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Reviews of the 2017 CSK Illustrator Award winners

Radiant Child

Winner Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe; illus. by the author Primary Little, Brown 40 pp. 10/16 978-0-316-21388-2 $17.99 Picture books about artists are tricky. Should the illustrator mimic the subject’s style, or instead attempt to capture his or her essence? Steptoe does a little of both in this […]

Additional ALA Awards 2017

Alex Awards for the ten best adult books that appeal to teen audiences • The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst (Harper Voyager) • The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales (Riverhead/Penguin Random House) • In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford (Holt) • Buffering: […]

Reviews of the 2017 CSK Author Award winners

march-3

Winner March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate Powell Middle School, High School Top Shelf Productions 254 pp. 8/16 978-1-60309-402-3 $19.99 g This final volume (March: Book One, rev. 1/14; March: Book Two, rev. 5/15) includes the expected and necessary set pieces from the civil rights movement: the 1963 bombing […]

Review of Doing Her Bit: A Story About the Woman’s Land Army of America

hagar_doing her bit

Doing Her Bit: A Story About the Woman’s Land Army of America by Erin Hagar; illus. by Jen Hill Primary    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 9/16    978-1-58089-646-7    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-872-6    $9.99 In 1917, proper New York City college girl Helen Stevens joins the Woman’s Land Army of America to “do her bit” for the war effort. […]

Reviews of the 2017 Newbery Award winners

barnhill_girl who drank the moon

Winner: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill Intermediate, Middle School Algonquin 388 pp. 8/16 978-1-61620-567-6 $16.95 Every year, the people of the Protectorate steel themselves for the Day of Sacrifice, when the elders take the city’s youngest baby and leave it in the woods to appease the witch — a witch no […]

Reviews of the 2017 Caldecott Award winners

Radiant Child

Winner: Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe; illus. by the author Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 10/16    978-0-316-21388-2    $17.99 Picture books about artists are tricky. Should the illustrator mimic the subject’s style, or instead attempt to capture his or her essence? Steptoe does a little of both in this […]

Review of Somos como las nubes / 
We Are like the Clouds

argueta_somos-como-las-nubes

Somos como las nubes / 
We Are like the Clouds by Jorge Argueta; illus. by 
Alfonso Ruano; trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado Primary, Intermediate    Groundwood    32 pp. 10/16    978-1-55498-849-5    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-850-1    $16.95 Argueta’s bilingual collection of poems gives voice to the many refugee children who emigrate from Central American countries to […]

Review of Almost Autumn

kaurin_almost autumn

Almost Autumn by Marianne Kaurin; trans. from the Norwegian by Rosie Hedger High School    Levine/Scholastic    281 pp. 1/17    978-0-545-88965-0    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-88966-7    $10.99 Ilse Stern, a typical rebellious, lovelorn adolescent, lives with her Jewish family in 1942 Nazi-occupied Oslo, where her father, Isak, runs a tailor shop. A present-tense narration creates immediacy, while […]

Review of The Storm Whale in Winter

davies_storm-whale-in-winter

The Storm Whale in Winter by Benji Davies; illus. by the author Primary     Holt     32 pp. 1/17     978-1-250-11186-9     $16.99 Noi, who lives with his fisherman father, is reunited with the whale he rescued in The Storm Whale (rev. 1/15). Months have passed since Noi helped the stranded […]

Review of A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and 
the Creation of The Snowy Day

pinkney_poem-for-peter

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and 
the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illus. by 
Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson Primary, Intermediate    Viking    56 pp. 11/16    978-0-425-28768-2    $18.99 In evocative verse, Pinkney presents a picture book biography of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of the children’s classic The […]