A scenery-chewing performance will be a hit at giant- and underwear-themed storytimes and anywhere fine undies are...

GIANT PANTS

Belbum’s pants are missing, and that’s a giant problem!

“Belbum was a giant. And like most giants, he was good at stomping, napping, and losing things.” One morning it’s his pants he loses. He searches the house: no pants. After checking to make sure no one will see his polka-dot boxers, he checks the yard: no pants. He roars in anger (he’s good at being angry, too) and makes a mess of his house. Wondering if his friends can help him, he seeks our Polyphemus the cyclops, who offers him a toga. He seeks out Old Grint the gnome, who offers his stretchy pants (not stretchy enough). And finally Belbum seeks out Lucy the unicorn, who suggests a pants-free existence like hers. Frustrated, Belbum decides the only option is to visit the tailor in town. He makes his way across the land (covering his bits, which are still in the polka-dot boxers, so it’s a bit redundant) and gets several new pairs. He leaves one with each friend in case he loses his pants again. At home he puts his new pants away…and makes a startling discovery in his dresser drawer. The central joke in Fearing’s simple text will tickle toddlers as will the digitally created, bright, cartoon illustrations of the ginger-haired white giant failing miserably to protect his dignity while he acts like a toddler himself.

A scenery-chewing performance will be a hit at giant- and underwear-themed storytimes and anywhere fine undies are appreciated. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8984-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance.

PERFECTLY NORMAN

From the Big Bright Feelings series

A boy with wings learns to be himself and inspires others like him to soar, too.

Norman, a “perfectly normal” boy, never dreamed he might grow wings. Afraid of what his parents might say, he hides his new wings under a big, stuffy coat. Although the coat hides his wings from the world, Norman no longer finds joy in bathtime, playing at the park, swimming, or birthday parties. With the gentle encouragement of his parents, who see his sadness, Norman finds the courage to come out of hiding and soar. Percival (The Magic Looking Glass, 2017, etc.) depicts Norman with light skin and dark hair. Black-and-white illustrations show his father with dark skin and hair and his mother as white. The contrast of black-and-white illustrations with splashes of bright color complements the story’s theme. While Norman tries to be “normal,” the world and people around him look black and gray, but his coat stands out in yellow. Birds pop from the page in pink, green, and blue, emphasizing the joy and beauty of flying free. The final spread, full of bright color and multiracial children in flight, sets the mood for Norman’s realization on the last page that there is “no such thing as perfectly normal,” but he can be “perfectly Norman.”

A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-785-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures.

PIPPA'S NIGHT PARADE

Pippa conquers a fear of the creatures that emerge from her storybooks at night.

Pippa’s “wonderfully wild imagination” can sometimes run “a little TOO wild.” During the day, she wears her “armor” and is a force to be reckoned with. But in bed at night, Pippa worries about “villains and monsters and beasts.” Sharp-toothed and -taloned shadows, dragons, and pirates emerge from her storybooks like genies from a bottle, just to scare her. Pippa flees to her parents’ room only to be brought back time and again. Finally, Pippa decides that she “needs a plan” to “get rid of them once and for all.” She decides to slip a written invitation into every book, and that night, they all come out. She tries subduing them with a lasso, an eye patch, and a sombrero, but she is defeated. Next, she tries “sashes and sequins and bows,” throwing the fashion pieces on the monsters, who…“begin to pose and primp and preen.” After that success, their fashion show becomes a nightly ritual. Clever Pippa’s transformation from scared victim of her own imagination to leader of the monster pack feels fairly sudden, but it’s satisfying nonetheless. The cartoony illustrations effectively use dynamic strokes, shadow, and light to capture action on the page and the feeling of Pippa's fears taking over her real space. Pippa and her parents are brown-skinned with curls of various textures.

A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9300-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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