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Review of Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter

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Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle; illus. by Becca Stadtlander Primary    Chronicle    32 pp. 8/16    978-1-4521-2901-3    $16.99 Here’s a unique look at the (considerable) work involved in putting a small farm to bed for the winter — covering strawberry plants with straw, cutting back and burning raspberry canes, chopping and […]

Review of The Great Antonio

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The Great Antonio by Elise Gravel; illus. by the author; trans. from the French by Richard Kutner Primary    TOON    64 pp. 10/16    978-1-943145-08-9    $12.95 TOON Books continues to reinvent the easy reader with this biography of eccentric strongman Antonio Barichievich, a Croatian-born showman who became a Montreal legend. Fact, speculation, and tall tale mingle in […]

Review of Cloud and Wallfish

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Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet Intermediate    Candlewick    390 pp. 10/16    978-0-7636-8803-5    $16.99 Noah Keller’s life in 1989 small-town Virginia is uneventful — until the day his parents pick him up after school and whisk him off to East Berlin, where, he is told, his PhD candidate mother will be researching children’s speech challenges such […]

Foreign Correspondence: An Interview with Deborah Ahenkorah: Torchbearer for African Children’s Publishing

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I first became aware of Deborah Ahenkorah a few years ago when I was prospecting the internet for groups working to address diversity issues in children’s publishing. Ahenkorah is the cofounder and executive director of Golden Baobab, the groundbreaking pan-African social enterprise behind the Golden Baobab Prizes for African children’s literature. Golden Baobab not only […]

Review of Wonderfall

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Wonderfall by Michael Hall; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp. 9/16    978-0-06-238298-6    $17.99 After his earlier inventive picture books introducing shapes (Perfect Square, rev. 3/11) and colors (Red: A Crayon’s Story, rev. 1/15), Hall turns now to a season: autumn. Replacing the suffix -ful with his own created suffix -fall, he invents […]

Review of Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune

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Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner; 
illus. by Gareth Hinds Intermediate, Middle School    Charlesbridge    236 pp. 2/16    978-1-58089-584-2    $16.95 Turner (The Frog Scientist, rev. 9/09) is best known for her science books for children; here she delivers an excellent biography of Japan’s legendary samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune. Because he lived […]

Books in the Home: “Mommy, Do I Have White Skin?”: Skin Color, Family, and Picture Books

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When my son was five, he was watching TV when a commercial came on that showed a woman slathering her peach-colored arms with lotion. He glanced down at his own brown arm. After poking it with a finger, he asked: “Mommy, do I have white skin?” It was a moment that seemed straight out of […]

Review of Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine

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Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine by Ibtisam Barakat Middle School, High School    Ferguson/Farrar    223 pp. 10/16    978-0-374-30251-1    $17.99    g In this follow-up to her first memoir (Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood), and beginning where that book left off, Barakat leads readers through her adolescent years in the West Bank during […]

Review of The Sun Is Also a Star

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The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon High School    Delacorte    349 pp. 11/16    978-0-553-49668-0    $18.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-49669-7    $21.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-553-49670-3    $10.99 New York City high school senior Natasha believes in science and rationality. An undocumented immigrant from Jamaica, she and her family are facing immediate deportation thanks to her father’s […]

Review of I Used to Be a Fish

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I Used to Be a Fish by Tom Sullivan; illus. by the author Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    48 pp. 10/16    978-0-06-245198-9    $17.99 A simple, cartoonlike fish prompts musings on the history of human evolution. The text fancifully traces a fish in the water who “got tired of swimming” all the way up in its evolution […]