come with meHolly M. McGhee, illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre
“Come with me,” says her papa.
“Come with me,” says her mama.
One step at a time, the little girl begins to understand that her part, as small as it may seem, matters to the world.
From author Holly M. McGhee and illustrator Pascal Lemaître comes this powerful and timely story of kindness, bravery, and friendship in the face of intolerance and uncertainty.
Matylda, Bright & TenderHolly M. McGhee
Soon after, they're at Total Pets, looking in the tank. One of the lizards nods at them, the one with the ancient face and starfish toes, who's covered with spots. She's clearly meant for them, and they name her Matylda (with a y so it's all her own). Sussy and Guy get right to work, first helping Matylda adjust to the hand, then catching her live crickets so she can stalk her prey. They even give her an origin story, fit for a great warrior lizard.
But a few weeks later, on a simple errand to the pet store, there's a devastating accident . . . As hard as it is, Sussy is sure she can hold on to Guy if she can find a way to love Matylda enough—ready or not. Their story is a brave one, showing us how very far we can justify going for a real and true friend.
In her own words, Sussy poignantly describes her emotional journey from grief and despair to healing and hope as she learns how to love Matylda in her own way and move on without Guy. McGhee does not flinch from Sussy’s overwhelming grief . . . A bright and tender novel of love, loss, and survival.„ —Kirkus Reviews
Intense themes of love and loss are well handled.„ —Meredith Kiger, Ph.D, Children's Literature
Are the characters believable?
Yes. Readers will surely recognize the daily struggles the characters face and sympathize with them. Throughout the story, the characters cope with real issues that many readers can relate to, from dreading the first day of school to having to make new friends.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this book?
I would rate this book a 9. The engaging plot twists keep readers in suspense and curious about what will unfold on the next page. The book leaves readers with a life lesson that will stay with them even after the last page has been turned.„ —Time for Kids Reporter Caroline Curran
At its core, this is a sincere, tender story of friendship: Sussy recounts memories of adventures and conversations with Guy, drawing parallels between the friend she desperately misses and the steadfast Matylda . . . Sussy’s deep sorrow hovers at the edges of each page, but McGhee (the author of Dessert First and other books, writing as Hallie Durand) handles the story’s heavy emotions with a light touch, using Sussy’s changing relationship with Matylda and a classmate to provide balance.„ —Publishers Weekly
The narrative is told from Sussy’s point of view, and it is a treat to experience the world from her poetic and imaginative perspective. McGhee’s depictions of grief and loss are authentic, as are the responses of Sussy’s parents, who are unsure of how to comfort their daughter. The emergence of the “stealing girl,” who motivates Sussy’s uncharacteristic actions, lends itself to thought-provoking discussions, making this a good read-aloud or book club selection. VERDICT This honest and sensitive offering about grief touches on many difficult topics that, while resolved by the conclusion, may require follow-up conversations with a trusted adult.„ —School Library Journal
Matylda, Bright & Tender is a heartbreaking story about loss and grief narrated by Sussy with childlike honesty and openness. Sussy’s response to her grief is to funnel her anger and guilt over Guy’s death into the care of this lizard, which consumes her. Although Guy’s accident is neither graphic nor drawn-out, parents will want to read this book along with their child to aid discussion and to respond to questions about life and death.
This is a beautiful story told with hope and light exploring how life endures despite loss.„ —Kimberly Giarratano, BookPage
One sitting is all it took for me to “devour” this story. What a complete joy this novel was. I found the plot to be fresh, unique, and “tender”. The characters of Sussy and Guy were over-the-top endearing and wove their way into my heart. Being a fourth grade teacher, I would love to have had these two characters in my own classroom. They were strong, independent, and so loyal to each other. I enjoyed that they stood on their own two feet and didn’t care that what other people thought. They followed their own dreams, passions, and interests. I’m a “life-lesson” kind of guy, and this story was full of them. So many teachable moments. I can’t wait to share this book with my own fourth grade class.„ —Patrick Andrus, ReadWonder
This novel is one of those small books that feels vast in its encompassing of tragedy, longing and, ultimately, redemption. How do you go on in the face of something unbearable? Something that no matter how much you wish you could undo, you can’t? Something that, no matter how surrounded you are by love and support, you have to go through alone? The day she lost Guy plays over and over in Sussy’s head. Reconfiguring her life in the face of this new reality is a task she doesn’t know how to do.
Adults who read this book will remember in their bones the long-ago day that time turned for them in just this heartbreaking way. And children will find, in Sussy’s honesty and grief, a memory of courage and love to store away in their own hearts for the future, when they will need it. This is a beautiful book.„ —Alison McGhee, NYT bestselling author & in full disclosure, Holly's sister. xox
•Published in Spain (Spanish and Catalan)
•Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award (WCCPBA) Nominee, 2015-16 school year
Catch That Cookie!Illustrated by David Small
I wondered what his teacher could have done at school to make him so sure that the cookies could really run. And then she told me about the Annual Gingerbread Cookie Hunt that she does with her class. So that December I went along with them for “research” and was inspired to write CATCH THAT COOKIE! I guess it’s not really surprising that it turned out to be a story about believing in magic, because I absolutely do.
I’ve been lucky enough (as Holly McGhee) not only to be David Small’s agent, but also his friend. And now that I get to work on a book with him (under my pen name, Hallie Durand), I feel like a dream I didn’t know I had is coming true.
Durand has written a delightfully ingenious story with an altogether„ —Starred review, Booklist (Michael Cart)
appealing protagonist in Marshall. The icing on the cake—er, gingerbread—is Small’s wonderful pictures, created in pen-and-ink and watercolor, fill single- and double-page spreads. A wonderful draughtsman, Small uses a fluid line that adds energy to an already lively story and further invests it with wit and whimsy. All of these ingredients combine to make a truly tasty tale.
Marshall, a serious-minded preschooler, knows that gingerbread men “can’t run for real.” But when his class bakes a batch, they disappear from the oven, leaving a rhyming clue to their whereabouts. A treasure hunt ensues, with more clues (“You thought we might be slow ’cause we’re only made of dough”); the little guys end up asleep in a doll bed—for the moment. In Small’s spirited illustrations, the children, their teacher and the “G-men” all burst with spice and verve.„ —The New York Times Book Review (Maria Russo)
As a fun story with excellent illustrations, this is a must-have title for any library.„ —Starred review, Library Media Connection
The text is enlivened with an unassuming wit, and Marshall is an endearing figure as the young detective on the gingerbread case. Durand and Small play a clever game here, too, with a sequence of events that could still be Marshall’s teacher outsmarting Marshall, but with Marshall’s dad witnessing the gingerbread men running amuck in his rear-view mirror. . . . Ultimately, the book cunningly manages to celebrate both Marshall’s critical analysis and the magic of free-running cookies. Yum.„ —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Children in day care and elementary classes will see themselves in Small’s sensitive and hilarious watercolor, ink, and colored-pencil renderings of Durand’s December drama . . . The upbeat narrative moves quickly and offers audience participation . . . Small interprets this race to outsmart a sly opponent with lively lines, flexible figures, humor, and deep respect for his protagonist. Add this to your small shelf of truly special seasonal explorations of belief, but don’t wait for a holiday to share it!„ —School Library Journal
Durand (Mitchell Goes Bowling), a pseudonym for agent Holly McGhee, understands elementary-school culture and cuisine: “Marshall put some good stuff on his gingerbread man—a silver-ball belt and six eyes (he really liked raisins.)” With characteristic energy, Small (One Cool Friend) uses bold lines, liberal swaths of wash, and wry humor to draw Marshall’s school and his stylish teacher: “Kudos, Marsh,” she says, after Marshall struggles with the big bowl and spoon. ‘You rocked that dough.’„ —Publishers Weekly
Young readers will enjoy the rhyming clues. The continued clues have the children chasing the cookies. And by all accounts, the gingerbread men are excellent at clues and running. . . . A delightful children’s book featuring the importance of baking and believing.
• Richie's Picks
• An ALA Notable Book (2014)
•Nominated for the 2015-2016 Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award
Mitchell Goes BowlingIllustrated by Tony Fucile
So one Saturday, his dad takes him bowling. Mitchell likes the special shoes and the loud crashing noises, but getting a strike isn't as easy as he dad makes it look. There's the gutter, for starters, and the lanes are slippery, too . . . Will Mitchell ever find a way to get an X on the scoreboard? BATTLE ON!
Mitchell’s energy remains second to none.„ —Publishers Weekly
Boisterous Mitchell and his resourceful dad are back in a hilarious father-and-son tale that celebrates working together with wit and warmth . . . Durand and Fucile are a winning combination, and their father/son bonding will leave readers in stitches. Loads of fun with a lot of heart.„ —Starred review, Kirkus Reviews
Since Mitchell enjoys knocking things down, his father sees a natural outlet for all of his energy: bowling. So begins this second book about the raucous boy and his cool dad . . . Fucile’s exuberant illustrations pop on every page and the ratio of word to illustration is very balanced. The story is played for laughs, but, in the process, readers will enjoy the father/son relationship and subtlely learning about being a sport.„ —School Library Journal
Our curly-headed four-year-old hero gets a break from knocking stuff over at home to knocking over pins, courtesy of his understanding pop. It’s enough to make any young reader want to hit the lanes . . . Indeed, Durand gets a lot of mileage on just how darn unusual bowling is, what with the scoring computer, ball-return system, and blowing machine . . . Unfortunately, Mitchell dwells in Gutter City, while his dad—depicted in a great, three-panel side view—has perfect form and, to add insult, does “a steamin’-hot-potato dance” to celebrate . . . Fucile’s scraggly characters have a contagious manic energy, with Mitchell occasionally breaking into Looney Tunes–style running-in-place. All ends well, of course, with father and son joining together to bowl a perfect SSTTTTTRRRRRIIIIIKKKKKE!„ —Booklist
Suddenly [Mitchell’s] four, and with too much energy to spare, what better place to expend it than a bowling alley . . . Fucile’s retro palette of cool aquas and grays on an icy white background perfectly sets off the blazing red bowling ball, Dad’s russet hair, and the pitch-black mop that frames the rapid-fire expressions animating Mitchell’s face. It would be just too cruel to share this with a youngster unless you’re prepared to follow it up with a trip to the alley.„ —Bulletin of the Center of Children's Books
• 2013 Ohio Buckeye Children's Book Award Nominee
• 2012 Kansas NEA Reading Circle Catalog
• 2012 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award Nominee
• 2012 NCIBA Book of the Year Finalist
• 2012 Bank Street Best Books
• 2012 CCBC Choices
• 2011 BCCB Blue Ribbon Book
• 2011 Betsy Bird’s List of 100 Magnificent Children’s Books
• 2011 New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading & Sharing
• 2011 Cybils Nominee
• Published in United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, Korea, Simplified Chinese
Mitchell's LicenseIllustrated by Tony Fucile
That is, until the night his dad says he can get his license and drive there. After a careful inspection of his new cars tires, a spiffy wash of the windshield, and a honk of the horn, Mitchell takes off on a bedtime road trip to remember. Steering through an obstacle course of speed bumps, near misses, and sharp turns, Mitchell's trusty car cruises him smoothly to tuck-in time and the open road in his dreams.
Sure to become a classic for the ‘but I’m not tired yet set.’„ —People
Mitchell, an overwrought toddler who almost (but not quite) rules the domestic roost, is instantly recognizable as every tyke who gets a second wind after nine o’clock.„ —Starred review, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The pacing is riotous . . . This one is destined for family favoritehood.„ —Publishers Weekly
An incredibly entertaining ride.„ —Kirkus Reviews
• Nominee for Pennsylvania Reader's Choice Award
• 2009 , 2010, 2011 Cybils Nominees
• Published in Turkey
Dessert First TrilogyWith illustrations by Christine Davenier
But sometimes walking to the beat of her own drum means walking into a heap of mischief, especially when it comes to the legendary family recipe (and Dessert's all time favorite treat), Grandma Reine's Double-Decker Chocolate Bars. As the oldest child in a rambunctious, restaurant-owning family, Dessert sees to be better at getting into trouble than getting out of it. And that's because for this eight year old, saying sorry is definitely not a piece o' cake!
Just Desserts: Dessert vs. Annoying Siblings: Who's Going to Win?
Dessert and her lunch-table buddies have been exposed to a highly contagious disease--The Annoying Sibling Disease. And while it seems like just yesterday that Dessert reigned queen over Charlie and the Beasties (a.k.a. her brothers), now they are ruining her life. Is she doesn't come up with a plan to stop their unruly behavior, it will be the end of civilization as she knows it.
Inspired by her class unit on the Revolutionary War, Dessert comes up with a way to "Let Freedom Ring." But can she stop the Annoying Siblings? Or has Dessert bitten off more than she can chew?
No Room for Dessert: Who Could Forget Dessert?
Nobody in the Schneider house seems to remember Dessert exists. Her school picture hanging on the fridge? Covered. The promise of burritos? Forgotten. And her baby brother doesn't even know her name. (He calls her "Dirt.")
Let there be lightbulbs! Dessert is sure that if she wins the Thomas Edison contest at school, her family will take notice and remember how spectacular she really is. Big ideas come easy for Dessert . . . But disappointments can hit hard. Will there be Lemon Lightbulb Fondue at the end of the tunnel?
Readers will be left craving a second helping.„ —Starred review, Publishers Weekly
Experiences are delightfully imagined through Dessert’s realistic, child-centered perspective . . . Let us hope that Durand’s promising debut will be the first in a series; readers would benefit from a second helping of lovable Dessert’s adventures.„ —Kirkus Reviews
This is a delectable story narrated by a plucky young heroine . . . This book will be especially popular with fans of Clementine, Junie B. Jones, and Ramona.„ —School Library Journal
This early chapter book possesses great narrative zest: Dessert is precocious and creative and smart, and the story matches her energy page for page.„ —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, I know you’ll want Dessert First.„ —Brian Selznick, creator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret