HERE

I CAN BE MINDFUL

A gentle child’s-eye view of mindfulness.

A child is present in the moment, ready to experience the now.

“Some days the world is a warm gold sun. Some days it is a green grass wave. Some days it is a bright blue ball. Some days it is a cool gray stone.” Some days are good; others are hard. But our young narrator knows that if they are sad, anxious, alone, or frustrated, there are ways they can center themself. Looking, hearing, tasting, smelling, and feeling are ways to remain present and here. Other options include being active, drawing, writing, voicing their feelings, doing something to help another, and remembering they are loved. Condie’s simple, encouraging text is supported by Kim’s bright digital illustrations that have a watercolor look. Soft, rounded images depict a tan-skinned, short-haired, barefoot child marching through the world, meeting it head-on, and experiencing their here and now. The little one cuts an endearing figure as they stride purposefully against a verdant landscape, bite into a crunchy apple, embrace a parent, and gaze up at the clouds. Pairing this with Tomie dePaola’s Look and Be Grateful (2015) would make for an affirming storytime. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A gentle child’s-eye view of mindfulness. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9780593327142

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

STOP! BOT!

The visual details invite interaction, making it a good choice for storytime or solo inspection.

It’s a quiet day, until….

“I have a bot!” An excited child’s happiness is short-lived, for the remote-controlled toy escapes its wireless tether and begins an ascent up the side of a skyscraper. The building’s doorman launches a race to recover the bot, and soon everyone wants to help. Attempts to retrieve the bot, which is rendered as a red rectangle with a propeller, arms, and a rudimentary face, go from the mundanity of a broom to the absurd—a bright orange beehive hairdo and a person-sized Venus’ flytrap are just some of the silly implements the building’s occupants use to try to rein in the bot. Each double-page spread reveals another level of the building—and further visual hijinks—as the bot makes its way to the top, where an unexpected hero waits (keep an eye out for falling bananas). The tall, narrow trim size echoes the shape of the skyscraper, providing a sense of height as the bot rises. Text is minimal; short declarations in tidy black dialogue bubbles with white courier-style typeface leave the primary-colored, blocky art to effectively carry the story. Facial expressions—both human and bot—are comically spot-on. The bot-owning child has light skin, and there are several people of color among those trying to rescue the bot. One person wears a kufi.

The visual details invite interaction, making it a good choice for storytime or solo inspection. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: July 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-425-28881-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

HEY, DUCK!

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Close Quickview