52 Booklist October 15, 2016 www.booklistreader.com
night mind.” Everyone obsessively works on
the lists each day, ignoring all else, including the unexpected visitor who doesn’t have
a place in any of their lists. But the visitor
finds a friend in Edward, and together they
wonder about things that don’t fit in lists,
like “Where did infinity start and how will
it end?” Inspired by Edward’s openminded-ness, the Liszts start leaving empty spaces in
their lists, just in case something unexpected
comes along. The digitally rendered Gor-eyesque illustrations in saturated jewel tones
feature clutters of items jostling around dour
Liszts, while handwritten text adds a retro
feel. The subtle message about creative thinking might go over the heads of young readers,
but the offbeat, eye-catching illustrations will
lure in many to this sophisticated, darkly humorous tale. —Lucinda Whitehurst
Mac & Cheese.
By James Proimos. Illus. by the author.
Nov. 2016. 40p. Holt/Christy Ottaviano, $16.99
(9780805091564). PreS–Gr. 1.
Mac and Cheese are, naturally, best pals,
and Proimos uses this all-time favorite entrée
as inspiration for three hilarious and heart-
warming stories of friendship. Cheese thinks
Mac is “the smartest noodle” he knows, and
the bespectacled pasta spends his morning
impressing Cheese with his smarts. At lunch
time, Cheese shows Mac his latest paintings,
but the noodle is mystified by Cheese’s in-
terpretation of an orange: “‘But it is blue!
Oranges are orange.’ ‘Not in my painting,’
said Cheese.” Even though the two rarely
see eye to eye and occasionally have trouble
communicating, there’s one thing they know
for certain: “There are no two friends who
belong together more than we do!” Proimos’
bold, eye-catching art comically illustrates
the silly interactions between the friends. The
text is set off nicely by colorful borders and
a brightly hued, hand-scrawled font, while
the vibrant patches of color and cartoonish,
childlike figures add a buoyant atmosphere to
the already bubbly story. This cheery friend-
ship tale will likely become a read-aloud
favorite. —Anita Lock
By Laura Rankin. Illus. by the author.
Nov. 2016. 32p. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (9781599901749).
This humorous, nonpreachy book about
the importance of reciprocity and taking
turns in a friendship works by contrasting
actions with words. Pammy, a bossy sheep,
and Wyatt, a go-along goat, are best friends,
but Pammy gets to have most of the fun. One
afternoon, Pammy commands that they go
outside to have a parade where Wyatt pulls
her in a wagon: “I’m always the queen,” she
declares. As soon as Wyatt climbs into the
wagon for his turn, Pammy runs off to a
swing. Guess who’s left to push her? When
she ignores Wyatt’s plea to go on the swing
next, he storms off yelling, “I’m not playing
with you anymore!” Soon Pammy learns how
bad it feels to never get a turn, when she plays
basketball with her big brother, who hogs the
ball. The next time she sees Wyatt, she’s first
to announce that it’s his turn. The illustra-
tions, done in pen and ink, watercolors, and
colored pencils, lend a gentle, cheering note
to this lesson. —Connie Fletcher
Nara and the Island.
By Dan Ungureanu. Illus. by the author.
Oct. 2016. 32p. Andersen, $17.99 (9781512417937).
“My home is so small, you can’t lose anything. At least, that’s what my dad says. But
sometimes I felt like getting lost.” Itching for
adventure, Nara is bored of her little island
and imagines ways to reach the other island.
Finally, her dad catches on and plans an adventure to find “the Big Fish” that circles
their island. Dad drops Nara off at the other
island, and while he explores the ocean, she
explores the land she’s been gazing at from
afar. It’s full of wondrous things, like giant
plants and creatures she’s never seen before,
but the best part is when she meets a boy her
own age, who has been similarly gazing at
and dreaming about Nara’s island. Ungureanu uses soft colors and fine lines to create this
whimsical fantasy world, and the lush, tropical greenery of the new island is packed with
details to spot in the background (though
some might wonder why the only family on
a tropical island is white). A heartening story
about exploration, bravery, and making new
friends. —Anita Lock
A Perfect Day.
By Lane Smith. Illus. by the author.
Jan. 2017. 32p. Roaring Brook, $17.99
(9781626725362). PreS–Gr. 2.
Two-time Caldecott Honor Book awardee
Smith tackles the animal world with gusto
and joy as he describes the perfect day in
the outdoors. A ginger cat snuggles among
the daffodils in the sun, and a dog sits in
the cool water of a wading pool. Chickadee
enjoys the birdseed in the birdfeeder, while
squirrel is content with a dropped corncob.
But whoa! A large brown bear arrives to
confiscate the corncob with a toothy yellow
smile. The bear goes on to swallow all the
seeds in the birdfeeder, slurp down all the
water in the pool, and scare the cat out of the
daffodils. So who got the perfect day? Only
the contented bear, asleep in the flower bed.
Smith’s innovative textured artwork and pen
drawings give a visceral feel to the sunny day,
and his muted palette complements the variety of surfaces and patterns. The humorous
surprise ending will make children squeal as
they ponder the concept of perfect. Moral:
What is perfect for one may not be for another! —Lolly Gepson
HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Smith generally scoops up acclaim, and this true-to-form
picture book will draw plenty of readers.