A delightfully important adventure for a very small person.

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NEW SHOES

A routine but noteworthy event is seen through a preschooler’s eyes.

The perspective is literally that of the child narrator throughout: a view of chubby legs, round knees, and pale toes—and a pair of shoes. The unseen owner of the toes informs readers: “Mommy puts on my socks. / Mommy puts on my old shoes.” A chubby little hand points out the holes in the little green shoes into which a finger can fit, and the narrator observes (perhaps repeating Mommy’s concern), “Dirt could get in. Or water.” A grown-up hand holds the toddler’s as the walking surface changes: It’s a trip to the shoe store. “A man takes off my old shoes” and measures the sock-clad foot: “My feet / are bigger than before!” Readers then see a selection of new shoes, a small pointing finger, a couple of pairs tried on (first yellow, then red)—and, “I like them!” The narrator is eager to share the wonder of this new footwear with “Emma,” and on the final page, a pair of brown legs and small feet in bright blue shoes join our narrator’s familiar pink and white legs and small feet in (new) red shoes. Raschka’s loose line and bright watercolor-and-gouache edge-to-edge illustrations are lively and sweet, perfectly suited to his subject.

A delightfully important adventure for a very small person. (Picture book. 18 mos.-4)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-265752-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder.

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WONDER

After being home-schooled for years, Auggie Pullman is about to start fifth grade, but he’s worried: How will he fit into middle school life when he looks so different from everyone else?

Auggie has had 27 surgeries to correct facial anomalies he was born with, but he still has a face that has earned him such cruel nicknames as Freak, Freddy Krueger, Gross-out and Lizard face. Though “his features look like they’ve been melted, like the drippings on a candle” and he’s used to people averting their eyes when they see him, he’s an engaging boy who feels pretty ordinary inside. He’s smart, funny, kind and brave, but his father says that having Auggie attend Beecher Prep would be like sending “a lamb to the slaughter.” Palacio divides the novel into eight parts, interspersing Auggie’s first-person narrative with the voices of family members and classmates, wisely expanding the story beyond Auggie’s viewpoint and demonstrating that Auggie’s arrival at school doesn’t test only him, it affects everyone in the community. Auggie may be finding his place in the world, but that world must find a way to make room for him, too.

A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder. (Fiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-86902-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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Cooperation makes cleaning go much faster—particularly with friendly, rhyming llamas to show the way.

LLAMA LLAMA MESS MESS MESS

From the Llama Llama series

Llama Llama learns why tidying is important.

In yet another highly familiar childhood drama, Llama Llama does not want to clean up his toys. He’s having fun playing; why should he stop? Isn’t it Mama Llama’s job to clean up? Mama poses the question: “What if Mama never cleaned? / Imagine that! / What would that mean?” Mama zooms off on her roller skates, with a sheet for a cape, crunching snacks and dropping everything on the floor. Soon the house is strewn with toys, dirty dishes, and trash. “Crumbs and clothes and peanut shells… / What’s this thing? What’s that smell?” Llama Llama can’t take it anymore. “No more Llama / MESS / MESS / MESS!” Perhaps it is a good idea for Llama Llama to lend a hand. Helpful hints for youngsters are slipped inside: Every toy should have a place, and when making your bed, don’t forget to look underneath. This second collaboration between Duncan and Morrow since Dewdney’s passing feels more complete than Llama Llama Loves to Read (2018), with snappy rhythms and a twinkle in Mama’s eye. Returning to Llama Llama and Mama’s relationship feels like home.

Cooperation makes cleaning go much faster—particularly with friendly, rhyming llamas to show the way. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 20, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-670-01644-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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