From New Zealand, an inventive and delightful tale that evokes Thumbelina, the Borrowers, and other beloved wee characters.

THE TINY WOMAN'S COAT

When a very tiny woman needs a new coat, she gets lots of practical help.

She is determined to make the coat but needs tools and supplies. Autumn trees shed their beautiful leaves to provide the coat’s cloth. A grey goose uses its beak as scissors to cut the leaves into body and sleeves. A porcupine generously offers a quill as needle. Thread comes from a horse’s mane, and wild weeds scatter seeds for buttons. When the coat is complete, it gives her warmth and comfort through cold and storm. With text constructed in a folkloric style, each interaction begins, on one double-page spread, “The tiny woman wanted a coat,” followed by the question of where to acquire a needed element. Each donation is offered on the subsequent double-page spread, accompanied by an italicized, expository refrain. “Rustle, rustle, rustle” say the leaves; “snip, snip, snip” goes the goose’s bill; and the porcupine’s quill is “sharp, sharp, sharp.” Young readers will have fun echoing the repetitive phrases throughout the tale, adding their own voices to the narration. The pale-skinned, redheaded protagonist is indeed tiny, depicted in Clarkson’s detailed illustrations as snail-sized, with plants, grasses, and the helpful animals towering over her. Sharp eyes will note the mushroom umbrella that shelters her and her coat from the rainstorm.

From New Zealand, an inventive and delightful tale that evokes Thumbelina, the Borrowers, and other beloved wee characters. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77657-342-4

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Gecko Press

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Empathetic art and lyrical text blend for a touching and empowering tale.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

AARON SLATER, ILLUSTRATOR

From the Questioneers series

The latest book in the Questioneer series centers an African American boy who has dyslexia.

Roberts’ characteristic cartoon illustrations open on a family of six that includes two mothers of color, children of various abilities and racial presentations, and two very amused cats. In a style more expressive and stirring than other books in the series, Beaty presents a boy overcoming insecurities related to reading comprehension. Like Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas, the boy’s namesake, the protagonist loves to draw. More than drawing, however, young Aaron wishes to write, but when he tries to read, the letters appear scrambled (effectively illustrated with a string of wobbly, often backward letters that trail across the pages). The child retreats into drawing. After an entire school year of struggle, Aaron decides to just “blend in.” At the beginning of the next school year, a writing prompt from a new teacher inspires Aaron, who spends his evening attempting to write “a story. Write something true.” The next day in class, having failed to put words on paper, Aaron finds his voice and launches into a story that shows how “beauty and kindness and loving and art / lend courage to all with a welcoming heart.” In the illustration, a tableau of colorful mythological beings embodies Aaron’s tale. The text is set in a dyslexia-friendly type. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Empathetic art and lyrical text blend for a touching and empowering tale. (author's note, illustrator's note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5396-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A deliciously sweet reminder to try one’s unique best.

THE SMART COOKIE

From the Food Group series

This smart cookie wasn’t alwaysa smart cookie.

At the corner of Sweet Street stands a bakery, which a whole range of buns and cakes and treats calls home, including a small cookie who “didn’t feel comfortable speaking up or sharing” any ideas once upon a time. During the early days of gingerbread school, this cookie (with sprinkles on its top half, above its wide eyes and tiny, smiling mouth) never got the best grades, didn’t raise a hand to answer questions, and almost always finished most tests last, despite all best efforts. As a result, the cookie would worry away the nights inside of a cookie jar. Then one day, kind Ms. Biscotti assigns some homework that asks everyone “to create something completely original.” What to do? The cookie’s first attempts (baking, building a birdhouse, sculpting) fail, but an idea strikes soon enough. “A poem!” Titling its opus “My Crumby Days,” the budding cookie poet writes and writes until done. “AHA!” When the time arrives to share the poem with the class, this cookie learns that there’s more than one way to be smart. John and Oswald’s latest installment in the hilarious Food Group series continues to provide plenty of belly laughs (thanks to puns galore!) and mini buns of wisdom in a wholly effervescent package. Oswald’s artwork retains its playful, colorful creative streak. Although slightly less effective than its predecessors due to its rather broad message, this one’s nonetheless an excellent addition to the menu.(This book was reviewed digitally.)

A deliciously sweet reminder to try one’s unique best. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-304540-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

more