A fabulous family story with something for the young and old alike. (Picture book. 4-8)

READ REVIEW

IN PLAIN SIGHT

Readers will tune up their observation skills while spending time with a grandfather and granddaughter who keep life interesting.

Sophie, a light-brown–skinned little girl who lives with Mama, Daddy, and Grandpa, has a special relationship with her grandfather. Every day of the week, when Sophie arrives home from school, saying, “Here I am, Grandpa,” he pretends to have lost something that he needs Sophie’s help to find. There’s a paperclip, a favorite paintbrush, a rubber band, and more—all of which are hidden “in plain sight.” Jackson and Pinkney’s quiet snapshot of one week in the life of a close-knit African-American family shows how significant intergenerational relationships can be for both children and seniors. Grandpa, who uses a wheelchair, looks forward to his daily time with Sophie as much as she awaits hers with him. Pinkney’s exquisitely detailed watercolor paintings are a feast for the eye, and the challenge of finding some of the hidden objects will also make readers observe closely. A tabby cat, who seems to have as much personality as the humans, appears on every page and will remind readers familiar with Pinkney’s work of the animals in other picture books he has illustrated such as Sam and the Tigers and The Lion and the Mouse, although this feline has no anthropomorphic characteristics.

A fabulous family story with something for the young and old alike. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62672-255-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A must-have book about the power of one’s voice and the friendships that emerge when you are yourself.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE DAY YOU BEGIN

School-age children encounter and overcome feelings of difference from their peers in the latest picture book from Woodson.

This nonlinear story centers on Angelina, with big curly hair and brown skin, as she begins the school year with a class share-out of summer travels. Text and illustrations effectively work together to convey her feelings of otherness as she reflects on her own summer spent at home: “What good is this / when others were flying,” she ponders while leaning out her city window forlornly watching birds fly past to seemingly faraway places. López’s incorporation of a ruler for a door, table, and tree into the illustrations creatively extends the metaphor of measuring up to others. Three other children—Rigoberto, a recent immigrant from Venezuela; a presumably Korean girl with her “too strange” lunch of kimchi, meat, and rice; and a lonely white boy in what seems to be a suburb—experience more-direct teasing for their outsider status. A bright jewel-toned palette and clever details, including a literal reflection of a better future, reveal hope and pride in spite of the taunting. This reassuring, lyrical book feels like a big hug from a wise aunt as she imparts the wisdom of the world in order to calm trepidatious young children: One of these things is not like the other, and that is actually what makes all the difference.

A must-have book about the power of one’s voice and the friendships that emerge when you are yourself. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-399-24653-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more