PETERRIFIC

From the Pinkalicious series

Bestseller Kann expands her storytelling to include Pinkalicious’ younger brother, Peter.

Peter is playing with blocks in the living room while his sister reads. Deciding he wants “to build a GIANT tower all by [him]self” for once, he enlists Pinkalicious’ help in gathering materials from neighbors. Sending up a basket of crackers along with Peter’s telescope, Pinkalicious watches as he piles the blocks higher and higher beneath him. Mommy and Daddy are cross, but Peter keeps on building. At last he sits atop a stratosphere-breaching tower, his family far below and the curve of the Earth clear in the lower horizon. (Caregivers of a psychoanalytic bent will take note of the extremely phallic nature of Peter’s enterprise.) But it’s lonely at the top, and when Peter realizes he doesn’t know how to get down, he eats his crackers and sits down for a cry. Wind comes in the morning along with the convenient recollection that he is “an expert knot tier,” so he fashions a parachute and floats back home, where his parents welcome him and tell him he should build a safe tower next time. (So much for manly adventure.) Kann’s digital collages mirror the text but do not extend it, eschewing the opportunity to play with the boundary between the real and imagined worlds. Peter and Pinkalicious’ white family have all the expressiveness of Playmobil figurines.

Petepid. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-256356-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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