A well-written and engaging cautionary tale about the issues facing preteen girls in modern society.

READ REVIEW

Audrey's Garden

A young girl moves with her family to the suburbs, leaving her best friend behind and learning that relationships and growing up are more complicated than she imagined.

In this debut novel, 10-year-old Audrey Tabor has a “pretty terrific” life in Boston with her parents, little brother, and best friend, Milly, right across the street. The only downside is their cramped city apartment with no yard to play in, so Audrey is thrilled when her parents find a house they can afford in the nearby suburb of Greenwood Springs. She is sad to leave Milly behind but excited about her new life, and she even finds a new good friend in Gretchen, a girl in her fifth-grade class. Gretchen warns her about the “Style Girls,” a clique of mean preteens who rule the fifth grade by promoting superficial values of fashion and wealth and aiming vicious barbs at any girl who doesn’t measure up. Audrey is confused, however, when the Style Girls approach her and offer her a place in the group. They seem so nice, so cool, and, almost without realizing it, Audrey abandons Gretchen and Milly and finds she is willing to do almost anything to remain in the clique. Koresky expertly unravels the closely woven threads of social insecurity, economic class, and body image that have begun to shape the lives of 21st-century girls at an earlier and earlier age. Although the reader can see the perilous situation Audrey embraces, her portrayal is so sensitive and realistic that one never loses sympathy with her as she begins to lie to her friends and family, adopt the Style Girls’ aristocratic cruelty, and diet to the point of emaciation, all the while realizing that she will never really fit in. The one glaring omission is any mention of the internet and the cyberbullying that would doubtless appeal to the cellphone-addicted Style Girls. The ending is somewhat pat, but since Audrey’s character is so well-developed and the supporting cast so strong, her journey still resonates.

A well-written and engaging cautionary tale about the issues facing preteen girls in modern society.

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9839460-2-1

Page Count: 276

Publisher: Flying Corgi Media

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.

THERE'S A MONSTER IN YOUR BOOK

From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...

WAITING FOR THE BIBLIOBURRO

Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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