Review of The Little Bear Book

browne_little bear book

The Little Bear Book by Anthony Browne; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Candlewick    24 pp. 5/14    978-0-7636-7007-8    $15.99 Bear sets out on a walk through the forest, pencil in hand. Like Harold’s purple crayon and the girl’s red marker in Becker’s Journey (rev. 9/13), Bear’s writing utensil is a magical one. The lushly illustrated woods […]

Review of Sugar Hill

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Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood by Carole Boston Weatherford; 
illus. by R. Gregory Christie Primary    Whitman    32 pp. 2/14    978-0-8075-7650-2    $16.99 “Sugar Hill, Sugar Hill where life is sweet” repeats throughout this rhymed tribute to Harlem’s storied neighborhood, the home of many well-to-do African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century. Although we […]

Review of West of the Moon

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West of the Moon by Margi Preus Intermediate, Middle School    Amulet/Abrams    216 pp. 4/14    978-1-4197-0896-1    $16.95 Preus, whose Shadow on the Mountain (rev. 11/12) was set in Nazi-occupied Norway, here takes readers to mid-nineteenth-century Norway in a tale strongly infused with myth. Fourteen-year-old Astri is determined to go to America to find her widowed father. […]

Review of The Baby Tree

blackall_baby tree

The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall; illus. by the author Preschool    Paulsen/Penguin    40 pp. 5/14    978-0-399-25718-6    $17.99    g A little boy narrator finds out from his parents one morning that he’s going to be a big brother. Just one question: “Where are we going to get the baby?” Over the course of the day, he […]

Review of Josephine

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Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell; 
illus. by Christian Robinson Intermediate, Middle School    Chronicle    104 pp. 2/14    978-1-4521-0314-3    $17.99 To describe Josephine Baker’s life as “dazzling” is not an exaggeration. In this incomparable biography both Powell and Robinson convey the passion, exuberance, dignity, and eccentricity of their subject through words […]

Review of We Were Liars

lockhart_we were liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart High School    Delacorte    228 pp. 5/14    978-0-385-74126-2    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-98994-0    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-375-98440-2    $10.99 Cadence Sinclair Eastman, eldest grandchild in a Kennedy-esque clan, narrates this story about her wealthy family, one that’s rife with secrets and is broken under the hood. Cady begins the book by […]

Review of From There to Here

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From There to Here by Laurel Croza; illus. by Matt James Primary, Intermediate    Groundwood    32 pp. 5/14    978-1-55498-365-0    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-366-7    $16.95 In the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award-winning I Know Here (rev. 5/10), the young narrator knows she and her family will soon be leaving their home in the glorious wilderness of Saskatchewan, and […]

Review of A Volcano Beneath the Snow

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A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown’s War Against Slavery by Albert Marrin Middle School, High School    Knopf    234 pp. 4/14    978-0-307-98152-3    $19.99 Library ed.  978-0-307-98153-0    $22.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-75340-1    $10.99 According to the prologue, John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry helped “set the stage for the Civil War.” His violent actions raise an […]

Review of The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf

kwaymullina_interrogation of ashala wolf

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina Middle School, High School    Candlewick    371 pp. 4/14    978-0-7636-6988-1    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7225-6    $17.99 In this Australian import, Ashala Wolf is head of the Tribe, a group of refugees deemed Illegals because of their supernatural abilities, which the government claims threaten the world’s fragile Balance. Some […]

Review of Tap Tap Boom Boom

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Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle; 
illus. by G. Brian Karas Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-5696-6    $16.99 Many picture books about storms are set in the country (e.g., Shetta Crum’s Thunder-Boomer!, rev. 7/09), but this one takes place in the big city. Bluemle uses rhymes and rhythms to convey the sudden changes […]