Pepper and Me
Having experience with skinned knees, (even as an adult), this sweet story surprised, delighted, and resonated with me. The illustrations are precious and the wit and humor are executed perfectly. Hoping this one rises to the top!
From the New York Times Book Review:
"The unnamed narrator scrapes her knee. 'I cried like a baby,' she confesses. “It was like a scary movie with you-know-what dripping down my leg. I had never seen so much before. Blood. I said the word that really scares us kids.' How could you not immediately adore and trust this voice?"
From three-time NYT Best Illustrated creator of On a Magical Do-Nothing Day comes a stunning picture book about a little girl, the scab on her knee, and the healing they do together.
In this utterly enchanting and unexpected tale from international picture book star Beatrice Alemagna, a childhood mishap is the occasion for growth and self-reflection. When a little girl falls on the street, scraping her knee, her father tells her not to worry, that "a beautiful scab will form." But she does worry! The scab is not beautiful and it's keeping her from bending her knee! When will it ever go away? By the time the scab—who she has named Pepper—falls off, something astonishing has happened: the girl has come to feel affection for the scab and has a hard time letting go. With an unerring understanding of a child’s emotional life and a dash of absurdist wit, this picture book will stand with classics from creators like Tomi Ungerer and William Steig, who explore the weird, funny essence of childhood.
Praise for Pepper and Me
A January/February 2024 Kids’ Indie Next List pick
"How could you not immediately adore and trust this voice?....A reluctant love story…whimsy…but also truth, in the way children process the yucky yet intriguing surprises served up by their bodies.” —New York Times Book Review
“Alemagna deftly captures feelings of loss over something inconsequential to adults but of outsized importance to a child….Uniquely moving.”—Kirkus Reviews
★“A relatable, very unique story of acceptance, unexpected friendship, and letting go with stunning, eye-catching artwork." —Imagination Soup
"Imaginative...the kind of picture book that seems straight out of a kids' imagination." -- Book Riot
"It’s easy for readers to see their own concerns reflected in the narrator’s—and to breathe a sigh of relief when the ordeal is over—in this slice-of-life portrait of life’s small comings and goings.”—Publishers Weekly
"From the mind of internationally acclaimed author/illustrator Beatrice Alemagna comes the next essential duo in children’s literature: a child and their scab….unforgettable.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Intimate and indelible….[an] exploration of pain, healing, change, wonder and time.” —Horn Book
"Pepper and Me deftly taps into the wondrous and curious mind of a child--a scrape-turned-surly-scab-come-to-life!--alongside the surprising, inventive, and perfectly askew drawings I've come to expect in a new Beatrice Alemagna book. I am a huge fan--of Pepper and Ms. Alemagna." —Matthew Cordell, Caldecott Medalist for Wolf in the Snow
"This beautifully illustrated story made me want to befriend all the bruises, scars and scabs that my inner child carries with her. I feel like hugging this book!" —Elise Gravel, creator of the Disgusting Critters and Olga series
"The story of a girl and her relationship with her scab. The book was magically odd and the kids had so much to say about. I LOVED IT! " —Colby Sharp, educator