No, whining won’t shorten the journey…but it can make it more entertaining.


Slow and steady may win the race—but it’s not this butterfly’s style.

Having achieved metamorphosis despite many fits and starts in The VERY Impatient Caterpillar (2019), Burach’s popeyed, loudly colored flutterer faces a whole new challenge: tailing the rest of the migrating butterfly flock across a long stretch of ocean. “200 MILES? How am I supposed to travel that far?” Diving down the blowhole of a passing whale to hitch a ride in its stomach (anatomical detail is not a strong point here) turns out to be a nonstarter…but the whale does prove to be a supportive cheerleader. It horks the anguished insect up, admitting that even whales can be anxious sometimes and urging it to “KEEP TRYING” and “Believe you can.” Finally the insect boldly proclaims, “I got this!” And 200 miles of storms and predators later, it does indeed got this, landing amid bright flowers to a warm welcome from its fluttery compatriots. “You found your way!” Alas, the triumph quickly turns to fresh panic with the news that it’s almost time to go dormant for the winter. “Dorma-WHAT-now?” Stay still all winter? Uh-oh. Young members of the “Are we there yet?” chorus will wince in sympathy. The insect’s exaggerated expressions and frantic expostulations will elicit plenty of giggles, and sly pictorial details will keep a broad range of readers happy during rereads.

No, whining won’t shorten the journey…but it can make it more entertaining. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-61500-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends


From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

Inspiration, shrink wrapped.


From an artist, poet, and Instagram celebrity, a pep talk for all who question where a new road might lead.

Opening by asking readers, “Have you ever wanted to go in a different direction,” the unnamed narrator describes having such a feeling and then witnessing the appearance of a new road “almost as if it were magic.” “Where do you lead?” the narrator asks. The Road’s twice-iterated response—“Be a leader and find out”—bookends a dialogue in which a traveler’s anxieties are answered by platitudes. “What if I fall?” worries the narrator in a stylized, faux hand-lettered type Wade’s Instagram followers will recognize. The Road’s dialogue and the narration are set in a chunky, sans-serif type with no quotation marks, so the one flows into the other confusingly. “Everyone falls at some point, said the Road. / But I will always be there when you land.” Narrator: “What if the world around us is filled with hate?” Road: “Lead it to love.” Narrator: “What if I feel stuck?” Road: “Keep going.” De Moyencourt illustrates this colloquy with luminous scenes of a small, brown-skinned child, face turned away from viewers so all they see is a mop of blond curls. The child steps into an urban mural, walks along a winding country road through broad rural landscapes and scary woods, climbs a rugged metaphorical mountain, then comes to stand at last, Little Prince–like, on a tiny blue and green planet. Wade’s closing claim that her message isn’t meant just for children is likely superfluous…in fact, forget the just.

Inspiration, shrink wrapped. (Picture book. 6-8, adult)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-26949-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2021

Did you like this book?