Young readers will chuckle at Delia’s cluelessness—and maybe think twice about their own assumptions.

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DELIA'S DULL DAY

An amusing visual riff on the frequent refrain “nothing ever happens to me.”

Delia recounts the details of her incredibly dull yesterday. While her words describe a pedestrian day from breakfast to bedtime, the illustrations tell a completely different story. While Delia’s eyes are either trained down on her cereal or a handheld device or looking straight ahead, lots of interesting things are happening around her. Delia complains, “NOTHING happened during my breakfast, except I spilled some milk.” As she struggles with the milk, two elephants parade unseen down her hallway. Later, wildly shaped hot-air balloons float by while she checks her phone and waits for the bus. A pirate rides to school with her, and an astronaut floats by her math-class window while Delia doodles. The droll, first-person point of view carries the sarcastic, bored tone to its humorous extreme. The message could not be clearer: Look up and see the interesting world around you! This lesson is delivered in such a winning, funny package that it hardly seems like a lesson at all. Closer to Where’s Waldo in their invitation to look closely than a pat lesson on awareness, these lively, cartoony illustrations offer many chortles per page and invite amused readers to return to find more “boring” details in Delia’s life.

Young readers will chuckle at Delia’s cluelessness—and maybe think twice about their own assumptions. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58536-804-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite.

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AFTER THE FALL (HOW HUMPTY DUMPTY GOT BACK UP AGAIN)

Humpty Dumpty, classically portrayed as an egg, recounts what happened after he fell off the wall in Santat’s latest.

An avid ornithophile, Humpty had loved being atop a high wall to be close to the birds, but after his fall and reassembly by the king’s men, high places—even his lofted bed—become intolerable. As he puts it, “There were some parts that couldn’t be healed with bandages and glue.” Although fear bars Humpty from many of his passions, it is the birds he misses the most, and he painstakingly builds (after several papercut-punctuated attempts) a beautiful paper plane to fly among them. But when the plane lands on the very wall Humpty has so doggedly been avoiding, he faces the choice of continuing to follow his fear or to break free of it, which he does, going from cracked egg to powerful flight in a sequence of stunning spreads. Santat applies his considerable talent for intertwining visual and textual, whimsy and gravity to his consideration of trauma and the oft-overlooked importance of self-determined recovery. While this newest addition to Santat’s successes will inevitably (and deservedly) be lauded, younger readers may not notice the de-emphasis of an equally important part of recovery: that it is not compulsory—it is OK not to be OK.

A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62672-682-6

Page Count: 45

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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