cover image You Broke It!

You Broke It!

Liana Finck. Rise x Penguin Workshop, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-5936-6040-9

New Yorker cartoonist Finck (Let There Be Light, for adults) puts a new spin on the concept of clueless grown-ups in this fresh picture book. With an eloquent, spindly ink line and spots of pastel color, the creator portrays a wide range of natural-world entities engaging in all-too-familiar moments of meeting a child’s exuberance with classically knee-jerk, parental-style admonitions. “You broke it!” rebukes a bird to a chick hatching out of a shell. “Stop squirming!” demands an adult earthworm to a younger. “Stop crying!” says a big cloud to a little rain cloud shedding tears. Finally, a small octopus speaks up for kids everywhere. Having been told to “Keep your hands to yourself!” as it grabs everything in sight, the eight-legged youth answers “I AM JUST BEING ME.” Instead of moving forward on disciplinary autopilot, the big octopus responds in exactly the right way: enfolding the little one in a multi-armed hug. It’s easy to imagine that any human adult reading along will be inspired to do likewise. Ages 3–5. (Jan.)