In this clever and reassuring offering from the husband-and-wife creators of Pigs Love Potatoes, Bella finds solace in her stuffed elephant, Stella--and in her expansive imagination--on moving day. "Stella says she will miss our house. I hug her and say, ‘It will be okay,' " says Bella. Vibrant digital and pencil art soon reveals a transformation as Stella springs to life as an enormous yellow elephant. Faces share skepticism and apprehension as Bella transfers her emotions to Stella. The new kitchen is yellow ("Stella thinks kitchens should be blue. I do too"), and the two continue to concur that old beats new: the garden should have an oak tree, and their bedroom should have polka-dot curtains and stars on the ceiling. The arrival of Bella's possessions helps ease the transition, as does meeting a neighbor who also has an oversize animal companion. The fact that Bella comes to terms with the move on her own (her parents are always offstage) adds to the appeal of this story, whose subtle narrative is neatly balanced by larger-than-life graphics. Ages 3–8. (Nov.)
Friday, October 22, 2010
The early reviews for Bella & Stella Come Home are starting to some out. So far, its all good!
Here's what critics at Kirkus Reviews have to say about our new book:
ISBN:978-0399242434(Philomel) November 24, 2010
When Bella moves to a new home, she finds it greatly comforting to have her best friend Stella always at her side. Everything is so different. There are ten steps to the front door instead of three, the kitchen is yellow instead of blue and the bathtub has feet. Bella and Stella take turns encouraging and reassuring each other as they explore their new home. Even when her room is set up with her familiar things, it takes all the lights on, a new morning and a new neighbor with his own best friend to make her feel as if she’s home. Anika Denise conveys tender understanding as Bella speaks directly to the reader, expressing her apprehension and confusion in appropriately childlike terms. Christopher Denise’s glowing, softly colored pencil-and-digital illustrations add further dimension as readers see that Stella is Bella’s beloved yellow stuffed elephant, who morphs into an imaginary life-sized companion and supporter. Text and illustrations are interdependent and seamless, a splendid marriage of words and pictures. Cozy and comfortable. (Picture book. 3-8)