Pleasantly lacking moral-mongering, this fresh collection will appeal to parents and children who enjoy sharing stories as...

THE DAY NO ONE WAS ANGRY

Dutch writer Tellegen explores the psychology of anger in 12 vignettes featuring a society of animals.

In short, dialogue-rich tales, animals grapple with anger’s many manifestations, struggling to understand its presence and absence. The hyrax rants at the sun for setting nightly, his anger so deep that it lasts all through sun-drenched days. A lobster with a suitcase full of the “right kind of anger” visits a mouse, revealing everything from a mild red anger to a “white fury.” The mouse spies a light blue melancholy and drapes it, scarflike, over his shoulders, sighing over a lovely summer day. In a particularly poignant tale, an ant schools a toad in the many ways to banish anger. Eventually deciding to “throw it away,” they “[share] some sweet dried nettles and [talk] about happiness, which, according to the ant, you never have to do anything about.” Is anger a necessary emotion? A well-versed beetle teaches a cricket how to locate his anger, and the last, titular story portrays the animals’ odd disequilibrium on a day devoid of ire. On thick, creamy pages, Boutavant’s charming pictures evoke the mid-20th-century illustrations of Feodor Rojankovsky and Roger Duvoisin and invite close scrutiny. (One quibble: Where gender’s specified, it’s male.)

Pleasantly lacking moral-mongering, this fresh collection will appeal to parents and children who enjoy sharing stories as springboards to discussion and speculation. (table of contents—in the backmatter) (Short stories. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-927271-57-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Gecko Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Cool beans indeed.

THE COOL BEAN

From the Food Group series

A supposed “has-bean” shows that coolness has more to do with deeds than demeanor.

Offering further moral instruction in this leguminous cousin to The Bad Seed (2017) and The Good Egg (2019), Oswald portrays three beans—each a different species but all sporting boss shades, fly threads, and that requisite air of nonchalance—bringing the cool to streets, hallways, playgrounds, and Leguma Beach. Meanwhile, a fourth (a scraggly-haired chickpea), whose efforts to echo the look and the ’tude have fallen flat, takes on the role of nerdy narrator to recall “olden days” when they all hung out in the same pod. Still, despite rolling separate ways (nobody’s fault: “That’s just how it is sometimes. You spend less time together, even though you’re not totally sure why”), when the uncool bean drops a lunch tray, skins a kid knee on the playground, or just needs a hint in class, one of the others is always on the scene toot suite. No biggie. And passing those casual acts of kindness forward? “Now that’s cool.” John’s good-hearted text makes some hay with the bean puns while Oswald’s pipe-stemmed limbs, googly eyes, and accessories give these anthropomorphic legumes lots of personality. As a fava to young audiences, pair with Jamie Michalak and Frank Kolar’s Frank and Bean (2019) for a musical combination.

Cool beans indeed. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-295452-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more