While the charming illustrations give this title great shelf appeal, lack of narrative depth makes it best suited for...

LA PRINCESA AND THE PEA

A Peruvian príncipe sets out to foil his mamá and marry the girl of his dreams in this Latinx-inspired adaptation of “The Princess and the Pea” from Spanish-language–adaptation veteran Elya (La Madre Goose, 2016, etc.).

En route to her own castle, the titular princesa catches the eye of the prince, who invites her to stay the night. The classic Hans Christian Andersen tale unfolds with Latin flair in rhyming couplets sprinkled with Spanish vocabulary terms. The appeal here is for non-native speakers seeking an introduction to the language. At times the dual-language rhyme becomes awkward with phrasing that misses the mark in both languages, “The girl stretched her brazos / and yawned with her boca”—as if she’d yawn with anything other than her mouth? The text also fails to establish the mother’s motive for putting the pea under the mattresses, and for this reason background knowledge of the original is a prerequisite to truly enjoy this adaption. Martinez-Neal’s darling, soft-edged mixed-media illustrations bring the brown-skinned characters to life in costumes from different regions of Peru, while guinea pigs and alpaca fleece create an atmosphere of a busy rural textile industry.

While the charming illustrations give this title great shelf appeal, lack of narrative depth makes it best suited for comparison with the original rather than a title that stands on its own. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-25156-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions.

HOME

Ellis, known for her illustrations for Colin Meloy’s Wildwood series, here riffs on the concept of “home.”

Shifting among homes mundane and speculative, contemporary and not, Ellis begins and ends with views of her own home and a peek into her studio. She highlights palaces and mansions, but she also takes readers to animal homes and a certain famously folkloric shoe (whose iconic Old Woman manages a passel of multiethnic kids absorbed in daring games). One spread showcases “some folks” who “live on the road”; a band unloads its tour bus in front of a theater marquee. Ellis’ compelling ink and gouache paintings, in a palette of blue-grays, sepia and brick red, depict scenes ranging from mythical, underwater Atlantis to a distant moonscape. Another spread, depicting a garden and large building under connected, transparent domes, invites readers to wonder: “Who in the world lives here? / And why?” (Earth is seen as a distant blue marble.) Some of Ellis’ chosen depictions, oddly juxtaposed and stripped of any historical or cultural context due to the stylized design and spare text, become stereotypical. “Some homes are boats. / Some homes are wigwams.” A sailing ship’s crew seems poised to land near a trio of men clad in breechcloths—otherwise unidentified and unremarked upon.

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6529-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more