Just Because
by Barnett, Mac; Arsenault, Isabelle (ILT)






Mac Barnett is the author of several books for children, including Caldecott Honor Books Extra Yarn and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, both illustrated by Jon Klassen; President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen; Leo: A Ghost Story, illustrated by Christian Robinson; and the Terrible Two series, cowritten with Jory John and illustrated by Kevin Cornell. Mac Barnett lives in California.

Isabelle Arsenault is the creator of Alpha and the illustrator of several other picture books, including Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt, a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year; Captain Rosalie by Timothée de Fombelle; and Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois by Amy Novesky. Isabelle Arsenault lives in Montreal.





Getting little ones to bed at night is always challenging for parents. On the first double-page spread, in tones of black, gray, and white, a little girl sits up in bed with her dog and asks questions. First one: "Why is the ocean blue?" Dad explains on the next blue-toned double-page spread that the fish take out guitars, sing sad songs, and cry blue tears. The questions continue: "What is rain?" "What are black holes?" Her patient dad invents creative responses; each answer requires more ingenuity from the tired adult, but he perseveres. One spread offers 16 more common questions. Finally, the girl falls asleep with her dog, dreaming happily in color about all the topics' imaginative solutions. This is a clever launch pad for curious children and adults. The large trim size and double pages done in gouache, pencil, and watercolor, assembled digitally, are replete with details both realistic and fanciful. Preschool-Grade 2. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.





Getting little ones to bed at night is always challenging for parents. On the first double-page spread, in tones of black, gray, and white, a little girl sits up in bed with her dog and asks questions. First one: "Why is the ocean blue?" Dad explains on the next blue-toned double-page spread that the fish take out guitars, sing sad songs, and cry blue tears. The questions continue: "What is rain?" "What are black holes?" Her patient dad invents creative responses; each answer requires more ingenuity from the tired adult, but he perseveres. One spread offers 16 more common questions. Finally, the girl falls asleep with her dog, dreaming happily in color about all the topics' imaginative solutions. This is a clever launch pad for curious children and adults. The large trim size and double pages done in gouache, pencil, and watercolor, assembled digitally, are replete with details both realistic and fanciful. Preschool-Grade 2. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.





A child sits under the covers in the dark, calling out questions to a patient and inventive parent. "Why is the ocean blue?" "What is the rain?" "Why do the leaves change color?" Caregivers and children can both identify with this familiar evening exchange. Never resorting to the titular phrase, the dad in this impressive picture book supplies incredibly imaginative, improvisational answers. The ocean's blue because at night, "the fish take out guitars...[and] sing sad songs and cry blue tears." Rain is actually the "tears of flying fish." Leaves change color because "in autumn, when the world gets colder, the trees keep warm by setting quiet little fires in their leaves. / By winter, their branches have all burned up." The exacting, exquisite phrasing electrifies readers, and full-bleed illustrations pull them into an extraordinary alternate universe. The child's big questions hover in enormous, colored bubbles atop a black background with the cozy bedtime scene. Answers appear on a double-page spread that follows, the father's words floating inside smaller white bubbles s et on the fantastical rendering. Matte paper, flat colors, conventional type, and a mid-20th-century look to the light-skinned people conjure a retro feel, allowing the unexpected, original answers to stand out even more. Charming, playful, and extraordinary imaginings will galvanize young minds to find inspired answers to their own questions. (Picture book. 6-10) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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