It’s not at all impossible for readers to enjoy this perky story.

IT'S IMPOSSIBLE!

Nothing’s impossible unless you say it is.

Dog runs a laundry business in the city, and he longs to see the ocean. Then he finds a box of new detergent called Ocean Magic, not only promising “seaside freshness with every wash!” but also, apparently, bearing a passenger. After Dog uses the detergent, what should emerge from the washing machine but a dizzy crab? Crab must return home—but how? Bicycling and mailing aren’t options. Consulting a map, Dog realizes “it’s impossible” to drive to the ocean, but Crab coaxes him into making the trip together. Even though he keeps repeating “it’s impossible,” Dog sets out with Crab. They explore varied terrain, visit natural wonders, take selfies, and meet other travelers overcoming personal impossible challenges. Finally arriving at their destination, Dog’s in ocean heaven. Dejectedly acknowledging staying is not, well, possible, Dog backtracks when he realizes remaining in seaside paradise is “only impossible if I SAY it is.” The satisfying conclusion shows Dog and Crab operating a bustling beach cafe. This lighthearted but single-purpose tale posits that goals one thinks are impossible may not be. This is a good message for youngsters, and Crab’s gusto might encourage kids to work to make their dreams real. The colorful, lively illustrations lend humor and feature plenty of details for children to savor. Endpapers depict colorful, smiling fish.

It’s not at all impossible for readers to enjoy this perky story. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-191-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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Nice enough, but its twinkle is on the faint side.

TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE KID

A boy gets an unusual payoff after wishing on a star.

Sitting outside one night, Clyde notices a lone star in the sky. He recites the “Star light, star bright” incantation and makes a wish. Disappointed when it doesn’t come true, he returns home. But later, while he’s asleep, the star he’d wished on sneaks into his bedroom and makes a wish on him! Startled awake, Clyde wonders how to grant Star’s wish. He shares some ideas (and actual objects) with her: a game of checkers, tent camping, tossing a Frisbee, and walkie-talkies. Star likes them, but they’re not her wishes; Clyde confides there’s no one to enjoy them with—and wonders if perhaps Star had wished for a friend. No one will be surprised at what Clyde next confesses to Star. The pair winds up playing together and becoming besties. This is a sweet but thin and predictable story about making friends. Still, readers will appreciate meeting feisty, celestial Star. The author reaches for humor using colloquialisms (“freaked out”), and kids will like the comfortable familiarity that develops between the cheery protagonists. The colored-pencil illustrations are rendered in a limited palette of mostly dark blues and purples, appropriate to the nighttime setting. Star is a luminous, pale yellow with a white topknot and has a star-dappled aura around her. Purple-pj’d Clyde wears bunny slippers and presents White. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough, but its twinkle is on the faint side. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-399-17132-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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An expertly crafted, soulful, and humorous work that tenderly explores identity, culture, and the bond between father and...

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THUNDER BOY JR.

Thunder Boy Smith Jr. hates his name.

The Native American boy is named after his father, whose nickname is Big Thunder. Thunder Boy Jr. says his nickname, Little Thunder, makes him "sound like a burp or a fart." Little Thunder loves his dad, but he longs for a name that celebrates something special about him alone. He muses, “I love playing in the dirt, so maybe my name should be Mud in His Ears.…I love powwow dancing. I’m a grass dancer. So maybe my name should be Drums, Drums, and More Drums!” Little Thunder wonders how he can express these feelings to his towering father. However, he need not worry. Big Thunder knows that the time has come for his son to receive a new name, one as vibrant as his blossoming personality. Morales’ animated mixed-media illustrations, reminiscent of her Pura Belpré Award–winning work in Niño Wrestles the World (2013), masterfully use color and perspective to help readers see the world from Little Thunder’s point of view. His admiration of his dad is manifest in depictions of Big Thunder as a gentle giant of a man. The otherwise-muted palette bursts with color as Thunder Boy Jr. proudly enumerates the unique qualities and experiences that could inspire his new name.

An expertly crafted, soulful, and humorous work that tenderly explores identity, culture, and the bond between father and son. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-01372-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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