A delightful story about thoughtful, compassionate friendship.

LILY'S WATER WOES

From the Wild Fairies series , Vol. 2

Mermaid fairy Lily copes with the difficulties of being a water-based creature with land-based friends.

Blue-haired and -skinned mermaid Lily must rely on her friends to visit her, as her inability to remain out of water for long results in her cutting short her visits to them (especially when, as in the case of Indigo’s treetop workshop, travel time eats into her outside-of-water time). Lily’s bummed out when distractions and changes of plans result in her friends’ skipping visits with her, and she feels left out when they explore areas she finds inaccessible. Lily doesn’t expect her friends to understand her accessibility difficulties and so doesn’t complain—but without her realizing it, they’ve noticed that she’s down and reasoned why. As a surprise for her, they examine how they can make their forest more inclusive of her physical needs, devising an elevator and slide system to give Lily fast, easy transportation and to accommodate her physical limitations. Lily’s friends decide to do this, without prompting or her asking, both to make Lily happy and because they enjoy her company, effectively modeling empathy and inclusiveness without didacticism. Contextual nuance to the disability parallel is provided in the joy Lily experiences in the water as well as in the apologies her friends provide in response to her feelings of neglect. Information about water lilies and a craft join the dramatis personae and assorted games in the backmatter—a series feature.

A delightful story about thoughtful, compassionate friendship. (Fantasy. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63565-135-5

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Inspiration, shrink wrapped.

WHAT THE ROAD SAID

From an artist, poet, and Instagram celebrity, a pep talk for all who question where a new road might lead.

Opening by asking readers, “Have you ever wanted to go in a different direction,” the unnamed narrator describes having such a feeling and then witnessing the appearance of a new road “almost as if it were magic.” “Where do you lead?” the narrator asks. The Road’s twice-iterated response—“Be a leader and find out”—bookends a dialogue in which a traveler’s anxieties are answered by platitudes. “What if I fall?” worries the narrator in a stylized, faux hand-lettered type Wade’s Instagram followers will recognize. The Road’s dialogue and the narration are set in a chunky, sans-serif type with no quotation marks, so the one flows into the other confusingly. “Everyone falls at some point, said the Road. / But I will always be there when you land.” Narrator: “What if the world around us is filled with hate?” Road: “Lead it to love.” Narrator: “What if I feel stuck?” Road: “Keep going.” De Moyencourt illustrates this colloquy with luminous scenes of a small, brown-skinned child, face turned away from viewers so all they see is a mop of blond curls. The child steps into an urban mural, walks along a winding country road through broad rural landscapes and scary woods, climbs a rugged metaphorical mountain, then comes to stand at last, Little Prince–like, on a tiny blue and green planet. Wade’s closing claim that her message isn’t meant just for children is likely superfluous…in fact, forget the just.

Inspiration, shrink wrapped. (Picture book. 6-8, adult)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-26949-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more