An entertaining, original search-and-find for young cartographers mapping out their worlds, learning new ways to look and...

READ REVIEW

IN-BETWEEN THINGS

What’s between this and that? In that spot between here and there? Young readers locate the answer in this playful picture book that calls attention to the in-between things.

The first double-page spread offers both a definition (“An in-between thing is a thing in the middle”) and a cheery illustration of a cozy, somewhat jumbled living room occupied by a corpulent charcoal cat and a long-faced hound dog. Identifying the spatial relationships within this eclectic interior world grows increasingly entertaining as the “in-between” starts cropping up all over. Aha! A round picture frame between two rectangular ones! A sock between the couch cushions! A glance exchanged between the cat and dog (both awkwardly atop furniture that keeps something between them and the floor)! Frolicsome rhyming verse accompanies these two pets during the course of their rambles around the house and outside, marking the in-between things along the way. Their sibling relationship (alternating between closeness and estrangement) and individual antics keep the giggles coming. Abundant lemony yellows and springtime greens imbue Tey’s soft mixed-media illustrations with a sunny brightness that lifts readers as they search for in-betweens at each page turn.

An entertaining, original search-and-find for young cartographers mapping out their worlds, learning new ways to look and make visual sense of the people, places, and things they encounter. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8983-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you

THE THANK YOU BOOK

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Piggie is “one lucky pig,” and she’s determined to make sure she thanks “everyone who is important to” her in this, the final Elephant & Piggie book.

Gerald is sure his friend will forget someone—“someone important”—but Piggie assures him, “It will be a THANK-O-RAMA!” Piggie proceeds to thank the Squirrels for their great ideas, Snake for playing ball, and the Pigeon “for never giving up.” Piggie thanks and thanks: “I am a thanking machine!” She thanks character after character, even the Flies (“Any time, dude!”), as Gerald continues to interject that she’ll forget “someone VERY important.” Finally Piggie runs out of thanks, and by this time Gerald is steamed. “I goofed,” Piggie says in itty-bitty type, before lavishing thanks on Gerald. But that’s not whom Piggie forgot to thank! A classic Willems tantrum later, Gerald reveals the “someone important”: “Our reader.” Of course. “We could not be ‘us’ without you,” says Gerald, earnestly looking out from the page, and Piggie chimes in, “You are the best!” As Elephant & Piggie books go, this isn’t one of the strongest, but it is a validating valediction to fans of the two characters, who have won Willems two Geisel Medals and five Honors. Yes, Gerald and Piggie have ushered countless readers into literacy, but as they rightly note, reading is a collaborative act.

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you . (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7828-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

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A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared.

IMAGINE

Former Poet Laureate Herrera encourages his young readers to imagine all they might be in his new picture book.

Herrera’s free verse tells his own story, starting as a young boy who loves the plants and animals he finds outdoors in the California fields and is then thrust into the barren, concrete city. In the city he begins to learn to read and write, learning English and discovering a love for words and the way ink flows “like tiny rivers” across the page as he applies pen to paper. Words soon become sentences, poems, lyrics, and a means of escape. This love of the word ultimately leads him to make writing his vocation and to become the first Chicano Poet Laureate of the United States, an honor Herrera received in 2015. Through this story of hardship to success, expressed in a series of conditional statements that all begin “If I,” Herrera implores his readers to “imagine what you could do.” Castillo’s ink and foam monoprint illustrations are a tender accompaniment to Herrera’s verse, the black lines of her illustrations flowing across the page in rhythm with the author’s poetry. Together this makes for a charming read-aloud for groups or a child snuggled in a lap.

A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared. (Picture book/memoir. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9052-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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