The Kids Beat

Vermont Cartoonist Harry Bliss Has a New Book for Kids



A clever new picture book by Burlington author and illustrator Harry Bliss gives kids and parents both reason to smile. With colorful, graphic illustrations and just a few words, Grace for Gus chronicles the adventures of New York City second grader Grace. The tale begins in a classroom of Midtown Elementary, when Grace's teacher asks students to contribute to the Gus Buddy Fund to purchase a friend for the class guinea pig. Grace, touched by the little mammal's sweetness, embarks on a lively nighttime journey through the streets of Manhattan, busking with her violin in the 14th Street subway station, drawing caricatures on the outskirts of Central Park and showing off her acrobatic moves on the pole of a subway car. Funny details, like a restaurant sign that translates to "Too Expensive French Cuisine" and cameos by notable figures including Vincent van Gogh, Andy Warhol and Spike Lee, make for an engaging reading experience. And hearts will be warmed when a triumphant Grace surprises her class with a pile of cash for the Buddy Fund — the fruits of her very adventurous labor.

Grace for Gus by Harry Bliss. Published by HarperCollins. $17.99. February 6 release date. Bliss will be at Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne in February. Visit for details.

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