A tender story of friendship and change.

EVELYN DEL REY IS MOVING AWAY

Daniela’s “número uno best friend,” Evelyn Del Rey, is moving away. But today, for one last time, they’ll play. Just like they always do.

Daniela and Evelyn are two Latinx girls who live across the street from each other in apartments that are almost identical. One has a bedroom with “sunny yellow” walls and lives with both her parents and a cat; the other has a bedroom with “cotton candy” pink walls and lives with her mother and a hamster. But they “are mostly the same, just like [their] apartments. But not after today.” As the grown-ups pack and the moving truck is loaded, the girls enjoy one last day together. When the time comes to say goodbye, plans are made and big hugs are given. The ending hints at a friendship that lasts into future years, but the beauty of the book lies in the sheer pleasure and exhilaration exhibited by the girls as they enjoy the present moment. Newbery Medalist Medina’s versatility is in evidence here, showing she’s as much in tune with the picture-book audience as she is with older readers. With lines that go at angles and splashes of bold colors and patterns, Sánchez’s artwork is as lively and full of movement as the two girls. Layered applications of color create texture, and the interiors of their apartments are cozily beckoning. Evelyn is depicted with brown skin and locs, and Daniela with pale skin and two puffy pigtails.

A tender story of friendship and change. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0704-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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An honest look at motherhood in the contemporary era and a sweet tribute to the bond between mother and child.

ALWAYS WITH YOU, ALWAYS WITH ME

Grammy-winning, multiplatinum singer/songwriter Rowland teams up with California teacher McKay to celebrate busy moms.

This picture book highlights a mother’s frequent longing to be with her child when life’s demands pull them apart. The story takes us through a busy Black mom’s week: She goes to work (at a construction site where she appears to be an engineer), works from home on her son’s sick day, takes him to a museum, and shares domestic duties with her Black male partner, who is a nurse. She encounters many bumps in the road that will be familiar to working parents. Each day, she gently reassures her son with a lyrical refrain: “Always with you, / Always with me, / Mommy and child / Together we’ll be.” This tender story, narrated in the voice of a mother addressing her child, pulls at the heartstrings. Liem’s digital artwork uses a warm palette and has a calming quality. The characters’ body language and heartfelt facial expressions are spot-on. This book will resonate with any mom who knows the heartache of having to say goodbye to their child or who has faced the teary-eyed frustration of a youngster experiencing separation anxiety. Young readers, on the other hand, will find solace in the reassuring narrative. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An honest look at motherhood in the contemporary era and a sweet tribute to the bond between mother and child. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-46551-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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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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