Where's the Party?

Ruth Chan. Roaring Brook, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-269-9
In her first picture book, Chan introduces a cat named Georgie (inspired by her own cat), who believes that "there was nothing better in the world than throwing a party for his friends." But after Georgie buys a cake and goes door to door in his Brooklynesque neighborhood to invite his friends over, he's met with a string of polite, and sometimes bizarre, excuses. "I have to make my pickles," says Feta the dog, clutching a jar of brine and looking more than a little guilty. "I can't. My shorts are too bright," says a hippo a few pages later. With each rejection, the cake Georgie carries gets smaller and smaller, but as he makes his way home, most readers will suspect that he won't be entering an empty house. Chan's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are full of playful details to enjoy (including a cameo by a certain polka-dotted elephant that fans of Mike Curato's books may recognize), and her animals' anxious expressions and lumpy-lanky bodies create a cast of friends who can be idiosyncratic and insecure, yet are confident to be themselves. Ages 3–6. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 04/05/2016
Genre: Children's
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