cover image Stuck with the Blooz

Stuck with the Blooz

Caron Levis, illus. by Jon Davis. Harcourt, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-547-74560-2

When a “very big and very wet and very blue” monster shows up on a girl’s doorstep, she’s at a loss for what to do. The Blooz, who has a bulbous nose (and body) and wears a saggy 1920s-style swimsuit, doesn’t respond to threats, snacks, Band-Aids, or a nap—it just gets bigger and drippier. But things start looking up when the girl exercises her imagination (“We unmade my bed, made a hideout, and hid”), and makes Blooz join her outside for some silly play (“We collected only the leaves with holes in them”) and rambunctious biking. Positively beaming, the Blooz floats away. Debut author Levis has an impressively light touch—this subject matter can easily devolve into sappy cheerleading—and she gives readers room to feel the arc of the girl’s struggle. In digital spreads that evoke watercolors, Davis (Watch Your Tongue, Cecily Beasley) makes the Blooz and its despair feel both comic and formidable, so while the heroine’s triumph is never in doubt, it’s still a tribute to her sharp thinking. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Advocate Art. (Oct.)