A charming picture book about both a child and her obsessions and frustration, anger, and repair.

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MARGOT AND THE MOON LANDING

Margot is interested in only one thing: space travel.

When she regales others with her knowledge, they steer her attention to other topics (her mother), or are “unimpressed” (her teacher), or would rather play kickball (her friends, a multiracial bunch). One night, Margot wishes she never had to talk about anything but space ever again. And lo—the next morning, she can only recite Neil Armstrong’s famous speech from the 1969 moon landing, greeting her mother with “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” instead of “good morning.” Throughout the day, Margot grows increasingly frustrated, and, that night in her bedroom, she explodes. She writes her feelings on her wall—in marker. But her mother, upon seeing the scrawled-up wall, does not reprimand Margot: She reads what Margot’s written and writes: “I hear you” alongside. The pair repairs the wall—and the relationship—and creates a space for Margot to write her thoughts. “Margot wasn’t sure when exactly her voice came back,” Fitzpatrick writes. “But she was glad she had someone there to hear it.” Medina’s empathetic illustrations skillfully convey Margot’s many emotions—hurt, frustration, anger—with color, expression, and perspective. Both Margot and her mother are brown skinned; their dinner of “dahl and rice” suggests they are of South Asian heritage.

A charming picture book about both a child and her obsessions and frustration, anger, and repair. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-360-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference.

SOFIA VALDEZ, FUTURE PREZ

From the Questioneers series

Sofia Valdez proves that community organizers of any age can have a positive impact.

After a trash-heap eyesore causes an injury to her beloved abuelo, Sofia springs into action to bring big change to her neighborhood. The simple rhymes of the text follow Sofia on her journey from problem through ideas to action as she garners community support for an idyllic new park to replace the dangerous junk pile. When bureaucracy threatens to quash Sofia’s nascent plan, she digs deep and reflects that “being brave means doing the thing you must do, / though your heart cracks with fear. / Though you’re just in Grade Two.” Sofia’s courage yields big results and inspires those around her to lend a hand. Implied Latinx, Sofia and her abuelo have medium brown skin, and Sofia has straight brown hair (Abuelo is bald). Readers will recognize Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist from Beaty’s previous installments in the Questioneers series making cameo appearances in several scenes. While the story connects back to the title and her aptitude for the presidency in only the second-to-last sentence of the book, Sofia’s leadership and grit are themes throughout. Roberts’ signature illustration style lends a sense of whimsy; detailed drawings will have readers scouring each page for interesting minutiae.

Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3704-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

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Droll humor that’s sure to elicit guffaws.

PLEASE DON'T EAT ME

A bunny negotiates with a bear to avoid becoming lunch.

Burrowing along happily through the soil, a tiny white rabbit is stopped short by the beauty of a daisy. Unfortunately, a bear steps out from behind a tree at precisely the same moment. There’s no mistaking the bunny’s disappointment at the timing of the situation: “Aw, nuts.” The bear is hungry, so the quick-thinking rabbit proposes ordering a pizza. The pair share a pie, but before the bunny can leave, Bear muses, “It just doesn’t feel like a meal without dessert.” Will the bunny be dessert?! No. A chuckleworthy page turn reveals the two sharing a milkshake with giant twisty straws. Bear has many other ways of delaying the bunny’s departure until finally, the bunny loses patience: “Fine. That’s it! Just eat me already!” Flopped on a bed of greens, the bunny presents itself as a meal. But Bear has another option—perhaps they could be friends instead. The dumpy little rabbit mirrors Bear’s rotund frame; both state their arguments with deadpan precision. However, via tiny adjustments in body language, Climo masterfully includes a ton of expression behind the two protagonists’ tiny dotted eyes. Minimalist cartoon backgrounds keep the focus on the developing relationship.

Droll humor that’s sure to elicit guffaws. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-31525-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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