This cute cat seamlessly works an education on bodegas into a playful story.

READ REVIEW

BODEGA CAT

A spunky bodega-dwelling kitty describes the ins and outs of a bustling neighborhood market.

Life for Chip the bodega cat is full of interesting new friends, great food, hard work, and a lot of fun. A bodega, Chip explains, is a “store that sells a little bit of everything you could need!” From tasty snacks to laundry detergent, the bodega has you covered 24 hours a day. The feline narrator details the rhythm of the day, which includes working diligently through the early-morning deliveries, the busy breakfast rush, the lunch crowd, and the lively after-school hours. Chip helps out around the store, at least in theory, by counting up inventory and lending a paw at the cash register. Of course, the friendly feline is never too busy for a round of hide-and-seek with its many “adoring fans,” the neighborhood kids. Characters depicted in the book represent many cultures and ethnicities, including Chip’s Latinx human family, headed by Papi, who’s from the Dominican Republic. Chin’s vibrant illustrations are touched with a graffiti-artist vibe and bring the world of the bodega to life with engaging full-color spreads. Details will feel perfectly executed to those familiar with bodegas already and will quickly transport those who haven’t yet had the pleasure. Readers’ mouths will water at the delicious-looking food prepared in the bodega’s kitchen.

This cute cat seamlessly works an education on bodegas into a playful story. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-57687-932-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: POW!

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Everything that readers have come to love about the Elephant & Piggie books is present—masterful pacing, easy-to-follow,...

MY NEW FRIEND IS SO FUN!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Can Gerald and Piggie’s friendship withstand the friendly overtures of Brian Bat?

When Snake informs Gerald that Piggie is playing with Brian Bat, he is at first complacent. Brian is “nice,” he observes; Snake concurs—after all, he says, “Brian is my Best Friend!” Their mutual reflection that Piggie and Brian “must be having a super-duper fun time!” turns, however, to paranoia when they realize that if their best pals “are having that much fun together, then… / …maybe they do not need us” (that last is printed in teeny-tiny, utterly demoralized type). Gerald and Snake dash/slither to put an end to the fun. Their fears are confirmed when the two new buddies tell them they have “been playing BEST FRIEND GAMES!”—which, it turns out, means making drawings of their respective best friends, Gerald and Snake. Awww. While the buildup to the friends’ confrontation is characteristically funny, there’s a certain feeling of anticlimax to the story’s resolution. How many young children, when playing with a new friend, are likely to spend their time thinking of the friends that they are not playing with? This is unfortunate, as the emotions that Gerald and Snake experience are realistic and profound, deserving of more than a platitudinous, unrealistic response.

Everything that readers have come to love about the Elephant & Piggie books is present—masterful pacing, easy-to-follow, color-coded speech bubbles, hilarious body language—except an emotionally satisfying ending. (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7958-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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