An energetic, encouraging tale that highlights the power of the imagination in challenging circumstances.


A child with a medical condition uses his creativity to embark on adventures in this picture book.

Jakob lives in a “bubble” to protect his health. But it doesn’t stop the boy from enjoying imagined escapades with an oversized version of his “best buddy Buvo,” a red stuffed toy. For instance, they visit a place called “puddle land on a rainbow unicorn,” and when Jakob’s grandparents call, he imagines the phone “is a super-powerful teleporter and magnifying glass.” Throughout the tale, Mom reminds Jakob to wash his hands to avoid germs. When Jakob feels sick and scared, Dad reminds him that he’s “a fighter.” Buvo frets when Jakob leaves to visit a doctor. But Jakob explains that “Dr. Mustache will fix me” and returns home feeling better and ready to play. Tucked in bed, Jakob plans his next mission. He tells his parents: “I am going to camp on the moon....I’ll dream about the park, new friends, and castles made of mud.” Inspired by the real-life Jakob Kamil Guziak, who was born “with no immune system to fight infections or colds,” Fernández de Soto AbdulRahin’s story offers a heartening portrayal of a child’s perseverance. Youngsters with their own health limitations will particularly relish Jakob’s amusing, inventive explorations. Mañozca’s lively, hand-drawn illustrations depict fanciful, sometimes quirky scenes of Jakob’s exploits, as when the White hero battles a scary, cheese-filled shark surrounded by emotive broccoli florets at lunchtime.

An energetic, encouraging tale that highlights the power of the imagination in challenging circumstances.

Pub Date: June 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-03-912403-5

Page Count: 21

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2022

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A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder.

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After being home-schooled for years, Auggie Pullman is about to start fifth grade, but he’s worried: How will he fit into middle school life when he looks so different from everyone else?

Auggie has had 27 surgeries to correct facial anomalies he was born with, but he still has a face that has earned him such cruel nicknames as Freak, Freddy Krueger, Gross-out and Lizard face. Though “his features look like they’ve been melted, like the drippings on a candle” and he’s used to people averting their eyes when they see him, he’s an engaging boy who feels pretty ordinary inside. He’s smart, funny, kind and brave, but his father says that having Auggie attend Beecher Prep would be like sending “a lamb to the slaughter.” Palacio divides the novel into eight parts, interspersing Auggie’s first-person narrative with the voices of family members and classmates, wisely expanding the story beyond Auggie’s viewpoint and demonstrating that Auggie’s arrival at school doesn’t test only him, it affects everyone in the community. Auggie may be finding his place in the world, but that world must find a way to make room for him, too.

A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder. (Fiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-86902-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.


From the Who's in Your Book? series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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