An elevated outing, perhaps a touch vague but, as ever, magnificently designed.



A pop-up invitation to dream big.

With his latest set of seemingly miraculous white pop-ups, Sabuda urges expansive life goals. Accompanying a flat image of a small pine cone, the phrase “When I grow up” concludes, with a page turn, “I will stand TALL,” next to a towering tree. “When I strive for my goals” (a small bee looping in for a landing) leads to a magnificent stand of finely petaled sunflowers and a satisfied “I will savor the outcome.” A bowl of eggs turns to a swirling flight of birds when dreams are shared; dreaming “of the future” transforms a bath toy into a great ship in full sail; a multileveled castle is the result when “I build my life”; and finally the “humble beginning” envisioned as a paper airplane becomes a rocket blasting off “to a life among the stars.” Younger viewers may be more inclined to admire the way each model unfolds and marvel at its intricate paper engineering than to embellish the metaphorical images with specific personal ambitions—but the wide-angled outlook may inspire at least some longer thoughts. It’s easy to imagine this giving Oh, the Places You’ll Go a run for its money as a perennial graduation gift.

An elevated outing, perhaps a touch vague but, as ever, magnificently designed. (Pop-up picture book. 7-9, adult)

Pub Date: April 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6397-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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Welcome back, Annie and Simon


From the Annie and Simon series

A glimpse at sibling love in a book for newly independent readers, the third Annie and Simon book.

It’s rare to see teenagers depicted in books for young readers, but O’Neill’s series fills this void with its depiction of little sister Annie and her “big, big brother,” Simon, both of whom are white. The three slice-of-life stories that make up the book are focused on their interactions, with Simon acting as both a caregiver and companion. Their dynamic isn’t totally smooth, which keeps it feeling realistic and not nearly as sweet as the chocolate chips that Annie sneaks into the titular banana muffins they bake. They also show camaraderie and cooperation when caring for their neighbor’s baby, Theo (illustrations depict him and his father as black), and when rescuing their dog from a close call with a porcupine. These are quiet stories, with gentle humor infused in the dialogue and muted watercolor illustrations that overemphasize Simon’s gangly frame. The vocabulary and length of the text will place it out of reach for emergent readers in need of more robust verbal controls. Readers on the precipice of transitioning to chapter books will find this good preparation.

Welcome back, Annie and Simon . (Early reader. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 23, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7498-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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Whether they live with dogs or not, readers will absorb some truths about family vacations and the true care of animal...


From the Lulu series , Vol. 2

Lulu and Mellie, 7-year-old cousins and best friends, share a summer outing with lots of doggy goodness.

The cottage by the sea is not exactly what Lulu’s parents had envisioned—it is rather far from the beach, there are only two cups and two glasses, and the caretaker is grumpy and warns them about a stray, savage dog. The girls, however, are delighted, especially when Lulu, who loves animals, spots a very unkempt dog. Restaurant folk and the ice-cream-stand people know about the dog, too. Soon readers meet him, and they learn that he was born behind the Golden Lotus restaurant, that his mother and sisters were taken by the dogcatcher, and that he survives by stealing from picnics and garbage cans and by avoiding grown-ups. Lulu has brought Sam, her elderly dog, on vacation, too, but that does not stop her from finding ways of feeding and encouraging the stray “dog from the sea.” When the kite that has been Mellie’s vacation project leads the girls out at dawn and into some difficulty, it is the dog from the sea who overcomes his fear of adults and leads them to the lost and frightened girls. Thus, Lulu’s menagerie grows as the vacation week ends, and two dogs come home.

Whether they live with dogs or not, readers will absorb some truths about family vacations and the true care of animal companions in the company of Lulu and Mellie, who are as utterly charming and as completely age 7 as possible. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8075-4820-2

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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