|All good in the hood
Author: Reed, Dwayne
A bounce-to-the-beat story, set against the backdrop of a Juneteenth celebration, about a young boy who's afraid of the sounds in the city but is comforted by his older brother, who tells him not to worry: "It's all good in the hood."
Kirkus Reviews (00/05/23)
School Library Journal (08/11/23)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/11/2023 PreS-Gr 2—A young Black boy is celebrating Juneteenth with his mom, dad, and big brother, but he worries about going to such a big, loud celebration. Several things happen on the way that increase his anxiety, but each time his brother lovingly reassures him by using the titular phrase, "Don't worry, Lil' Bro, it's all good in the hood!" Thanks to his family's loving support, Lil' Bro enjoys the festivities, and at the end of the day he reassures his big brother, who is anxious about the sound of the fireworks. Reed (Simon B. Rhymin') uses upbeat, rhyming text supported seamlessly by Jose's lively illustrations that include details like incorporating the colors of the Pan-African flag into the mother's outfit and the ice cream treats she serves her family. Although the text is choppy in places—"'We're going to the park,' Mom said. 'It's a holiday!' But, deep down, at home is where I wished we could stay," and "But my Big Bro grabbed me and pulled me to the side/ Just in the nick of time as the truck flew by"—children will love the positive story and the playful digital images. VERDICT A first purchase.—Jennifer Sontag - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/15/2023 Using boisterous illustrations and rhythmic, rhyming text, Reed (Chicago’s “rapping teacher”) and Jose bring readers an endearing story about a child celebrating Juneteenth for the first time in his neighborhood. The book centers on a Black family of four as they walk to the park to join in the festivities. While Mom, Dad, and Big Bro are excited about the outing, Lil’ Bro is anxious about walking around the neighborhood. A speeding truck and a barking dog ramp up his concern, but Big Bro is always ready with a hug and the comforting refrain “Don’t worry, Lil’ Bro, it’s all good in the hood!” At last, they arrive at the park, which is full of happy people and such activities as dancing, viewing art, waving flags, and eating barbecue. Lil’ Bro begins to loosen up, and when evening fireworks startle Big Bro, it’s Lil’ Bro’s turn to give some comfort. The sweet family dynamics, particularly between the brothers, carry this story, which is less concerned with Juneteenth’s history than it is about depicting an upbeat, modern celebration. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.