Sunday, August 29, 2021

Elvis and the World As It Stands

Riddiough , Lisa Frenke and Mueller, Olivia Chin Mueller (Illustrations) 
Elvis and the World as it Stands
August 24th 2021 by Amulet Books
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Elvis is a kitten who has ended up in a shelter with his sister, Etta. He is glad to be going to a forever home, but devastated that he and Etta are separated. He ends up in a home in San Franciso with Georgina, a girl whose parents are divorced and who also has Mo, a guinea pig, Laverne, a fish, and Clementine, an older cat who isn't very glad to see him. Georgina is sad about her parents being apart, and is very interested in architecture. She (and sometimes the animals) works on Lego models of famous buildings, and is very interested in the Twin Towers. She wants to visit New York City with both of her parents, but her mother in particular is less than thrilled. She splits time between her parents' apartments, but is not allowed to have pets at her father's. 
Strengths: It is always good to see children with particular interests, and Georgina's love of building with Legos is one that many children share. She doesn't uses kits for her buildings, but has an architecture book she uses to guide her. She is a little on the shy side, but takes a lot of comfort in the animals. Her parents, and their somewhat complicate shared parenting schedule, and good to see portrayed. This is a good way to introduce the topic of 9/11 to young readers. Mueller's occasional illustrations are completely charming and add a lot to the book. Reader who love Florence's Jasmine Toguchi books or Miles' Puppy Place series will enjoy this one a lot. 
Weaknesses: This is told from the animals' points of view, and at first I thought that the animals were talking to humans and the humans could understand them. This is not the case. 
What I really think: This is a charming book, but too young for my students. Whenever parents are referred to as Mommy and Daddy, it makes the book seem very young. I would definitely buy this for an elementary library, and love the depictions of the shared custody.

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