cover image The Sad Little Fact

The Sad Little Fact

Jonah Winter, illus. by Pete Oswald. Random House/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-525-58179-6

Winter (Elvis Is King!) and Oswald (The Bad Seed) imagine a fact as a small, mottled blue circle with big eyes and spindly arms and legs—a vulnerable critter who is nonetheless certain and resolute about one thing: “A fact is a fact.” The watercolor- textured digital drawings show how the “Authorities”—dark, skinny, faceless figures with red gloves—bury all the facts deep underground, then release “a bunch of lies” that resemble the facts and terrorize others (one group of these nonfacts can be seen carrying off a citizen and dog to an unknown fate). But a tenacious group of “fact finders,” spades in hand, liberate the real facts (“The Earth revolves around the Sun!” one freed fact declares. “And people are causing the Earth to get warmer!” chimes in another), and while the deniers continue to ignore the authentic truths, the facts now know that they aren’t alone—there are those “with minds to think and a need to know.” Is it biting commentary or agitprop? The phrase fake news is never mentioned, but the targets couldn’t be clearer. Ages 3–7. [em](May) [/em]