Review of Gaga Mistake Day

Gaga Mistake Day Gaga Mistake Day
by Emma Straub and Susan Straub; illus. by Jessica Love
Primary    Rocky Pond/Penguin    32 pp.
4/24    9780593529461    $18.99
e-book ed.  9780593529478    $10.99

In this picture book by adult novelist Emma Straub and her mother, Saturday is Gaga day. Each week, our young narrator’s parents head off to do errands, leaving grandmother and grandkid to have a day of their own. Unconventional grandparent Gaga is as spirited as they come: “Gaga makes lots of mistakes,” warns her grandchild at the start of the story. These “mistakes” include wearing fuzzy pink slippers on her ears, walking backward through the neighborhood, and reading a bedtime story upside down. “Mistakes are fun, aren’t they?” Gaga asks. Each page offers a glimpse into another Saturday spent together. Whether dancing in costume or creating a merry mountain of bubbles at bathtime, Gaga brings a childlike joy to every playdate. Pencil, watercolor, and gouache in Love’s recognizable style (Julián Is a Mermaid, rev. 5/18) add an extra dose of magic to the pair’s fanciful days. Gaga is fabulously decked-out with big, bold glasses and eye-catching accessories. Her grandchild’s smart green spectacles and indulgent imagination suggest that the apple didn’t fall far from the grandma tree. With bright bursts of color and extravagant scenes, the book whisks readers away into their playful world from the very first page.

Pubissue-From the March/April 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Hill Saxton

Hill Saxton is a youth services librarian at the Cambridge Public Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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