Parents who encourage children to leave their treasures at home may find the heroine unhelpful, but for kids and adults who...

NOTHING IS SCARY WITH HARRY

A little girl convinces her parents of the importance of her blanket in this debut picture book.

A girl named Katie loves her blanket, Harry, because he makes things less frightening. With Harry, she can face down thunderstorms, doctor visits, stage performances, unfriendly older relatives, roller coasters, and public speaking. When strangers confront her about being too old to carry a blanket, Katie just informs them that no matter how big she is, she won’t give up Harry. When Mom says Harry is too worn out, Katie first cries, then gives a well-stated reason why he should stay. Mom admits that the world is a scary place, so if Harry helps, then Katie should get to keep him. Katie holds onto Harry right up until she wraps him around a child of her own. In this engaging story, Bell’s (The Adventures of Sophie Mouse, 2018, etc.) charming paint and colored-pencil illustrations showcase Katie’s love and bravery and feature diverse characters. McElligott switches from rhyming couplets to nonrhyming interjections, making for an uneven read-aloud experience, but uses an accessible vocabulary with only a few challenges (“swaddled”).

Parents who encourage children to leave their treasures at home may find the heroine unhelpful, but for kids and adults who embrace these objects as coping mechanisms, this sweet tale should ring true.

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68052-386-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cottage Door Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2018

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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A fantastic, heartbreaking crescendo that echoes beyond the final page.

WILLA OF DARK HOLLOW

From the Willa of the Wood series , Vol. 2

A young Faeran girl puts everything on the line to save her home and the family she loves.

Emerging from the charred ruins of the Faeran forest lair, 13-year-old green-skinned, brown-haired Willa has formed a new family with humans who care about the Great Smoky Mountain as much as she does. Unfortunately, the Sutton Lumber Company has plans to clear the forest for railroad tracks. Her White adoptive father, Nathaniel, has become a leading voice against the destruction, making him a target. After he is arrested on suspicion of murdering loggers, Willa asks for help from her Faeran clan, but they blame her for the death of their leader and subsequent loss of their old home. Even the forest itself has grown hostile as strange, deathly cold creatures attack. Adelaide, a new blond, blue-eyed friend, and Hialeah, Nathaniel’s White and Cherokee daughter, join Willa in protecting the forest, clearing Nathaniel’s name, saving the Faeran, and unraveling the mystery of the malicious beasts. This duology closer is a captivating, stirring tale of family, friendship, the environment, and our place in the world. At every turn, Willa is faced with higher stakes and decisions that are even harder to make; the consequences of each choice weigh on her heart. The gorgeous prose and imagery of the mountains will inspire in readers a deep admiration for nature and support for Willa’s fight.

A fantastic, heartbreaking crescendo that echoes beyond the final page. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-00760-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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