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A funny and pure tale proving that love conquers all.

A sensitive, timid Viking crosses the ocean to woo a bold and fearless maiden in this refreshing picture book.

Stig, a White Viking, loves fresh air, stew, kittens, and drawing hearts. One day, he unexpectedly meets another White Viking named Ingrid and becomes quite smitten with her. That night, he writes her a love letter, and the next day he has to figure out how to get it to her, as she is now across the sea. The big problem is that Stig dislikes and fears the ocean. After several failed attempts to deliver the letter from land, he ventures out onto the water and embarks on a journey that tests his bravery and loyalty. Young readers will learn the Nordic word for hi and enjoy following Stig’s adorable kittens, who are invested in their owner’s quest and add humor and emotion to every page. The text is heartfelt but will also make readers laugh, and the asides add voice to the story. The digital cartoon illustrations are simple yet engaging and accurately capture the life and artifacts of a seaside Viking village; however, some details in the art may be too miniscule for young eyes. Ultimately, two poignant messages emerge: Fear is to be defeated only when one is ready, and one does not have to be like everyone else in order to love and be loved.

A funny and pure tale proving that love conquers all. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-20228-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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A powerful retrospective glimpse at a key event.

A vibrantly illustrated account of the Birmingham Children’s Crusade through the eyes of a young girl who volunteers to participate.

Morrison’s signature style depicts each black child throughout the book as a distinct individual; on the endpapers, children hold signs that collectively create a “Civil Rights and the Children’s Crusade” timeline, placing the events of the book in the context of the greater movement. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. comes to speak at her church, a girl and her brother volunteer to march in their parents’ stead. The narrative succinctly explains why the Children’s Crusade was a necessary logistical move, one that children and parents made with careful consideration and despite fear. Lines of text (“Let the children march. / They will lead the way // The path may be long and / troubled, but I’m gonna walk on!”) are placed within the illustrations in bold swoops for emphasis. Morrison’s powerful use of perspective makes his beautiful oil paintings even more dynamic and conveys the intensity of the situations depicted, including the children’s being arrested, hosed, and jailed. The child crusaders, regardless of how badly they’re treated, never lose their dignity, which the art conveys flawlessly. While the children win the day, such details as the Confederate flag subtly connect the struggle to the current day.

A powerful retrospective glimpse at a key event. (timeline, afterword, artist’s statement, quote sources, bibliography) (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-70452-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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From the Adventures of Henry Whiskers series , Vol. 1

Innocuous adventuring on the smallest of scales.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle (1965) upgrades to The Mice and the Rolls-Royce.

In Windsor Castle there sits a “dollhouse like no other,” replete with working plumbing, electricity, and even a full library of real, tiny books. Called Queen Mary’s Dollhouse, it also plays host to the Whiskers family, a clan of mice that has maintained the house for generations. Henry Whiskers and his cousin Jeremy get up to the usual high jinks young mice get up to, but when Henry’s little sister Isabel goes missing at the same time that the humans decide to clean the house up, the usually bookish big brother goes on the adventure of his life. Now Henry is driving cars, avoiding cats, escaping rats, and all before the upcoming mouse Masquerade. Like an extended version of Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Two Bad Mice (1904), Priebe keeps this short chapter book constantly moving, with Duncan’s peppy art a cute capper. Oddly, the dollhouse itself plays only the smallest of roles in this story, and no factual information on the real Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House is included at the tale’s end (an opportunity lost).

Innocuous adventuring on the smallest of scales. (Fantasy. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6575-5

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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