Dylan may have his flaws, but he does his name proud.

DYLAN THE VILLAIN

Dylan Snivels wants to make a name for himself.

Many kids would find being called Dylan the Villain a source of distress. But Dylan Snivels considers the nickname a badge of honor. Born with a mask over his eyes and a wicked smile, he attends Astrid Rancid’s Academy for the Villainous & Vile—a school with a refreshingly honest name. His parents are always assuring him that he’s “the very best and cleverest super-villain in the whole wide world!” But he has competition: Addison Van Malice’s evil laugh is 10 times crazier than his, and her robot might win the diabolical-robot contest. (It has a freeze ray and a shrink ray.) The battle ends on a cliffhanger, which is fitting for a superhero story but a little anticlimactic in a picture book. Campbell paints great Rube Goldberg–style devices, though, and the book is sprinkled with terrific jokes. The funniest passage will comfort a lot of parents: “super-villain babies are much like any others. They don’t like bedtime. They throw their food.” The story feels slight, but the details are clever enough to make it worth reading: students wear hats shaped like shark fins and land mines, for instance. Dylan and Addison are both white, but Astrid Rancid’s has a few students of color (Principal Sinister is a green, warty monster).

Dylan may have his flaws, but he does his name proud. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-451-47642-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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