Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Luli from Kirkus


Author: Andrea Wang
Illustrator: Hyewon Yum

Review Issue Date: June 15, 2022
Online Publish Date: May 25, 2022
Publisher:Neal Porter/Holiday House
Pages: 40
Price ( Hardcover ): $18.99
Publication Date: May 17, 2022
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-8234-4614-8
Section: Children's

A group of children find commonality and togetherness through tea.

While a diverse group of grown-ups attend English as a second language class, young ones attend free child care next door. Like the adults, no one speaks English, and “all around the room, children played alone.” However, Luli, who is cued as Chinese, has a plan to get everyone to play together. Today, she’s brought a full tea set. When the table is set and Luli calls out in Chinese, “Chá,” “all around the room, heads popped up.” In a series of panels, children chime back in Russian, Hindi, Turkish, Persian, Arabic, Spanish, German, Swahili, and Portuguese. The word for tea sounds quite similar across languages, and soon enough each child grabs a seat at the table to share a warm cup of tea. Shy smiles lead to full hearts. Yum’s colored-pencil illustrations work alongside Wang’s simple, rhythmic text to highlight the concepts of uniqueness and similarity. Gentle, repeated refrains like “all around the room/table” and measured moments of tea cups passed back and forth create beats of unity and circularity. Languages are presented in their script with romanization/transliteration for pronunciation. Perspectives and layouts vary for a dynamic read and give space to each child and their individuality. Endpapers showcase teacup designs from the 10 countries highlighted; in an author’s note, Wang describes the childhood experience that inspired the book. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A warming and gentle celebration of connection. (information on the countries depicted) (Picture book. 3-7)

Friday, May 6, 2022



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)