Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Tigers and Tea with Toppy

Tigers and Tea with Toppy. Barbara Kerley. Illustrated by Matte Stephens. 2018. Scholastic. 48 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Fridays are the best days of the week. That's when Rhoda begins her weekends with Grandpa Toppy!

Premise/plot: Rhoda's Grandpa Toppy is famous wildlife artist Charles R. Knight. Readers learn more about him and his life work through the eyes of his granddaughter.

My thoughts: This is a nonfiction picture book. It doesn't fall into a traditional narrative pattern for a picture book biography. Readers learn facts about Charles R. Knight sure enough, but not in traditional way. He may be a famous artist--muralist, illustrator, writer--but to Rhoda he is TOPPY. Toppy and Rhoda love to spend time together--at the museum, at the zoo, at the Plaza Hotel, at his house.

I liked it. I did. The narrative was a nice twist. I think sometimes we forget that famous people are first and foremost people--with families and traditions of their own. This is a very human story.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 7 out of 10

© 2018 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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