Marika's Reviews > Junonia

Junonia by Kevin Henkes
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's review
Jun 30, 11

really liked it
Read in March, 2011

Every year Alice and family go to Florida for vacation, living in a cottage and spending time with other families who vacation at the same spot every year. This year it is Alice's tenth birthday-a very important number- and she has high hopes for the week until she learns that her usual playmates can't come and new poeple are arriving. Mallory, a younger girl, arrives with Alice's favorite adult, Kate. Mallory is shy, angry, and sad in turns and Kate's attention is usurped by her needs. Though Alice would like to help Mallory and show her the wonders of the beach, she finds Mallory difficult to deal with. Despite this, Alice is sustained by her hope of finding a junonia, a very rare shell, but the odds don't look good, and as the week progresses, neither does the vacation. Ten is a special number-will Alice's birthday live up to her hopes?

Early Middle Grade readers will empathize with Alice, feeling her disappointment and jubilation while desperately wishing for a junonia to wash ashore. As emotional as the sea, this summer book is wonderful for readers of Ivy and Bean and Clementine.

Kevin Henkes is known for his picturebooks, including Kitten's Full Moon, a Caldecott Medal winner, and he received a Newbery Honor for Olive's Ocean. Snippets of his illustrations can be seen in the small ink drawings that head each chapter, and the dynamic yet intimate cover design.
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