ONE MORE WEDNESDAY

Wednesday is the day the young narrator of this story visits his beloved Granny, who is sometimes grumpy, but more often, loving and fun. One day, his visit is canceled. Granny is in the hospital and then she dies. Not understanding the concept of death, he asks his Mama, “Did this mean that my granny was gone forever?” Mama says that some people believe that when you die your spirit comes back in a new form, “As a new baby, or maybe as a bird or a bee or even a tree.” Mama knows that Granny will always be here “because you love her so much.” With this comforting, but not universally accepted, thought, the narrator accepts his loss. Opposite each page of the spare and childlike text, black brush line and marker drawings capture the mood of the story. Doray, in this debut, chose what might be a rabbit family to tell the tale. With few strokes, very little detail, and the spare use of a bit of one color in each framed drawing, the quirky human-looking animals create arresting images. The pet dog, the only animal-like figure in the story, has ears that seem to be a cross between a dog’s and a rabbit’s. Human-like curves of the family’s bodies show them lovingly interacting with each other. Granny’s figure is somewhat amusing when seen from the rear with her apron tied around her tail, or front face wearing half-glasses attached between her ears with what looks like a string. A good, unusually frank discussion starter about loss for the very young. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-06-029589-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2001

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Readers are likely to love it to the moon and back.

WILL YOU BE MY FRIEND?

Little Nutbrown Hare ventures out into the wide world and comes back with a new companion in this sequel to Guess How Much I Love You (1994).

Big Nutbrown Hare is too busy, so after asking permission, Little Nutbrown Hare scampers off over the rolling meadow to play by himself. After discovering that neither his shadow nor his reflection make satisfactory playmates (“You’re only another me!”), Little Nutbrown comes to Cloudy Mountain…and meets “Someone real!” It’s a white bunny who introduces herself as Tipps. But a wonderful round of digging and building and chasing about reaches an unexpected end with a game of hide-and-seek, because both hares hide! After waiting a long time to be found, Little Nutbrown Hare hops on home in disappointment, wondering whether he’ll ever see Tipps again. As it turns out, it doesn’t take long to find out, since she has followed him. “Now, where on earth did she come from?” wonders Big Nutbrown. “Her name is Tipps,” Little Nutbrown proudly replies, “and she’s my friend.” Jeram’s spacious, pale-toned, naturalistic outdoor scenes create a properly idyllic setting for this cozy development in a tender child-caregiver relationship—which hasn’t lost a bit of its appealing intimacy in the more than 25 years since its first appearance. As in the first, Big Nutbrown Hare is ungendered, facilitating pleasingly flexible readings.

Readers are likely to love it to the moon and back. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1747-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Though it looks like a book for longed-for children, it’s really for their parents.

TO THE MOON AND BACK FOR YOU

A poetic ode to women who became mothers despite the challenges they faced.

Whether navigating the roughest seas, crossing the hottest deserts, or pushing through painful brambles, the mothers in this book know their long, hard journeys were worth the effort. There might have been failure and doubt, but now that it’s all over, they know they’d “do it all over again. For you.” First-person narration expresses in metaphor the extraordinary lengths some mothers will go to achieve their dream of holding a child in their arms. Sentimental and flowery, the text is broad enough to apply to the journeys of many mothers—even though the text is gender neutral, the illustrations clearly center the mother’s experience. At times another figure, often male-presenting, is shown alongside a mother. Soft, jewel-toned illustrations peppered with textures depict families with a variety of skin tones and hair colors/textures. The assortment of mothers shown demonstrates the universality of the message, but it also contributes to the absence of a strong visual throughline. In the concluding author’s note, Serhant shares her personal struggle to conceive her child, which included fertility treatments and IVF. Ultimately, although the sentiment is lovely, the message is too abstract to be understood by children and will be better received and appreciated by parents.

Though it looks like a book for longed-for children, it’s really for their parents. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-17388-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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