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ELVIS AND THE WORLD AS IT STANDS by Lisa Frenkel Riddiough Kirkus Star


by Lisa Frenkel Riddiough ; illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller

Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-4197-5239-1
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Calico kitten Elvis is adopted from the animal shelter, but his beloved sister, Etta, is left behind.

Narrator Elvis is intended to be a comfort for his new human owner, 10-year-old Georgina, who’s trying to adjust to her parents’ recent breakup. She’s busy crafting intricate Lego buildings with the help of her clever hamster, Mo, as her rather clueless mother tries to push her into more sociable pursuits. Mo does his best to help Elvis fit into his new family, but the kitten is desperate to return to the shelter to reunite with Etta. The second cat in his new household is little help; grouchy Clementine, another rescue, has issues of her own that are gradually revealed. After a couple of failed escape attempts, Elvis finally finds a way to communicate his fervent wish to Georgina, using Lego bricks. In her debut, Riddiough has lovingly crafted a group of fully realized animal characters—even a fish—as well as three sometimes-mystifying humans, all of whom share their hopes and tribulations and demonstrate that not all happy families look alike. Georgina gradually comes to accept the changes in her life in a bittersweet conclusion. Expressive soft-focus illustrations throughout the text add to the charm, bringing the characters and their emotions to life in a way that tugs at the heartstrings. Georgina and her parents read as White.

This gentle effort will leave engaged readers purring contentedly.

(author’s note) (Fiction. 8-10)