Alfie’s obsession with kittens and her innocent plotting will endear her to young readers.

ABSOLUTELY ALFIE AND THE FURRY, PURRY SECRET

From the Absolutely Alfie series , Vol. 1

Eight-year-old African-American Alfleta “Alfie” Jakes is completely bored.

With three weeks left of her summer vacation, she wants something to do. Older brother EllRay hangs out with his friends, and her parents are busy working. Nobody seems to have time for Alfie. Her mom decides she can hang out with white Hanni Sobel. This is a great idea except that Hanni is “a know-it-all who tried to be the boss of the other girls.” Surprisingly, Hanni makes a good playmate, especially since she has three cute kittens. Soon Alfie is obsessed with a little gray kitten she names Princess. Alfie really needs this kitten. She devises Operation Kittycat, a foolproof plan to get a kitten home. But her parents have a no-pet policy. Will Alfie be able to pull it off by the time summer ends? Warner’s charming protagonist, whom some may recognize from the chapter-book series about big brother EllRay, will captivate readers with her funny takes on her family and Hanni. Friendly and appealing illustrations by Malone pepper the chapters, adding a sweet dimension to the story. Sequel Absolutely Alfie and the First Week Friends publishes simultaneously.

Alfie’s obsession with kittens and her innocent plotting will endear her to young readers. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-99986-8

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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