A gorgeous picture book that invites young readers to make their own neighborhoods places where good days abound.

DANIEL'S GOOD DAY

The tale of a kid who loves his neighborhood as much as Mr. Rogers loved his.

Wearing blue overalls and red tennis shoes, Daniel leaves his mom and baby sibling to venture to Grandma’s house. As passers-by wish him “a good day,” he asks what makes a good day for each of them. Mrs. Sanchez, the painter, says clear skies; kite-flying Emma says “a steady wind”; the bus driver mentions riders who say “please” and “thank you.” Daniel seems to know nearly everyone in the diverse neighborhood, and each has a response for him. On his way back, leading Grandma to his house, he sees that his neighbors are all having a good day. As this little brown-skinned boy progresses through his urban neighborhood, readers can appreciate the level of detail Archer includes in her colorful, meticulously composed, collage illustrations, from small cutout photographs on the front covers of the magazines on the newsstand to individually cut and torn paper that makes up the flowers and plants lining many yards. This visually stunning book also embraces nontraditional gender roles, illustrates diversity within families, and advocates for the importance of giving children a level of independence and also welcoming them into the family circle after their adventures.

A gorgeous picture book that invites young readers to make their own neighborhoods places where good days abound. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-54672-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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A deliciously sweet reminder to try one’s unique best.

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THE SMART COOKIE

From the Food Group series

This smart cookie wasn’t alwaysa smart cookie.

At the corner of Sweet Street stands a bakery, which a whole range of buns and cakes and treats calls home, including a small cookie who “didn’t feel comfortable speaking up or sharing” any ideas once upon a time. During the early days of gingerbread school, this cookie (with sprinkles on its top half, above its wide eyes and tiny, smiling mouth) never got the best grades, didn’t raise a hand to answer questions, and almost always finished most tests last, despite all best efforts. As a result, the cookie would worry away the nights inside of a cookie jar. Then one day, kind Ms. Biscotti assigns some homework that asks everyone “to create something completely original.” What to do? The cookie’s first attempts (baking, building a birdhouse, sculpting) fail, but an idea strikes soon enough. “A poem!” Titling its opus “My Crumby Days,” the budding cookie poet writes and writes until done. “AHA!” When the time arrives to share the poem with the class, this cookie learns that there’s more than one way to be smart. John and Oswald’s latest installment in the hilarious Food Group series continues to provide plenty of belly laughs (thanks to puns galore!) and mini buns of wisdom in a wholly effervescent package. Oswald’s artwork retains its playful, colorful creative streak. Although slightly less effective than its predecessors due to its rather broad message, this one’s nonetheless an excellent addition to the menu.(This book was reviewed digitally.)

A deliciously sweet reminder to try one’s unique best. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-304540-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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