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HOT DOG

You needn’t be a dog owner to identify with this expertly wrought tale of physical and emotional relief.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2022


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • Caldecott Winner

Cool ocean breezes prove to be the perfect antidote to city burnout in this loving doggy tale.

On a hot summer’s day in a metropolis reminiscent of New York, a middle-aged human and a wiener dog run errands. But today the little dog is feeling overwhelmed by the crowds and the heat. Spare text reveals their unhappiness: “too close! too loud! too much! THAT’S IT!” The dog digs in their heels, refusing to go any further. The owner sympathizes and immediately whisks the little dog away. Not simply off the streets, but from a train to a boat to an island, “wild and long and low.” After a day playing by the sea (and encountering what turns out to be a seal), they return to the city, where the world has cooled down and the two can come home to dinner and a sleep filled with dreams of seals. Salati expertly captures the stifling claustrophobia of hot and crowded city streets. One can almost feel the palpable temperature shift when the colors on the pages move from vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows to blues and greens, like a tonal reprieve. Happily, the book avoids demonizing cities in favor of the country, showing instead how a bad day affects your every sense. Spare poetic text also perfectly captures this small canine’s mindset. The dog’s human presents as White; other characters are diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

You needn’t be a dog owner to identify with this expertly wrought tale of physical and emotional relief. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 24, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-5933-0843-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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IZZY GIZMO AND THE INVENTION CONVENTION

From the Izzy Gizmo series

A disappointing follow-up.

Inventor Izzy Gizmo is back in this sequel to her eponymous debut (2017).

While busily inventing one day, Izzy receives an invitation from the Genius Guild to their annual convention. Though Izzy’s “inventions…don’t always work,” Grandpa (apparently her sole caregiver) encourages her to go. The next day they undertake a long journey “over fields, hills, and waves” and “mile after mile” to isolated Technoff Isle. There, Izzy finds she must compete against four other kids to create the most impressive machine. The colorful, detail-rich illustrations chronicle how poor Izzy is thwarted at every turn by Abi von Lavish, a Veruca Salt–esque character who takes all the supplies for herself. But when Abi abandons her project, Izzy salvages the pieces and decides to take Grandpa’s advice to create a machine that “can really be put to good use.” A frustrated Izzy’s impatience with a friend almost foils her chance at the prize, but all’s well that ends well. There’s much to like: Brown-skinned inventor girl Izzy is an appealing character, it’s great to see a nurturing brown-skinned male caregiver, the idea of an “Invention Convention” is fun, and a sustainable-energy invention is laudable. However, these elements don’t make up for rhymes that often feel forced and a lackluster story.

A disappointing follow-up. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-164-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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RUBY FINDS A WORRY

From the Big Bright Feelings series

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their...

Ruby is an adventurous and happy child until the day she discovers a Worry.

Ruby barely sees the Worry—depicted as a blob of yellow with a frowny unibrow—at first, but as it hovers, the more she notices it and the larger it grows. The longer Ruby is affected by this Worry, the fewer colors appear on the page. Though she tries not to pay attention to the Worry, which no one else can see, ignoring it prevents her from enjoying the things that she once loved. Her constant anxiety about the Worry causes the bright yellow blob to crowd Ruby’s everyday life, which by this point is nearly all washes of gray and white. But at the playground, Ruby sees a boy sitting on a bench with a growing sky-blue Worry of his own. When she invites the boy to talk, his Worry begins to shrink—and when Ruby talks about her own Worry, it also grows smaller. By the book’s conclusion, Ruby learns to control her Worry by talking about what worries her, a priceless lesson for any child—or adult—conveyed in a beautifully child-friendly manner. Ruby presents black, with hair in cornrows and two big afro-puff pigtails, while the boy has pale skin and spiky black hair.

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their feelings (. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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