A fun-filled romp around the Big Apple for children and adults to enjoy together.

READ REVIEW

OLLIE & MOON: FUHGEDDABOUDIT!

From the Ollie & Moon series

Feline best friends Ollie and Moon take a whirlwind tour of New York City.

During their adventures in Paris (Ollie & Moon, 2011), Ollie provided Moon with delightful surprises. Now Moon is determined to make Ollie laugh as they wander uptown, downtown and crosstown. She tries food jokes, dance moves, silly snapshots and cavorting with a troupe of mimes, but she wins only an occasional smile. In the manner of Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny books, Meskin’s colorful photos of the Staten Island Ferry, the subway, the Library Lions, Central Park and other iconic city sights and settings form the backdrop for Kredensor’s goofy cartoon characters. Ollie and Moon have square heads and enormous eyes and are decidedly uncatlike. As they move through the city, they are surrounded by a cast of outlandish creatures. A snail cab driver utters the poetic “Fuhgeddaboudit.” A trio of mouse musicians plays on the subway platform as a giraffe listens to a boom box on the train. Observant readers will find even more madcap extras, such as skating penguins, a beaver with a backpack and an announcement for an exhibit about cheese through the ages. It all concludes with a gross-out event that finds Moon and Ollie—and probably readers—giggling.

A fun-filled romp around the Big Apple for children and adults to enjoy together. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 22, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-87014-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

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This seemingly simple tale packs a satisfying emotional punch. Scarily good! (Picture book. 4-7)

LOVE MONSTER

Monster lives in Cutesville, where he feels his googly eyes make him unlovable, especially compared to all the “cute, fluffy” kittens, puppies and bunnies. He goes off to find someone who will appreciate him just the way he is…with funny and heartwarming results.

A red, scraggly, pointy-eared, arm-dragging monster with a pronounced underbite clutches his monster doll to one side of his chest, exposing a purplish blue heart on the other. His oversized eyes express his loneliness. Bright could not have created a more sympathetic and adorable character. But she further impresses with the telling of this poor chap’s journey. Since Monster is not the “moping-around sort,” he strikes out on his own to find someone who will love him. “He look[s] high” from on top of a hill, and “he look[s] low” at the bottom of the same hill. The page turn reveals a rolling (and labeled) tumbleweed on a flat stretch. Here “he look[s] middle-ish.” Careful pacing combines with dramatic design and the deadpan text to make this sad search a very funny one. When it gets dark and scary, he decides to head back home. A bus’s headlights shine on his bent figure. All seems hopeless—until the next page surprises, with a smiling, orange monster with long eyelashes and a pink heart on her chest depicted at the wheel. And “in the blink of a googly eye / everything change[s].”

This seemingly simple tale packs a satisfying emotional punch. Scarily good! (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 31, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-374-34646-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

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A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

I AM ENOUGH

A feel-good book about self-acceptance.

Empire star Byers and Bobo offer a beautifully illustrated, rhyming picture book detailing what one brown-skinned little girl with an impressive Afro appreciates about herself. Relying on similes, the text establishes a pattern with the opening sentence, “Like the sun, I’m here to shine,” and follows it through most of the book. Some of them work well, while others fall flat: “Like the rain, I’m here to pour / and drip and fall until I’m full.” In some vignettes she’s by herself; and in others, pictured along with children of other races. While the book’s pro-diversity message comes through, the didactic and even prideful expressions of self-acceptance make the book exasperatingly preachy—a common pitfall for books by celebrity authors. In contrast, Bobo’s illustrations are visually stunning. After painting the children and the objects with which they interact, such as flowers, books, and a red wagon, in acrylic on board for a traditional look, she scanned the images into Adobe Photoshop and added the backgrounds digitally in chalk. This lends a whimsical feel to such details as a rainbow, a window, wind, and rain—all reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Bobo creates an inclusive world of girls in which wearing glasses, using a wheelchair, wearing a head scarf, and having a big Afro are unconditionally accepted rather than markers for othering.

A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-266712-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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