Ella and Penguin Stick Together

Megan Maynor, illus. by Rosalinde Bonnet. Harper, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-233088-8
Ella has just received a sheet of glow-in-the-dark stickers, and she’s eager to share them with her friend Penguin. But the only way to appreciate their radiance is to go deep into the hallway closet—and while Ella is a little hesitant, Penguin breaks out in a sweat when he even thinks of the dark. Maybe, he suggests, “the stickers will glow somewhere else—somewhere mostly dark.” Maynor, making her debut, backs up her perceptive premise with solid comic writing; even though Ella and Penguin’s search for a nonscary, semidark viewing environment proves unsuccessful, their attempts (which include sitting under a laundry basket and shielding the stickers from the light with frog- and bear-shaped umbrellas) have the authentic ring of kid ingenuity at work. Working in watercolor and pencil, Bonnet (Poppy’s Perfect Paper) makes the repartee between the friends natural and appealing, and when Ella and Penguin finally screw their courage to the sticking place and enter the closet, the unleashed glowing is a payoff worth waiting for. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/19/2015
Release date: 01/01/2016
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