From France via New Zealand, a surreal or, perhaps, metaphorical journey, rich in surprises.


A young traveler’s red suitcase holds all sorts of useful items, including treasures found along the way.

Placing images on multiple descending or overlapping layers of large, shaped flaps to enhance the ongoing thrill of discovery, Perrin invites viewers to flip through the seemingly random contents of a White, russet-haired lad’s suitcase, then follow along as he travels over land and sea past a series of houses strangely similar to his own. A simple memory game ensues. Are the mountains cold? There’s a sweater in the luggage. What’s inside that cage? Open it with the key under the sweater. It’s a mouthwatering cake! Eat it or take it along? Into the suitcase it goes, and later it becomes just the thing to distract a scary monster in a dark forest. Behind further doors, a diamond begs to be snatched up and a magic seed to be planted. Occasional glimpses of a smiling snail, a fish floating in midair, or some other small onlooker enhance the surreal feel of the neatly drawn, harmoniously tinted illustrations. By journey’s end, what’s left in the suitcase? Lift the flap…and there’s nothing inside—nothing but intangible experiences and memories, that is. Footloose readers will come away understanding that packing is not an exact science, and it’s always wise to leave a little room in the suitcase.

From France via New Zealand, a surreal or, perhaps, metaphorical journey, rich in surprises. (Picture book/novelty. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-776573-43-1

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Gecko Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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A close encounter of the best kind.


Left behind when the space bus departs, a child discovers that the moon isn’t as lifeless as it looks.

While the rest of the space-suited class follows the teacher like ducklings, one laggard carrying crayons and a sketchbook sits down to draw our home planet floating overhead, falls asleep, and wakes to see the bus zooming off. The bright yellow bus, the gaggle of playful field-trippers, and even the dull gray boulders strewn over the equally dull gray lunar surface have a rounded solidity suggestive of Plasticine models in Hare’s wordless but cinematic scenes…as do the rubbery, one-eyed, dull gray creatures (think: those stress-busting dolls with ears that pop out when squeezed) that emerge from the regolith. The mutual shock lasts but a moment before the lunarians eagerly grab the proffered crayons to brighten the bland gray setting with silly designs. The creatures dive into the dust when the bus swoops back down but pop up to exchange goodbye waves with the errant child, who turns out to be an olive-skinned kid with a mop of brown hair last seen drawing one of their new friends with the one crayon—gray, of course—left in the box. Body language is expressive enough in this debut outing to make a verbal narrative superfluous.

A close encounter of the best kind. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4253-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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Lovely and evocative, just the thing to spark an interest in the original and its sequels—and the upcoming film sequel, Mary...


Refined, spit-spot–tidy illustrations infuse a spare adaptation of the 1934 classic with proper senses of decorum and wonder.

Novesky leaves out much—the Bird Woman, Adm. Boom, that ethnically problematic world tour, even Mr. and Mrs. Banks—but there’s still plenty going on. Mary Poppins introduces Jane and Michael (their twin younger sibs are mentioned but seem to be left at home throughout) to the Match-Man and the buoyant Mr. Wigg, lets them watch Mrs. Corry and her daughters climb tall ladders to spangle the night sky with gilt stars, and takes them to meet the zoo animals (“Bird and beast, star and stone—we are all one,” says the philosophical bear). At last, when the wind changes, she leaves them with an “Au revoir!” (“Which means, Dear Reader, ‘to meet again.’ ”) Slender and correct, though with dangling forelocks that echo and suggest the sweeping curls of wind that bring her in and carry her away, Mary Poppins takes the role of impresario in Godbout’s theatrically composed scenes, bearing an enigmatic smile throughout but sharing with Jane and Michael (and even the parrot-headed umbrella) an expression of wide-eyed, alert interest as she shepherds them from one marvelous encounter to the next. The Corrys have brown skin; the rest of the cast presents white.

Lovely and evocative, just the thing to spark an interest in the original and its sequels—and the upcoming film sequel, Mary Poppins Returns, which opens in December 2018. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-328-91677-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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