cover image Kick Push

Kick Push

Frank Morrison. Bloomsbury, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0592-7

Making a strong solo debut, Morrison (R-E-S-P-E-C-T) introduces young Black expert skateboarder Ivan, “the kickflipping, big rail king” who’s “been grinding the streets with moves so big, his friends call him EPIC.” Facing “a new day in a new neighborhood” after moving with his family, he’s “off to find a new crew,” with little initial success. He tries to fit in with the local kids, attempting football, soccer, and basketball, until a final ride through the ethnically diverse neighborhood—“in and out of a sidewalk pickup game,” past a dance studio, by a barber shop, and to the local bodega—sets Ivan on a route to friendship and community. Text foregrounds onomatopoeia (“KICK PUSH SWISH!”; “KICK PUSH ZWOOSH!”), while Morrison’s engaging illustrations alternate between detailed domestic portraiture (“How about one more ride, king?” asks Ivan’s expressive father) and street art–tinged landscapes in which dynamic skating poses convey acrobatic motion. Together, words and images elevate this simple story about the importance of being oneself, centering a kid finding his way in a lively neighborhood full of epic movement. Front matter includes an author’s note. Ages 3–6. Agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Jan.)