A poignant and accessible story about the importance of the survival of a people’s history as well as of the people...

READ REVIEW

THE TREASURE BOX

The enemy bombs the library, and Peter’s father saves a beloved book in an iron box just before his people are forced to flee the war in his country.

Hard conditions cause illness, including in Peter’s father. He asks Peter to take care of the book. Peter honors his wish and takes it with him, and as the road gets harder, he even leaves his suitcase to hold onto the book. On reaching the mountains, the iron box becomes too heavy for him to carry, so he buries it under a tree and carries on. Years later, when it’s safe, he returns to dig up the book and place it in the new library to be read by others. Wild’s story is touching and purposefully vague about the country at war, which underscores how many different cultures have been affected by armed conflict. Though avid readers know that books are precious, that this one contains the history of a people uprooted by war makes it more precious, and its existence makes it impossible to erase the culture, as often happens in war. Softly penciled and cut-out paper illustrations by Blackwood have a beautiful, muted feel, and she uses snippets of the texts of children’s books in various languages—Spanish, Slovenian, Hungarian, and Italian among them—as background textures, to striking effect. The characters are white, driving home the truth that not all refugees are poor and brown.

A poignant and accessible story about the importance of the survival of a people’s history as well as of the people themselves. Excellent. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9084-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more