Lighter than Alexander’s bad day and less emotional than Sophie’s, this is still a visual delight from a new author with a...

READ REVIEW

MAYA WAS GRUMPY

Although the title character is Maya, this story is actually about her clever grandmother, who tames both the grumpy child and her chaotic hair.

When Maya wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, she does not know why she is grumpy. “She was just in a crispy, cranky, grumpy, grouchy mood.” Not only that, her hair grows ever more unruly and invasive as Maya spreads her gloom throughout the house. With a smirk and a knowing eye, Gramma begins to untangle the moody mess. “Well then,” says Gramma, “I guess that means no hunting for hippos after breakfast.” Pippin-Mathur’s watercolor-and-ink illustrations capture all of the whimsical and wacky things grumpy people would never do, like bathing baby elephants and tickling tarantulas. With patience and imagination, Gramma’s humorous ideas slowly push away the blues, and Maya’s sweet disposition returns. Delightfully, Gramma keeps her promise, and readers find Maya and her twin brothers playing with hippos, crocodiles, elephants and even tarantulas.

Lighter than Alexander’s bad day and less emotional than Sophie’s, this is still a visual delight from a new author with a charismatic cast of characters. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-9362611-3-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flashlight Press

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A must-have book about the power of one’s voice and the friendships that emerge when you are yourself.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE DAY YOU BEGIN

School-age children encounter and overcome feelings of difference from their peers in the latest picture book from Woodson.

This nonlinear story centers on Angelina, with big curly hair and brown skin, as she begins the school year with a class share-out of summer travels. Text and illustrations effectively work together to convey her feelings of otherness as she reflects on her own summer spent at home: “What good is this / when others were flying,” she ponders while leaning out her city window forlornly watching birds fly past to seemingly faraway places. López’s incorporation of a ruler for a door, table, and tree into the illustrations creatively extends the metaphor of measuring up to others. Three other children—Rigoberto, a recent immigrant from Venezuela; a presumably Korean girl with her “too strange” lunch of kimchi, meat, and rice; and a lonely white boy in what seems to be a suburb—experience more-direct teasing for their outsider status. A bright jewel-toned palette and clever details, including a literal reflection of a better future, reveal hope and pride in spite of the taunting. This reassuring, lyrical book feels like a big hug from a wise aunt as she imparts the wisdom of the world in order to calm trepidatious young children: One of these things is not like the other, and that is actually what makes all the difference.

A must-have book about the power of one’s voice and the friendships that emerge when you are yourself. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-399-24653-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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