Review of Roger Is Reading a Book

van biesen_roger is reading a book

Roger Is Reading a Book by Koen Van Biesen; illus. by the author; trans. from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson Primary   Eerdmans   40 pp. 3/15   978-0-8028-5442-1   $16.00 The rainy-night endpapers of this 
Belgian import draw readers into the cozy lamplight of Roger’s apartment. “Shhhh! Quiet. Roger is reading. Roger is reading a book.” The page […]

Review of Tricky Vic

pizzoli_tricky vic

Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the 
Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli; illus. by the author Intermediate   Viking   48 pp. 3/15   978-0-670-01652-5   $17.99 Amidst the current plethora of picture-book biography role models, it’s nice to see a book about a con artist. “Ah, yes. But an artist all the same.” […]

Review of Dear Hank Williams

holt_dear hank williams

Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt Intermediate   Holt   220 pp. 5/15   978-0-8050-8022-3   $16.99   g On the first day of school, September 1, 1948, eleven-year-old Tate P. Ellerbee learns that her class will be writing to pen pals, with her teacher explaining that “new worlds will unfold in front of you, and you’ll see your […]

Review of My Bike

barton_my bike

 My Bike by Byron Barton; illus. by the author Preschool   Greenwillow   40 pp. 4/15   978-0-06-233699-6   $16.99 This latest installment in Barton’s transportation series (My Car, rev. 11/01; My Bus, rev. 3/14) may be the best one yet. Which is saying a lot. With bright primary colors, simple bold shapes, and the briefest of texts, Barton […]

Review of Water Is Water

paul_water is water

Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul; illus. by Jason Chin Preschool, Primary   Porter/Roaring Brook   40 pp. 5/15   978-1-59643-984-9   $17.99 An evocative rhyming text and verdant watercolors introduce the water cycle to young readers by linking water’s forms — from water to steam to clouds to fog to rain to […]

Review of Detective Gordon: The First Case

nilsson_detective gordon the first case

Detective Gordon: The First Case by Ulf Nilsson; illus. by Gitte Spee; trans. from the Swedish by Julia Marshall Primary, Intermediate   Gecko   96 pp. 4/15   978-1-927271-49-0   $16.99 e-book ed. 978-1-927271-72-8   $9.99 This Swedish import stars toad Detective Gordon, “Chief of Police and Chief of Detectives in the forest.” He’s elderly (for a toad: nineteen), cerebral, […]

Review of It’s Only Stanley

agee_it's only stanley

It’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Dial   32 pp. 3/15   978-0-8037-3907-9   $17.99 The Wimbledon family can’t sleep due to one noise (“HOWOOO!”) after another (“CLANK CLANK CLANK”). In each case, it’s the fault of their dog Stanley, whose onomatopoeic disturbances interrupt — hilariously — not just the sleep but […]

Review of Macbeth

shakespeare_macbeth

Macbeth by William Shakespeare; adapted and illustrated by Gareth Hinds Middle School, High School   Candlewick   146 pp. 2/15   978-0-7636-6943-0   $21.99 Paper ed. 978-0-7636-7802-9   $12.99 Whereas Romeo and Juliet received a striking makeover with a new setting and an ethnically diverse cast in Hinds’s graphic-novel version (rev. 11/13), he has chosen to remain faithful to the […]

Review of The Boy in the Black Suit

reynolds_boy-in-the-black-suit

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds Middle School, High School   Atheneum   257 pp. 1/15   978-1-4424-5950-2   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-5952-6   $10.99 High-school senior Matt wears a black suit because he has a job at Mr. Ray’s funeral home (setting up chairs and food for services), but also — metaphorically — because he himself […]

Review of Meet the Dullards

pennypacker_meet the dullards

Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker; illus. by Daniel Salmieri Primary   Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins   32 pp. 3/15   978-0-06-219856-3   $17.99 The tradition of Bottner’s The Scaredy Cats (rev. 3/03) and Allard’s Stupids books (The Stupids Die, rev. 8/81) lives on with the Dullards, a family of five engulfed in ennui. The Dullard parents are horrified when […]