Alfie’s obsession with kittens and her innocent plotting will endear her to young readers.

ABSOLUTELY ALFIE AND THE FURRY, PURRY SECRET

From the Absolutely Alfie series , Vol. 1

Eight-year-old African-American Alfleta “Alfie” Jakes is completely bored.

With three weeks left of her summer vacation, she wants something to do. Older brother EllRay hangs out with his friends, and her parents are busy working. Nobody seems to have time for Alfie. Her mom decides she can hang out with white Hanni Sobel. This is a great idea except that Hanni is “a know-it-all who tried to be the boss of the other girls.” Surprisingly, Hanni makes a good playmate, especially since she has three cute kittens. Soon Alfie is obsessed with a little gray kitten she names Princess. Alfie really needs this kitten. She devises Operation Kittycat, a foolproof plan to get a kitten home. But her parents have a no-pet policy. Will Alfie be able to pull it off by the time summer ends? Warner’s charming protagonist, whom some may recognize from the chapter-book series about big brother EllRay, will captivate readers with her funny takes on her family and Hanni. Friendly and appealing illustrations by Malone pepper the chapters, adding a sweet dimension to the story. Sequel Absolutely Alfie and the First Week Friends publishes simultaneously.

Alfie’s obsession with kittens and her innocent plotting will endear her to young readers. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-99986-8

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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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

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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