cover image Grandpa and Jake

Grandpa and Jake

Julie Fortenberry. Viking, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-40435-5

A bear receives an introduction to the library in this whimsically illustrated, day-in-the-life-style picture book. Turning off the television, Grandpa slips on a backpack and takes Jake somewhere new, leaving Jake to guess their destination as they journey through an active animal village. “Are we going on a boat?” asks the young bear, spotting toy vessels. “No, but when we get there we can see all kinds of boats,” Grandpa hints. With pale coloring and sketch-like outlines, Fortenberry’s bustling scenes are busy with narrative details: mice ride mini-bikes, and a hound sells vegan hot dogs. When the pair reach their destination, Jake’s enthusiasm is captured with first a shush-eliciting exclamation, then a closing-time tantrum that’s resolved through the revelation that library items can be taken home. Fortenberry aces Jake’s toddler-esque dialogue, but the story’s real charm is in its creaturely illustrations and sweet intergenerational bond. Ages 3–7. (Mar.)