Livi and Nate

Owlkids. Sept. 2019. 72p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771473729.
Gr 1-3–Siblings Livi and Nate live with their mother and grandfather in a cozy house in the countryside. After a winter’s day of sledding, building snow creatures, and tussling, Livi and Nate come inside for hot chocolate, board games, a bath and, eventually, bed. They snuggle into their bunk beds, but Livi can’t settle because she is certain that the snow animals outside have come to life. Her mother offers to go outside to check, and Livi falls asleep and dreams of a tea party with Nate and the snow animals. When she is startled awake by a growling noise, she wakes Nate. Armed with a tennis racket and a ukulele, they creep into the living room, only to discover that the noise was their mother making cocoa before leaving for her work shift as a firefighter. Mother tucks them back in, and the pattern is set for the rest of the story. Livi’s dreams are interrupted by nighttime fears and real-world concerns that will be familiar to many readers. Hakkola’s dialogue rings true. The characters are drawn with oversize heads in simple, black strokes. They have black dots for eyes and pink triangles for noses. Scene backgrounds vary in hue and offer a visual guide to the events: blues for the snowball fight, orange for the evening activities, and purple for bedtime.
VERDICT A sweet and familiar story, with lively illustrations. Recommended for large elementary graphics collections

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