A (mostly) sweet story of friendship, letting go, and new beginnings.



When Button has to move away from her best friend, Bundle, she finds a way to stay connected from afar, if only in her mind.

Button, a white girl with long, reddish-blonde hair, and Bundle, a black girl with afro puffs, spend their days together, playing with their dolls, “weaving daisy chains, blowing wishes, and singing their song.” Both girls are distressed when Button moves away. “Button didn’t think they’d ever be happy again.” Three spreads are devoted to this sad time, and Button’s sadness is transferred onto her doll: “Petal wanted to stay in her bed.…It was a lonely, blue time for Button and Petal.” But one day, a yellow balloon “arrived with a song on the breeze,” and Button uses it to send Petal off to find Bundle and Rose (Bundle’s doll and Petal’s best friend). She happily imagines Bundle receiving Petal and singing their song. Then, one day, Button is looking for fairies when she stumbles upon another girl looking for fairies “and friends.” Leah, a girl with light brown skin and long, brown hair, gives Button a unicorn, and once again Button has a best friend, “singing a new song” without forgetting her old song and her old friend. The illustrations, soft and whimsical drawings done in watercolor and pastel with pencil, create a dreamlike quality for each stage of the story. Button’s friends feel almost imaginary, which is somewhat troubling as they are depicted as girls of color, but her emotions feel very real.

A (mostly) sweet story of friendship, letting go, and new beginnings. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6668-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends


From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.


A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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