A multilayered, modern-day parable reminding readers there’s no greater gift than the present.

ARE WE THERE YET?

A car trip to visit Grandma on her birthday feels like “an eternity.” What happens when you just get too bored?

Most parents on a car trip have heard the titular question, but in Caldecott medalist Santat’s hands, the familiar trip becomes an unforgettable romp through time and space. As the moment of absolute boredom reaches “forever,” a clever twist forces readers to turn the book upside down and read “backward,” time also going backward. The family car travels back to the Wild West, the days of Blackbeard, medieval Europe, and ancient Egypt. As the parents grow increasingly anxious (jousting was not part of their plan), the oblivious kid in the back continues to whine, finally noticing the moment the car is in when it reaches the age of the dinosaurs. In another literal turn of the book, time now flies by too quickly. The family and other fellow time travelers—met in moments of boredom—hurtle through time into the future, arriving at Grandma’s address only to find her home is no longer there, and they have missed the party. But not to worry, it is only the mind playing tricks. Employing both comic-book–style panels and full-bleed spreads, the mixed-media illustrations are full of humor, and the changes in point of view keep the telling dynamic and engaging. Mom is white, Dad slightly darker-skinned, and the party guests (when they finally arrive) are thrillingly diverse if mostly a bit long in the tooth.

A multilayered, modern-day parable reminding readers there’s no greater gift than the present. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-19999-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you

THE THANK YOU BOOK

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Piggie is “one lucky pig,” and she’s determined to make sure she thanks “everyone who is important to” her in this, the final Elephant & Piggie book.

Gerald is sure his friend will forget someone—“someone important”—but Piggie assures him, “It will be a THANK-O-RAMA!” Piggie proceeds to thank the Squirrels for their great ideas, Snake for playing ball, and the Pigeon “for never giving up.” Piggie thanks and thanks: “I am a thanking machine!” She thanks character after character, even the Flies (“Any time, dude!”), as Gerald continues to interject that she’ll forget “someone VERY important.” Finally Piggie runs out of thanks, and by this time Gerald is steamed. “I goofed,” Piggie says in itty-bitty type, before lavishing thanks on Gerald. But that’s not whom Piggie forgot to thank! A classic Willems tantrum later, Gerald reveals the “someone important”: “Our reader.” Of course. “We could not be ‘us’ without you,” says Gerald, earnestly looking out from the page, and Piggie chimes in, “You are the best!” As Elephant & Piggie books go, this isn’t one of the strongest, but it is a validating valediction to fans of the two characters, who have won Willems two Geisel Medals and five Honors. Yes, Gerald and Piggie have ushered countless readers into literacy, but as they rightly note, reading is a collaborative act.

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you . (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7828-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Embedded in this heartwarming story of doing the right thing is a deft examination of the pressures of income inequality on...

A BIKE LIKE SERGIO'S

Continuing from their acclaimed Those Shoes (2007), Boelts and Jones entwine conversations on money, motives, and morality.

This second collaboration between author and illustrator is set within an urban multicultural streetscape, where brown-skinned protagonist Ruben wishes for a bike like his friend Sergio’s. He wishes, but Ruben knows too well the pressure his family feels to prioritize the essentials. While Sergio buys a pack of football cards from Sonny’s Grocery, Ruben must buy the bread his mom wants. A familiar lady drops what Ruben believes to be a $1 bill, but picking it up, to his shock, he discovers $100! Is this Ruben’s chance to get himself the bike of his dreams? In a fateful twist, Ruben loses track of the C-note and is sent into a panic. After finally finding it nestled deep in a backpack pocket, he comes to a sense of moral clarity: “I remember how it was for me when that money that was hers—then mine—was gone.” When he returns the bill to her, the lady offers Ruben her blessing, leaving him with double-dipped emotions, “happy and mixed up, full and empty.” Readers will be pleased that there’s no reward for Ruben’s choice of integrity beyond the priceless love and warmth of a family’s care and pride.

Embedded in this heartwarming story of doing the right thing is a deft examination of the pressures of income inequality on children. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6649-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more