Mess-makers will revel in Grimelda’s tale.

READ REVIEW

GRIMELDA

THE VERY MESSY WITCH

Children with messy rooms are sure to empathize with Grimelda, and they will see the twist at the end coming a mile away, to their parents’ chagrin.

“She used her broom to fly, not sweep. / Her floors had dirt six inches deep. / But though she said she didn’t mind, / sometimes things were hard to find.” And that’s just the situation Grimelda finds herself in when she wants to try out a new recipe for pickle pie: she can’t find the pickle root. And a finding spell is out of the question since her spell book is not on its shelf. The little witch finds all sorts of lost treasures in her hunt for the missing ingredient, but it isn’t until she has actually swept and tidied and hung up that she finds the pickle root. But before she can cook, something just has to be done about her unnaturally tidy house. But will the pickle root stay where she puts it? Readers with good eyes will spy the ingredient in a couple illustrations—it has help disappearing. The digital illustrations seem to revel in the mess, and there are lots of funny things for readers to spy and shake their heads over—how did that get there? Grimelda is a white redhead with huge, puffy pigtails.

Mess-makers will revel in Grimelda’s tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-226448-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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Give this to the sparkle- and cupcake-obsessed child in your life

UNICORN DAY

Fabled equines party and play in a bright confection of a picture book.

“Hooray! Hooray! It’s Unicorn Day!” In galloping rhyming text that mostly scans, a community of chipper, bright-eyed unicorns obeys the three rules of Unicorn Day: “Show off your horn,” “Fluff up that hair,” and “Have fun, fun, fun!” They dance, frolic with butterflies, and of course eat cupcakes. But then they discover an interloper: A dun-colored quadruped, with a horn suspiciously attached with string, is outed as a horse. He mopes off, but the unicorns come running after—“they don’t want to lose a friend!”—and his horn is tied back on. With tension limited to a page turn, this very minor climax is resolved immediately. Then it’s back to the fun, as lots of other creatures (human children, a rainbow octopus, a Yeti, and more) join the unicorn parade with their own tied-on horns. Is this an allegory about straight people at pride parades? An argument that appropriation is OK sometimes? Should one read meaning into the identity of the only brown “unicorn”? Or is it just a zany, philosophy-free, sugar-fueled opposite-of-a-bedtime story? Regardless of subtext, conscious or otherwise, kiddie readers hungry for fluff will be drawn to the bright, energetic illustrations as to cotton candy.

Give this to the sparkle- and cupcake-obsessed child in your life . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6722-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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A warm and necessary message of empowerment for black children, helping them see that raising their hands is a celebration...

HANDS UP!

This picture book offers a different take on a black body raising “hands up.”

Vibrant, colorfully textured illustrations show different displays of black children raising hands, such as playing peekaboo, getting dressed, and other mundane activities. The book follows one little girl as she puts her hands up to do chores, to reach for books on a high shelf at the library, and even to assume the fifth position in ballet class. She holds up her bun as her grandmother does her hair, throws her arms up “in praise and worship,” and hoists a trophy after a victorious basketball game. Riding her bike with her hands up results in a fall, but there is a caring adult there to pick her back up. McDaniel sends a positive and affirming message that normalizes for black children the gesture of raising their hands, redeeming it from the very negative, haunting images of black people raising their hands while being confronted by police. The book closes with a bold illustration of children of all colors raising their hands and holding signs such as “Water = Life,” “Spread Love,” and “Black Lives Matter.” Evans employs a pastel palette that amplifies McDaniel’s sunny message. Outlines are done in purple, blue, brown—there are no literally black marks in this book.

A warm and necessary message of empowerment for black children, helping them see that raising their hands is a celebration of their humanity. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55231-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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