cover image Gitty and Kvetch

Gitty and Kvetch

Caroline Kusin Pritchard, illus. by Ariel Landy. Atheneum, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-5344-7826-8

Peach-hued Gitty is a curly-headed, relentlessly optimistic girl; her “unflappable friend” Kvetch is a grumpy purple bird. They share a Jewish heritage, expressed through a few visual hints (a Star of David and Hebrew rendition of Gitty’s name on her bedroom wall) and through Kvetch’s Yiddish-peppered conversation (his very name is defined in the book’s Yiddish glossary as “to complain on and on and on”). Gitty has made a “perfect painting” for the duo’s “perfect, purple tree house,” and as the two head in its direction, she refuses to see any portent in the dark clouds overhead. Kvetch, however, predicts “more than a shprits” (“Time to move our tuchuses!”). When the rain spoils the painting and Gitty’s mood turns Kvetch-like, the bird takes a turn as the sunny one—even as Gitty’s initial reaction to his cheer is an uncharacteristic eye-rolling “Oy vey.” Debuting author Pritchard’s sweet-natured storytelling makes a strong case for friendship’s resilience—and balancing capabilities—while Landy’s (The Spacesuit) digital cartooning and washlike textures have plenty of bounce and bubble. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: [em]Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. Illustrator’s agent: James Burns, the Bright Agency. (Aug.) [/em]