Playtime for Restless Rascals

by Nikki Grimes (Author) Elizabeth Zunon (Illustrator)

Playtime for Restless Rascals
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Time to get to work, little one, I tell you. What work? you ask. Like always, you pretend not to understand. Your job is called Play, I say. Mom needs to wake up her child whose job is to play. From dancing in puddles to jumping in leaves, and swinging high enough to almost reach the sun, there's so much to do in a fun-filled day.

For those seeking children's books about diversity, this loving depiction of everyday shenanigans is sure to become a story time favorite. Playtime for Restless Rascals is an African American children's book that celebrates imagination, playful moments, and the love between parents and child.

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
A stunning, warm story about the many ways that play sparks joy.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

PreS-Gr 1--Grimes phenomenally describes the daily play of a young energetic girl whose activities move throughout her world and the seasons. Readers understand play through the eyes of a young child exploring her surroundings and making work fun in multiple indoor and outdoor activities. Baking cakes and serving tea, creating and dressing a snowwoman, and building trains and trucks exemplify the wonders of early childhood's creative play. Grimes frames this story in the loving home of a mother and father who genuinely care for their daughter; her parents sacrifice their time to encourage the playfulness of their daughter, knowing that her work allows her expertise to shine and grow. Zunon's illustrations are outstanding, adding to the brilliant world of the restless little one. These images allow readers to glimpse the texture of the sun's radiance and the beauty of nature's background in the park. The patterns of the items and animals align with the colorful backgrounds enhancing the storytelling; even the vibrant words and font size lift this story to new heights. VERDICT Grimes crafts an outstanding story igniting a passion for play while mirroring its relationship to authentic work and the fundamental elements of true productivity: lunch, naptime, and winning.--Tanya Haynes

Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"This is a beautiful and lighthearted celebration of young families. Highly recommended as a gift for new parents and for lapsit storytimes" — Youth Services Book Review, STARRED review
Nikki Grimes

Nikki Grimes is a New York Times bestselling author and the recipient of the Children's Literature Legacy Award, the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her distinguished works include the Printz Honor and Sibert Honor book Ordinary Hazards; NAACP Image Award nominee Planet Middle School; Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade; Coretta Scott King Author Honor books Jazmin's Notebook, Talkin' About Bessie, Dark Sons, The Road to Paris, and Words with Wings, which was also named an ALA Notable Book; and What Is Goodbye?, an ALA Notable Book. She lives in Corona, California.

Wendell Minor is nationally known for the artwork he has created for over fifty award-winning children's books. His many collaborators include Jean Craighead George, Robert Burleigh, Buzz Aldrin, Tony Johnston, Mary Higgins Clark, and last but not least, his wife Florence. In 2009 Wendell and Florence's If You Were a Penguin, was chosen by Pennsylvania for their "One Book, Every Young Child" 2009 early literacy program, and they enjoyed the month they spent speaking to children in Pennsylvania's libraries, schools, Head Start facilities, and Museums.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
September 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV015010 - Juvenile Fiction | Health & Daily Living | Daily Activities
JUV051000 - Juvenile Fiction | Imagination & Play
JUV013060 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Parents
Library of Congress categories

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