This multigenerational snuggle will encourage the sharing of old memories and the creation of new ones.

GRANDMA'S GIRL

Hill and Bobbiesi send a humungous hug from grandmothers to their granddaughters everywhere.

Delicate cartoon art adds details to the rhyming text showing multigenerational commonalities. “You and I are alike in such wonderful ways. / You will see more and more as you grow” (as grandmother and granddaughter enjoy the backyard together); “I wobbled uncertainly just as you did / whenever I tried something new” (as a toddler takes first steps); “And if a bad dream woke me up in the night, / I snuggled up with my lovey too” (grandmother kisses granddaughter, who clutches a plush narwhal). Grandmother-granddaughter pairs share everyday joys like eating ice cream, dancing “in the rain,” and making “up silly games.” Although some activities skew stereotypically feminine (baking, yoga), a grandmother helps with a quintessential volcano experiment (this pair presents black, adding valuable STEM representation), another cheers on a young wheelchair athlete (both present Asian), and a third, wearing a hijab, accompanies her brown-skinned granddaughter on a peace march, as it is “important to speak out for what you believe.” The message of unconditional love is clear throughout: “When you need me, I’ll be there to listen and care. / There is nothing that keeps us apart.” The finished book will include “stationery…for a special letter from Grandma to you!”

This multigenerational snuggle will encourage the sharing of old memories and the creation of new ones. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-0623-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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The message is worthy, but this phoned-in follow-up doesn’t add anything significant.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE SCHOOLS

From the My Purple World series

A color-themed vision of what school should be like.

In what amounts to a rehash of The World Needs More Purple People (2020), Bell and Hart address adult as well as young readers to explain what “curious and kind you” can do to make school, or for that matter the universe, a better place. Again culminating in the vague but familiar “JUST. BE. YOU!” the program remains much the same—including asking questions both “universe-sized” (“Could you make a burrito larger than a garbage truck?”) and “smaller, people-sized” (i.e., personal), working hard to learn and make things, offering praise and encouragement, speaking up and out, laughing together, and listening to others. In the illustrations, light-skinned, blond-haired narrator Penny poses amid a busy, open-mouthed, diverse cast that includes a child wearing a hijab and one who uses a wheelchair. Wiseman opts to show fewer grown-ups here, but the children are the same as in the earlier book, and a scene showing two figures blowing chocolate milk out of their noses essentially recycles a visual joke from the previous outing. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

The message is worthy, but this phoned-in follow-up doesn’t add anything significant. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 21, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-43490-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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