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 nicely inventive little morality “tail” for newly independent readers.

THE INFAMOUS RATSOS

From the Infamous Ratsos series , Vol. 1

Two little rats decide to show the world how tough they are, with unpredictable results.

Louie and Ralphie Ratso want to be just like their single dad, Big Lou: tough! They know that “tough” means doing mean things to other animals, like stealing Chad Badgerton’s hat. Chad Badgerton is a big badger, so taking that hat from him proves that Louie and Ralphie are just as tough as they want to be. However, it turns out that Louie and Ralphie have just done a good deed instead of a bad one: Chad Badgerton had taken that hat from little Tiny Crawley, a mouse, so when Tiny reclaims it, they are celebrated for goodness rather than toughness. Sadly, every attempt Louie and Ralphie make at doing mean things somehow turns nice. What’s a little boy rat supposed to do to be tough? Plus, they worry about what their dad will say when he finds out how good they’ve been. But wait! Maybe their dad has some other ideas? LaReau keeps the action high and completely appropriate for readers embarking on chapter books. Each of the first six chapters features a new, failed attempt by Louie and Ralphie to be mean, and the final, seventh chapter resolves everything nicely. The humor springs from their foiled efforts and their reactions to their failures. Myers’ sprightly grayscale drawings capture action and characters and add humorous details, such as the Ratsos’ “unwelcome” mat.

A nicely inventive little morality “tail” for newly independent readers. (Fiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7636-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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A cozy story that will transport readers to faraway places.

A GIFT FOR NANA

All gifts are perfect when they come from the heart.

Rabbit goes on a “journey through a green and grand forest” in order to get a gift for his nana even though it is “not even a major hare holiday.” He travels very far in search of the perfect gift and encounters many new friends whom he asks for help. Each of them proffers Rabbit something they can easily make or acquire: The moon offers a “crescent smile,” a whale proposes a glass of water, and so on. Ultimately, Rabbit finds the perfect gift for Nana all on his own, and his nana absolutely adores it. Although the story is a bit predictable, it is amusing—readers will laugh at the anthropomorphic volcano’s explosion and Rabbit’s exhaustion from his journey, among other chucklesome scenes. Smith’s gesso, oil, and cold wax illustrations are exquisite and almost ethereal. The friendly, many-eyed creature referred to as a “stickler” is at once haunting and intriguing. The moon is Tim Burton–esque and seems to glow and pop off the page. Pleased with his choice of gift, Rabbit has the moon’s smile on his face. The predominance of full-bleed double-page spreads accentuates Rabbit’s long quest. The different font sizes, styles, and colors will aid emerging readers with diction when reading aloud but might prove difficult for those with dyslexia. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A cozy story that will transport readers to faraway places. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-43033-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House Studio

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022

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