Joanna Rudge Long

About Joanna Rudge Long

Joanna Rudge Long is former editor of Kirkus Reviews and a frequent lecturer on children’s books.

Review of At Home in Her Tomb

liu-perkins_at home in her tomb

At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of Mawangdui by Christine Liu-Perkins; 
illus. by Sarah S. Brannen Intermediate, Middle School    Charlesbridge    80 pp. 4/14    978-1-58089-370-1    $19.95 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-615-9    $9.99 Late in 1971, workers digging an air-raid shelter in Hunan Province found three tombs of a noble family from early […]

Review of Brave Chicken Little

byrd_brave chicken little

Brave Chicken Little retold by Robert Byrd; 
illus. by the reteller Preschool, Primary    Viking    40 pp. 8/14    978-0-670-78616-9    $17.99    g The chick is not just a witless wonder in this expansion of the familiar folktale. Bopped on the head by an acorn, this Chicken Little does rush off to tell the king that “the sky […]

Review of Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas

cox_elizabeth queen of the seas

Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox; illus. by Brian Floca Preschool, Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    48 pp. 5/14    978-0-375-85888-8    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-95888-5    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-375-98769-4    $10.99 Renowned long-distance swimmer Cox here celebrates a swimmer of a different species: a twelve-hundred-pound elephant seal that preferred the warm banks of the Avon River […]

Review of Leaving China

mcmullan_leaving china

Leaving China: An Artist Paints His 
World War II Childhood by James McMullan; 
illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Algonquin    113 pp. 3/14    978-1-61620-255-2    $19.95 McMullan was born in Tsingtao, North China, in 1934 to an Irish-English missionary family. His privileged childhood was disrupted by the 1937 Japanese occupation; by 1941, he and […]

Review of Gaston

dipucchio_gaston

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio; 
illus. by Christian Robinson Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 6/14    978-1-4424-5102-5    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5103-2    $12.99 Bumptious Gaston looms over his elegant poodle sisters Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, and Ooh-La-La; they’re “no bigger than teacups,” but he’s “the size of a teapot.” Like a good twenty-first-century parent, Mrs. Poodle praises her well-mannered […]

Review of Treasury of Egyptian 
Mythology

napoli_treasury of egyptian mythology

Treasury of Egyptian 
Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, 
Goddesses, Monsters & Mortals by Donna Jo Napoli; 
illus. by Christina Balit Intermediate, Middle School    National Geographic    192 pp.    10/13    978-1-4263-1380-6    $24.95 Library ed.  978-1-4263-1381-3    $33.90 As she did for her Treasury of Greek Mythology (rev. 1/12), Napoli brings a storyteller’s art and a scholar’s diligence to […]

Review of Queen Victoria’s 
Bathing Machine

whelan_queen victoria's bathing machine

Queen Victoria’s 
Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan; 
illus. by Nancy Carpenter Primary    Wiseman/Simon    40 pp. 4/14    978-1-4169-2753-2    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5885-7    $12.99 How could Queen Victoria get into the sea on a hot day? Modesty decreed that she mustn’t be seen in her bathing costume. It’s Prince Albert to the rescue with a queen-sized […]

Review of You Can’t Have Too Many Friends!

gerstein_you can't have too many friends

You Can’t Have 
Too Many Friends! by Mordicai Gerstein; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Holiday    32 pp. 4/14    978-0-8234-2393-4    $16.95    g e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3101-4    $16.95 This retold French folktale (“Drakestail”) stars a farmer duck who, in this absurdist version, is wealthy in the jelly beans he has grown. When the little-boy king “borrows” his […]

Review of Firefly July

janeczko_firefly july2

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko; illus. by Melissa Sweet Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-4842-8    $16.99 Very short people attracted by Sweet’s child-friendly illustrations (and by the large picture book format) are likely to linger to enjoy the thirty-six excellent poems (grouped by season) showcased on […]

Review of Ballad

blexbolex_ballad

Ballad by Blexbolex; trans. from the 
French by Claudia Z. Bedrick; 
illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Enchanted Lion    280 pp. 11/13    978-1-59270-137-7    $22.95 The French illustrator (Seasons, rev. 7/10; People, rev. 9/11) is as provocative as ever in this graphic celebration — and parody — of the very idea of story. Like Dr. Seuss’s […]