NEW YORK MELODY

An adventurous and curious musical note flutters out of a concert at Carnegie Hall to see what else might be happening in New York City.

The note discovers a Broadway jazz club and interacts with every instrument in the band, dancing and swooping through the double bass, the trumpet, the drums, the saxophone, and the trombone, partaking of joyous rhythms all through the night. In the morning it joins a guitarist in Central Park, where it brings forth more notes, then a chord, and then a song that catches the ear of a bike rider, who carries the song all through the city. Druvert employs lyrical verses in aabb rhymes, creating images that soar along with the music. Inventive, detailed illustrations in blue-gray, black, and white, along with one shining, golden trumpet, alternate with, and provide depth for, breathtaking, incredibly delicate and intricate laser-cut black pages, enriching the sweet, slight tale. In this French import, New York City is as much an important character as the musical note, with constant movement, lively nightlife, and depictions of some of its iconic buildings, water towers, street carts, fire escapes, and more. Adults will need to be the guardians of this beautiful work, carefully turning the pages with their thin, white protectors so their little ones can listen and admire and fall under its spell. An amazing, glorious experience. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-500-65173-5

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Give this to the sparkle- and cupcake-obsessed child in your life

UNICORN DAY

Fabled equines party and play in a bright confection of a picture book.

“Hooray! Hooray! It’s Unicorn Day!” In galloping rhyming text that mostly scans, a community of chipper, bright-eyed unicorns obeys the three rules of Unicorn Day: “Show off your horn,” “Fluff up that hair,” and “Have fun, fun, fun!” They dance, frolic with butterflies, and of course eat cupcakes. But then they discover an interloper: A dun-colored quadruped, with a horn suspiciously attached with string, is outed as a horse. He mopes off, but the unicorns come running after—“they don’t want to lose a friend!”—and his horn is tied back on. With tension limited to a page turn, this very minor climax is resolved immediately. Then it’s back to the fun, as lots of other creatures (human children, a rainbow octopus, a Yeti, and more) join the unicorn parade with their own tied-on horns. Is this an allegory about straight people at pride parades? An argument that appropriation is OK sometimes? Should one read meaning into the identity of the only brown “unicorn”? Or is it just a zany, philosophy-free, sugar-fueled opposite-of-a-bedtime story? Regardless of subtext, conscious or otherwise, kiddie readers hungry for fluff will be drawn to the bright, energetic illustrations as to cotton candy.

Give this to the sparkle- and cupcake-obsessed child in your life . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6722-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization.

A PLACE FOR PLUTO

If Pluto can’t be a planet—then what is he?

Having been a regular planet for “the better part of forever,” Pluto is understandably knocked out of orbit by his sudden exclusion. With Charon and his four other moons in tow he sets off in search of a new identity. Unfortunately, that only spins him into further gloom, as he doesn’t have a tail like his friend Halley’s comet, is too big to join Ida and the other asteroids, and feels disinclined to try to crash into Earth like meteoroids Gem and Persi. Then, just as he’s about to plunge into a black hole of despair, an encounter with a whole quartet of kindred spheroids led by Eris rocks his world…and a follow-up surprise party thrown by an apologetic Saturn (“Dwarf planet has a nice RING to it”) and the other seven former colleagues literally puts him “over the moon.” Demmer gives all the heavenly bodies big eyes (some, including the feminine Saturn, with long lashes) and, on occasion, short arms along with distinctive identifying colors or markings. Dressing the troublemaking meteoroids in do-rags and sunglasses sounds an off note. Without mentioning that the reclassification is still controversial, Wade closes with a (somewhat) straighter account of Pluto’s current official status and the reasons for it.

Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68446-004-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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