Early readers should enjoy this gentle picture book’s fantasy elements and its message of sibling harmony, all delivered...

HENRY AND THE HIDDEN TREASURE

A little boy comes up with outlandish ways to protect a “treasure” in Fegan’s (The Grumpface, 2017) picture book, illustrated by Wen (The Play Tent of Imagination, 2016, etc.).

The dynamic between siblings, a frequent theme in children’s books, receives an entertaining treatment here. Henry, a young Caucasian boy, is determined to prevent his sibling, Lucy, from getting her hands on his “treasure,” or pocket money. Mom advises Henry to put his money in the bank—and to be nicer to his sister—but Henry wants a more foolproof plan, as he’s sure that Lucy has “secret ninja” talents. Pencil in hand, he designs a 10-step scheme, introducing young readers to ordinal numbers. The plan grows ever wackier, featuring giant robots, a fire-breathing dragon, and assorted monsters and superheroes. Wen whimsically depicts these flights of fancy in pencil and digital paint via two-page spreads and small, stand-alone images. Lucy seems to break through every elaborate trap (although, in reality, she merely enters Henry’s room). What she really wants, and Henry’s reaction to this revelation, provides a touching tribute to the fact that siblings can get along and genuinely care for each other—a message that isn’t always apparent in family entertainment.

Early readers should enjoy this gentle picture book’s fantasy elements and its message of sibling harmony, all delivered with a light, humorous touch.

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9953592-4-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: TaleBlade

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached.

EXTRA YARN

A little girl in a town of white snow and soot-blackened chimneys opens a small box and discovers a never-ending gift of colorful yarn.

Annabelle knits herself a sweater, and with the leftover yarn, she knits one for her dog, and with the yarn left over from that, she knits one for a neighbor and for her classmates and for her teacher and for her family and for the birdhouse and for the buildings in town. All and everything are warm, cozy and colorful until a clotheshorse of an archduke arrives. Annabelle refuses his monetary offers, whereupon the box is stolen. The greedy archduke gets his just deserts when he opens the box to find it empty. It wends its way back to Annabelle, who ends up happily sitting in a knit-covered tree. Klassen, who worked on the film Coraline, uses inks, gouache and colorized scans of a sweater to create a stylized, linear design of dark geometric shapes against a white background. The stitches of the sweaters add a subdued rainbow. Barnett entertained middle-grade readers with his Brixton Brothers detective series. Here, he maintains a folkloric narrative that results in a traditional story arc complete with repetition, drama and a satisfying conclusion.

A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-195338-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more