THE SHADOW

Alone at dusk, a girl wordlessly tackles a demon. On the title page, she stands outdoors; observant readers will notice (though the girl doesn’t) that even in sunlight, her shadow has glowing eyes, shaped menacingly. As the sky purples, the girl heads indoors and up a misshapen staircase to her bedroom. The shadow’s silhouette roughly mimics the girl’s body angle and shape, its eyes always frighteningly sinister. Suddenly she sees it. After a few terrified postures, she folds her arms and faces it down. For the first time, its eyes show subdued repentance or fear. The girl turns on a bright bulb, ostensibly banishing shadows and gloom, but even then, a distorted bookcase and oddly mobile drapes maintain the eerie atmosphere. She falls asleep feeling safe, bed flooded in moonlight. On the final page, though, demonic eyes glow underneath the bed. Diamond’s photorealistic acrylic paintings are haunting and may haunt—furniture and walls curve and buckle, light sources behave surreally and the lack of text evokes silent nightmares. Powerful, but select audience carefully. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4878-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2010

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NO MATTER WHAT

Small, a very little fox, needs some reassurance from Large in the unconditional love department. If he is grim and grumpy, will he still be loved? “ ‘Oh, Small,’ said Large, ‘grumpy or not, I’ll always love you, no matter what.’ “ So it goes, in a gentle rhyme, as Large parries any number of questions that for Small are very telling. What if he were to turn into a young bear, or squishy bug, or alligator? Would a mother want to hug and hold these fearsome animals? Yes, yes, answers Large. “But does love wear out? Does it break or bend? Can you fix it or patch it? Does it mend?” There is comfort in Gliori’s pages, but it is a result of repetition and not the imagery; this is a quick fix, not an enduring one, but it eases Small’s fears and may well do the same for children. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202061-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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