August2016 Booklist 69 www.booklistonline.com
grows along with the plant, which eventually
blossoms into a magenta flower. Soon the bugs
have built a magnificent furt among its leaves,
complete with a rope swing and pirate flag.
Eventually, colder weather moves in (evidenced
in the sweaters and hats the beetles don), the
flower wilts, and the bugs bid their furt adieu.
Readers and prereaders alike will find myriad
visual cues in Ellis’ splendid folk-style gouache-and-ink illustrations that will allow them to
draw meaning from the nonsensical dialogue,
as well as observe the subtle changing of the
seasons. The entire story unfolds on the same
small stretch of ground, where each new detail is integral to the scene at hand. Effortlessly
working on many levels, Ellis’ newest is outstanding. —Julia Smith
Eddie the Bully.
By Henry Cole. Illus. by the author.
Sept. 2016. 40p. little bee, $17.99 (9781499801811).
Nobody likes a bully, and from the red-
and-yellow front cover, where he stands with
a big frown, it’s clear that this is why no one
likes Eddie. In full-page spreads intermixed
with smaller panels, readers see how Eddie,
a chicken, impacts his classmates, insulting
everything from body shapes, athletic and
academic abilities, and even those who are
just “average.” But when a friendly new class-
mate arrives and strikes up a conversation,
something happens: Eddie, faced with kind-
ness, suddenly realizes he enjoys being liked.
While this is a message-driven book, empha-
sized by an opening author’s note, the use of
animal characters creates child appeal. Cole
is an expert at expressive animal faces—note
that double-page spread where Eddie’s entire
face changes as he realizes what it’s like to be
liked! Though at first the new student appears
to be a likely target for Eddie because of her
size, her kindness makes her the heroine of
this story. Pair with Stick and Stone (2015), by
Beth Ferry, for another example of a support-
ive friendship. —Edie Ching
Home at Last.
By Vera B. Williams. Illus. by Chris
Sept. 2016. 40p. Greenwillow, $17.99 (9780061349737).
Lester has been waiting to go home with
Daddy Rich and Daddy Albert, and at last, the
adoption is final. But once in his new home,
Lester finds it hard to let go of his little blue
suitcase and the protective action figures that
reside within. He wanders around at night,
hoping his dads will let him sleep in their bed.
Everyone in the family is stressed until Wincka,
the family dog, solves the problem when he
moves from Rich and Albert’s bed to Lester’s,
bringing safety with him. This final book by
the acclaimed Williams offers honest emotions,
provides thoughts on both isolation and inclu-
sion, and promotes the promise of family. The
book could have been trimmed—there is a lot
of backstory to get to its perfect ending—but
the extra pages give Raschka, who worked right
beside Williams, ample space to do his thing.
The bright art, more realistic than in some of
Raschka’s other books, captures the complexi-
ties and joy of a new family and is as honest as
Williams’ words. One last gift from Williams.
How This Book Was Made.
By Mac Barnett. Illus. by Adam Rex.
Sept. 2016. 48p. Disney/Hyperion, $17.99
(9781423152200). PreS–Gr. 2.
Tiger endpapers are the tease to “explain”
how author Barnett got his idea for this book
(while arm wrestling with a tiger on a tower
in California!). After many rewrites and “fixes,”
his editor in New York declares it time for the
illustrator in Arizona to make the pictures. Numerous dotted red lines cover a map of America,
showing how the manuscript goes back and
forth before completion. Another dotted line
curves around the globe to Malaysia, where the
book is printed. The high pile of printed copies is visible to astronauts eating ice cream in
space! Rex’s illustrations of wide-eyed people
and animals culminate in a ragtag crowd, including the now white-bearded author, waiting
to read the book. The wildly comic artwork is
made with black Prismacolor pencil on colored
paper, acrylic paint on a globe, photography,
and Photoshop. In this companion to Chloe
; “An Afro Latino boy searches for his
missing stuffed toy in this tender tribute
to family, music, and childhood. . . . This
work’s celebration of the diversity within
Latino culture will warm hearts.”
—School Library Journal starred
“Velasquez’s portrayal of a family that is
both black and Latino (a rarity in
children’s books) is refreshing. . . .
Looking for Bongo
written and illustrated by
A Celebration of Diversity