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 Winter Bees

sidman_winter bees

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman; illus. by Rick Allen Primary, Intermediate    Houghton    32 pp. 11/14    978-0-547-90650-8    $17.99 In winter, bees (“we are nothing on our own”) keep their precious queen warm by massing together into a “sizzling ball.” Hibernating garter snakes, safe in a cave, “’round each other twist […]

Review of The Way to the Zoo

burningham_this way to the zoo

The Way to the Zoo by John Burningham; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 8/14    978-0-7636-7317-8    $15.99 “All I have to do is leave you at home when I go out for a while and it looks as if you had the whole zoo in here!” cries Sylvie’s mother. Actually, there had […]

Review of The Iridescence of Birds

maclachlan_iridescence of birds

The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLachlan; 
illus. by Hadley Hooper Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 10/14    978-1-59643-948-1    $17.99 “If you were a boy named Henri Matisse who lived / in a dreary town…” Thus begins this speculative exploration of the painter’s early encounters with color, worded as a book-length […]

Review of Remy and Lulu

hawkes_remy and lulu

Remy and Lulu by Kevin Hawkes; 
illus. by the author with 
miniatures by Hannah E. Harrison Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 9/14    978-0-449-81085-9    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-449-81087-3    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-449-81089-7    $10.99 Lulu, a lithe and clever little Parisian dog, used to live with a “great portrait painter,” but now she’s homeless. Remy, a hirsute […]

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 […]