor, Fred’s recognizable red cardigan popping against the milder tints. Cordell fittingly includes children of color and children with disabilities, demonstrating the universal appeal and relevance of this special program. Extensive backmatter includes a biography, photographs from the show, a visual glossary of icons in the book and their connection to the show, a note from the author about his connection to Fred Rogers, and ways to learn more about this iconic figure of children’s television. Endpapers bookend the story with inspirational quotes from Fred Rogers.

Essential for storytime read-alouds, emotional-literacy curricula, and bedtime snuggles in neighborhoods everywhere. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4618-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Not astonishingly go-out-and-buy-it-at-graduation inspirational, but all it takes is one seed of change to be planted.

GOING PLACES

Imagination soars—quite literally—when a little girl follows her own set of rules.

Every year Oak Hill School has a go-kart race called the Going Places contest. Students are given identical go-kart kits with a precise set of instructions. And of course, every single kart ends up exactly the same. Every one, that is, except Maya’s. Maya is a dreamy artist, and she would rather sketch birds in her backyard than get caught up in the competition. When she finally does start working, she uses the parts in the go-kart box but creates something completely different. No one ever said it had to be a go-kart. Maya’s creative thinking inspires Rafael, her neighbor (and the most enthusiastic Going Places contestant), to ask to team up. The instructions never say they couldn’t work together, either! An ode to creativity and individuality to be sure, but the Reynolds brothers are also taking a swipe at modern education: Endless repetition and following instructions without question create a culture of conformity. Hopefully now, readers will see infinite possibility every time the system hands them an identical go-kart box.

Not astonishingly go-out-and-buy-it-at-graduation inspirational, but all it takes is one seed of change to be planted. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-6608-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 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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