Grandmothers with both guts and glamour are sadly underrepresented; these Glam-mas will win lots of fans. (Picture book. 3-6)

I LOVE MY GLAM-MA!

Grandmas come in all shapes, sizes, and races in this up-to-date portrait of grandmothers as young-at-heart, active participants in the lives of their grandchildren.

The story begins with an introduction to different names for grandmothers, including Abuela, Bubbe, and Oma before introducing Glam-ma—a term that may need further explanation beyond the text for some children, as “glamorous” isn’t a term in regular use by the intended audience. Different grandmas are introduced interacting with grandchildren in all sorts of activities ranging from dress-up play and cooking to karate class and attending a rock concert. The implication in the brief, bouncy text is that attitude is everything and that all these grandmothers are hip, happy, and healthy. Some of the grandmas are quite young, unusual in children’s books but a demographically realistic depiction, while others have gray or white hair (but nary a wrinkle). Characters with a wide range of skin tones are represented, including a cover illustration of a white grandma playing dress-up with her brown-skinned grandchildren. One grandmother uses a wheelchair and two use canes, though the canes don’t seem to be actually needed for support but rather for artistic effect. Bright, appealing watercolor illustrations are filled with expressive faces, lots of motion, and clever details for kids to find.

Grandmothers with both guts and glamour are sadly underrepresented; these Glam-mas will win lots of fans. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-15183-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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DONOVAN'S BIG DAY

It may be his mothers’ wedding day, but it’s Donovan’s big day in Newman’s (Heather Has Two Mommies, 1989, etc.) latest picture book about queer family life. Centered on the child’s experience and refreshingly eschewing reference to controversy, the book emerges as a celebration of not only Mommy’s and Mama’s mutual love but progress toward equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Readers, however, don't know immediately know why it is “a very BIG day” for Donovan or what the “very BIG job” is that he has to do. In his affectionate, humorous gouache paintings with digital finish, Dutton cleverly includes clues in the form of family pictures in an earlier spread set inside their home, and then a later spread shows Donovan in a suit and placing a “little white satin box that Aunt Jennifer gave him” into his pocket, hinting toward his role as ring bearer. But it’s not until the third-to-last spread that he stands with his parents and hands “one shiny gold ring to Mommy [and] one shiny gold ring to Mama.” He, of course, gets to kiss the brides on the last page, lending a happily-ever-after sensibility to the end of this story about a family's new beginning. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 26, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-332-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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Engines won’t be the only thing roaring their approval when this book hits storytime.

ELBOW GREASE VS. MOTOZILLA

Who needs sanity when you’ve got family?

The title character of Elbow Grease (2018) and his family of Demolition Derby trucks return to face an all-new competitor. Once again, ’Bo is feeling inadequate next to his fan-favorite brothers. Despite Mel the Mechanic’s encouragement—he’s “the best at getting better”—he wants to be noticed. But instead, he notices someone unavoidable. Motozilla, the monster machine that turns trucks “into crunch sandwiches,” is currently undefeated. Trouble is, you’d need a truck with an array of skills to take him down. Thinking fast, ’Bo makes the wild and somewhat improbable suggestion that he and his brothers join together to form a single supertruck. Will it be enough to take down this bully? Quips, jests, and teamwork are the name of the game as pro wrestler Cena improves on his writing in this second outing, which demonstrates that individual glory falls in the face of concentrated cooperation. Rollicking, radical art portrays the battle in all its gritty glory, mud and twisted metal galore. Human crowds show a diverse range of races and genders, and the trucks’ keeper, Mel, has light-brown skin and wears glasses.

Engines won’t be the only thing roaring their approval when this book hits storytime. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-7353-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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