Just right for sharing with neighbors this October—either the tale or the (real) recipe that follows, or maybe both.

BONE SOUP

A SPOOKY, TASTY TALE

“Stone Soup” gets a Halloween remake.

Three hungry witches, finding only a dry bone in the cupboard, take their cauldron door to door collecting ingredients for their bone soup. Both the neighbors, who are initially suspicious of the witches, and their additions to the pot will be unfamiliar to children used to grandma’s chicken soup: A ghost contributes a giant’s eye; a ghoul brings a lizard’s tail; a werewolf adds old toenails. The beguiling smell attracts more and more creatures, and as their hunger increases, their patience grows thin: They will not put up with any tricks from the witches. (Capucilli’s wordplay here is a delight: “ ‘Let’s wrap this up now,’ mumbled the mummy. / ‘Don’t rattle me further,’ clattered the skeleton.”) Just as it looks as if the witches will be part of the soup, a monster child saves the day, and bone soup is shared and enjoyed by all. Knight’s illustrations, made with charcoal and pencils and colored digitally, have just the right mix of creepy and humorous, treading the line between scary and fun. His palette is suitably Halloween-y.

Just right for sharing with neighbors this October—either the tale or the (real) recipe that follows, or maybe both. (author’s note) (Picture book/folktale. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8608-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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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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