Review: The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol

The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol

The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol (9781626724426)

The Little Guys are very small but when they work together they can do almost anything! Using leaves to float, they cross deep water. In the big forest, they hold hands to stay together and keep from being afraid. They find berries and form a stack to reach them. But as they continue their search for more and more food, they start using their combined strength in a way that upsets the rest of the forest. Chipmunks go flying, owls get forced out of their nests, and they even beat up a bear! Soon they have all of the food in the forest! But have they gone too far?

Brosgol follows her incredible Leave Me Alone! with this clever look at the impact of collective action and what happens when even the smallest of us upset the balance of nature and society. The text is simple and straightforward, told in the voice of the Little Guys as they head out scavenging. They are full of confidence as they make the trek to find food and it’s a stirring picture of the power of community until it goes awry in such a spectacular way.

Brosgol’s Little Guys are ever so adorable with their acorn caps and stick-thin limbs. Their orange bulbous noses also add to their appeal. With almost no facial expressions, it is impressive how she gives them emotions with body language. The dwarfing of their size in the forest and beside the other animals is also effectively portrayed.

A delight of a picture book that is an unusual look at sharing with your community. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy provided by Roaring Brook Press.

This Week’s Tweets

Here are the items I shared on Twitter this week. Have a very good holiday weekend!



2019 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Middle School — The Horn Book #kidlit

Judith Kerr Obituary –

Q & A with Jasmine Warga #kidlit


Sarah Jessica Parker throws shade at de Blasio’s proposed library cut –


4 Reasons You Should be Reading Books Daily, According to Science #reading


15 Must-Read Queer YA Fantasy Books #yalit

The 2019 Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book goes to Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi –

Complicated Friendships, Classics Made Modern, and So Much Murder –

Elizabeth Acevedo’s Work Is a Welcome Rarity in YA Fiction –

Seven (Mostly New) OwnVoices Asian Book Recs for APAH Month –

Summer Book Preview: The 10 Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down –

The YA Trans Ownvoices Masterlist –


2019 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards

The Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards are in their 67th year. The award ” recognizes children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage
children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people.” The award is given to books in two categories: Younger Children and Older Children. There are also two honor books this year for each age group. Here are the winners and honor books:


The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López



Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes



The Day the War Came by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Rebecca Cobb

Julian Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love



The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson

2019 South Asia Book Awards

The 2019 South Asia Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature has been announced. There are two winners, three honor books, and four highly commended books! I haven’t heard of several of them, so this list of award winners is a real treat to explore. Here are the winners:


Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Claire A. Nivola



The Eleventh Trade by Alyssa Hollingsworth

Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea by Elizabeth Suneby, illustrated by Rebecca Green

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani




Farmer Falgu Goes to Kumbh Mela by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Kanika Nair

I Need to Pee by Neha Singh, illustrated by Meenal Singh and Erik Egerup

Maccher Jhol by Richa Jha, illustrated by Sumanta Dey

Room in Your Heart by Kunzang Choden, illustrated by Pema Tshering

Review: Monkey on the Run by Leo Timmers

Monkey on the Run by Leo Timmers

Monkey on the Run by Leo Timmers (9781776572502)

In this wordless picture book, Papa Monkey and his little monkey are heading home from school in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The two of them are aboard his banana-cycle with a sidecar for little monkey. But from the beginning, the little one is engaging with the other vehicles along the way. He leaps on to a firetruck that is fighting a fire on another vehicle while driving. He takes a piece of cake from a royal car with a mobile kitchen and waiters. He munches the cake in the crow’s nest of a boat with wheels. He dodges a rooster after seeing a police chase. He dangles above an ambulance, gets ice cream from an ice cream truck, and ends up with a perfect wrapped present for his mother along the way.

Timmers’ traffic filled with inventive vehicles will remind readers of Richard Scarry’s Busy Town. This art though is much more modern and the interaction between the vehicles is more robust. There is a lovely logic to each vehicle, a little story being told to the reader who slows down to explore each one. The bustle and rush of the traffic would seem to make a fast-paced book, but this is one to linger over and enjoy following the adventures of a little monkey through the wildness of the different modes of transportation.

If you have a little one obsessed with vehicles, the humor and wonder here is sure to entice them. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy provided by Gecko Press.

2019 Indies Choice Book Award Winners

The 2019 Indies Choice Book Award winners were announced this week. Voted on by booksellers at American Booksellers Association member stores across the country, the awards are given in a variety of categories, including several for young readers. Here are the winners in those categories:


The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo



We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins



Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes



Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen

Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon

Cook Prize & Irma Black Award Winners

The winners of two awards by The Bank Street Center for Children’s Literature were announced. The Cook Prize is given to the best STEM picture book for 8-10 year-olds and is selected by children. The Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award is given to “an outstanding book for young children—a book in which text and illustrations are inseparable, each enhancing and enlarging on the other to produce a singular whole.” Here are the winners and honor books:


Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker, illustrated Dow Phumiruk


Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones by Sara Levine, illustrated by T.S. Spookytooth

If Polar Bears Disappeared by Lily Williams

Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain by Cheryl Bardoe; illustrated by Barbara McClintock



We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins


Stumpkin by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Sun! One in a Billion by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by Stevie Lewis

The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee


Review: The Bridge to Home by Padma Venkatraman

The Bridge to Home by Padma Venkatraman

The Bridge to Home by Padma Venkatraman (9781524738112)

When her abusive father starts to hit Viji and her sister, Rukku, as well as their mother, Viji takes Rukku and runs away to the streets of Chennai. Rukku follows willingly, though Viji worries that when others see Rukku they will take her away due to her developmental delays. The two sisters meet two boys who also live on the streets and the four of them form a small family. During the day, they pick garbage in the litter piles and mountains around the city. Rukku makes bead necklaces that they sell to tourists and students. The four children are hungry and scared often, but they also have wonderful adventures together whether they are living on an abandoned bridge or in a dark and hidden graveyard. When Rukku falls ill, Viji must figure out if she can care for her herself or if she needs to take a big risk and ask for help.

Venkatraman has created a tale that doesn’t soften the dangers and difficulties of children living on the streets of India. At the same time though, she doesn’t allow the story to be dismal, instead she shows how the smallest things can give joy. Just the inclusion of the puppy into the children’s lives adds an element of love and cuddling that the book needed. The setting of India and its streets is brilliantly shared in the book, that includes the dark dangers of those who steal from them and the predator adults they encounter.

The two sisters are very different from one another not just because of Rukku’s disability but also their outlook at life is in contrast to one another. Viji takes the role of protector for her sister, doing the hard and dirty work. Yet, Rukku manages to sometimes make more money for the group and also serves as the person who brings them together over and over again. The two boys are almost like siblings themselves, as the book progresses, they share their stories which are haunting as well.

A beautifully written novel for middle graders that shines light on children often overlooked. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from ARC provided by Nancy Paulsen Books.