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Review of Surf’s Up

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Surf’s Up by Kwame Alexander; 
illus. by Daniel Miyares Primary    North-South    32 pp. 2/16    978-0-7358-4220-5    $17.95    g Alexander follows up his poignant 2015 Newbery-winning middle-grade verse novel The Crossover (rev. 5/14) with…a picture book starring two frogs, one a surfer dude, the other a bookworm. “SURF’S UP, BRO!” calls the first frog to his bud. […]

Review of Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History

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Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History by Karen Blumenthal Middle School, High School   Feiwel   418 pp. 1/16   978-1-250-08029-5   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-250-06014-3   $9.99 Though definitely not a hagiography, this biography offers a frank yet positive account of Clinton’s life through the 2015 announcement of her presidential candidacy. Beginning with her birth in 1947, […]

Review of Burn Baby Burn

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Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina High School   Candlewick   308 pp. 3/16   978-0-7636-7467-0   $17.99   g This vividly evoked coming-of-age story is set against actual events in 1977 New York City, when tensions rose throughout a city enduring an oppressive heat wave, culminating in the historic blackout of July 13th. Seventeen-year-old Nora López faces an insecure […]

Review of When Spring Comes

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When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes; 
illus. by Laura Dronzek Preschool   Greenwillow   40 pp. 2/16   978-0-06-233139-7   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-06-233140-3   $18.89 “Before Spring comes, / the trees look like / black sticks against the sky. // But if you wait, / Spring will bring / leaves and blossoms.” In a gently rhythmic text and lush, […]

Review of The Wildest Race Ever: The Story of the 1904 Olympic Marathon

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The Wildest Race Ever: The Story of the 1904 
Olympic Marathon by Meghan McCarthy; 
illus. by the author Primary   Wiseman/Simon   48 pp. 3/16   978-1-4814-0639-0   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-0640-6   $10.99 The year 1904 saw the running of the first Olympic marathon on American soil, taking place in St. Louis during the World’s Fair. How fitting that […]

Review of Pax

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Pax by Sara Pennypacker; illus. by Jon Klassen Intermediate, Middle School   Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins   278 pp. 2/16   978-0-06-237701-2   $16.99 e-book ed. 978-0-06-237703-6   $11.99 Twelve-year-old Peter and his pet fox have been inseparable since Peter rescued Pax as a kit. Now Peter’s father has enlisted, and there’s no room at Grandfather’s house (where the boy will […]

Review of Oops Pounce Quick Run!: An Alphabet Caper

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Oops Pounce Quick Run!: An Alphabet Caper by Mike Twohy; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins 32 pp.   2/16   978-0-06-237700-5   $17.99   g Shelves may groan under the weight of abecedaries, but this one stands out with its use of alphabetic structure to tell a spare, fast-paced story through cartoon illustrations that excel […]

Review of Our Moon: New Discoveries About 
Earth’s Closest Companion

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Our Moon: New Discoveries About 
Earth’s Closest Companion by Elaine Scott Intermediate   Clarion   72 pp. 2/16   978-0-547-48394-8   $18.99   g This deep dive into the science of the moon includes explanations of its formation and composition, as well as details about the all-important Apollo missions (1963–1972) and the latest in lunar exploration. Scott begins with a […]

Review of Ballet Cat: Dance! Dance! Underpants!

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Ballet Cat: Dance! Dance! Underpants! by Bob Shea; illus. by the author Primary   Disney-Hyperion   56 pp. 2/16   978-1-4847-1379-2   $9.99 Dance diva Ballet Cat returns for her second early-reader performance (Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret, rev. 7/15), and once again she’s paired with a reluctant partner/friend. Butter Bear likes dancing but draws the line at […]

Review of Snappsy the Alligator: Did Not Ask to Be in This Book!

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Snappsy the Alligator: Did Not Ask to Be in This Book! by Julie Falatko; illus. by Tim Miller Primary   Viking   40 pp. 2/16   978-0-451-46945-8   $16.99   g The omniscient narration begins normally enough: “Snappsy the alligator wasn’t feeling like himself.” After a bit more in this vein, Snappsy turns to the reader: “This is terrible!…Why is […]