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New York Times Review
In this latest crop of picture books, you'll find an understanding rabbit, a grandmas goodie-stuffed purse, and Junot Diaz's debut. BUS! STOP! Written and illustrated by James Yang A little boy with a backpack misses his bus. Bummer. Then comes a succession of buslike vehicles - a covered wagon, a ship - that are definitely not what he's waiting for. This ingenious book will call out to toddlers, but keep it around for early readers, too. The words are simple, and Yang's witty art is built to last. 32 pp. Viking. $17.99. (Ages 2 to 5) THE RABBIT LISTENED Written and illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld Onesie-wearing Taylor, who's wonderfully drawn to be either a boy or a girl, builds a block tower that falls down. Everyone who comes by to help, including a chicken and an elephant, is full of well-meaning advice. Only a silent rabbit offers what Taylor - like all of us - needs: the comfort of someone who will just listen, laugh and give a hug. 40 pp. Dial. $17.99. (Ages 3 to 6) HELLO, HELLO Written and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel Wenzel's "They All Saw a Cat" played with different creatures' points of view. This book spreads its arms wider, introducing the staggering range of species that share the earth - many of them endangered or threatened. Wenzel's vibrant collaged art and simple rhythms call to mind Eric Carle, with a factual-minded touch. 48 pp. Chronicle. $17.99. (Ages 5 to 8) THE WORD COLLECTOR Written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds Jerome collects not things but words - lovely ones like "willow" and "spark" - and decides to share them. As always, Reynolds ("The Dot") brings an enchanting light hand to deeper themes. In Jerome's quest to spread the beauty of language, the story acquires the timeless, classic quality of Leo Lionni's tale of Frederick the mouse. 40 pp. Orchard Books. $17.99. (Ages 4 to 8) GRANDMA'S PURSE Written and illustrated by Vanessa BrantleyNewton This warm trip through the wonderland of Grandma Mimi's purse is really a tribute to the steadying force of grandparental love in a child's life. It also brims with adorable small stuff to look at. No illustrator does clothes, decor and style better than Brantley-Newton ("The Youngest Marcher"). 32 pp. Knopf. $17.99. (Ages 4 to 8) VINCENT COMES HOME Written and illustrated by Jessixa Bagley and Aaron Bagley Jessixa Bagley's books featuring woodland animals include "Boats for Papa," an honestto-God tear-jerker. Here she's teamed with her husband, Aaron Bagley, for the tale of a ship's cat who learns what "home" means. Wider-ranging than her solo books, it's just as satisfying and emotionally astute. 38 pp. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter. $17.99. (Ages 4 to 8) ALL THAT TRASH: THE STORY OF THE 1987 GARBAGE BARGE AND OUR PROBLEM WITH STUFF Written and illustrated by Meghan McCarthy With her exuberantly silly illustrations, McCarthy ("Earmuffs for Everyone!") has a great way with nonfiction picture books. This one - about an oozing, fly-infested barge of New York City garbage that became famous for traveling the seas unable to find a willing dump - raises awareness of our national trash problem. As children know, the truth is so often stranger than fiction. 48 pp. Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster. $17.99. (Ages 4 to 8) BEAR AND WOLF Written and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri Salmieri, known for his visual humor ("Dragons Love Tacos"), shows his writing chops in this stunning, serene and philosophical book. A bear and a wolf, out for nighttime walks, hike through snowy winter vistas. Nothing much happens: Sometimes, peaceful companionship and a mutual appreciation of beauty are more than enough. 48 pp. Enchanted Lion. $17.95. (Ages 4 to 8) GRACE FOR GUS By Harry Bliss. Illustrated by Harry Bliss and Frank Young In this wordless graphic novel-style picture book, Grace's class wants a new hamster. She sneaks out to raise money by busking, drawing and dancing. Bliss, a New Yorker cartoonist, piles on funny Manhattan details kids may miss, but they'll love Grace's spunky quest to make a difference on her own. 40 pp. Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins. $17.99. (Ages 5 and up) ISLANDBORN By Junot Diaz. Illustrated by Leo Espinosa The other kids in Lola's class recall their homelands, but she doesn't. So she gathers stories of "the Island." With Espinosa's bright illustrations creating just the right mood, Diaz, the author of acclaimed adult books including "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," celebrates an immigrant community and testifies to the experiences of Dominicans who fled the dictator Rafael Trujillo, called simply "the Monster." 48 pp. Dial. $17.99. (Ages 5 to 8) maria russo is the children's books editor of the Book Review.
Publishers Weekly Review
Wenzel starts with two cats and a greeting: "Hello Hello." They eye each other across a white backdrop. A page turn reveals a black bear, panda, zebra, and striped fish: "Black and White." The next page provides a blast of color: more tropical fish, a brilliant parrot, a fuchsia lobster-and completes the rhyme ("Hello Color Hello Bright"). More creatures and greetings bring the story into focus-it's a celebration of the myriad forms of animal life this planet hosts. In richly textured mixed-media compositions, Caldecott Honor recipient Wenzel (They All Saw a Cat) balances realism and engaging caricature. The animals' coats and features are rendered with careful attention, and each animal face sports cartoonish, wide-open eyes, the better to give each other impish looks. In an author's note, Wenzel urges readers to know the creatures they share the Earth with, especially those that are threatened or endangered. (Official names are supplied in two keyed drawings at the back.) It's a joyful way to deliver a message about the fragility of life on Earth and what would be lost if more of it disappeared. Ages 3-5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
PreS-K-Beginning with some modest black-and-white critters and the titular greeting, Wenzel introduces a dazzling variety of animals grouped in unexpected ways by pattern ("Hello Stripes Hello Spots"), anatomical features ("Hello Tongue, Ears, Hands, and Nose"), sounds (Hello Roars, Peeps, Chirps, and Chants") and many other criteria, each description a part of a rhyming poem spread out across the book. Set against ample white backgrounds, Wenzel's mixed media illustrations pop with astounding textures and colors, somewhat reminiscent of Steve Jenkins's work, but considerably more caricature in style with googly eyes and exaggerated shapes. The dizzying parade culminates in a spread of all of the animals together, "A world to see A world to know Where to begin? Hello Hello." A note from the author explains that these animals are some of the author's favorites but are tragically endangered; Wenzel urges readers to discover more about them to better the conservation efforts. An illustrated list of animals is helpfully included, listing the names of all pictured animals and their threatened status. VERDICT Deceptively simple but gorgeously realized, with a powerful statement about celebrating and protecting the Earth's fauna in all its diverse (yet interconnected) splendor.-Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this brilliant follow up to the Caldecott Honour-winning They All Saw a Cat , bestselling author Brendan Wenzel presents a chain of animals of dazzling variety. Each one is different from the last, yet each is also linked by at least one common trait: some obvious, some more subtle. As colours and patterns mix and mingle, and as paws and snouts meet, each unexpected encounter celebrates the magnificent diversity of our world - and ultimately paints a story of connection. Joyous, rhythmic text and Wenzel's exuberant art encourage readers of all kinds to delight in nature's infinite differences, and to look for - and marvel at - its gorgeous similarities. It all starts with a simple 'Hello.'
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