Tricky Vic

tricky vic

Robert Miller was known to everyone except his own family as Count Victor Lustig (or by any of forty-five other aliases). He was a con man, with a career full of ways to separate people from their money, including, believe it or not, selling the Eiffel Tower. He was “one of the most crooked con […]

The Grasshopper and the Ants

pinkney_grasshopper and the ants

The Grasshopper & the Ants adds another title to Jerry Pinkney’s growing set of books based on fables by Aesop and Andersen. Unlike his Caldecott-winning The Lion & the Mouse (2009), this title has text, except for an extended wordless sequence in the middle. But the Caldecott committee will not be comparing this to Pinkney’s […]

Boats for Papa

boats for papa

This is one gorgeous picture book. It’s perhaps even more remarkable, given that it’s by a debut artist. Since its publication last June, it has gotten lots of love. And even more love. Most reviews refer to the way the story tugs at the heartstrings: “A weeper.” “Heart-breaking.” I have to say that the message I took away […]



Is that Peter (of Ezra Jack Keats fame) on the cover of Daniel Miyares’s Float? Might be. There is something inviting about the cover of this gentle wordless book, isn’t there? Slip off the jacket and be wowed by the case cover — a newspaper boat floating off to the right and into the sun. The […]

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

sarcone-roach_bear ate your sandwich

I wasn’t aware of Julia Sarcone-Roach until we reviewed  Subway Story back in 2010. What strikes most immediately about her art is the light. She achieves a luminous quality using opaque paint on paper that many watercolor artists would surely envy. According to the small print, she is using acrylics — a medium that can […]



Supertruck. So simple, so clever, so appealing both visually and thematically. And such a book for the very, very young. It will need all its superpowers to compete on the Caldecott table, against books with more elaborate and sophisticated art. But some of my favorite picture books of 2015 are for the youngest readers, including this […]

Border Crossing 101


  Some of you know that I am not a librarian and have never worked in publishing. And if you didn’t know before, you do now. That’s why I have to depend on others to explain the history and traditions of the ALA book awards. I simply don’t get them. There is nothing that makes […]

A Fine Dessert


Biscuits. Cobblers. Sweets. Dessert. Those are my favorite things to cook. When I saw that Sophie Blackall had illustrated a book about a dessert, I was on it. The book starts and ends with blackberries — literally. Blackall squished them into a paste and used it to paint the muted endpapers. The endpapers’ purple and […]

Last Stop on Market Street

de la pena_last stop on market street

And we’re off, with the first book discussion of the season. We are trying to present the books more generally in order of publication this year, in hopes that readers will have a better chance of knowing the books as they’re discussed. We’re starting with a book that was published early in the year, in […]

The Book List


Thanks to all for chiming in with suggestions! We’ve incorporated them into our own thinking and have come up with the following list of titles we plan to cover this fall. There will probably be additions as the season unfolds. For instance, we are still tracking down a copy of the suggested In a Village […]