LITTLE PARSLEY

Inventive and fun: a sassy, vividly illustrated child’s introduction to the gifted Norwegian versifier.

Floridly illustrated nonsense verse, Norwegian style.

First published as Lille persillein 1961 and newly translated by Crook, this book brings the arresting combination of light verse from one of Norway’s most famous 20th-century poets and the ornate illustrations of the grandson of French post-impressionist Paul Gaugin to a U.S. audience. Hagerup published her first collection of poetry in 1939, and though she gained fame as a powerful voice in the Resistance when the Nazis occupied Norway, she was also beloved as a writer of children’s verse. Here Crook unleashes the sonic force of Hagerup’s rhymed lyric somersaults as she imagines the inner life of a host of common creatures: a crab, a “pondering” pig, a hedgehog, a wasp—even plants like gooseberries, chervil, sweet peas, and the eponymous parsley. She also introduces such memorable figures as “My Cousin,” who “wrangles reptiles / for the city fire station. / It is a marvelous vocation, / wrangling writhing reptiles,” and “my little niece Patrice, / who is permitted to run wild— / she is a beastly child.” Gaugin’s richly detailed pen-and-ink drawings, touched with pops of color, heighten Hagerup’s zaniness throughout the collection, here capturing cheeky Patrice onstage, ready to curtsy, with her tongue sticking out.

Inventive and fun: a sassy, vividly illustrated child’s introduction to the gifted Norwegian versifier. (Picture book/poetry. 3-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-59270-286-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

Categories:

A LIBRARY

A lushly illustrated homage to librarians who provide a welcome and a home away from home for all who enter.

A love letter to libraries.

A Black child, with hair in two puffballs tied with yellow ribbons, a blue dress with a Peter Pan collar, and black patent leather Mary Janes, helps Grandmother with the housework, then, at Grandmother’s suggestion, heads to the library. The child’s eagerness to go, with two books under an arm and one in their hand, suggests that this is a favorite destination. The books’ wordless covers emphasize their endless possibilities. The protagonist’s description of the library makes clear that they are always free to be themselves there—whether they feel happy or sad, whether they’re reading mysteries or recipes, and whether they feel “quick and smart” or “contained and cautious.” Robinson’s vibrant, carefully composed digital illustrations, with bright colors that invite readers in and textures and patterns in every image, effectively capture the protagonist’s passion for reading and appreciation for a space where they feel accepted regardless of disposition. In her author’s note, Giovanni states that she spent summers visiting her grandmother in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she went to the Carnegie Branch of the Lawson McGhee Library. She expresses gratitude for Mrs. Long, the librarian, who often traveled to the main library to get books that Giovanni could not find in their segregated branch. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A lushly illustrated homage to librarians who provide a welcome and a home away from home for all who enter. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-358-38765-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Versify/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

Categories:

AMOR IS TO LOVE YOU

From the Canticos series

A testament to the universality of love.

An expanded explanation of love in both English and Spanish.

Several animal personalities pose the question, “What is love?” and in a series of lift-the-flap responses present various emotional scenarios. Little Elephant asks Spider, “Is it the joy of having you around?” Spider asks, “Is it the way you lift me when I’m down?” Each page corresponds to a flap that reveals one of a multitude of feelings love can evoke in either an English or Spanish rhyme, which are not direct translations of each other. An interspersed refrain notes, “Amor for the Spanish, / and love en inglés. / Love in any language / always means the same.” A palette of pastels and purple and pink hues dominate as hearts abound on each page, surrounding the characters, who are adorable though on the overly sweet side. The characters are from the bilingual preschool series Canticos, though it will work even among those without knowledge of the show. Children more fluent in Spanish will be better able to appreciate this, and those familiar with the show will recognize the signature characters, including “Los Pollitos” (Little Chickies). (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A testament to the universality of love. (Board book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-945635-72-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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