Tracey Neithercott’s first book was written by hand and illustrated with some really fancy colored pencils. It was highly acclaimed by her mother. Now, she writes YA stories of friendship, love, murder, and magic. (None of which she illustrates—you’re welcome.) She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, who suggests improving her novels by adding Star […]
So, last summer, a curious little picturebook arrived at our store, just in time for start of school jitters. I picked it up, read the title, and remembered how nerve-wracking September tended to be for me. Going back to school did not necessarily mean seeing your friends again–sometimes it meant your friends would be shuffled into a new section and you’d have to find some new people to spend the long hours with. (Indian schools. *shrug*) And if you’re new? A new level of stressful.
Thankfully, Ira Crumb is here to hold your hand. Ira Crumb Makes a Pretty Good Friend is formatted like a picturebook, certainly works like one, but it also feels like a my-first-graphic-novel. A hilarious comic that presents the quest of finding a friend like it were an adventure. With the help of Josh Holinaty’s charming art, Ira Crumb’s little personality all but bursts out of the page. It’s a sweet story and even if it doesn’t really offer a solution, it could offer a reprieve from any friendship related concerns one might have in late August.
In Ira Crumb Feels the Feelings, now best friends, Ira Crumb and Malcolm Cake want to play a game. Thing is, they each want to play different games. When most of their other friends want to play Malcolm’s game, Ira feels left out. His sad feelings slowly take over him, until, spoiler alert: a fart joke saves the day. If Hrab’s first book was funny, this one is a comedic masterpiece. I may/may not have forced everyone on our staff to read it. Right from the cover, to the end pages, to small details in the middle of the story–like the bench donated by “President Malcolm” who probably invented tag–readers are allowed to giggle even as Ira is trying to sort through his emotions.
The artwork, as with the last book, is consistently bright and adorable. I don’t know how much direction went into the art, but the pictures and words go together perfectly, almost as if the same person created them. Which is, I guess, what you want with all picturebooks. And in the end, cloaked in the humour, is a sweet story of a boy of colour who is allowed to have emotions that aren’t happy. You don’t get enough of that … well, in any category of literature, actually.
Totally recommended, for you and/or the young reader in your life. Ira Crumb is a solid back-to-school buddy to have.
Hardcover, 544 pages Published February 27th 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers Source: Publisher It has taken me a while to read Tess because of life and other incidences that keep me from reading in peace. I read Tess in spare moments, moments were I needed the book the most. I hesitate to call […]
Hello, hello, readers! It’s been a while since I posted! Hope you’ve all been well! The good news is I’m finally done my second draft of my Boyband WIP, which means I can finally concentrate on reading good books and telling you all about them. The first thing about this post? I’m not actually talking […]
The Civil War meets dinosaurs in Daniel José Older’s latest novel, Dactyl Hill Squad. You heard that right. Civil War + Dinosaurs—a Middle Grade adventure that mashes American history with pre-history. Older is a favorite of ours here at The Book Wars. Check out our reviews of his Bone Street Rumba series, his YA fantasy […]
Be Everything at Once: Tales of a Cartoonist Lady Person by Dami Lee Paperback, 160 pages Published August 7th 2018 by Chronicle Books Source: Raincoast Books Dami Lee’s debut collects memoir-ish comic strips about a woman trying to figure out where she fits. Lee documents her experiences as a Korean in America for the first time, trying […]
Hardcover, 256 pages Published May 8th 2018 by Random House Children’s Books Source: Publisher The Cobalt Prince continues the tale started in Sand Warrior and chronicles the further adventures of Oona and her friends in mission to defeat Mimic and save the 5 Worlds from certain destruction. Whoo, that was a sentence. Things get even more complicated in […]
Hardcover, 176 pages Published August 21st 2018 by Hamish Hamilton Source: Publisher I reviewed the second in this series of living autobiographies by Deborah Levy last month and I don’t think I lost out on anything by reading the books out of order. If anything, reading the first one in the series gave me much more […]
Every June my calendar bursts with school visits as I try to get young readers excited about the upcoming Summer Reading Club. One of the things I like to do is showcase some of the incredible variety of genres and formats that kids can discover at the library, especially nonfiction. Many children who think […]
The Dictionary of Ordinary Extraordinary Animals What makes an ordinary animal extraordinary? This animal dictionary will help kids discover exactly what that is. From A to Z, authors Leslie Jonath and Lisa McGuinness single out common animals and highlight specific qualities that make them unique. Each fact-filled entry is ideal for newly independent readers. Entries […]
Hardcover, 208 pages Expected publication: August 21st 2018 by Hamish Hamilton Source: Publisher These days reading is difficult. Sinking into fictional worlds has become more difficult than it used to be because the real world is so nightmarish it follows me into the fictional one. Deborah Levy’s The Cost of Living came my way precisely at the time […]