Review of Leaving China

mcmullan_leaving china

Leaving China: An Artist Paints His 
World War II Childhood by James McMullan; 
illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Algonquin    113 pp. 3/14    978-1-61620-255-2    $19.95 McMullan was born in Tsingtao, North China, in 1934 to an Irish-English missionary family. His privileged childhood was disrupted by the 1937 Japanese occupation; by 1941, he and […]

Review of The Last Forever

caletti_last forever

The Last Forever by Deb Caletti Middle School, High School    Simon Pulse    321 pp. 4/14    978-1-4424-5000-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5001-1    $10.99 In her latest YA novel, Caletti returns to her fictional Northwest setting of Parrish Island, most recently visited in The Six Rules of Maybe (rev. 5/10). Six months after her mother’s death from cancer, […]

Review of Gaston

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Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio; 
illus. by Christian Robinson Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 6/14    978-1-4424-5102-5    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5103-2    $12.99 Bumptious Gaston looms over his elegant poodle sisters Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, and Ooh-La-La; they’re “no bigger than teacups,” but he’s “the size of a teapot.” Like a good twenty-first-century parent, Mrs. Poodle praises her well-mannered […]

Review of The Pilot and the Little Prince

sis_pilot and the little prince

The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sís; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Foster/Farrar    48 pp. 5/14    978-0-374-38069-4    $18.99    g On glorious blue endpapers, an airplane loops across a map of the world, its contrail made of words that seem to dissolve on the page. The pointillist […]

Review of The Miniature World of Marvin & James

broach_miniature world of marvin and james

The Miniature World of Marvin & James [Masterpiece Adventures] by Elise Broach; illus. by Kelly Murphy Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    104 pp. 2/14    978-0-8050-9190-8    $15.99 e-book ed.  978-1-6277-9204-2    $9.99 A new early chapter book series follows the friendship of beetle Marvin and human boy James of Masterpiece (rev. 11/08), for a younger audience. The sentences are shorter […]

Review of Rules of Summer

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Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan; illus. by the author Primary     Levine/Scholastic     56 pp. 5/14     978-0-545-63912-5     $18.99     g “This is what I learned last summer: Never leave a red sock on the clothesline. Never eat the last olive at a party. Never drop your jar.” The narrator enumerates a […]

Review of Mysterious Patterns

campbell_mysterious patterns

Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature by Sarah C. Campbell; photos 
by Sarah C. Campbell and 
Richard P. Campbell Primary    Boyds Mills    32 pp. 4/14    978-1-62091-627-8    $16.95 Bring up the math term fractals in a roomful of adults, and it’s likely quite a few eyes will glaze over. Yet wife-and-husband team Sarah and Richard Campbell […]

Review of Dust of Eden

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Dust of Eden by Mariko Nagai Intermediate, Middle School    Whitman    122 pp. 3/14    978-0-8075-1739-0    $16.99 In this verse novel, we first meet Mina Tagawa and her Seattle-based family just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Shortly after, her father is imprisoned, and the rest of the family — Mina, her mother, grandfather, and older brother […]

Review of The Tree House that Jack Built

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The Tree House that Jack Built by Bonnie Verburg; 
illus. by Mark Teague Primary    Orchard/Scholastic    32 pp. 5/14    978-0-439-85338-5    $17.99    g This version of the old cumulative rhyme “The House that Jack Built” grabs kids right from the start: the cover shows a small boy waving from one of many balconies in a multilevel structure […]

Review of Treasury of Egyptian 
Mythology

napoli_treasury of egyptian mythology

Treasury of Egyptian 
Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, 
Goddesses, Monsters & Mortals by Donna Jo Napoli; 
illus. by Christina Balit Intermediate, Middle School    National Geographic    192 pp.    10/13    978-1-4263-1380-6    $24.95 Library ed.  978-1-4263-1381-3    $33.90 As she did for her Treasury of Greek Mythology (rev. 1/12), Napoli brings a storyteller’s art and a scholar’s diligence to […]