What’s Sweeter

HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. Dec. 2022. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780063114135.
PreS-Gr 2–In a meandering tone similar to The Happiness of a Dog with a Ball in its Mouth, this book takes the form of a list of the sweet things in life. At first, the text follows a formula of “what’s sweeter than,” for example, “how little ducks walk in a row.” The template breaks mid-book in a refreshing change to “Is there anything sweeter,” ending with “no, nothing could be sweeter, except maybe you.” Some of the listed topics are concrete (“the soft spot behind a cat’s ear”), others more abstract (“when something fits you just right”), and still others would not be defined as “sweet” but still somehow fit (“a fire truck getting a bath”). Tate create charmingly childlike digital illustrations with a variety of analog materials. Wobbly doodles of children appear on sparsely illustrated pages with cream and yellow backgrounds. The few exceptions stand out, such as watercolor butterflies exploding off a painted page. While the book’s pacing will not hold the attention of every child, those who read it will find themselves enthralled.
VERDICT An endearing book for caregivers to share with children.

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