Inventors and pie lovers will find this one delicious.

THE THREE MOUTHS OF LITTLE TOM DRUM

Little Tom Drum’s love of strawberry pie leads to a lot more than he bargained for.

Willard spins a modern fairy tale about a boy, his gluttony for strawberry pie and one careless wish. When 8-year-old Little Tom Drum wishes for three mouths so he can eat more pie, he wakes up to find two extra mouths, one in his left cheek and one in his right, which makes him look like a monster to his parents. They feel they cannot send their boy to school and hire a tutor to work with their son. In between reading books on “mathematics and giraffes and gardening,” Little Tom Drum learns about the world and creates amazing inventions with items found around his house in a workshop built by his father. On his ninth birthday, a box with a wishing machine arrives on his doorstep, and Little Tom Drum carefully puts it together and, much more carefully this time, makes his wish. While waiting for his wish to come true, he discovers his real gift: solving others’ problems with his inventive mind. Hawkes’ detailed pen-and-ink–and-pastel illustrations extend Willard’s deadpan humor with just enough creepiness. (Three mouths turn out to be remarkably unnerving.)  The old-time clothing adds to the fairy-tale feel. Fans of Hawkes’ illustrations for Paul Fleischman’s Weslandia (1999) will find welcome connections here.

Inventors and pie lovers will find this one delicious. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5476-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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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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