August2017 Booklist 69 www.booklistonline.com
place “where everyone could be family.” Their
depiction is of a loving community of strong
women, where people take care of one another,
and winter blizzards don’t stand in anyone’s
way. The text is laid out in three blocks, two in
Inuktitut and one in English. The English narrative is tersely descriptive, brought to life by
the bold mixed-media illustrations that capture
the stark beauty of this remote Canadian hamlet, where northern lights dance and women’s
faces are broad and beautiful. Though the creators’ first foray into children’s literature, the
book pushes at the boundaries of literary conventions in both form and content, providing
a much-needed mirror for readers within the
culture, and an astonishing window for those
outside. A lovely testament to community and
cultural diversity. Let’s hope it is the first of
many. —Amina Chaudhri
La La La.
By Kate DiCamillo. Illus. by Jamie Kim.
Oct. 2017. 72p. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780763658335).
DiCamillo and Kim combine their considerable talents in this almost wordless picture
book that speaks to a universal longing: the
hope that we are not alone. When the story
begins, the girl with the bobbed hair is alone,
with only the sound of her repeated sung note,
“la,” to keep her company. Perhaps following
a falling leaf outside and into the woods will
bring her in contact with another? But even a
shouted “la, la, la” doesn’t elicit companionship. Discouraged but not done, she continues
into the night, under the stars, where she finds
a ladder to climb—almost to the moon. It’s not
until she’s back on the ground, almost ready
to quit that a “la” answers her own, and the
smiling presence of the moon shines its way
into her existence. Kim’s gouache-and-acrylic
artwork, graphically strong and full of heart,
illuminates DiCamillo’s concept. Adults could
almost use this as a flip-book with children,
so full of movement are the pictures. But the
best use will be as a springboard for discussion
about loneliness, life, and love. —Ilene Cooper
HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: DiCamillo is
among kid lit’s top names. Everyone will need
to have this, if not multiple copies of it.
By Joy Keller. Illus. by Misa Saburi.
Aug. 2017. 32p. Holt, $16.99 (9781627796170).
The cheeky title might lead readers to assume that this book is about huge trucks,
but the vehicles shown here are mostly
conventional—they just happen to be driven by monsters. Playfully, the book answers
questions like “What do monsters do in the
off-seasons?” (that is, seasons other than
autumn, when they’re not called upon to
“sneak and spook and scare”). The answer?
“They shift to a different gear.” Yeti drives the
snowplow, swamp monster mans the garbage
truck, mummies helm the ambulance (and all
of those bandages!), and skeletons operate the
pavers, giving new meaning to skeleton crews.
The only unusual vehicle is the witch’s street
cleaner with its humanlike arms. Humorous
digital illustrations show colorful vehicles and
nonscary monsters—they aren’t out to get
anyone!—as they cheerfully go about their
tasks, while the rhyming text bounces jauntily
along, much like one of these vehicles might.
For bedtime or for storytime, these monsters
are here. —Randall Enos
By Mary Sullivan. Illus. by the author.
Sept. 2017. 40p. HMH, $14.99 (9780544792500).
This story of two animals that form an un-
likely companionship begins when a duck
takes up residence on an alligator’s lawn.
“Whose duck are you?” the alligator demands.
The reply? “I’m nobody’s duck!” Convinced
that the duck must belong to someone, the al-
ligator, with duck in tow, travels to a library, a
movie theater, a go-kart track, and an airport
for skydiving to find the duck’s owner. It is
clear from page one that, while the alligator
might appear to have it all, it is the quirky
duck who is in control. The duck is carefree
and relishes all of their adventures, but the
alligator becomes increasingly agitated, until
he realizes how the duck has enriched his life.
The text—consisting entirely of cartoon-style
“A touching portrait of the fall season”*
coming in September from
and Laura Dronzek
Tr 978-0-06-257311-7 • $17.99
Lb: 978-0-06-257312-4 • $18.89
Everything is yellow, red, orange.
Everything is chilly, frisky, gusty.
Everything is changing, turning.
It’s the middle of Fall.
GREENWILLOW BOOKS, An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers
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