A charming adaptation with a solid moral and a heroine whom little girls and boys can look up to.

READ REVIEW

PRINCESS SOPHIE AND THE SIX SWANS

A TALE FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM

When her six brothers are turned into swans by their wicked stepmother, Princess Sophie must endure physical and emotional trials to save them in this warmly illustrated version of the classic fairy tale.

The seamless interplay of words and images makes the picture-book format ideal for providing narrative clarity as well as nuance to the central relationships that seem abstract in the original story. Jacobs’ alterations allot Sophie far more agency than the passive heroine of the Grimm’s version possesses, transforming the white princess into a passionate and tenacious girl who is unafraid of hard work and sacrifice in an effort to right a wrong. Her friendship with her brothers is well-depicted, making her great sacrifice reflective of her strong sense of character rather than familial obligation or feminine duty. Jacobs—an illustrator writing for the first time—has a masterful eye for colors and skillfully employs them to reflect the mood of a scene and drive the narrative. The dreamlike quality of the illustrations makes this version an ideal bedtime story; misty blues symbolize Sophie’s loneliness and isolation as she sews her brothers’ shirts, while the delicate swirl of rainbow color renders the brothers’ transformations especially magical.

A charming adaptation with a solid moral and a heroine whom little girls and boys can look up to. (Picture book/fairy tale. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-937786-67-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Wisdom Tales

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • New York Times Bestseller

AFTER THE FALL (HOW HUMPTY DUMPTY GOT BACK UP AGAIN)

Humpty Dumpty, classically portrayed as an egg, recounts what happened after he fell off the wall in Santat’s latest.

An avid ornithophile, Humpty had loved being atop a high wall to be close to the birds, but after his fall and reassembly by the king’s men, high places—even his lofted bed—become intolerable. As he puts it, “There were some parts that couldn’t be healed with bandages and glue.” Although fear bars Humpty from many of his passions, it is the birds he misses the most, and he painstakingly builds (after several papercut-punctuated attempts) a beautiful paper plane to fly among them. But when the plane lands on the very wall Humpty has so doggedly been avoiding, he faces the choice of continuing to follow his fear or to break free of it, which he does, going from cracked egg to powerful flight in a sequence of stunning spreads. Santat applies his considerable talent for intertwining visual and textual, whimsy and gravity to his consideration of trauma and the oft-overlooked importance of self-determined recovery. While this newest addition to Santat’s successes will inevitably (and deservedly) be lauded, younger readers may not notice the de-emphasis of an equally important part of recovery: that it is not compulsory—it is OK not to be OK.

A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62672-682-6

Page Count: 45

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more