Time for Kenny

J. Brian Pinkney

Book - 2021

During his busy day, Kenny gets dressed, fights his fear of the vacuum cleaner, gets a soccer lesson from his sister, and prepares for bed, with his loving family always near.

Saved in:

Children's Room Show me where

0 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Pinkney Due Oct 14, 2023
Picture books
New York, NY : Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2021]
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Ages 4 up.
Grades K-1.
Main Author
J. Brian Pinkney (author)
Review by Booklist Review

This episodic picture book comprises four brief adventures, each signaled by a single colored page, that center on young Kenny's day. In the morning, he dresses (after first trying to put on Daddy's shirt, Mommy's shoes, his sister's shorts, and Granddaddy's hat). Next, he avoids the scary, snack-snatching vacuum cleaner by perching on a chair. After breakfast, he practices soccer with his older sister. Lastly, Kenny resists bedtime until Mommy settles in to read him a story. Pinkney's succinct text employs repeated phrases and focuses on familiar activities, making this equally appropriate for squirmy preschoolers and emergent readers. The fluid illustrations, outlined in india ink and colored in bright acrylics, highlight this Brown-skinned family as they interact with Kenny. Most spreads highlight the human characters, with only hints at the background. Of particular note is the vacuum cleaner, a green upright exuding personality, featuring eyes that seem to follow Kenny and a toothy maw that gobbles his chips and cereal. A comforting and highly relatable story that should find a wide audience.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Pinkney (Nya's Long Walk) creates a simple, endearing account of a day in the life of a preschooler. Painted in the artist's characteristically loose, rounded line, brown-skinned Kenny is first seen playing thoughtfully with a large toy bus. "It is time for Kenny to get dressed for the day," the narrator announces. Can Kenny wear his father's shirt? Can he wear his mother's shoes? No, but his parents gaze at him with affection as he tries them on, and his family admires him once he's properly dressed. After seeing Grandaddy off on the bus, Kenny considers the family's big green vacuum cleaner as it eats his chips and cereal off the rug. "Could it eat Kitty? Could it eat Kenny?" It can't, of course, and his father's tickles balance a tense moment of fright. Pinkney excels at seeing the world from a small person's point of view, portraying the distinctive ways that Kenny interacts with different family members, including, in another scene, his sister. Small, everyday events contain plenty of humor and action, conveying throughout the sense that Kenny is cherished and his concerns are honored. Ages 4--up. Agent: Amy Boggs, Donald Maass. (Jan.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by School Library Journal Review

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.--Emily Brush, Novi P.L., MI

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Horn Book Review

Four brief stories take us through young Kenny's day as he gets dressed, has an encounter with a monster-like vacuum cleaner, learns "no hands!" soccer skills, and resists bedtime. Pinkney's text is both spare and engagingly lively -- and the clean font and page design and use of repetition make this an excellent choice for both emerging readers and preschoolers (think Watanabe's How Do I Put It On?). Each chapter is introduced by a page of full color containing a brief introductory sentence or two ("Kenny doesn't like the vacuum cleaner. It sleeps in the closet"; "Kenny's bedtime is in five minutes. But Kenny is not tired"), nicely delineating the four sections. The situations are all ones to which young readers will relate -- and they will cheer as Kenny emerges victorious each time ("Is Kenny dressed? Yes!"). The illustrations -- in Pinkney's signature swirly art, full of movement and energy -- capture Kenny's personality and emotions. They also portray, understatedly but definitely, the warmth of this family's relationships: he and Daddy laugh together in a post-vacuum-cleaner tickling session; his sister high-fives him after his soccer lesson; his mother reads him a book at bedtime. Pinkney keeps a tight focus on Kenny, his family, and a few signature objects (particularly his yellow toy school bus and beloved stuffed animal Kitty), helping viewers to likewise focus as they spend the day with this delightful Black boy. Martha V. Parravano January/February 2021 p.86(c) Copyright 2021. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

Here comes Kenny, a boy in perpetual motion. In the first of four episodes, a Black boy named Kenny attempts to dress in different family members' clothes while the patterned text unfolds as a series of questions and answers: "Can he wear these shoes?" the text asks as Kenny stands in a pair of purple pumps, answering its own question right away: "No, those are Mommy's shoes." When he finally gets dressed, the family walks Grandaddy to the bus with his suitcase. The second story tells of Kenny's fear of the vacuum cleaner. Because it "roars like a lion" and eats off the floor, Kenny wonders if it might eat Kitty, his toy, or even him. In the third story, Kenny's big sister gives him a lesson in soccer, a "no hands" sport (except for a high-five at the end). In the final story, although it's Kenny's bedtime, he isn't tired…until he is. But there's still time to snuggle up with Mommy for a story. Young readers who enjoyed Pinkney's Puppy Truck (2019) will eagerly grow into reading these stories alone, but they also work well as participatory read-alouds because of the repetitive text. Solid, pastel-colored pages divide one vignette from another. With plenty of white space and colorful swirls depicting Kenny's perpetual motion, Pinkney's recognizable illustrations affirm the closeness of this Black family and paint an empathetic picture of one kid's resistances, fears, and joys. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 25% of actual size.) A bedtime, daytime, anytime family story with a Black child at the center. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.