The underlying suggestion that no one is as alone as they believe is lovely enough, but the fun of reading this aloud...

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MADAME CHAPEAU

The world’s most elegant milliner loses her birthday bonnet, and the whole city rushes to help.

“In a three-story house with a shop down below / lived the world’s finest hatmaker, Madame Chapeau.” Madame Chapeau spends her days making hats for everyone, but her evenings are very lonely. However, each year on her birthday, she carefully unpacks a special hat to wear out to dinner to a fancy restaurant (the brilliantly named Chez Snooty-Patoot). But this year, a crow steals her hat! A baker, a policeman, a cowboy and many others offer their own, very particular, caps to replace it, but Madame Chapeau can’t take a hat away from its perfect owner. “She knew that each hat—with its feathers or fur— / was made for someone who was simply not her.” Luckily, a small tot with lots of fuzzy yarn saves the day. With a text that can only be described as jaunty (and masterful in its inventive settings on the page), Beaty carries the bounces and lilts to the very last page. Roberts’ colorful, exaggerated hats (many of which are modeled on real designs) whimsically adorn the multicultural Parisian public. An appended artist’s note describes Roberts’ inspirations.

The underlying suggestion that no one is as alone as they believe is lovely enough, but the fun of reading this aloud elevates it even more. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4197-1219-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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