Wonderfully grouchy, with a touch of wickedness and a soupçon of warmth and color.

PUG MAN'S 3 WISHES

Introducing Pug Man, a wrinkled sack of grump…when things aren’t going his way.

Meschenmoser draws Pug Man as a thicket of spidery, gray lines. Readers meet him while he is still under the bedcovers, and he reeks of grump. Finally: there’s his face, which is a little squinty for a pug. It doesn’t matter. This dog has character. He has slept until noon. Grump. He does his business. (He looks like Whistler’s mother relieving herself.) Grump. There is no milk, cereal, nor coffee. Grump, grump, grump. The morning paper has been left out in the rain. “It was a bad day for Pug Man.” But wait. “Suddenly a fairy appeared.” A pink and gold fairy that looks as if she has been drawn by a kindergartner. She rains goodies down on Pug Man: raspberry drops, cake, the friendship of a kitten or a piglet. “Castle, car, swimming pool, / You’ve got three wishes—that’s the rule.” (The fairy speaks in couplets. Pug Man doesn’t speak. He projects.) Pug Man takes the offer. He wishes for breakfast. He wishes for a dry newspaper. He wishes the fairy would turn into a silent piglet. Yes, Pug Man is a bit rough on the fairy, but they are his wishes, wishes that erase the granite grimace from his face. He even grins.

Wonderfully grouchy, with a touch of wickedness and a soupçon of warmth and color. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4261-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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