An offbeat look at modern-day grannies that is bound to elicit a chuckle or two.

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GRANNIES

An encyclopedic, humorous study of grannies, expressed through a series of questions that most readers would have never even thought of posing.

Even though this book has heavy stock pages and thick board covers, it is anything but a board book for babies. Indeed, certain levels of maturity and sophistication are required of readers to fully appreciate this whimsical approach to grannies. Questions such as “How flexible are grannies?”; “Why do grannies travel on buses?”; and “…exactly how old are grannies?” are answered with cartoon illustrations and clever humor. For example, in the first scenario, a granny is depicted performing some admirably flexible exercises indeed. The second is answered with an acknowledgment that they are often seen on buses and an honest “But nobody knows where they go.” In the third, three spry-looking grannies pose as the text states: “Some grannies are 58…some are 69…and some are even 87!” Originally published in French, the text in Hahn’s translation ably incorporates rhyme (“slippers” / “flippers”) and puns (“And when it’s time to rest, they slip on some Grans N’ Roses…”). Grannies are depicted in all sorts of outfits, hairdos, and hair colors, and a list of granny nicknames includes some ethnically specific ones, but all are white as the paper they are printed on.

An offbeat look at modern-day grannies that is bound to elicit a chuckle or two. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-776572-43-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Gecko Press

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy.

ROBOBABY

Robo-parents Diode and Lugnut present daughter Cathode with a new little brother—who requires, unfortunately, some assembly.

Arriving in pieces from some mechanistic version of Ikea, little Flange turns out to be a cute but complicated tyke who immediately falls apart…and then rockets uncontrollably about the room after an overconfident uncle tinkers with his basic design. As a squad of helpline techies and bevies of neighbors bearing sludge cake and like treats roll in, the cluttered and increasingly crowded scene deteriorates into madcap chaos—until at last Cath, with help from Roomba-like robodog Sprocket, stages an intervention by whisking the hapless new arrival off to a backyard workshop for a proper assembly and software update. “You’re such a good big sister!” warbles her frazzled mom. Wiesner’s robots display his characteristic clean lines and even hues but endearingly look like vaguely anthropomorphic piles of random jet-engine parts and old vacuum cleaners loosely connected by joints of armored cable. They roll hither and thither through neatly squared-off panels and pages in infectiously comical dismay. Even the end’s domestic tranquility lasts only until Cathode spots the little box buried in the bigger one’s packing material: “TWINS!” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.)

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-544-98731-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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