One would be hard-pressed to find a warmer or more engaging adoption/blended-family tale than this one.

DRAGON'S EXTRAORDINARY EGG

A picture book about families originally published in Britain as Dragon Loves Penguin.

It is bedtime for penguin Bib, but he wants a story from his mommy and daddy, a particular story about dragons, and alert children will note that he wants the very story that is in their or their caregivers’ laps. In the book, dragons come to live in the ice and snow, on top of a volcano. When spring comes, there is a dragon without an egg, and an egg without a mommy, so that dragon gives fluffy, undraconian Little One, who hatches from that egg, “love and time.” One day, the big dragons fly away on errands, and the small dragons bully Little One. Hurt and alone, she feels the volcano wake up and warns them all. She slides down the mountain on her soft tummy away from the fire and finds, at its bottom, an egg—which she nurtures, just as her dragon mother did with her. Bib wants the story again, so Grandma—the dragon—begins it again. The language is rich and evocative but beautifully simple, with lovely cadences for reading aloud. The spiky orange dragons have long snouts and lots of points and angles, in contrast to small, fluffy Little One and the penguin-smooth grown-up birds.

One would be hard-pressed to find a warmer or more engaging adoption/blended-family tale than this one. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3759-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...

CLAYMATES

Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more