Silly, sincere, and optimistic, this reissue with new illustrations will delight a new generation (or two).

THE WIZARD'S TEARS

Kumin and Sexton’s 1975 tale of a reckless young wizard gets a makeover with Katz’s vibrant, whimsical illustrations.

Delicate, colorful lines depict the exaggeratedly long limbs of the human (and animal) residents of Drocknock. Elements of Drocknock’s architecture and clothing are intricately patterned and layered, dominated by cool shades of blue. In contrast, the town’s new wizard, fresh out of school, arrives on a red motor bike and is immediately identifiable throughout the book by his bright red cap and glasses. Upon his arrival, he promptly resolves a townwide case of chicken pox, returns a farmer’s missing cows, and corrects a drought using a concoction that includes his own tears. Buoyed by his own success, the young wizard begins to experiment further, ignoring his predecessor’s warnings: “Wizards’ tears are precious. Wizards’ tears are powerful.” It isn’t until he’s inadvertently transformed the townspeople into plump little frogs in varying shades of green that the young wizard realizes his error and sets out to fix his mistake. The large blocks of text visually balance out the illustrations and make this book an excellent read-aloud for older picture-book readers, while many of the words repeat throughout the text to support emerging independent readers’ facility with language (the leading is forbiddingly tight for those just beginning). Characters are all the white of the paper they are printed on.

Silly, sincere, and optimistic, this reissue with new illustrations will delight a new generation (or two). (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-60980-875-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Triangle Square Books for Young Readers

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

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 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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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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