cover image Bub


Elizabeth Rose Stanton. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-8757-3

Quiet children sometimes disappear in noisy households, and Stanton (Peddles) notices. Bob—a sea green, single-fanged monster in roomy blue overalls—is stuck with an unwanted nickname. He “didn’t close the top of his O” on the first day of school, and now everybody calls him Bub. His parents are cheerful but loud. Older sister Bernice, whose dress is studded with red bows, taunts him (“Then she called him bubbly brain and said it would take him until forever to get his homework done”). And the Baby calls him Blub. Bob/Bub doesn’t run away, exactly, but he begins to drift around his home invisibly, like a ghost. A heartfelt exchange of letters follows (“I want you to 1. Stop shouting,” he writes). Stanton recognizes that families need a reset every once in a while, and that introverts in particular may need extra reminders that they’re loved. Her pencil and watercolor drawings, colored in the softest pastel shades, convey gentle, manageable tension, and her chatty narrative voice is grounded in the realities of family life. Ages 4–8. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Jan.)