Monday, July 10, 2023

Star review from Booklist

 image.png SOMETIMES I KAPLOOM by Rachel Vail; Illus. by Hyewon Yum 

Aug. 2023. 40p. Scholastic/Orchard, $18.99 (9781338840308). PreS–Gr. 1 


Vail and Yum have here created a helpful book for parents and children dealing with separation anxiety. Climbing high on playground equipment, making an effort to eat new foods, and going to bed with only one nightlight and “without even calling to be checked on. Except once . . . maybe twice” are a few of the feats Katie performs as she practices being brave. When her mother prepares to leave her at preschool one morning, the girl’s attempts at bravery fail completely and she goes “KAPLOOM.” A fierce, full-blown tantrum takes over as Katie loses control, screaming, pulling at her hair, and hanging onto her mother. The girl dislikes feeling and behaving in this manner, but her emotions are difficult to control. Colored-pencil illustrations on white backgrounds clearly show Katie’s emotions when she is brave and when she is kaplooming. Her anguish and frustration are clearly conveyed with wide-open mouths, clenched fists, tightly shut eyes, and red faces, along with lightning bolts shooting from her body. The youngster’s anger and sadness slowly dissipate after her mother gently reassures her—“I’ll come back. I always come back.”—and explains it is possible to be “brave and sad” and “brave and scared” at the same time. Notes from the author and illustrator explain their experiences with their own children’s separation anxiety. — Maryann Owen

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