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Time for Kenny by Brian Pinkney

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40 pages

Two-time Caldecott Honor artist and Coretta Scott King Medalist Brian Pinkney’s Time for Kenny is simple, direct, and pitch-perfect for emerging readers. This vibrant, family-oriented picture book is full of boundless energy, action, and unlimited love. A timeless choice for fans of Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Christian Robinson, and Oge Mora.

Time for Kenny to get up and enjoy the day with his family! In four deceptively simple stories, Brian Pinkney guides readers through a young child’s day. First, Kenny must get dressed. Maybe he can wear his mom’s shoes? And his grandpa’s hat seems to fit perfectly on his head. Luckily, with the help of his family, Kenny is finally set to go. Then he must overcome his fear of the monstrous vacuum cleaner, learn to play soccer with his big sister, and—after all that fun—get ready for bedtime.

Bright, colorful, and energetic illustrations create a bold, accessible book for families to treasure and share. Rhythm, repetition, and clear, short sentences make Time for Kenny an excellent choice for emerging readers.


“Here comes Kenny, a boy in perpetual motion. . . . Young readers who enjoyed Pinkney’s Puppy Truck will eagerly grow into reading these stories alone, but they also work well as participatory read-alouds . . . With plenty of white space and colorful swirls . . . Pinkney’s recognizable illustrations affirm the closeness of this Black family and paint an empathetic picture of one kid’s resistances, fears, and joys.” - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Pinkney creates a simple, endearing account of a day in the life of a preschooler. . . . Pinkney excels at seeing the world from a . . . [child’s] point of view, portraying the distinctive ways that Kenny interacts with different family members . . . . Small, everyday events contain plenty of humor and action, conveying throughout the sense that Kenny is cherished and his concerns are honored.” - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Four brief stories take us through young Kenny’s day . . . Pinkney’s text is both spare and engagingly lively . . . An excellent choice for both emerging readers and preschoolers. . . . The illustrations—in Pinkney’s signature swirly art, full of movement and energy—capture Kenny’s personality and emotions. They also portray, understatedly but definitely, the warmth of this family’s relationships. . . Delightful.” - Horn Book (starred review)

“[Kenny] has a busy day ahead of him, relayed in four short sections that introduce readers to the concept of chapters. . . . Pinkney’s signature fluid acrylic and India ink illustrations, swirling with color and energy, depict the dancing movement . . . This family-focused story will interest mostly very young children in the early preschool years; however, the simple, clear text is also accessible to emerging readers. [An] essential purchase.” - School Library Journal (starred review)

“Four brief adventures . . . that center on young Kenny's day. . . . Pinkney's succinct text employs repeated phrases and focuses on familiar activities, making this equally appropriate for squirmy preschoolers and emergent readers. . . . A comforting and highly relatable story.” - Booklist


“The everyday life details and easy-to-follow text have kid appeal and interactive readaloud potential. Pinkney’s familiar fluid, kinetic watercolors give Kenny and his affectionate family plenty of spirit even in small moments . . . Especially effective as a bedtime book that could prompt listeners and their adults to go over their own daily high points.” - Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

PUBLISHER: Greenwillow Books (January 12, 2021)

FORMAT: Hardcover