How to Apologize

David LaRochelle, illus. by Mike Wohnoutka. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0944-0
Previous collaborators LaRochelle and Wohnoutka (Geisel Medalists for See the Cat) are loving but firm in this compassionate guide to apologizing. “Everyone makes mistakes,” they begin. “And when you’ve made a mistake... the right thing to do is apologize.” The creators acknowledge that saying “sorry” can be difficult (“especially if the other person is mad”), but they don’t let offending parties off the hook, either—not even the adorable penguin parachutist who has crashed through the roof of a shocked alligator’s bathroom. Straightforward narration underlines the importance of sincerity without excuses even if the one you’ve offended “owes you an apology too” (rambling examples of what not do make great readalouds). The gouache cartooned vignettes, rendered in crisp outlines and soft washes of color, have immediacy and verve that’s both harrowing and heartfelt; while the animal characters are engaged in amusingly exaggerated situations, both parties’ emotions are thoroughly authentic. If readers feel the pang of recognition, they’ll also see that making amends is both edifying and evergreen. Ages 3–7. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/25/2021
Release date: 05/04/2021
Genre: Children's
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