Published by Alazar Press
Summary: Alaina wakes up feeling excited about the day ahead. The second graders are putting on a play, and she, a kindergartener, gets to deliver the last line, “Thank you for coming. Goodbye.” She reviews her line with her mother as they walk to school, then goes over it in her head throughout the day. Finally, it’s time for the big production. Alaina watches in the wings, getting caught up in the different emotions that the actors portray. When it’s time for her line, she is too excited to stay on script, and instead improvises: “Wasn’t that great? Wasn’t it stupendous? What about those jokes, and the yelling, and the crying, and the dancing, and…?” The teacher cuts her short by closing the curtain, but Alaina sticks her head out for her final, “Thank you for coming. Goodbye!” 32 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: Eloise Greenfield, who died this year at the age of 92, once said she wanted her books “to enable Black children to realize how beautiful and smart they are”. She realizes that vision in this posthumously published story about Alaina. The story and the gorgeous illustrations capture the excitement of the theater, and Alaina’s delight in the production is infectious. This would make a great introduction to read before attending a play.
Cons: Seems like someone could have thought of a slightly catchier title.