I don’t retell fairy tales. They retell me. Over and over again they tell me who I am, how I feel, what I believe. This process of self-discovery happens every time I write a poem, but it seems to happen most acutely when I throw on Red Riding Hood’s cloak or pull up a chair […]
Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger; illus. by Cece Bell Primary Clarion 32 pp. 6/13 978-0-547-81854-2 $16.99 g As concepts for picture books go, it’s hard to think of one cleverer than this absurdist deconstruction of the familiar song. Depicted in spindly lined cartoons, Yankee Doodle and his pony debate their plans for the afternoon. When […]
Every Day by David Levithan Middle School, High School Knopf 325 pp. 8/12 978-0-307-93188-7 $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-97111-2 $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-307-97563-8 $10.99 “A,” the narrator of Levithan’s brilliantly conceived novel, wakes up in a different sixteen-year-old’s body every morning and has to adjust to different physical characteristics, a different family, a different school, different […]
I would call it a guilty pleasure if I felt guilty. But my subscription to People magazine actually liberates me. Instead of furtively flipping pages in the checkout line, hoping to find the photos of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s baby before it’s time to unload the hummus, I have Blue Ivy Carter (seven pounds) delivered, so […]
Jangles: A Big Fish Story by David Shannon; illus. by the author Primary Blue Sky/Scholastic 32 pp. 10/12 978-0-545-14312-7 $17.99 g Shannon takes the one-that-got-away story and spins it out into a big-fish tall tale as recounted by a father to his son. Jangles, the legendary trout of Big Lake, had “broken so many fishing […]
Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey by Mini Grey; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary Knopf 32 pp. 5/12 978-0-375-86952-5 $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96952-2 $19.99 The adventuresome duo from Traction Man Is Here! (rev. 3/05) and Traction Man Meets Turbodog (rev. 9/08) hits the beach for a manly day of scuba diving, picnic security duty, […]
At Macy’s department store, marionette maker Tony Sarg started inside and worked his way out. He designed mechanical storybook figures for Macy’s window displays before inventing the giant balloon characters that would become the signature feature of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Sweet’s whimsical mixed-media collages, embellished with little dolls she made herself out of odds and ends, reinforce the theme that, for Sarg, work was play. He loved his job just as much as the cheering crowds loved his balloons (one of Sweet’s watercolor illustrations shows open-mouthed children fairly dancing with delight).