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SNEEZY LOUISE

Her eyes are itchy. Her throat is wheezy. And she has a nose that is very, very sneezy. Louise can tell this is not going to be a good day. She sneezes at breakfast; her oatmeal goes flying. She sneezes at school; papers scatter. She sneezes in dance class; a whole line of ballerinas tumble to the ground. Every time, Louise must be reminded: “Geez, Louise! COVER YOUR MOUTH, PLEASE!” Breznak captures the fidgety fractiousness of the coming-down-with-a-cold child, for whom nothing seems to be going right. With droopy lids and a rubbed-raw nose, there is no mistaking Louise’s misery. Pedersen’s loose lines and splashy watercolors blow powerful ACHOOs across the pages (along with everything else that is caught in the draft). Children may have more fun acting out the loud, boisterous sound effects than with hygienic propriety, but the rhyming refrain—and gentle lesson in manners—is sure to sink in. A contagious debut. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 24, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-375-85169-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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TILDA TRIES AGAIN

From the Big Bright Feelings series

An accessible entrance into the world of social-emotional skills.

What do you do when the world turns upside down?

Freckled redhead Tilda is a happy only child with a rollicking personality. With lots of books and toys and a multiracial group of friends, life is perfect as far as she’s concerned…until her world undergoes a troubling change (a subtle hint in the illustrations suggests that Tilda’s parents have divorced). Suddenly, nothing feels right, everything seems hard, and she doesn’t want to play with her friends. To reflect this emotional disorientation, the artwork shows Tilda in spatially distorted settings, complete with upside-down objects. It’s not until she sees an upturned ladybug struggle persistently before getting back on its feet (despite Tilda’s desire to help, the ladybug needs to help itself) that Tilda gains the courage to start taking baby steps in order to cope with her new reality. There are still challenges, and she needs to persevere, but eventually, she regains her zest for life and reconnects with her friends. Despite this, the ending avoids an easy happily-ever-after, which feels just right for the subject matter. Though a trifle didactic, the story sends an important message about the roles of self-efficacy and persistence when it comes to overcoming challenges and building resilience. Percival’s digital illustrations use transitions from grayscale to color to create symbolic meaning and have psychological depth, deftly capturing a child’s experience of trauma.

An accessible entrance into the world of social-emotional skills. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0822-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2022

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LLAMA LLAMA LOOSE TOOTH DRAMA

From the Llama Llama series

A rite of passage seen through the lens of a favorite literary pal.

Llama Llama loses a tooth for the first time.

All of the wiggling can make having a loose tooth fun, but there can be some worry, too. How will it fall out? There is a tooth fairy? What does she do? Llama Llama is distressed. “Is it fun? / Or is it scary? / Just who, exactly, / IS this Fairy?” Luckily, Mama is there to help. “The Fairy’s great. She’s kind and funny. / She takes your tooth / and leaves you money.” Llama Llama is on board with that! Appropriately, exactly how much money is never specified, but the tiny llama fairy is shown carrying a bag stuffed with bills. Hopefully she has many houses to visit. Gram and Grandpa have lots of ideas on how to get the tooth to fall out, but Llama’s tooth stays put until bedtime. Suddenly, Llama realizes his tooth is gone: “OH NO. / Where is that tooth? / Where did it GO?” Will the tooth fairy come if the tooth is lost? The comforting cadence of the rhymes paired with warm, textured hues soften all the drama. As in the other posthumously published Llama Llama books, Morrow’s textured paintings emulate Dewdney’s definitively lined renderings. The fluttering llama fairy, along with Llama’s stuffed llama, whose wide eyes notice all, will delight eagle-eyed readers. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.3-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 41.8% of actual size.)

A rite of passage seen through the lens of a favorite literary pal. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-20603-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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