Critter Lit

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Book Reviews | October 2018

Book ReviewsLindsay WardComment

Welcome to Critter Lit Book Reviews! One Thursday of every month Critter Lit will review two newly released, outstanding picture books.

So without further ado, Critter Lit's picks for October 2018:

Drum roll please....

King Alice by Matthew Cordell

Published by Feiwel & Friends, September 2018

I adore the silliness of this book. It’s a snow day! And Alice decides she is going to be King for the day, coming up with idea after idea of entertainment from playing with her Kitty babies to writing her own book (with the help of Princess Dad). Cordell clearly knows how children talk, play, and lose interest quickly. The dialogue in this book is hilarious and oh so accurate. I found myself laughing out loud as I read to my son who poured over each of Alice’s drawings— he especially liked the part where “…King Alice tooted and it made everyone laugh.”

Cordell’s recognizable pen and ink style that we’ve come to know and love is mixed with charming drawings created using “whatever colored pencils and markers Matthew Cordell could find from his kids’ stash of art supplies,” as mentioned on the copyright page.

A must read for anyone, but especially for the creative child who marches to their own beat (and loves Kitty babies).

For more information on King Alice click here. Or to learn more about Matthew's work, visit him online at or follow him on Twitter @cordellmatthew.

Night Job written by Karen Hesse, illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Published by Candlewick, September 2018

This is one of the best picture books I’ve read in a long time. After I initially sat down to read it, I immediately re-read it a few more times, soaking up each charming detail and moment. NIGHT JOB is told in first person from the perspective of a little boy, who every Friday night tags along with his dad to work, cleaning up a school after hours. This book is about the quiet moments in life, the ones that connect us together.

There’s something really special about seeing the world after hours, which Hesse connects to beautifully. I loved the ambiance of this book, taking place during those dark and quiet moments tucked deep into the evening. G. Brian Karas’ illustrations are like small spotlights on snippets of everyday life, elegantly woven together to create a rich and textured world for this boy and his dad. Light plays a huge role in the illustrations throughout, guiding the reader through each scene in the darkness. A truly stunning picture book all around!

For more information on Night Job click here. Or to learn more about Karen Hesse or G. Brian Karas, visit them online at and