Kids who are ill here on Earth may be entertained by this look at one alien’s cold and his family’s attempts to make him...

ALIENS GET THE SNIFFLES TOO! AHHH-CHOO!

Think you have a bad cold? How much worse would it be if your anatomy included two throats, three noses, and five ears?!

Little Alien’s parents and pet try to help him feel better in ways that will seem both familiar and out-of-this-world to earthling readers. When his son’s throats are sore, Daddy Alien zooms off in his spaceship and returns with a Milky Way milkshake. “Granny Alien’s Famous Shooting-Star Ear Drops” are just the ticket for earaches. And when Little Alien complains of his stuffy noses, Daddy Alien calls in the “lunar decongestants,” a trio of little green creatures who carry what might be construed as instruments of torture, especially considering the reactions of Little Alien and Mars Rover. A cool meteor shower for his fever and a settling into bed, and all seems set for sleep…except for the sneeze. Mars Rover can’t take seeing his friend so sick, and so he pulls out all the stops to make Little Alien feel better. Campbell’s pen, watercolor, and colored pencil illustrations keep the focus on the central action, though there are enough tantalizing details of the alien world to whet readers’ appetites. Mama Alien is pink, Daddy’s blue, and their son is green. All are expressive.

Kids who are ill here on Earth may be entertained by this look at one alien’s cold and his family’s attempts to make him feel better. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6502-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance.

PERFECTLY NORMAN

From the Big Bright Feelings series

A boy with wings learns to be himself and inspires others like him to soar, too.

Norman, a “perfectly normal” boy, never dreamed he might grow wings. Afraid of what his parents might say, he hides his new wings under a big, stuffy coat. Although the coat hides his wings from the world, Norman no longer finds joy in bathtime, playing at the park, swimming, or birthday parties. With the gentle encouragement of his parents, who see his sadness, Norman finds the courage to come out of hiding and soar. Percival (The Magic Looking Glass, 2017, etc.) depicts Norman with light skin and dark hair. Black-and-white illustrations show his father with dark skin and hair and his mother as white. The contrast of black-and-white illustrations with splashes of bright color complements the story’s theme. While Norman tries to be “normal,” the world and people around him look black and gray, but his coat stands out in yellow. Birds pop from the page in pink, green, and blue, emphasizing the joy and beauty of flying free. The final spread, full of bright color and multiracial children in flight, sets the mood for Norman’s realization on the last page that there is “no such thing as perfectly normal,” but he can be “perfectly Norman.”

A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-785-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures.

PIPPA'S NIGHT PARADE

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 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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