June 2011 Indie Next List
“What is it about the sea that makes so many things clear? In Junonia, Henkes' words and illustrations tell the beautiful story of Alice Rice and her broadening horizons. Alice always looks forward to her trip to the beach in Florida. The same people arrive each year and are almost like a family. This year, however, many of the regulars can't make it, and Alice feels like the vacation is ruined. When her 'Aunt' Kate arrives with her new boyfriend and his six-year-old daughter, who is adjusting to a few changes herself, Alice realizes that maybe her problems are worth putting aside to help out someone else. This is a beautiful pitch-perfect story.”
— Emily Grossenbacher, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS
Returning to the beach cottage a cottage named Scallop where she has always celebrated her birthday is a special occasion for Alice Rice.
Who will see the first dolphin this time? The first pelican? What will have changed? Stayed the same? And will this be the year she finally finds a junonia shell?
Alice's friends are all returning, too. And she's certain her parents have the best party planned for her. Alice can't wait. If Alice is lucky, everything will be absolutely perfect. Will Alice be lucky?
“Henkes knows that Alice, like many girls her age, carries plenty of things in her mind—and her heart—that she seldom speaks of. She mulls them over privately, and in Henkes’s hands, eloquently.”
-New York Times
“Very few writers have such a keen understanding of the emotional lives of children; here Henkes is at the top of his game.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“In this introspective story about a child’s search for a rare shell, Henkes again displays his ability to find profound meaning in ordinary events. . . . Readers will empathize with Alice’s frustrations and relish her moments of joy.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“With tender observations and sensory details, Henkes creates a memorable young individual whose arcadian growing up is authentic and pitch-perfect.”
-Booklist (starred review)
“Alice balances between familiarity and novelty, coziness and independence, self-centeredness and altruism—the balance beam of turning ten. . . . A fully realized, respectful portrait of a childhood milestone.”
-The Horn Book