cover image The Someone New

The Someone New

Jill Twiss, illus. by EG Keller. HarperCollins, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-29337-4-4

Twiss and Keller, the team behind A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, return with a picture book that, while less political than its predecessor, alludes to timely events. Jitterbug the chipmunk isn’t fond of change, and when she wakes one morning in her cozy den, she senses that “Something was New.” She wanders her verdant meadow neighborhood, encountering friends along the way (Toast, a butterfly; Duffles and Nudge, both otters). Then, Jitterbug does encounter something new: Pudding, a snail who has been displaced by a storm and is searching for a place to land. Nervous that there won’t be enough acorns for everyone, Jitterbug turns Pudding away, only to learn that “kindness is stronger than fear.” Keller’s artwork is playful and expressive (Pudding wears a duffel backpack), and each animal has a distinctive personality. Though Twiss’s messaging is pretty on the nose—“I was wrong! Please please please come live with us! I was scared because you are New,” Jitterbug says—it’s no less important for child readers (and perhaps some adults) to embrace. Ages 4–8. [em](June) [/em]