Wildly imaginative, surreal, beautiful…in a word, this Argentine import is fabulous.

Young Nicolás has a voracious appetite for stories and no sympathy for a profoundly sleepy storyteller.

In a work told as a scripted dialogue, a storyteller identified only as “Me” spins the yarns to Nicolás, often yawning and nodding off midstory. But Nicolás is ever demanding, wanting those sleepy stories now. The six tales, told over three days, are all extremely bizarre. A man is too sleepy to make it home, so he curls up inside his umbrella until a heavy rain causes him to nearly drown. Another man stretches one part of his body at a time until his head reaches home and he pulls the rest of himself into bed. After more tales involving a skateboard and a long swim, monkeys and seals, robbers, and long bus rides, Nicolás asks for yet another, and it all comes to an abrupt, unexplained end. Bianki’s equally strange, deeply hued, full- and double-page illustrations alternate between depictions of the tales and scenes of the characters. Nicolás and “Me” seem to be a pair of birds with tuxedo tails, wearing shoes and socks on their long legs. They are seen at a table, atop a peacock with its egg alongside, in a tree, on a dog’s back, and in other odd positions, with “Me” holding a book, perhaps this very one. The tales’ actions are vividly depicted, with the addition of many odd bits and pieces floating through. Young readers and their perplexed grown-ups will want to read and reread again and again.

Wildly imaginative, surreal, beautiful…in a word, this Argentine import is fabulous. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: July 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-939810-84-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Elsewhere Editions

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021


From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

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

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 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019


From the The Kingdom of Wrenly series , Vol. 1

A gentle adventure that sets the stage for future quests.

A lonely prince gains a friend for a quest to find a missing jewel.

Prince Lucas of Wrenly has everything a boy could possibly want—except a friend. His father has forbidden him to play with the village children for reasons of propriety. Adventure-seeking Lucas acquires peasant clothes to masquerade as a commoner and make friends, but he is caught out. His mother, the queen, persuades the king to allow him one friend: Clara, the daughter of her personal dressmaker. When the queen’s prized emerald pendant goes missing, Lucas and Clara set off to find it. They follow the jewel as it changes hands, interviewing each temporary owner. Their adventure cleverly introduces the series’ world and peoples, taking the children to the fairy island of Primlox, the trolls’ home of Burth, the wizard island of Hobsgrove and finally Mermaid’s Cove. By befriending the mermaids, Lucas and Clara finally recover the jewel. In thanks, the king gives Clara a horse of her own so that she may ride with Lucas on their future adventures. The third-person narration is generally unobtrusive, allowing the characters to take center stage. The charming, medieval-flavored illustrations set the fairy-tale scene and take up enough page space that new and reluctant readers won’t be overwhelmed by text.

 A gentle adventure that sets the stage for future quests. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9691-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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