Never, Not Ever!
Beatrice Alemagna, trans. from the French by Jill Davis. HarperCollins, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-06-307649-5
Pascaline is an adorable five-year-old bat with furry wings of mauve, but it’s the look on her face that stands out—her large, shadowed eyes hold an incendiary mix of resolve, contempt, and humor. Assurances from Pascaline’s parents that school will be exciting produce only rebellion—the storm of her resistance shrivels her parents to the size of two peanuts, and Pascaline, mollified, heads off for school with them: “Now I don’t have to go to school by myself! I’ll tuck both of you here, under my wing.” Via her signature art style, Alemagna has an uproarious time imagining what school is like in the company of one’s tiny parents (“You two are really impossible!” Pascaline scolds when her father jumps into her soup). First-time school-goers need their parents, hints this picture book, but only for security—and not for very long. Ages 4–8. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/24/2021