Readers will relate to her disappointment and cheer her on as she comes to her own creative solution.

SATURDAY IS DADURDAY

Irrepressible Mimi and her father have named the day after Friday Dadurday. It is their special day to do everything together. But when Dad’s work schedule changes, their weekend tradition is in jeopardy.

Mop-haired Mimi loves Dadurday. She and her dad make silly-shaped pancakes and read the comics, and each writes a list of activities to do for the rest of the day. Ideas that appear on both lists set the schedule. They have fun going to the library, riding bikes, splashing in puddles and playing checkers. So Mimi is understandably upset with the news that her father will no longer be at home on Saturdays. Suddenly the day has become Madurday or Sadurday. Mother is sympathetic but busy caring for baby twins. When her frustration and bad mood become too much, Mimi explodes in an impressive tantrum that lasts for three pages. But after she calms down, the perfect idea comes to her. Sidewalk chalk, craft supplies and balloons come out. Pancakes are made; party hats created. Dad is in for a happy surprise when he arrives. Pulver’s well-crafted story touches upon an all-too-common situation—parents’ work encroaching on family time. Alley combines watercolor, watercolor pencil, pen and ink to deftly portray Mimi as she grapples with her feelings about something beyond her control.

Readers will relate to her disappointment and cheer her on as she comes to her own creative solution. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8027-8691-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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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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This seemingly simple tale packs a satisfying emotional punch. Scarily good! (Picture book. 4-7)

LOVE MONSTER

Monster lives in Cutesville, where he feels his googly eyes make him unlovable, especially compared to all the “cute, fluffy” kittens, puppies and bunnies. He goes off to find someone who will appreciate him just the way he is…with funny and heartwarming results.

A red, scraggly, pointy-eared, arm-dragging monster with a pronounced underbite clutches his monster doll to one side of his chest, exposing a purplish blue heart on the other. His oversized eyes express his loneliness. Bright could not have created a more sympathetic and adorable character. But she further impresses with the telling of this poor chap’s journey. Since Monster is not the “moping-around sort,” he strikes out on his own to find someone who will love him. “He look[s] high” from on top of a hill, and “he look[s] low” at the bottom of the same hill. The page turn reveals a rolling (and labeled) tumbleweed on a flat stretch. Here “he look[s] middle-ish.” Careful pacing combines with dramatic design and the deadpan text to make this sad search a very funny one. When it gets dark and scary, he decides to head back home. A bus’s headlights shine on his bent figure. All seems hopeless—until the next page surprises, with a smiling, orange monster with long eyelashes and a pink heart on her chest depicted at the wheel. And “in the blink of a googly eye / everything change[s].”

This seemingly simple tale packs a satisfying emotional punch. Scarily good! (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 31, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-374-34646-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

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