Kick Push by Frank Morrison

Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Summary:  Ivan is a skateboard champ whose moves have earned him the nickname Epic from his friends.  When his family moves to a new neighborhood, he hits the streets with his skateboard, but he misses having friends around to cheer him on.  He tries to connect with kids through football, soccer, and basketball, but those sports prove not to be his thing.  To cheer him up, his mom gives him money to buy a treat at the bodega.  He travels there by skateboard, practicing his tricks as he zooms past groups of kids.  They’re impressed, and Epic discovers that being true to his skateboarding self has gotten him a new group of friends.  Includes an author’s note (at the beginning of the book) about his own less-than-stellar skateboarding attempts.  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  The be-yourself message combines lots of skateboarding language and some pretty epic illustrations.  Frank Morrison is overdue for a Caldecott, and hopefully that committee and/or Coretta Scott King will consider this book.

Cons:  Despite Epic’s expertise, I thought a helmet and some other protective gear would have been a nice addition to the illustrations.

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