A dream of an adaptation that is an unabashed love letter to the series that inspired it.

READ REVIEW

ANNE ARRIVES

INSPIRED BY ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

One of children’s literature’s most memorable redheaded heroines is being introduced to a younger audience.

For all caregivers who have been champing at the bit to share their love of L.M. Montgomery’s bestselling series with their little ones, Christmas is here early in this delightful abridged version of the first novel aimed at emerging readers. George, who adapted Anne’s tale into a gorgeous picture book (Goodnight Anne, 2018, etc.), is the ideal person for the task of distilling the first novel’s adventures into manageable chunks for independent readers. The author chooses her words with care, preserving all of Anne’s charm, wit, and infectious enthusiasm as she renames places in Avonlea and integrates herself into Green Gables. The short, clipped sentences also capture Matthew Cuthbert’s quiet-yet-affectionate nature and Marilla’s well-meaning prickliness. The book focuses on Anne’s early tussle with nosy next-door neighbor Mrs. Lynde, so those hoping for a glimpse of Gilbert will have to wait until the next installment. Halpin’s illustrations are a sheer delight, and in her capable hands the vibrant green grass and delicate pink flowers of Green Gables pop off of the page. The illustrator’s chief strength is drawing people, and she beautifully captures the angular awkwardness of Anne’s prepubescent body and the worry lines on the Cuthberts’ faces. All characters are white.

A dream of an adaptation that is an unabashed love letter to the series that inspired it. (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77049-930-0

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Tundra

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Patchy work, both visually and teleologically.

YOU'RE HERE FOR A REASON

The sultana of high-fructose sentimentality reminds readers that they really are all that.

Despite the title, we’re actually here for a couple of reasons. In fulsome if vague language Tillman embeds one message, that acts of kindness “may triple for days… / or set things in motion in different ways,” in a conceptually separate proposition that she summarizes thus: “perhaps you forgot— / a piece of the world that is precious and dear / would surely be missing if you weren’t here.” Her illustrations elaborate on both themes in equally abstract terms: a lad releases a red kite that ends up a sled for fox kits, while its ribbons add decorative touches to bird nests and a moose before finally being vigorously twirled by a girl and (startlingly) a pair of rearing tigers. Without transition the focus then shifts as the kite is abruptly replaced by a red ball. Both embodied metaphors, plus children and animals, gather at the end for a closing circle dance. The illustrator lavishes attention throughout on figures of children and wild animals, which are depicted with such microscopically precise realism that every fine hair and feather is visible, but she then floats them slightly above hazy, generic backdrops. The overall design likewise has a slapdash feel, as some spreads look relatively crowded with verses while others bear only a single line or phrase.

Patchy work, both visually and teleologically. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-05626-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

I LOVE MY COLORFUL NAILS

From the Égalité series

A timely look at self-expression.

Kindergarten-age Ben paints his fingernails because he loves their colorful appeal. Unfortunately, not everyone does. While walking to school one morning, Ben is harassed by two other boys: “Painting your nails is for girls. You’re a girl! You’re a girl!” Ben initially internalizes the negative feelings but eventually tells his parents. Although Ben’s father shows solidarity by painting his nails as well, this does not stop the bullying. Ben sadly kowtows to gender conformity and paints his nails only on the weekend, although his father continues to pick him up after school with painted nails. On Ben’s birthday, his entire class surprises him with painted nails, and at recess, they do it again. End of story! Educators and caregivers should prepare themselves for the barrage of logical questions that are sure to follow: Why didn’t Ben’s parents talk to his teacher about the bullying? What happened the next day? Did the bullies learn anything? Books about gender nonconformity are needed, as are titles that celebrate general messages of acceptance, but this story is too superficial and the ending too slapdash to be worth the attention. Gusti’s illustrations, which echo the stylings of Jules Pfeiffer, do little to enhance the text. Most characters appear white, while darker-skinned characters are reduced to background filler only. The book is also available in Spanish.

Skip it. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-84-17123-59-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: nubeOCHO

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet