We are excited about Publishers Weekly's review of our forthcoming picture book Fred, written and illustrated by Kaila Eunhye Seo!
"In a town handsomely drafted in black ink, a boy named Fred 'was able to see and believe in things… that others could not.' Monsters, namely. Seo, a Korean artist making her children’s book debut, creates a slew of shaggy, wide-eyed creatures, colored in pale yellows and blues, who aren’t just benevolent, but downright helpful ('Sometimes they acted like the wind and moved branches out of the way for people. And sometimes they acted like shade and kept people cool on hot summer days'). In a development that will be familiar to anyone who has seen Toy Story or sung 'Puff, the Magic Dragon,' Fred eventually trades these smiley, friendly furballs for human companions, growing up to be someone who 'ate the same things everyday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner' and 'lived each day very much like the day before.' It’s a story that tugs at heartstrings (it’s tough to watch the crestfallen monsters fade to black and white as Fred forgets about them), but Seo’s upbeat ending affirms the loyalty of this hirsute and utterly devoted crew. Ages 3–7. (Mar.)"
The American Library Association's Booklist magazine has reviewed our new picture book, Hank Has a Dream by Rebecca Dudley!
Here is what reviewer Connie Fletcher had to say:
"In this follow-up to Hank Finds an Egg (2013), a little stuffed animal . . . recounts to his hummingbird friend a dream in which he sails away on a dirigible across the sea and into the heavens. What’s so clever is how Dudley shows Hank doing everyday activities (like running around a field) and how his imagination transforms them into fantastic events (careening around the clouds). As before, Dudley’s images are awesome: delicate dioramas handmade from materials like clay, paper, wire, and fabric and then photographed with shallow focus to make them come popping to life. The tone is understated and sweet, and when the hummingbird asks to hear the entire dream again, Hank complies—and adult readers should also be ready to accede to similar requests from their listeners."
School Library Journal has reviewed our new picture book, The Zoo Is Closed Today! written by Evelyn Beilenson and illustrated by Anne Kennedy. The review will appear in the publication's September issue. Here is what SLJ had to say:
"K-Gr 2—Following in the footsteps of many other successful 'something’s wrong at the zoo' stories, this rhyming version comically describes the ailments of the animals that Sue and John find when they walk to 'Kalama Zoo.' Their friend Pete the zookeeper explains that the zoo is closed because Edward the elephant has a cold in his nose, Freddy the fox has a sunburn, Marcel the monkey’s tail is in a sling, and Carlos the camel has hives on his humps. The kids return home disappointed and concerned but are gleeful to receive a letter the very next day telling them that the animals are feeling better. When the two come down with the sniffles themselves, the animals make a get-well road trip to their house. Kennedy’s colorful cartoons perfectly complement Beilenson’s easy read-aloud verse. Pair it with E.S. Redmond’s Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo (Candlewick, 2009) and Philip C. Stead’s A Sick Day for Amos McGee (Roaring Brook, 2010) for an ailing animal storytime or book display." —Jenna Boles, Green County Public Library, Beavercreek, OH
" 'Last night I dreamed I flew!' announces Hank, the bear/monkeylike critter from Hank Finds an Egg, before proceeding to regale his hummingbird friend with a step-by-step recounting of his dream. Dudley again stages the action in carefully crafted and photographed dioramas, this time creating lovely parallels between the 'real' and dream action of the story. On the left side of each spread, Hank races through the forest, sits on a rope bridge, and swings from a tree. Each action mirrors events from his dream, which are shown in scenes that appear at right, with Hank floating over rivers and through the clouds in a delicate, translucent airship. Readers will find Hank’s subconscious travels every bit as enticing as his forest wanderings."