Books by Aileen Leijten

LINT BOY by Aileen Leijten
Released: June 27, 2017

"Provided they're able to follow it, readers will have a difficult time putting it down. (Fantasy. 7-11)"
Dolls, socks, and dryer lint all come alive in Leijten's disorienting graphic novel. Read full book review >
BELLA & BEAN by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Released: Feb. 10, 2009

Bella, a poet, and Bean, a creative busybody, are best friends. Bean constantly interrupts Bella from "thinking of words" and composing poems, demanding that Bella look at her new hat and cute toes or help her plant a bush. "My," says Bean, "Aren't we grumpy." Bean pesters Bella to leave her writing, but Bella resists until evening, when she begins to write about her friend. There are fine examples of metaphor, simile and wordplay scattered throughout: "The sky poured stars like sugar." Eventually the twin themes of poetry and friendship unite as Bella and Bean collaborate on "a poem about us." The two mice are wholly goofy-looking, with skinny legs and tails, thick whiskers and prominent teeth, and their personalities come across as stubborn and unappealing. The lessons about the process of writing and the compromises and joys of friendship overwhelm the slight story. Despite some lovely images and language play, the story doesn't quite succeed. (Picture book. 5-9)Read full book review >
HUGGING HOUR!  by Aileen Leijten
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

A winning intimacy infuses this tale of a small child who is dropped off for an overnight with Grandma. After waiting seemingly forever for her parents' return, young Drew (or "Drool," as she prefers to call herself) sadly concludes that she's an orphan. Both Grandma and Kip, the house chicken, ignore her pleas for sympathy—Kip finally disappearing after being subjected to a game of dress-up, and Grandma cheerily offering in succession hugs, Belgian waffles, triple-decker cupcakes and a story at bedtime. Leijten depicts the domestic setting in soft, subtly modulated colors and outfits her figures (even, briefly, Kip) in full-bodied polka-dot-print house dresses. Grandma sports an extravagant triple bun atop her outsized oval head, plus spit curls that find visual echoes in Drool's delicate auburn fuzz. The effect is entirely cozy, and when Drool's parents do at last arrive to sweep her away, hardly is she in the car before she's asking to come back. Readers and prereaders alike will be left smiling. (Picture book. 5-7)Read full book review >