An appealing read-aloud tale about a duo’s adventures that would benefit from enhanced illustrations and timing.


Joey Visits Grandpa

A picture book chronicles a day with a boy and his grandfather full of fun and minor mishaps.

Joey and his grandfather happily spend an active day together inside Grandpa’s house and at various places nearby. They feed the fish, read together, cook pancakes, ride in Grandpa’s truck to the grocery store, eat lunch, and go fishing. Each activity takes place with “one small problem.” Over and over again, Grandpa manages to lose his glasses (“When Joey wanted Grandpa to read a book with him, Grandpa’s glasses were missing. Grandpa looked under the couch and under the cushions and under the rug, but he couldn’t find his glasses”). He loses them in the fish tank, the pancake batter, the grocery bag, and the freezer. Joey manages to find them every time, and Grandpa repeats some variation of “Well, get a load of that...How did they get in there?” Sharp-eyed Joey, always one step ahead of his absentminded grandfather, even proposes a solution—putting a string on the glasses and tying it to Grandpa’s pocket. But in the final panel, foolish Grandpa, after fishing with Joey at a lake, has his glasses with him but leaves his boots on the dock. The relationship of grandfather and grandson is heartwarming and charming, as is the concept of the youngster coming to the aid of his relative by finding his constantly misplaced glasses and coming up with a remedy. As a read-aloud story, the book by author Nichvolodoff (Cleo’s Treasure Hunt, 2016, etc.) and illustrator Paradero possesses tremendous potential for the young reader to participate by discovering the glasses in all the amusing spots and playing along. Unfortunately, both the volume’s timing and the illustrations work against the reader. For a young child to understand the problem and discover the glasses, the images need to accentuate the spectacles and allow the reader to see clearly what is going to happen to them. In most of the illustrations, the glasses are not prominent enough for a child to identify them. The reader only discovers after the fact that the glasses fall into the fish tank and the pancake batter. These situations offer great comic possibilities for a young child to witness these calamities about to occur and point them out.

An appealing read-aloud tale about a duo’s adventures that would benefit from enhanced illustrations and timing.

Pub Date: May 19, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4907-5910-4

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Trafford

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2016

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...


Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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