As (at 9) the youngest contender to date for an Academy Award best actress prize, Wallis narrates a story well worth reading...

A NIGHT OUT WITH MAMA

Few brown girls (and even few brown women) have ever been able to tell a story like this.

Child star Wallis, best known for her debut acting role as the indomitable Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild and co-starring with Jamie Foxx in the 2014 version of the blockbuster musical Annie, recounts the glamourous night she and her mother spent at the Academy Awards ceremony. The African-American protagonist starts the day by waking up early and “tap, tap, tapping” around the house in her sparkly, new blue shoes, then waking up her siblings to make sure they share in her excitement. After the family enjoys a pancake breakfast, a stylist comes to give Quvenzhané a fabulous hairdo (about which her older brother teases her), and then her mother helps her don a new blue dress. An impressive limousine transports mother and daughter to the Academy Awards, and all goes well until Quvenzhané steps out of the car and falls, face first, onto the red carpet. Thinking of daddy helps her get over the embarrassment and move on to the main event. Expressively illustrated with Brantley-Newton’s characteristically upbeat illustrations, the book exudes positivity (“I don’t win, but Mama and I have ice cream sundaes just the same”) and excitement and tells a unique story.

As (at 9) the youngest contender to date for an Academy Award best actress prize, Wallis narrates a story well worth reading and sharing . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5880-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...

CLAYMATES

Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

WE ARE IN A BOOK!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Stalwart friends Piggie and Gerald the elephant push the metafictive envelope in a big way when they realize that "someone is looking at us." Is it a monster? worries Gerald. "No," replies the squinting Piggie. "It is... / a reader! / A reader is reading us!" How? wonders Gerald. Piggie drapes herself on a word bubble to demonstrate: "We are in a book!" "THAT IS SO COOL!" Joy leads to a little bit of clever practical joking—Piggie figures out how to make the readers say "banana" out loud, and hilarity ensues—which gives way to existential angst: "The book ends?!" exclaims an appalled Gerald. Emergent readers just beginning to grapple one-on-one with the rules of the printed codex will find the friends' antics both funny and provocative: Just who is in control here, anyway? As always, Willems displays his customary control of both body language and pacing even as he challenges his readers to engage with his characters and the physicality of their book . The friends' solution to the book's imminent end? "Hello. Will you please read us again?" You bet. (Early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4231-3308-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

more