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About Elisa Gall

Elisa Gall is the Youth Collection Development Librarian at the Deerfield Public Library in Illinois.

Review of Red Again

Red Again by Barbara Lehman; illus. by the author Primary    Houghton    32 pp.    g 11/17    978-0-544-81859-0    $16.99 Lehman picks up where The Red Book (rev. 9/04) ends — and begins — in this wordless, surreal tale. After a red book falls from the snowy sky, a brown-skinned young cyclist wearing glasses discovers it in a […]

Review of Barkus

Barkus by Patricia MacLachlan; illus. by Marc Boutavant Primary    Chronicle    56 pp. 6/17    978-1-4521-1182-7    $14.99 When globetrotting Uncle Everton sets off on a new voyage, he leaves Barkus — the “smartest dog in the world” — with Nicky and her family. In five brief chapters, Barkus and Nicky change the classroom dynamics at school, host […]

Review of Charlie & Mouse

Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder; illus. by Emily Hughes Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 4/17    978-1-4521-3153-5    $14.99 This beginning chapter book is filled to the brim with sincere, slice-of-life sibling moments. In four chapters, brothers Charlie and Mouse spend a day together in their home and neighborhood. Adults are present, but the focus is on […]

Review of Ronit & Jamil

Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin High School    Tegen/HarperCollins    183 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-245854-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-245855-1    $9.89 This Romeo and Juliet–inspired story unfolds in five acts of verse, swapping the setting of Renaissance-era Italy with present-day Israel. Teenagers Ronit (an Israeli girl) and Jamil (a Palestinian boy) are […]

Review of Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hermanitas

Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hermanitas by Yuyi Morales; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 10/16    978-1-62672-240-8    $17.99    g This follow-up to Niño Wrestles the World (rev. 7/13) is brimming with action, humor, and heart. It’s técnicos (“‘Good guys’ who play by the rules”) vs. rudos (“‘Tough guys’ who bend or break the […]

Are We There Yet?

There’s nothing like the words “by Caldecott Medalist…” on a book’s cover to generate award buzz. With Are We There Yet?, Dan Santat’s first authored picture book since The Adventures of Beekle, there’s a lot to examine. The front endpapers show a car advancing — frame by frame — down a highway. Its destination is revealed […]

Review of Lucy

Lucy by Randy Cecil; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    144 pp. 8/16    978-0-7636-6808-2    $19.99 In the fictional, old-fashioned metropolis of Bloomville, store-clerk-by-day Sam moonlights as a (stage fright–suffering) juggler. His daughter Eleanor lavishes attention on the neighborhood dogs, including a stray named Lucy. When Lucy — who is often in survival mode — […]

Review of A Year Without Mom

A Year Without Mom by Dasha Tolstikova; 
illus. by the author Middle School   Groundwood   168 pp. 10/15   978-1-55498-692-7   $19.95 e-book ed. 978-155498-693-4   $16.95 Tolstikova’s illustrated memoir recounts the time when her mother relocated to America for graduate school and she, twelve years old, was left in the care of her grandparents in Moscow. Through present-tense […]

Review of Wolf in the Snow

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell; illus. by the author Primary    Feiwel    48 pp. 1/17    978-1-250-07636-6    $17.99    g A series of illustrations before the title page sets the scene: a prairie landscape in winter, home to both humans and wolves. Setting off alone toward home from school as a blizzard descends, a bundled-up child […]

Flop to the Top!

After Jillian Tamaki received Caldecott recognition for the graphic novel This One Summer last February, you can bet your honor seals that people are looking closely at all types of picture books in 2015. One title that I hope this year’s Caldecott committee will bring to the table is Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing’s Flop […]