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Books in Brief: Float by Daniel Miyares, Sweet by Emmy Laybourne



Float by Daniel Miyares; Simon & Schuster, ($17.99) Ages 4 to 8.


The digitally rendered illustrations in this lovely wordless picture book have the effect of delicate watercolors in this charming story of a small boy’s big dreams for his paper boat, and his father’s kindly – and inspired – intervention when the boat comes to grief. The boy, in raincoat and rainhat, bravely sets out alone and Miyares’ illustrations contrasting bright yellow raincoat with the somber-colored neighborhood backdrops of the wider world, the blackness of the sewer grate are simply marvelous. (The endpapers include diagrams of how to make both boat and airplane from newspaper.) An illustrator for Hallmark, Miyares was the author-illustrator of “Pardon Me!”

– Jean Westmoore


Sweet by Emmy Laybourne, Feiwel & Friends, 288 pages ($17.99) Ages 12 and up.


The author of the “Monument 14” trilogy offers a nifty mix of romance, humor, action and horror, while holding up a mirror to Americans’ obsession with weight and body image, in this page-turner of a thriller, the perfect beach read.

Laurel joins her friend Vivian on a celebrity cruise, starring former child star Tom Forelli, to launch a new diet sweetener called Solu. Laurel is so seasick she can’t eat, a condition that turns out to be in her favor as the days go by and cruise passengers exhibit increasingly bizarrely behavior.

Laybourne alternates the narration between Laurel and Tom to great effect and ably ramps up the suspense to the truly explosive finale.

– Jean Westmoore