When Rubin Plays

21,000+ Reviews
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Product Details
$18.99  $17.66
Orchard Books
Publish Date
8.03 X 10.31 X 0.71 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

GRACEY ZHANG is an illustrator and animator with a love of storytelling and verse. She is the author and illustrator of Lala's Words and the illustrator of The Big Bath House, Nigel and the Moon, and The Upside Down Hat. She was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, and received her degree in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. Gracey is now based in Brooklyn, New York, where she can be found window watching from the train when she's not scribbling away at her desk. You can visit her at graceyzhang.com.


Praise for When Rubin Plays:

* "Spreads and text from Zhang... pulse with joy... as the whole community acknowledges Rubin's unique contribution... in this wondrous tale of trust in self and collaboration." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This charming story of a boy finding his sound will inspire beginners to persist in their endeavors and to approach their creative journeys with passion and confidence -- even if their skills may not be there yet... A tale that is truly mew-sic to the ears." -- Kirkus Reviews

"In the thick lines of Ms. Zhang's warm, inviting artwork, we see the novice persevere, producing a caterwauling that makes people smile and wince." -- The Wall Street Journal

Praise for Lala's Words:

2022 Ezra Jack Keats Award Winner!

A Junior Library Guild Selection

* "Zhang's powerful debut lifts up the power words have to heal and feed." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Little Lala helps the weeds in the vacant lot blossom into full, gorgeous plants just by talking to them and showing them a little love. This picture book is breathtaking, and Zhang's use of color really helps the story come alive. It's like a modern inverse of The Giving Tree." -- Paul Swydan, The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, Massachusetts

"Zhang's style, blending warmhearted multiethnic urban caricature with a bold-lined rough-and-tumble zeal, is wholly original. And like the compliment Lala pays her soon science-fiction-size plants, this debut picture book (which also depicts a burgeoning mother-daughter relationship) is 'magnificent.'" -- The New York Times Book Review

"This is the enchanting story about the power of words." -- Booklist

"Lala's enthusiasm blossoms on the page." -- Kirkus Reviews

"A verdant tale of leaves, language, and most importantly, love." -- Molly Idle (author-illustrator of Pearl; Flora and the Flamingo)

"Much like an encouraging word, Gracey's vibrant pictures will lift you up." -- Christian Robinson (author of Another; illustrator of Last Stop on Market Street)

"A touching fantasy rooted in reality. Gracey's art recalls children's books masters... Ludwig Bemelmans, Roger Duvoisin, David Small. Yet it is fresh and lovely and hasn't been seen before." -- LeUyen Pham (illustrator of Bear Came Along; Grace for President)

"Lala's Words is really about magic; a special kind of magic called kindness. Like the sunlight and falling rain, kindness nourishes the world around us. This book, with its lovely art and whimsical story, will also nourish the reader." -- The Fan Brothers (author-illustrators of Ocean Meets Sky; The Night Gardener)