TOKYO NIGHT PARADE

A beautiful tale of friendship and living in the moment.

Eka makes the most of her last night in Tokyo.

Dressed as a kitsune (or fox spirit), Eka, a brown-skinned child of Japanese origin, listens for the sounds of the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons, when the human world overlaps with that of the yōkai, supernatural creatures such as monsters or ghosts. This is her first time returning to her grandfather’s home in Tokyo since she and her family moved to New York, and she’s determined not to miss her favorite night of the year. As she walks the streets with the yōkai, they ask about her new home. Given how far away New York is, Eka doesn’t know when she’ll return to Tokyo, and no one seems to understand or care about yōkai in her new home. Though her heart aches, for now she’ll sing, hoot, dance, and enjoy herself. This is a sweet, whimsical story of a young immigrant who’s uncertain when she’ll see her beloved family and former home again. Eka’s questions about whether the yōkai are good or wicked offer intriguing food for thought—like humans, the yōkai contain multitudes. With its beautiful night palette, the artwork glows and brings the text and monsters to life. In an author’s note, Takahashi discusses her own experiences growing up African American and Japanese in both the United States and Japan. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A beautiful tale of friendship and living in the moment. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2023

ISBN: 9780063224964

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2023

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

PIPPA'S NIGHT PARADE

A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures.

Pippa conquers a fear of the creatures that emerge from her storybooks at night.

Pippa’s “wonderfully wild imagination” can sometimes run “a little TOO wild.” During the day, she wears her “armor” and is a force to be reckoned with. But in bed at night, Pippa worries about “villains and monsters and beasts.” Sharp-toothed and -taloned shadows, dragons, and pirates emerge from her storybooks like genies from a bottle, just to scare her. Pippa flees to her parents’ room only to be brought back time and again. Finally, Pippa decides that she “needs a plan” to “get rid of them once and for all.” She decides to slip a written invitation into every book, and that night, they all come out. She tries subduing them with a lasso, an eye patch, and a sombrero, but she is defeated. Next, she tries “sashes and sequins and bows,” throwing the fashion pieces on the monsters, who…“begin to pose and primp and preen.” After that success, their fashion show becomes a nightly ritual. Clever Pippa’s transformation from scared victim of her own imagination to leader of the monster pack feels fairly sudden, but it’s satisfying nonetheless. The cartoony illustrations effectively use dynamic strokes, shadow, and light to capture action on the page and the feeling of Pippa's fears taking over her real space. Pippa and her parents are brown-skinned with curls of various textures.

A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9300-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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