A clever, irresistible, visually engaging search-and-find exercise.

THE LOST HOUSE

Before Grandad can take his two grandchildren to the park, he needs their help to find various personal items he’s lost.

Locating Grandad’s misplaced socks, shoes, dentures, glasses, umbrella, tote bag, bow tie, pocket watch, keys, hat, and mobile phone in his enormous house, filled from floor to ceiling with a bizarre assembly of peculiar possessions, becomes a daunting exercise for all concerned. Inviting reader participation, the text offers clues and directs the hunt, beginning in the green living room and progressing to the red kitchen, yellow bathroom, pink drawing room, blue hallway, pink and gray study, purple reading room, brown attic, and green greenhouse before ending in the magenta mezzanine. Grandad’s missing items appear collectively in the frontispiece, but they are later diabolically concealed within the welter of lines and patterns adorning the incredibly detailed illustrations. Adding to the visual confusion, everything in each room (except Grandad and his silently searching grandchildren, all anthropomorphic dogs) appears in the same bold color, artfully camouflaging the lost items. Red shoes in an overcrowded red kitchen could be anywhere. Is there really a pink-and-gray bow tie somewhere in the pink and gray study? Where’s the green hat with the feather in the greenhouse teeming with green plants? Will the grandchildren and readers ever locate Grandad’s missing gear?

A clever, irresistible, visually engaging search-and-find exercise. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-99921-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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As ephemeral as a valentine.

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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