Review of The Mad Potter

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The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan Intermediate, Middle School    Porter/Roaring Brook    56 pp. 10/13    978-1-59643-810-1    $17.99 “Eccentric” is an apt word for Ohr, a Mississippi blacksmith’s son (1857–1918) who reinvented himself as a potter: though he began his distinctive works on a potter’s wheel, he then reshaped […]

Review of The Midnight Dress

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The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee High School    Knopf    281 pp. 10/13    978-0-375-85645-7    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-95645-4    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-449-81821-3    $9.99 Self-contained, morose fifteen-year-old Rose and her alcoholic father arrive in Australian beach town Leonora, and it seems like they may actually stay put for a spell, for once. Rose enrolls in school and […]

Review of Big Bad Wolf and Itsy Bitsy Spider

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Big Bad Wolf [Urgency Emergency!] by Dosh Archer; illus. by the author Primary    Whitman    48 pp. 9/13    978-0-8075-8352-4    $12.99 Itsy Bitsy Spider [Urgency Emergency!] by Dosh Archer; illus. by the author Primary    Whitman    48 pp. 9/13    978-0-8075-8358-6    $12.99 New readers are in for a treat with these British imports. Both are set in an emergency […]

Review of Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

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Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Little, Brown     48 pp. 9/13     978-0-316-20063-9     $18.00 Mr. Tiger walks upright and wears a top hat and a handsome coat with a bow tie, fitting in with the rest of society. But his orange fur provides the only spot of […]

Review of The Abominables

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The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson; illus. by Fiona Robinson Intermediate     Amulet/Abrams     264 pp. 10/13     978-1-4197-0789-6     $16.95 From Kenneth Grahame’s reluctant dragon to Roald Dahl’s BFG, endearing monsters are a staple of children’s literature, now including Eva Ibbotson’s yetis. The book opens a century ago when the young Lady Agatha Farlingham disappears and is presumed dead […]

Review of Giving Thanks

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Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving edited by Katherine Paterson; illus. by Pamela Dalton All Ages     Handprint/Chronicle     56 pp. 10/13     978-1-4521-1339-5     $18.99 Paterson divides this collection of brief prayers, poems, and meditations into thanks for food, life, spirit, and community. Her selection is catholic and spans the centuries, from the […]

Review of All the Truth That’s in Me

all the truth that's in me

All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry High School Viking 274 pp. 9/13 978-0-670-78615-2 $17.99 g Berry’s (The Amaranth Enchantment, rev. 5/09) novel is set in fictional Roswell Station, a village that in its appearance and claustrophobic atmosphere seems to resemble an early American colonial settlement. Bit by bit, readers gradually learn “all […]

Review of Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me

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Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty; illus. by Bryan Collier Preschool, Primary     Little, Brown     40 pp. 12/13     978-0-316-20917-5     $18.00 Each morning, a little boy looks forward to playing the knock-knock game with his father. The boy pretends to be asleep until his dad approaches. “Then I get up and jump into […]

Review of Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing

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Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing by Leonard S. Marcus Foster/Farrar     64 pp. 8/13     978-0-374-31025-7     $24.99 Randolph Caldecott (1846–1886) is especially known for his ability to make his subjects “jump off the page,” and Marcus is able to do the same for his subject here. With wit and fluency, he tells how […]

Review of The Screaming Staircase

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The Screaming Staircase [Lockwood & Co.] by Jonathan Stroud Intermediate, Middle School     Disney-Hyperion     374 pp. 9/13     978-1-4231-6491-3     $16.99     g With a morbidly cheery tone and sure-footed establishment of characters and setting, Stroud (the Bartimaeus trilogy; Heroes of the Valley, rev. 1/09) kicks off a new series that is part procedural and part ghost story, with […]