One can only wish that “world pizza” could solve our planet’s problems.

READ REVIEW

WORLD PIZZA

Many people wish fervently for world peace, and the mom in this picture book is no different.

When a white mom in an interracial family wishes on a star for world peace and then sneezes, the words sound like “world pizza,” or at least that’s what her sons think. Suddenly a delicious pizza drops from the sky. Unbeknownst to the family, pizzas of many different flavors start dropping all over the world, and behavior changes. Bullies become friendly, pirates stop fighting, and “angry neighbors with tall fences and locked doors” explore the world outside. The digital illustrations have a painterly feeling, but unfortunately, the usual stereotypes show up: a pirate in an eye patch, an Arctic Native in a fur-trimmed parka, and unnamed Africans in grass skirts. Other illustrations show familiar scenes of parades and playgrounds with diverse groups of people. The wishful mama never realizes the world has changed, although her family is “cozy in the warmth of their peaceful dreams. / And everyone was happy” in the universe that visually expands out of her sons’ deep blue quilt. The gentle text, however unrealistic, does have a very positive outlook. The unusual pizza ingredients named in the text are strewn across the inside covers—pickles, marshmallows, cherries, and chocolate chips—but (perhaps thankfully) no recipes are included.

One can only wish that “world pizza” could solve our planet’s problems. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-1946-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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This odd story is not for every reader, but those who enjoy it may find a friend for life

WILD HONEY FROM THE MOON

A determined mother embarks on a surreal adventure.

Kraegel’s format-defying tale is an unexpected story of love, determination, and parenting. Mother Shrew’s son, Hugo, is taken ill on the last day of January with a rare illness that makes him lethargic, with hot feet and a cold head. From “Dr. Ponteluma’s Book of Medical Inquiry and Physiological Know-How,” Mother Shrew learns that the only cure for this odd, unnamed illness is a spoonful of honey from the moon. Ferociously determined to cure Hugo, she sets out to save her son. In each new chapter, Mother Shrew faces a new obstacle or not-too-scary adversary as she braves the moon’s unusual environment—its verdant fields and lush forests make a stark contrast to the wintry landscape Mother Shrew has left behind—and its madcap inhabitants. Divided into seven heavily illustrated chapters, the story is one that will captivate contemplative and creative young readers. Caregivers may find this to be their next weeklong bedtime story and one that fanciful children will want to hear again and again. Kraegel’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations are reminiscent of Sergio Ruzzier’s but a bit grittier and with a darker color scheme. The surreal landscapes are appropriately unsettling, but a bright color palette keeps them from overwhelming readers.

This odd story is not for every reader, but those who enjoy it may find a friend for life . (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8169-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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A gentle adventure that sets the stage for future quests.

THE LOST STONE

From the The Kingdom of Wrenly series , Vol. 1

A lonely prince gains a friend for a quest to find a missing jewel.

Prince Lucas of Wrenly has everything a boy could possibly want—except a friend. His father has forbidden him to play with the village children for reasons of propriety. Adventure-seeking Lucas acquires peasant clothes to masquerade as a commoner and make friends, but he is caught out. His mother, the queen, persuades the king to allow him one friend: Clara, the daughter of her personal dressmaker. When the queen’s prized emerald pendant goes missing, Lucas and Clara set off to find it. They follow the jewel as it changes hands, interviewing each temporary owner. Their adventure cleverly introduces the series’ world and peoples, taking the children to the fairy island of Primlox, the trolls’ home of Burth, the wizard island of Hobsgrove and finally Mermaid’s Cove. By befriending the mermaids, Lucas and Clara finally recover the jewel. In thanks, the king gives Clara a horse of her own so that she may ride with Lucas on their future adventures. The third-person narration is generally unobtrusive, allowing the characters to take center stage. The charming, medieval-flavored illustrations set the fairy-tale scene and take up enough page space that new and reluctant readers won’t be overwhelmed by text.

 A gentle adventure that sets the stage for future quests. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9691-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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