Like children’s backyard play, sheer delight.

WILDFLOWERS

Three girls whose plane crash-lands on an island have an extraordinary adventure.

Argentine American cartoonist Liniers applies both conventions of magical realism and a keen understanding of how children’s minds work to this weird and wonderful story. It opens cinematically, gradually revealing the plane at an angle, nose buried in trees, and a line of speech-bubble dialogue emanating from the margin: “Where are we?” In answer, on the next page, the tallest of three White girls says, “There was a terrible plane crash…and now we’re stranded on a mysterious island with a jungle.” The girls are obviously unhurt, so readers can relax and enjoy the protagonists’ explorations. They find some “exotic” wildflowers (“What does eck-sto-tick mean?” asks the youngest), one of which remarks that the girls are “the strangest wildflower[s it’s] ever seen”; a sign that reads “Only Reality Can Kill a Dragon”; a tiny house inhabited by a miniature gorilla; and, of course, a dragon. It appears that dragons eat only wildflowers, and since the girls are wildflowers…“AAA!!!” Alas, that sign was only too accurate, however, and when an adult voice summons the girls to dinner, the island is reduced to an ordinary backyard and its inhabitants to toys. Readers who’ve had similar adventures will happily immerse themselves in this one, Liniers’ careful lines, limpid colors, and graphic-panel framing creating a reality that honors children’s imaginations. The book is available in two trim sizes: a standard 6-by-9-inch early-reader trim and a 7.5-by-11-inch “gift edition.”

Like children’s backyard play, sheer delight. (Graphic early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-943145-53-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: TOON Books & Graphics

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more