cover image Ivy Lost and Found (Book Buddies #1)

Ivy Lost and Found (Book Buddies #1)

Cynthia Lord, illus. by Stephanie Graegin. Candlewick, $12.99 (80p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1354-6

In this early chapter book series starter, Newbery Honoree Lord (the Shelter Pet Squad series) introduces the Book Buddies, a collection of playthings that live at a public library and can be checked out for two-week intervals. Ivy, a brown-skinned doll with black braids, is the forgotten favorite childhood toy of children’s librarian Anne; after Anne rediscovers Ivy in a box, the doll becomes the newest Book Buddy. When eight-year-old Fern, depicted as brown-skinned and curly-haired in gentle art by Graegin (Little Fox in the Forest), reluctantly borrows Ivy to appease her younger white stepsister Sophie, Ivy finds courage in new friendships with Fern and her fellow Book Buddies, all while helping Fern voice her own complicated feelings about her place in her blended family. B&w sketchlike illustrations in Graegin’s signature style lighten the tone of a story that touches on fears of loss and abandonment. Humorous, lively conversations between the Book Buddies—who include a sparkly, pink-tailed, deep-voiced unicorn (“Dazzle is a boy”) and Roger, a chick whose adventures include falling into a (clean) toilet and narrowly avoiding being buried by a dog—offer the promise of happy borrowings ahead. Ages 6–9. Author’s agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.)