A book full of the promise of remarkable experiences to come.

HENRI'S HATS

From the Pixar Animation Studios Artist Showcase series

Kids rarely know all the hats their grandfathers have worn, but Henri gets a whole trunkful of history in the attic chest of his Grand-Papa.

Young Henri and his mother go for a visit to his Grand-Papa’s (known to Henri as Papa). The resident dog grabs Henri’s cap and runs upstairs with it, all the way to the attic. There sits a chest that is full of all sorts of hats: a race car driver’s, a deep-sea diver’s, a ringmaster’s, a ship’s captain’s, a pilot’s helmet. And with each one that Henri dons, he has a little imaginary adventure in the deep, high in the sky, on the ocean waves. Finally, Grand-Papa finds Henri and tells the little boy that he wore these hats in real life, as a racer and sailor and aviator and deep-sea diver. He then leads Henri up the circular staircase to the widow’s walk and points to the moon. He had wished to have an adventure there, but maybe Henri could do it for him. Wu’s storytelling is crisp and cinematic, and his artwork reflects his day job at Pixar Studios, but it is the promise of life holding adventure that drives this book. Grand-Papa had those adventures of a lifetime but now is an old and creaky gentleman, so if this old geezer could have had all those exciting times, just think what is in store for readers. Henri, his mother, and Grand-Papa all have pale skin.

A book full of the promise of remarkable experiences to come. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4847-0903-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Disney Press

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Only for dedicated fans of the series.

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER

From the How To Catch… series

When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

“I spot my monster right away. / He’s practicing his ROAR. / He almost scares me half to death, / but I won’t be scared anymore!” The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a “bag of tricks” to try to catch the monster: in it are a giant wind-up shark, two cans of silly string, and an elaborate cage-and-robot trap. This last works, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends. The monster greets the boy in the usual monster way: he “rips a massive FART!!” that smells like strawberries and lime, and then they go to the monster’s house to meet his parents and play. The final two spreads show the duo getting ready for bed, which is a rather anticlimactic end to what has otherwise been a rambunctious tale. Elkerton’s bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin. Wallace’s limping verses are uninspired at best, and the scansion and meter are frequently off.

Only for dedicated fans of the series. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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Comfy and cozy, with nary a meanie in sight.

GRANDUDE'S GREEN SUBMARINE

Following Hey, Grandude (2019), more jolly fun as the title character squires his four young “Chillers” aboard a green sub (where does Sir Paul get his ideas?) to catch up with his partner in adventure: Nandude!

Casting about for something to do on a sweltering day, the multiracial quartet eagerly follows their grizzled White gramps down to an underground chamber where a viridian vessel awaits to take them soaring through the sky to a distant land. There, Grandude’s old friend Ravi plays a tune of Nandude’s that accompanies them after they leave him. It leads them under the sea to an octopus’s garden and a briefly scary tangle with the ink-spraying giant. The monster’s set to dancing, though, as Nandude floats up in her own accordion-shaped ship to carry everyone home for tea, biscuits, and bed in a swirl of notes. Aside maybe from the odd spray of shiny stars here and there, Durst steers clear of sight gags and direct visual references to the film or music in her cheery cartoon scenes. Both she and the text do kit Ravi out, appropriately, with a sitar, but there’s no 1960s-style psychedelia to be seen. Nostalgic adults may be disappointed to see that even the submarine bears no resemblance to the iconic vessel of the film but instead just looks like a plush, smiling toy whale, eyes and all. Children, of course, won’t care. That this book does not try to trade (heavily) on its antecedents makes it a refreshing change from so many other celebrity titles. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Comfy and cozy, with nary a meanie in sight. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-37243-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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