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 […]

Review of Gobble You Up!

wolf_gobble you up

Gobble You Up! by Gita Wolf; illus. by Sunita Preschool, Primary    Tara    40 pp. 10/13    978-81-923171-4-4    $34.95 The outline is familiar: after gulping down animal after animal, a greedy creature bursts. Here it’s a jackal who devours the dozen fish his best friend the crane has caught for him, then the crane herself, and so […]

Review of The Mad Potter

greenberg_mad potter

The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan Intermediate, Middle School    Porter/Roaring Brook    56 pp. 10/13    978-1-59643-810-1    $17.99 “Eccentric” is an apt word for Ohr, a Mississippi blacksmith’s son (1857–1918) who reinvented himself as a potter: though he began his distinctive works on a potter’s wheel, he then reshaped […]

Review of Mr. Wuffles!

mr wuffles

Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Clarion     32 pp. 10/13     978-0-618-75661-2     $17.99     g Is anything so fraught with potential energy as a stalking cat, or as relaxed as a bored one? Mr. Wuffles disdains all the playthings he’s offered — until, amongst scorned balls […]

Review of My Brother’s Book

My Brother's Book

My Brother’s Book by Maurice Sendak; 
illus. by the author di Capua/HarperCollins    32 pp. 2/13    978-0-06-223489-6    $18.95    g If, as Wordsworth wrote, “poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity,” Sendak’s vision of a Dante-esque search for his beloved brother Jack (1924–1995) is poetry in both […]

Review of The McElderry Book of Mother Goose

The McElderry Book of Mother Goose compiled by Petra Mathers

The McElderry Book 
of Mother Goose: Revered and Rare Rhymes compiled by Petra Mathers; 
illus. by the compiler Primary, Intermediate    McElderry    96 pp. 8/12    978-0-689-85605-1    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5314-2    $12.99 Not since Leonard Marcus’s Mother Goose’s Little Misfortunes (rev. 11/90) has there been such a delightfully idiosyncratic selection. Drawn mostly from the canonical Opies (see […]

Phillip Hoose on Moonbird

phillip hoose

From the July/August 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Reviewer Joanna Rudge Long asks Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 author Phillip Hoose about the rufa red knot’s current whereabouts. Read the full starred review of Moonbird here. Joanna Rudge Long: Has there been another sighting of B95 since […]

Review of Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95

Moonbird by Phillip M. Hoose

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with 
the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose Intermediate, Middle School, High School Farrar    
148 pp.    7/12    978-0-374-30468-3    $21.99 He’s called “Moonbird” because, over a lifespan of twenty years, he’s flown some 325,000 miles, the distance to the moon and almost halfway back. This robin-sized red knot (subspecies rufa), […]

Review of Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses

koertge_lies knives and girls in red dresses

Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge; illus. by Andrea Dezsö High School     Candlewick     88 pp. 7/12     978-0-7636-4406-2     $19.99 A much-honored poet and novelist retells, in free verse and from various points of view, twenty-three familiar tales (mostly Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault). With a contemporary sensibility and voice, Koertge pitches directly to […]

Caldecott 2012: “everything…which is yes”

A Ball for Daisy

Just as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, real appreciation of a picture book depends on more than a first taste, or a first look; truer evaluation becomes possible only after savoring every nuance. At first glance, illustrations may delight us with their beauty — their drafting, palette, forms, composition; with how […]