Friday, May 6, 2022

Kirkus Review of GRUMBLESQUINCH

SOMETIMES I GRUMBLESQUINCH[STARRED REVIEW!] 

Author: Rachel Vail
Illustrator: Hyewon Yum

Review Issue Date: June 1, 2022
Online Publish Date: May 11, 2022
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic
Pages: 40
Price ( Hardcover ): $18.99
Publication Date: July 19, 2022
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-338-75116-1
Section: Children's

Katie is a girl who is always nice, polite, and agreeable—well, almost always.

Everyone says that Katie, who has straight dark hair, dot eyes, and a big curve of a smile, is a pleasure. She’s a good sport, helps with her little brother, Chuck, and makes her parents proud. But she has a secret: Sometimes she grumblesquinches. That’s when “my insides tighten and I think mean thoughts.” It’s when she wishes her brother didn’t wake her up or take her seat. It’s when she wishes she didn’t have a little brother at all. Even when Chuck puts his hand right into her bowl of cereal, she grumblesquinches her bad feelings down. Katie’s mother, who also has straight dark hair, and her father, who has a ruddy complexion and brown hair, think Chuck is just being adorable. But when Chuck tries to hug her with his milky hands and buttery face, ruining her new rainbow shirt, her feelings cannot be grumblesquinched any longer, and she explodes: “Chuck ruins everything!” Her pent-up anger pours out, and then Katie is scared. What if her parents don’t think she’s a pleasure anymore? Yum’s sweet colored-pencil illustrations perfectly convey Katie’s personality and emotional landscape and deftly work with the text to portray the complexities of her inner life. Readers who can relate will be reassured by the loving response from Katie’s mother. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sensitive and emotionally true, a comforting portrayal of big emotions. (author's and illustrator's notes) (Picture book. 4-8)

Friday, March 18, 2022

Luli in PW

 Luli and the Language of Tea

Andrea Wang, illus. by Hyewon Yum. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4614-8

Wang (Watercress) brings a group of children together via a beloved beverage in this warming picture book. After noticing the students in her ESL class all playing alone, young Luli draws a picture of the group sitting together, then makes her plan a reality during the next class session. After setting up “a thermos, a canister, stacks of cups, and a fat bellied teapot” on a classroom table, Luli prepares hot tea, then beckons her fellow classmates in Chinese: “Chá!” One by one, the students respond in their own languages—Arabic, German, Hindi, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, and Turkish, with each response presented in the language’s script alongside an English transliteration. Soon, the table is full. All fluent in the language of tea, the kids know exactly how to ensure that each person has a warm cup in their hands, then, as a group, enjoy Luli’s new favorite English word. Yum’s (Grandpa Across the Ocean) colored pencil illustrations portray dot-eyed children with a variety of skin tones and hair textures; a bird’s-eye view emphasizes the community that accompanies sharing a cup of tea. Back matter includes an author’s note and details about the history of tea drinking. Age 3–7.

NOT LITTLE in SLJ

 MYERS, Maya. Not Little. illus. by Hyewon Yum. 40p. Holiday House/Neal Porter. Jul. 2021. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823446193.

K-Gr 2–Dot, a girl with light brown skin and a big bun on her head, is well aware that her stature is on the small side. In fact, she’s the tiniest one in her interracial family, as well as in her class. She feels insulted when she goes places and, “People look at me and ask me if I’m in preschool. Then I tell them that the square root of sixty-four is eight, or that Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, or that my favorite Mars rover is Curiosity. I’m not little.” At school, filled with a diverse student body, a new boy has arrived. Dot thinks he may possibly be smaller than she is, but she hasn’t had the opportunity to find out for sure. The new boy, who is possibly of Asian descent, has bigger problems, though---a bully! Dot is not having it and sets out to prove her size once and for all. The charming illustrations are done in colored pencil on a white background; Yum’s energetic art reflects the protagonist it portrays. “Though she be but little, she be fierce,” indeed. VERDICT A recommended purchase for libraries where Patty Lovell’s Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is popular.–Tracy Cronce, Stevens Point Pub. Sch. District, WI