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About Patrick Gall

Patrick Gall works as a librarian for children in preschool through eighth grade at the Catherine Cook School in Chicago.

Review of After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 10/17    978-1-62672-682-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-19095-6    $9.99 If The Adventures of Beekle is a study of friendship and Are We There Yet? (rev. 3/16) an appeal for mindfulness, then Santat is now […]

Review of Strong as Sandow: How Eugen Sandow Became 
the Strongest Man on Earth

Strong as Sandow: How Eugen Sandow Became 
the Strongest Man on Earth by Don Tate; illus. by the author Primary    Charlesbridge    40 pp. 8/17    978-1-58089-628-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-886-3    $9.99 The life of Eugen Sandow (1867–1925), a Victorian-era bodybuilding superstar dubbed “the Modern Hercules,” is rife with mystery. Not only did his family destroy his […]

Tony

Did you notice that the first couple of Calling Caldecott reviews of the fall (see Egg and Big Cat, Little Cat) seem to suggest that this year’s Caldecott Medal winner could be a model of simplicity, nuance, and restraint? A quick look at recent award history, however, paints a different picture. Winning illustrators of the […]

Review of Bruno: Some of the More Interesting Days in My Life So Far

Bruno: Some of the More Interesting Days in My Life So Far by Catharina Valckx; illus. by Nicolas Hubesch; trans. from the French by Antony Shugaar Primary, Intermediate    Gecko    88 pp. 4/17    978-1-77657-124-6    $16.99 Paper ed.  978-1-77657-125-3    $14.90 In six brief chapters, Bruno, a small cat in a blue checked cap, recounts in turn the […]

Review of Tony

Tony by Ed Galing; illus. by Erin E. Stead Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp. 2/17    978-1-62672-308-5    $16.99 As a picture book, Tony is radically gentle. The late author’s poem describes a brief but seemingly habitual encounter between a customer of the milk-truck driver Tom Jones and Jones’s horse, Tony. Objectively, little happens over the course […]

Review of Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin Middle School, High School    Roaring Brook    280 pp. 1/17    978-1-59643-954-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-59643-955-9    $9.99 Football icon Jim Thorpe is the indisputable star of Undefeated, although other compelling narratives come into play, including those of the infamous […]

Beginning Readers and the Caldecott

Beginning readers aren’t awarded Caldecott Medals or Honors. Not really. Arnold Lobel did win a Caldecott Honor way back in 1971 for Frog and Toad Are Friends, and the past ten years have seen Caldecott recognition of picture books that also function as beginning readers: Kevin Henkes’s Waiting (2016); Jon Klassen’s This Is Not My Hat (2013); Laura Vaccaro […]

Review of As Brave As You

As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds Intermediate, Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    415 pp. 5/16    978-1-4814-1590-3​    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-1592-7    $10.99 Reynolds (The Boy in the Black Suit, rev. 3/15; with Brendan Kiely, All American Boys, rev. 11/15) delivers an emotionally resonant middle-grade story of an African American family working to overcome its tumultuous past in […]

Review of Flop to the Top!

 Flop to the Top! by Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing; 
illus. by the authors Primary   TOON   38 pp. 9/15   978-1-935179-89-4   $12.95 Wanda is a superstar — in her own mind. Oblivious to her family’s dismay, she forces everyone within arm’s reach to endure invasive photos, rude orders, and diva-like dismissals. After posting a selfie taken […]

Review of Sunny Side Up

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm; 
illus. by Matthew Holm; color by Lark Pien Intermediate   Graphix/Scholastic   218 pp. 9/15   978-0-545-74165-1   $23.99 Paper ed. 978-0-545-74166-8   $12.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-545-74167-5   $12.99 Set largely during the summer of 1976, this semiautobiographical graphic novel from the brother-and-sister team behind the Babymouse series includes an […]