Like Sarah, readers will breathe a sigh of relief when her mother abandons her search for the socks—and maybe they’ll start...

READ REVIEW

THE GREAT SOCK SECRET

If you have not seen a fairy, then you are not looking in the right place—or maybe the time isn’t right and they are being warned away by a friend.

When Sarah’s mother decides it’s time to look for lost socks, Sarah tries very hard to stop her: “she knew where all the odd socks were,” and the accompanying illustration makes it clear they’re not just behind the sofa cushions. One is a sled for a fairy, another is a shower curtain; a third is a cozy, diminutive sleeping bag. Sarah does her best to stall or distract her mother, silently warning the fairies to stay concealed—something they clearly don’t like to do, as the illustrations depict the fairies playing (with the socks) in every room in the house. Jones’ artwork has a soft line, matter-of-factly combining the mundane with the fantastic. These fairies look like good fun, ready for some mischief, like taking command of all those missing socks. In this Australian import, Sarah and her mother are depicted with light-brown skin and puffy black hair; the fairies display many skin tones and hair colors and textures, implying that the humans could be of Aboriginal descent.

Like Sarah, readers will breathe a sigh of relief when her mother abandons her search for the socks—and maybe they’ll start peeking around for fairies in their own homes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 32

Publisher: EK Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016

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Give this to the sparkle- and cupcake-obsessed child in your life

UNICORN DAY

Fabled equines party and play in a bright confection of a picture book.

“Hooray! Hooray! It’s Unicorn Day!” In galloping rhyming text that mostly scans, a community of chipper, bright-eyed unicorns obeys the three rules of Unicorn Day: “Show off your horn,” “Fluff up that hair,” and “Have fun, fun, fun!” They dance, frolic with butterflies, and of course eat cupcakes. But then they discover an interloper: A dun-colored quadruped, with a horn suspiciously attached with string, is outed as a horse. He mopes off, but the unicorns come running after—“they don’t want to lose a friend!”—and his horn is tied back on. With tension limited to a page turn, this very minor climax is resolved immediately. Then it’s back to the fun, as lots of other creatures (human children, a rainbow octopus, a Yeti, and more) join the unicorn parade with their own tied-on horns. Is this an allegory about straight people at pride parades? An argument that appropriation is OK sometimes? Should one read meaning into the identity of the only brown “unicorn”? Or is it just a zany, philosophy-free, sugar-fueled opposite-of-a-bedtime story? Regardless of subtext, conscious or otherwise, kiddie readers hungry for fluff will be drawn to the bright, energetic illustrations as to cotton candy.

Give this to the sparkle- and cupcake-obsessed child in your life . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6722-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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Breaking the bounds of a traditional picture book, Iris’ creative growth elevates us all.

LIFT

Bridging the gap between picture book and graphic novel, this charmer catapults a simple storyline of sibling jealousy into outer space.

Iris, the older of two small children, always has the job of pushing the button on the elevator. “Up or down, our floor or the lobby, I always get to push the button.” One day, her toddler sibling reaches out and pushes the button before she can. Their parents’ joy over the smaller child’s new trick is pure betrayal to Iris. The baby has stolen her job, just like her stuffed tiger. Lê and Santat, creators of Asian/Pacific Award–winner Drawn Together (2018), have produced another inspired storyline fueled by emotions that come alive with magnetic illustrations. Dark frames around each scene keep the focus on Iris, a black-haired girl with expressive eyes that pierce through her messy bangs. (The whole family has black hair and pale skin.) Styled like a graphic novel’s, the illustrations focus on Iris’ feelings as she imagines a new elevator button, one that she can control, with the magical ability to transport her to other worlds. Frustration, invention, escape, wonder—all move across the pages with immediacy. Like Sendak’s Max, Iris uses anger to lift her away from the real world into jungles and outer space. And she returns to her room changed.

Breaking the bounds of a traditional picture book, Iris’ creative growth elevates us all. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-368-03692-4

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion/LBYR

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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