Love You Head to Toe by Ashley Barron (9781771473040)
On each page of this book, human babies are compared with animal babies in their activities throughout the day. Baby wakes up like a sea star in the sun. They play like a kitten batting at a butterfly. Baby toddles like a bear cub. They bundle up like a penguin. They eat like a chipmunk, filling their cheeks with food. The book contains many similes and metaphors and even the smallest child will enjoy looking at the animals and the ways that they are just the same.
The text is simple and straight-forward, showing the direct comparisons between baby and animal in a charming way. Activities like crawling, diaper changes, hopping, and toddling make this book accessible to all children. The illustrations show a diverse group of babies, ranging in age from around six months to one year. Done in collage, they are simple enough for little ones and delightful as well.
A winning book for infants and toddlers. Here’s hoping it comes out as a board book soon. Appropriate for ages 1-3.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Owlkids.
Mike by Andrew Norriss (9781338285369)
Floyd is a tennis star, destined to become one of the great British tennis players. At age thirteen though, something changes. He starts to see “Mike” a person whom only he can see. Mike first appears at tennis matches and gets steadily more involved, even stopping Floyd from playing physically at one point. Floyd’s parents, who are both very much supportive of his tennis, take him to a sports injury clinic where he is placed in therapy. Floyd learns that Mike is a projection of something that Floyd is repressing. To Floyd’s horror though, it seems that Mike won’t let him keep playing tennis and Floyd will need to admit his own deep desire to do something else. But what?
Norriss has created a short and focused novel that is entirely marvelous. He writes with a playful nature that allows readers to really cheer for Floyd as he navigates his own desires and figures out what will actually make him happy. Nicely, Norriss allows the entire story to be told and readers stay with Floyd and Mike for some time, experiencing all of the times that Mike appears in Floyd’s life. By the end, Mike is the hero of the story, or is it Floyd all along!
A great main character gives this teen novel real heart. Floyd is a tennis prodigy, but completely at the mercy of his destiny when we meet him. He isn’t questioning what he really wants to do, whether tennis is still fun, or why he works so very hard to be the best. The pace of his training is beautifully offset by the slow pace of Floyd’s therapy and navigating life afterwards. Still, that rich sense of humor keeps the book moving and the unique perspective of who Mike really is offers a refreshing take on life.
A fresh sports novel filled with fish, invisible friends, and frankness. Appropriate for ages 12-15.
Reviewed from ARC provided by David Fickling Books.