Lit picks for the younger set
Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant's Taleby Duncan Tonatiuh
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 32 pp., $16.95
In an Aesop vein, Duncan Tonatiuh – dual citizen of Mexico and the United States – weaves with gentle compassion the fable of young Pancho Rabbit's treacherous journey across the border to rescue his father. Drought forces Papa Rabbit north for work in the carrot and lettuce fields, while the family stays home for many harvests. Coyote, wily and focused primarily on his own survival, leads Pancho atop trains and into danger, just as millions of impoverished people face every year on their hopeful path to a better life. Digital photo collage revs up hand-drawn illustrations, and solid storytelling, including Spanish vocabulary, paints a beautiful picture of Mexican culture and familial love. In the author's note (written for adults), Tonatiuh says the millions of American children born to undocumented immigrants will relate to Pancho Rabbit's story. Sharing these truths in a positive children's book can help facilitate better conversations on both sides of the border.
Saturday, 2pm, Children's Read Me a Story Tent
Madeline and the Old House in Parisby John Bemelmans Marciano
Viking Juvenile, 48 pp., $17.99
Picking up where his grandfather, Ludwig Bemelmans, left off in the beloved Madeline series, John Bemelmans Marciano keeps the tradition alive and adds his own modern spin. Instant familiarity rings out with Miss Clavel, the "twelve little girls in two straight lines," and Madeline's signature declaration of adventure: "Something is not right." This sixth book of the new collection rhymes the tale of spunky Madeline's quest to solve the mystery of a spooky ghost and restore order and peace in the old Parisian house. Wonderfully enhanced full-color illustrations and the story's air of sweetness and mischief reincarnate Madeline for a whole new generation of children to adore.
Saturday, 10am, Capitol Extension, Rm. E2.010
Secret Pizza Partyby Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
Dial Books, 40 pp., $16.99
Yet another Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri kids' lit collaboration, a follow-up to the wildly successful Dragons Love Tacos, Secret Pizza Party celebrates two of the best parts of life: pizza and parties. With a sneaky raccoon who loves pizza pie's "gooey cheesy-ness" so much he gets the "happy screams" and villainous broom-bots determined to swoosh him away, it's no wonder this silly book is an instant favorite. Even better, the reader feels intimately privy to the raccoon's harebrained bandit scheme to crash an excellent secret pizza party. Clever, vibrant illustrations pair with an engaging, hilarious story, making it fun to read over and over, for both kids and adults.
Saturday, noon, Children's Read Me a Story Tent