The King of Kindergarten
Derrick Barnes is the author of the empowering New York Times bestsellers The King of Kindergarten, I Am Every Good Thing, which won the NCTE Charlotte Huck Award and the Kirkus Prize, and Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, which received a Newbery Honor, a Coretta Scott King Honor, the Kirkus Prize, and the Ezra Jack Keats Award. He also wrote the bestselling chapter book series Ruby and the Booker Boys. Derrick is a native of Kansas City, MO and a graduate of Jackson State University and was the first African American male creative copywriter hired by greeting card giant, Hallmark Cards. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife and their four sons.
Vanessa Brantley-Newton has illustrated numerous picture books, including The Girl Who Heard Colors (by Marie Harris), Mary Had a Little Glam (by Tammi Sauer), One Love (by Cedella Marley), A Night Out with Mama (by Quvenzhané Wallis), and The Youngest Marcher (by Cynthia Levinson), as well as the chapter book series Ruby and the Booker Boys (by Derrick Barnes) and Jada Jones (by Kelly Starling Lyons). She wrote and illustrated Let Freedom Sing and Grandma's Purse. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.
* “It’s the first day of kindergarten, and our protagonist is ready. . . . Describes in confident, loving, sometimes humorous terms what that day will be like. . . . Buoyant prose. . . . A beamingly positive intro to a new experience that gives youngsters a great framing for their best behavior; the winking touch to the grandiloquence keeps it from being sentimental and instead makes it jubilant, affectionately jokey cheerleading. Line and digital artwork provides lively, playful background textures and details. . . . There are plenty of reassuring books about starting kindergarten, but this delightfully moves beyond ‘It will be okay and you might even like it’ to a straight out ‘You will crush this!’”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review
* “When a mother gives her son the titular nickname, it inspires him throughout his first day of school. . . . Affirming text and energizing drawings . . . which skillfully balance bright colors, patterns, and textures, should put a spring in the step of any reluctant kindergartner: who wouldn’t want to be thought of as ‘the charming, the wonderful and the kind’ class sovereign?”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
* “The playful illustrations use texture and shadow to great effect, with vibrant colors and dynamic shapes and lines sustaining readers’ interest on every page. Text and visuals work together beautifully to generate excitement and confidence in children getting ready to enter kindergarten. The little king’s smiling brown face is refreshing and heartwarming. . . . Necessary nourishment, infectiously joyous.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* “Joyful and empowering. . . . With the introduction of each part of this brand new day comes the assurance that nothing is too difficult for the King of Kindergarten. The vibrant and cheerful hand-drawn and digital illustrations feature a diverse classroom of children all helping one another. . . . Lots of emphasis on being a kind and brave classmate and ruler. . . . This marvelous story will give each reader an opportunity to see themselves as ‘the charming, the wonderful, and the kind King of Kindergarten.’ Perfect for storytime or one-on-one readings, this book is an absolute first purchase.”—School Library Journal, starred review
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