The perfect choice for a rainy day for readers and nonreaders alike.

THE DOG WALK

The Astrid Lindgren Award winner takes readers—and picture perusers—on a whimsical dog walk in this lush wordless picture book.

The book opens with a child being towed outside by an elderly woman’s fluffy white dog. Boarding a carnival-style miniature train, the pair embarks on a journey through treehouses, castles, parks cultivated and wild, European-style cities, antiques and toy shops, and tropical islands, before arriving safely back home. Masterfully rendered in watercolor, ink, and acrylic and squeezed into intricate double-page spreads, the illustrations are rich in tiny details sure to provide hours of entertainment. There’s a giraffe on what might be a romantic boat ride, goats pulling women modeling rococo and Victorian fashion, another woman fox-trotting with a fox, seals on a beach holiday, and a knight in armor morosely fishing, among many more. Most humans depicted present White, including the woman and child (who wears a red ball cap, helping readers spot them on each page), and most of the artistic and architectural traditions referenced are European in style, though not exclusively. Amusement abounds in the mixture of modern and historical aesthetic elements, Alice in Wonderlandvariety in proportions of the fantastical beasts and people, and tiny, expressive faces.

The perfect choice for a rainy day for readers and nonreaders alike. (Picture book. 4-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-78250-743-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Floris

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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Though the lessons weigh more heavily than in The One and Only Ivan, a potential disappointment to its fans, the story is...

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CRENSHAW

Applegate tackles homelessness in her first novel since 2013 Newbery winner The One and Only Ivan.

Hunger is a constant for soon-to-be fifth-grader Jackson and his family, and the accompanying dizziness may be why his imaginary friend is back. A giant cat named Crenshaw first appeared after Jackson finished first grade, when his parents moved the family into their minivan for several months. Now they’re facing eviction again, and Jackson’s afraid that he won’t be going to school next year with his friend Marisol. When Crenshaw shows up on a surfboard, Jackson, an aspiring scientist who likes facts, wonders whether Crenshaw is real or a figment of his imagination. Jackson’s first-person narrative moves from the present day, when he wishes that his parents understood that he’s old enough to hear the truth about the family’s finances, to the first time they were homeless and back to the present. The structure allows readers access to the slow buildup of Jackson’s panic and his need for a friend and stability in his life. Crenshaw tells Jackson that “Imaginary friends don’t come of their own volition. We are invited. We stay as long as we’re needed.” The cat’s voice, with its adult tone, is the conduit for the novel’s lessons: “You need to tell the truth, my friend….To the person who matters most of all.”

Though the lessons weigh more heavily than in The One and Only Ivan, a potential disappointment to its fans, the story is nevertheless a somberly affecting one . (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-04323-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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