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

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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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Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference.

SOFIA VALDEZ, FUTURE PREZ

From the Questioneers series

Sofia Valdez proves that community organizers of any age can have a positive impact.

After a trash-heap eyesore causes an injury to her beloved abuelo, Sofia springs into action to bring big change to her neighborhood. The simple rhymes of the text follow Sofia on her journey from problem through ideas to action as she garners community support for an idyllic new park to replace the dangerous junk pile. When bureaucracy threatens to quash Sofia’s nascent plan, she digs deep and reflects that “being brave means doing the thing you must do, / though your heart cracks with fear. / Though you’re just in Grade Two.” Sofia’s courage yields big results and inspires those around her to lend a hand. Implied Latinx, Sofia and her abuelo have medium brown skin, and Sofia has straight brown hair (Abuelo is bald). Readers will recognize Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist from Beaty’s previous installments in the Questioneers series making cameo appearances in several scenes. While the story connects back to the title and her aptitude for the presidency in only the second-to-last sentence of the book, Sofia’s leadership and grit are themes throughout. Roberts’ signature illustration style lends a sense of whimsy; detailed drawings will have readers scouring each page for interesting minutiae.

Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3704-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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