Vibrant collages and a fun style make this book a treat to read.



Gaily Told Tales and Storytella’s debut picture book is about what it means to be part of a family, with particular appeal for adopted children.

Paloma, who’s black, knows she is “posilutely” like her parents, who happen to be white. She tells readers about her parents, her cat, Cluck, and her bossy brother. Every Friday, the family goes out for ice cream, but one Friday, Paloma does something not befitting her parents: She flies away to try out a different family. She flies from one family to another, experiencing life in a pirate family and a superhero family, among others. Her travels then take her to a family whose skin color and hair are just like hers. She learns from this family, her birth family, that they were not able to care for her; that’s why she has a different family. When she returns home, she’s upset because she realizes that her mother’s fair hair and skin mean that they are not “posilutely” alike. Her mother reassures her that this is true: Because Paloma is unique, she can’t be exactly like anyone else. Children and adults will appreciate Paloma’s journey and her good-hearted concern about family. Bright and engaging mixed-media collage illustrations accompany and complement the text, with some Spanish words and phrases sprinkled throughout: “And then Paloma fell / Boom! / inside of, / en el medio de, / right into la casa, / the house.” (A book-ending glossary explains.) The notes that precede the text will aid adults who wish to use the book as a discussion starter. Perhaps due to printing irregularities, Paloma’s skin tone seems much lighter at the beginning of the book than toward the end, which might confuse young readers/listeners or at least lead to a question or two.

Vibrant collages and a fun style make this book a treat to read.

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-0692305621

Page Count: 50

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2015

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.


From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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Unhei has just left her Korean homeland and come to America with her parents. As she rides the school bus toward her first day of school, she remembers the farewell at the airport in Korea and examines the treasured gift her grandmother gave her: a small red pouch containing a wooden block on which Unhei’s name is carved. Unhei is ashamed when the children on the bus find her name difficult to pronounce and ridicule it. Lesson learned, she declines to tell her name to anyone else and instead offers, “Um, I haven’t picked one yet. But I’ll let you know next week.” Her classmates write suggested names on slips of paper and place them in a jar. One student, Joey, takes a particular liking to Unhei and sees the beauty in her special stamp. When the day arrives for Unhei to announce her chosen name, she discovers how much Joey has helped. Choi (Earthquake, see below, etc.) draws from her own experience, interweaving several issues into this touching account and delicately addressing the challenges of assimilation. The paintings are done in creamy, earth-tone oils and augment the story nicely. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-80613-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2001

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