Elvis and the World As It Stands | Lisa Frenkel Riddiough


Elvis and the World As It Stands by Lisa Frenkel Riddiough

Out Now from Abrams Books; 256 pages

Content Warnings: Mentions of grief, parental divorse, brief mentions of 9/11

About the Author: “Lisa Frenkel Riddiough was a slow reader as a child and found it difficult to concentrate on almost all required reading. When given the choice, Lisa picked books with pictures and lots of white space, and always stories with animals. As a children’s book author, Lisa strives to make her books accessible to this type of reader. In her opinion, it is perfectly OK to choose a book that is short, has a large font, and plenty of illustrations!” (Bio taken from author’s website.)

Find Lisa Frenkel Riddiough on the following platforms:

About the Illustrator: “Olivia grew up in the small town of Chester CT, and now lives in Providence, RI.  She attended the Rhode Island School of Design and graduated in 2014. Besides illustrating, Olivia loves playing with her cats, raising silk moths, and collecting anything cute! She also enjoys sewing and felting miniature animals!” (Bio taken from illustrator’s website.)

Find Olivia Chin Mueller on the following platforms:

“It’s no use. Humans don’t listen. They never do. If only I knew how to string the right letters together.”

Elvis and the World As It Stands deftly navigates personal change and loss amidst greater external events. At its core, this book is a sweet tale of two characters coming together—although not of their choosing—and growing into themselves individually as they learn how to communicate with each other. Georgina is a ten-year-old whose mother has just adopted her a kitten named Elvis, who has just been pulled away from his sister at the shelter. Hopefully, this will allow Georgina the companionship she desperately seeks in the wake of her parents’ recent divorce. The two join together slowly but surely as they realize that family can be made and found in humans, cats, or even pet fish.

This novel is Lisa Frenkel Riddiough’s debut in the middle grade genre, and it distinguishes Riddiough’s emotional connection to young audiences. She does a beautiful job of constructing a story of found family and personal healing that is enjoyable for readers of all ages. In particular, the novel winds together Elvis’ and Georgina’s points of view as neither of them are very happy to be living together, but through the magic of legos and honest communication, Georgina is able to begin the process of growing after her parents’ recent separation. The topic of grief is navigated so well because Georgina is such a likeable character. The illustrations from Olivia Chin Mueller are gorgeous and are a great moment of inclusion for the father character. They immediately offer a visual reference for readers of what Elvis looks like and how expressive he really is. Elvis and the World As It Stands is an engaging and realistic examination of change from the point of view of a young girl’s kitten that is guaranteed to have you crying by the end in the best way!

PRR Writer and Editor, Kayla Chandler