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Reviews of the Week

Each week we publish three brand-new reviews of books people are — or should be — talking about. Look for recommended picture books on Mondays, fiction on Tuesdays, and nonfiction and poetry on Wednesdays.

Review of Say Hello, Sophie!

Say Hello, Sophie! by Rosemary Wells; illus. by the author Preschool    Viking    32 pp. 3/17    978-1-101-99925-7    $17.99    g This endearing mouse family’s fifth book highlights a new hiccup in big sister Sophie’s development that many parents and children will recognize: she cannot bring herself to say expected social niceties like […]

Review of Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman High School    Holt    451 pp. 4/17    978-0-8050-9339-1    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-2501-0969-9    $9.99 Heiligman (Charles and Emma, rev. 1/09) again examines the impact of a family member on her main subject, this time unpacking the friendship between artist Vincent […]

Review of City of Saints & Thieves

City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson High School    Putnam    409 pp. 1/17    978-0-39954-758-4    $18.99    g After her mother was murdered in cold blood by Roland Greyhill, a white mining tycoon and the father of Tina’s half-sister Kiki, Tina made a run for it. She deposited Kiki at […]

Review of Charlotte and the Rock

Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin; illus. by Samantha Cotterill Preschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp. 3/17    978-1-101-99389-7    $16.99    g “Charlotte wanted a pet. She didn’t care what kind of pet.” However, she doesn’t expect the pet her parents enthusiastically surprise her with on her sixth birthday: a rock. […]

Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water Around the Earth

Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water Around the Earth [Sunlight] by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm; illus. by Molly Bang Primary    Blue Sky/Scholastic    48 pp. 1/17    978-0-545-80541-4    $18.99 Bang and Chisholm bring their energy-centered perspective on Earth systems to the water cycle. As in prior volumes (My Light, rev. […]

Review of Yvain: The Knight of the Lion

Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M. T. Anderson; illus. by Andrea Offermann Middle School, High School    Candlewick    134 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-5939-4    $19.99    g The storyline of this graphic novel retelling of a twelfth-century epic poem is straightforward enough: after slaying Sir Esclados, Sir Yvain, a young knight-errant from […]

Review of Town Is by the Sea

 Town Is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz; illus. by Sydney Smith Primary    Groundwood    56 pp. 4/17    978-1-55498-871-6    $19.95 “From my house, I can see the sea. It goes like this — house, road, grassy cliff, sea. And town spreads out, this way and that.” There’s a distilled, haiku-like quality to […]

Review of A Song About Myself

A Song About Myself by John Keats; illus. by Chris Raschka Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-5090-2    $17.99    g Raschka’s exuberant pictures and Keats’s playful nonsense poem make an irresistible combination from the very first page, which begins, “There was a naughty Boy…” A thick band of color runs […]

Review of Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor High School    Little, Brown    533 pp. 3/17    978-0-316-34168-4    $18.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-316-34164-6    $10.99 Lazlo Strange is a lowly librarian with a keen and singular interest in the mysterious city of Weep, which lost contact with the rest of the world over two […]

Review of Spring for Sophie

Spring for Sophie by Yael Werber; illus. by Jen Hill Preschool, Primary    Wiseman/Simon    32 pp. 2/17    978-1-4814-5134-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5135-2    $10.99 In the middle of winter (a snowy, northern, rural winter), Sophie is ready for spring. She wonders when it will arrive and how she will know it is […]