FENWICK'S SUIT

A punny cautionary tale about a nondescript office drone who mistakenly believes that the clothes make the man. Bored, friendless, and invisible in his busy city office, Fenwick studies a magazine and decides, ``Maybe it's the way I'm dressed.'' At a tailor shop, he happens upon a bright yellow suit with a windowpane check; once dressed, Fenwick begins to strut with self-confidence. In fact, the suit wears him out. The next morning, it leaves for the office without him. On the third day, Fenwick follows his suit to the office and discovers just how insignificant his role is in the suit's fabulous life. Determined to capture his wayward clothing, Fenwick gives chase through the streets: ``Legging it up the street the suit threaded its way through the crowd . . . Fenwick collared [it] . . . and hemmed it in, but just when he thought he had things all buttoned up, the suit cuffed him back. Both were panting for breath.'' In a spectacular finale, Fenwick escapes the suit's clutches, returning to his dull life sadder but no wiser. Small (Hoover's Bride, 1995, etc.) renders extraordinarily witty watercolors of a bristling, bustling New York City and a suit that just won't quit. It's too easy to deem this book—with its puns and wry tone—as aimed at adults; the plot depends on readers believing that having an animated suit is a problem. Actually, it looks like fun. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 1996

ISBN: 0-374-32298-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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A tender ode to a family’s ever changing (and never-ending) love.

I'LL MEET YOU IN YOUR DREAMS

In lyrical rhyme, a parent promises to love their child across the years of their special bond.

An adult with warm brown skin and long brown hair and a red dress floats above a sleeping town, cradling a baby. Meanwhile, an adult with a somewhat deeper-brown complexion and straw fedora shelters a different child from a downpour. A unified narration offers a series of tender, metaphor-driven vignettes spanning the little ones’ lifetimes. The scenes follow a gentle formula, depicting a stage in the kids’ lives and the support the adults vow to provide (“you’ll be a knight and I’ll be a horse. / We’ll race along a rainbow’s course / to castles in the sky”) then seamlessly shifting into a new iteration of their connection (“until it’s time to fly. / Then…”). As the story progresses, each child’s autonomy grows; in turn, each adult lovingly acknowledges the change their relationships will take. Combining lyrical words with vibrant paintings and occasionally rotating spreads, Young and López weave a rich tapestry that honors the process of children’s self-determination over time. Most notable about this warmhearted tale is how it can be applied to any special adult in a child’s life, including caregivers, extended family, and chosen family. Because each parent-child duo is illustrated as a distinct unit, this book is also a beautiful representation of single parents. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 16% of actual size.)

A tender ode to a family’s ever changing (and never-ending) love. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-45328-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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