Illustrated by :Magenta Fox
Audience:Children: Age (years) 3 - 7, Grade (US) P - 2
Dimensions:11.31in x 8.75 x 0.38 in | 0.9 lb
Page Count:32 pages
Illustrations:FULL COLOR THROUGHOUT
STAR CREATIVE TEAM: Zadie Smith is one of most beloved and lauded bestselling authors of our generation, and this book shows that she speaks to the hearts of audiences of all ages. Co-written with Nick Laird and introducing debut illustrator Magenta Fox, The Surprise hails a new chapter for a powerhouse team.
BE YOURSELF: After a bit of a bumpy ride, the Surprise learns that there’s nothing more important than being yourself and embracing what makes you different (and, ideally, odd!)
BULLYING AND EMPATHY: The other pets the Surprise encounters learn that making someone feel singled out for their differences is unkind—everyone wins from having a rich friend group, full of varied interests and personalities.
HUMOR: Smith, Laird and Fox use humor as a tool to open up a conversation about loving what makes you different.
ADORABLE ART: With charming characters, energetic depictions of apartment life and gentle colors, Fox’s illustrations have wide appeal and complement the warm, wry prose perfectly.
STRONG PUBLISHING PARTNERS: We’ll be co-publishing with Viking in the U.S., and Puffin published The Surprise as Weirdo in the U.K. in April 2021.
“Adorable and sweet…. A fun story of friendship and acceptance.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[A] tonally freewheeling picture book whose chatty narration and dialogue are anchored by precise, fine-lined art and vivid characterizations.” —Publishers Weekly
“This charming story embraces friendship, self-discovery, and fun…. [A] good addition to a classroom, library, or school counselor’s anti-bullying picture book collection.” —School Library Journal
“The wholesome conversations between Emily and Maud about being different spur Maud’s growth, as she moves from defeated self-doubt to joyful confidence, giving the hopeful message that ’life’s too short not to be an oddball.’” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Having been thrown into an unfamiliar situation, Maud finds her place and embraces her individuality by making courageous decisions and meeting interesting people.” —CityParent
“[A] delightful tale for little oddballs everywhere.” —Entertainment Weekly