A gorgeously illustrated book with a clever concept.

THE DAY THAT A RAN AWAY

A boy makes an elaborate excuse for a missing school assignment in this rhyming alphabet picture book.

Elementary school teacher Mrs. May asks her student Jet why he didn’t complete his assignment to write out the alphabet. The boy explains that he did complete it—but the letters ran away or simply disappeared off the page. Jet goes on to detail what happened to each one: “B was so sad that she didn’t stay. / C left as well; he wanted to play.” After chronicling the whereabouts of the entire alphabet, Mrs. May tells Jet that the letters will “pay for their crimes,” and she instructs the boy to write out the alphabet 20 times, much to his dismay. Fegan’s (Don't Ever Look Behind Door 32, 2018, etc.) rhyme scheme is smooth, with short sentences and child-friendly language. Returning collaborator Wen’s fantastic illustrations further enhance the story. Most show Jet attempting to find the runaway letters, depicted as playful, monsterlike creatures. The whimsical scenery is richly colored, with each page offering clever details and subtext. For instance, the “P” creature resembles a purse-carrying peacock, with items starting with “P” (plants, pumpkin, pie) subtly appearing in the background. Both Jet and Mrs. May appear to be Caucasian, and the other students include people of color.

A gorgeously illustrated book with a clever concept.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-925810-00-4

Page Count: 34

Publisher: TaleBlade

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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