A terrific prompt and conversation starter for young artists.

READ REVIEW

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BUG?

From the Eric Carle and Friends' What's Your Favorite series , Vol. 3

A lively collection of illustrations of crawling, creeping, and flying creatures offers a look at the versatility of several well-known children’s artists.

As with What’s Your Favorite Animal? (2014) and What’s Your Favorite Color? (2017), Carle here showcases the work of 15 friends whose responses to the title question offer a wonderful range of styles, media, and palettes together with brief stories, poems, and comments. Multicolored dots on the green endpapers suggest caterpillar eggs on a leafy background. Each of the varied selection of arthropods within is presented in a contained but generous two-page spread. The creature selection goes beyond the title’s “favorite bugs” to include millipedes and a couple of spider species. Facts about each are spare or absent, but this is an art book rather than an informational work. Selections vary, including Kenard Pak’s graceful fireflies, Brendan Wenzel’s bright peacock spiders, and Eric Fan’s droll bowler-hatted, briefcase-toting worker bee. Ekua Holmes’ portrait of herself as a brown-skinned young girl observing the busy ants in her ant farm joins Carle’s humanoid butterfly-child on the cover and Carle himself disguised as a large and bearded Very Hungry Caterpillar (both the latter are white). Brief biographies introduce the artists; media and techniques aren’t disclosed.

A terrific prompt and conversation starter for young artists. (Picture book. 2-9)

Pub Date: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-15175-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Godwin Books/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.

MOMMIES ARE AMAZING

The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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A beautifully told and illustrated story that offers a unique perspective on both war and humanity

THE CAT MAN OF ALEPPO

When the war comes to Syria, many flee, but Alaa stays in his beloved city, Aleppo, where he continues to work as an ambulance driver and helps the wounded to safety.

Day after day, he misses his family and friends who have left, wondering where they are and how they are doing. His neighborhood empties—except for cats! However, these cats are affected by the conflict too; they’re left behind with shelters destroyed and food and water stringently limited. Alaa, who has a big heart, starts taking care of them using the little money he has. The love between man and cats multiplies, and many people from around the world step up to help. Soon, the cats of Aleppo get a pleasant shelter set in a courtyard. However, Alaa does not stop there and goes on to help other animals and more people, spreading joy, love, and hope. Based on a true story, this picture book is distinctive for its engaging narrative and impeccable illustrations. It is also enriched with notes from Alaa himself (the real one) as well as the authors and illustrator. The often-dramatic images offer a glimpse of the city prior to the conflict and a window on the real people who experience war and try to survive and help others around them.

A beautifully told and illustrated story that offers a unique perspective on both war and humanity . (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-1378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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