An accessible entrance into the world of social-emotional skills.

TILDA TRIES AGAIN

From the Big Bright Feelings series

What do you do when the world turns upside down?

Freckled redhead Tilda is a happy only child with a rollicking personality. With lots of books and toys and a multiracial group of friends, life is perfect as far as she’s concerned…until her world undergoes a troubling change (a subtle hint in the illustrations suggests that Tilda’s parents have divorced). Suddenly, nothing feels right, everything seems hard, and she doesn’t want to play with her friends. To reflect this emotional disorientation, the artwork shows Tilda in spatially distorted settings, complete with upside-down objects. It’s not until she sees an upturned ladybug struggle persistently before getting back on its feet (despite Tilda’s desire to help, the ladybug needs to help itself) that Tilda gains the courage to start taking baby steps in order to cope with her new reality. There are still challenges, and she needs to persevere, but eventually, she regains her zest for life and reconnects with her friends. Despite this, the ending avoids an easy happily-ever-after, which feels just right for the subject matter. Though a trifle didactic, the story sends an important message about the roles of self-efficacy and persistence when it comes to overcoming challenges and building resilience. Percival’s digital illustrations use transitions from grayscale to color to create symbolic meaning and have psychological depth, deftly capturing a child’s experience of trauma.

An accessible entrance into the world of social-emotional skills. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0822-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Dec. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2022

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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A rite of passage seen through the lens of a favorite literary pal.

LLAMA LLAMA LOOSE TOOTH DRAMA

From the Llama Llama series

Llama Llama loses a tooth for the first time.

All of the wiggling can make having a loose tooth fun, but there can be some worry, too. How will it fall out? There is a tooth fairy? What does she do? Llama Llama is distressed. “Is it fun? / Or is it scary? / Just who, exactly, / IS this Fairy?” Luckily, Mama is there to help. “The Fairy’s great. She’s kind and funny. / She takes your tooth / and leaves you money.” Llama Llama is on board with that! Appropriately, exactly how much money is never specified, but the tiny llama fairy is shown carrying a bag stuffed with bills. Hopefully she has many houses to visit. Gram and Grandpa have lots of ideas on how to get the tooth to fall out, but Llama’s tooth stays put until bedtime. Suddenly, Llama realizes his tooth is gone: “OH NO. / Where is that tooth? / Where did it GO?” Will the tooth fairy come if the tooth is lost? The comforting cadence of the rhymes paired with warm, textured hues soften all the drama. As in the other posthumously published Llama Llama books, Morrow’s textured paintings emulate Dewdney’s definitively lined renderings. The fluttering llama fairy, along with Llama’s stuffed llama, whose wide eyes notice all, will delight eagle-eyed readers. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.3-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 41.8% of actual size.)

A rite of passage seen through the lens of a favorite literary pal. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-20603-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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