Time for Kenny

h1 January 14th, 2021 by jules


Here’s a post to celebrate an engaging new book for emerging readers (but also a book that would be a fabulous read-aloud, at story time or otherwise, to children not yet reading on their own), written and illustrated by Brian Pinkney and on shelves this month. Time for Kenny (Greenwillow) is a set of four short stories about a boy named Kenny, pictured above. Kenny is bright, curious, active, and crazy about his family (his Mommy, Daddy, big sister, and Grandaddy).

The four stories here capture Kenny’s everyday kind of joys (and, in one case, fears) — getting dressed for the day, playing soccer with his sister (see below), and playing before bedtime. Oh, and that fear? It’s the vacuum cleaner that “sleeps in the closet.” (Pinkney very mildly anthropomorphizes the appliance with lamps on it that could look like eyes.) The vacuum story is one that honors the boy’s fear and apprehension — the vacuum, afer all, eats his chips and his cereal — yet may also elicit some giggles, especially when Kenny wonders if the vacuum could eat him and, after running from it, he ends up in Daddy’s arms for tickling.

Pinkney captures Kenny’s constant movement with his signature energetic, colorful swirls, as you can see in the illustrations here. This is all laid out on uncluttered spreads; the white space gives Kenny and his family all the focus. The beginning of each story features a solid-color page on the verso, a page with text only. These pages consistently indicate to readers that a new story is being told. Pinkney keeps the sentences short and snappy; they’re ones that beginning readers will be able to chew on: “Kenny’s bedtime is in five minutes. But Kenny is not tired.”

Such an appealing, delightful book, and I hope we see Kenny return in subsequent stories. Enjoy the illustrations below.


“Kenny’s sister is teaching him soccer. ‘No hands!’ she says.”
(Click image to see spread in its entirety)



Two images above: Click either image to see spread in its entirety


(Click cover to enlarge)


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TIME FOR KENNY. Copyright © 2021 by Brian Pinkney. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, New York.

One comment to “Time for Kenny

  1. I love the colorful lines of motion!

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