Being sad has never seemed funnier.

IRA CRUMB FEELS THE FEELINGS

Two irreverent friends navigate the cutthroat world of playground politics in this hilarious picture book about feeling sad.

Ira Crumb, a brown-skinned boy, and Malcolm Cake, a blue dog, are back with humor, friendship, and a shared love of pickles (Ira Crumb Makes a Pretty Good Friend, 2017). On a trip to the playground, the two double over with laughter as they tell a knock-knock joke, but the fun takes a turn when Ira wants to play hide-and-seek but Malcolm wants to play tag. When all their new playground chums prefer Malcolm’s game, Ira finds that his “feelings are feeling feelings.” Ira even passes up a joyful dance-a-thon as he delves deeper into the abyss of his emotions. The dance-a-thon participants try to cheer Ira up, and even his surroundings try to lighten his mood, but Ira does not want to be distracted from his grief. When Malcolm sees how sad Ira is, he has a novel idea…why don’t they be sad together! This brings Ira right out of his funk, and the two bond over fart jokes. This beckons the offense of an actual fart, depicted as a green cloud adorned with a top hat and single spectacle. Nothing can bring two friends together like a classy fart joke! The illustrations are bright and colorful, and the playful use of speech bubbles adds motion and zeal.

Being sad has never seemed funnier. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77147-298-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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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

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WE ARE IN A BOOK!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Stalwart friends Piggie and Gerald the elephant push the metafictive envelope in a big way when they realize that "someone is looking at us." Is it a monster? worries Gerald. "No," replies the squinting Piggie. "It is... / a reader! / A reader is reading us!" How? wonders Gerald. Piggie drapes herself on a word bubble to demonstrate: "We are in a book!" "THAT IS SO COOL!" Joy leads to a little bit of clever practical joking—Piggie figures out how to make the readers say "banana" out loud, and hilarity ensues—which gives way to existential angst: "The book ends?!" exclaims an appalled Gerald. Emergent readers just beginning to grapple one-on-one with the rules of the printed codex will find the friends' antics both funny and provocative: Just who is in control here, anyway? As always, Willems displays his customary control of both body language and pacing even as he challenges his readers to engage with his characters and the physicality of their book . The friends' solution to the book's imminent end? "Hello. Will you please read us again?" You bet. (Early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4231-3308-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

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