Time for Kenny

HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Jan. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780060735289.
PreS-Gr 1–Kenny, a young boy of color who is three or four, has a busy day ahead of him, relayed in four short sections that introduce readers to the concept of chapters. Pinkney coordinates the background color of each introduction page with the main subject. In the initial section, Kenny gets ready with his mom, dad, and older sister to take his granddaddy to the bus. The mustard yellow introduction page matches Kenny’s toy school bus, as well as his granddaddy’s suit, signaling that the focus of this section is Kenny’s grandfather and the bus. This motif carries in the second section where Kenny, clutching a stuffed lion, worries that the seafoam green vacuum roaring to life might swallow him up, but his father is ready to save him with tickles. Next, Kenny’s older sister teaches him to play soccer. Pinkney’s signature fluid acrylic and India ink illustrations, swirling with color and energy, depict the dancing movement of the soccer ball flowing over Kenny’s body from his knees up to his head. In the final section as Kenny plays with his toy school bus and his mother brings the day to a close with a bedtime story. This family-focused story will interest mostly very young children in the early preschool years; however, the simple, clear text is also accessible to emerging readers.
VERDICT Essential purchase for public library picture book shelves beside Puppy Truck and On the Ball.

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