We eagerly await Pinny’s winter.

PINNY IN FALL

Pinny packs a small bag full of contingency items before she leaves home for a walk—and everything comes in handy by the end of her adventurous day.

The sweet, self-assured little girl (Pinny in Summer, 2016) has returned, along with her two stalwart friends, Annie and Lou. The story begins as Pinny, alone in her bedroom, wakes up with exercises before packing for her walk. The fall weather is unpredictable, so Pinny packs both a sweater and a rain hat in her bag, as well as an apple, some cookies, a book, and “the most important thing of all—her treasure pouch.” As in the summer tale, there are short, named chapters related in accessible, graceful sentences, with illustrations to match. The color palette captures the muted beauty of a coastal fall. Pinny and friends live in an ideal world of tall, tick-free grasses and no adult supervision. In fact, they rise to the occasion of helping the lighthouse keeper when a sudden fog threatens a ship at sea. It boggles the more sophisticated mind that the lighthouse keeper really needs their help, but the alternative is equally sweet: a man who takes the time to empower local children. Pinny’s pleasure in her friends, in being helpful, and in nature’s ephemeral treats is contagious. Pinny, Lou, and the lighthouse keeper present white; Annie appears to be Asian.

We eagerly await Pinny’s winter. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77306-106-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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As ephemeral as a valentine.

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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Slight and contrived.

LITTLE TACO TRUCK

A little orange food truck parks in the same place every day, bringing tacos to hungry construction workers—till one morning, a falafel truck takes his spot.

Miss Falafel then brings by more of her friends, crowding out the taco truck. Little Taco Truck whines and cries, but after four days of being shut out by the bigger trucks, he finally takes the initiative. He spends the night in his former parking space, defending his territory when the other trucks arrive. The rest immediately apologize, and after some creative maneuvering, everyone fits—even the newly arrived noodle truck. Valentine’s naïve call for cooperation glosses over the very real problem of urban gentrification represented by the flood of bigger and better-equipped trucks taking over the neighborhood. When the taco truck is the only game in town, the food line consists of hard-hatted construction workers. Then, as falafel, arepa, gelato, hot dog, and gumbo trucks set up shop, professionals and hipsters start showing up. (All the customers are depicted as animals.) The author also inadvertently equates tacos with a lack of sophistication. “ ‘Hola, Miss Fal…Fal…’ Little Taco Truck tried to sound out the words on the side of the other truck.” Sadly, the truck sells Americanized crisp-shelled tacos. Even the glossary ignores the culinary versatility and cultural authenticity of the soft taco with this oversimplified and inaccurate definition: “A crispy Mexican corn pancake folded or rolled around a filling of meat, beans, and cheese.”

Slight and contrived. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6585-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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