Review of Drum Dream Girl

engle_drum dream girl

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage 
Changed Music by Margarita Engle; 
illus. by Rafael López Primary    Houghton    40 pp. 3/15    978-0-544-10229-3    $16.99 A young girl dreams of becoming a drummer. Though she lives “on an island of music / in a city of drumbeats,” hers is an impossible dream: only boys play drums. An […]

Review of Gordon Parks

weatherford_gordon parks

Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured 
Black and White America by Carole Boston Weatherford; 
illus. by Jamey Christoph Primary   Whitman   32 pp. 3/15     978-0-8075-3017-7   $16.99   g Weatherford (Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood, rev. 5/14; Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane, rev. 5/08) presents the life of groundbreaking African American photographer […]

Review of Misty


Misty [Stanley & Me] by Christine Dencer; illus. by Jessica Meserve Primary   Simply Read   32 pp. 2/15   978-1-927018-59-0   $12.95 The first title in this new beginning reader series introduces Sophie and Stanley, neighbors and best friends. Four cumulative chapters tackle the friendship’s first obstacle, Stanley’s new dog Misty. “I would like to play in Stanley’s […]

Review of Vegetables in Underwear

chapman_vegetables in underwear

Vegetables in Underwear by Jared Chapman; 
illus. by the author Preschool   Abrams Appleseed/Abrams   32 pp. 4/15   978-1-4197-1464-1   $14.95 Vegetables are usually not funny. Underpants often are. Vegetables in underwear? Guaranteed preschool hilarity. A head of broccoli gets things started on the copyright and dedication pages with a striptease down to his red skivvies. A similarly […]

Review of The Case for Loving

alko_case for loving

The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko; illus. by 
Sean Qualls and Selina Alko Primary   Levine/Scholastic   32 pp. 1/15   978-0-545-47853-3   $18.99 The 1967 Supreme Court case that legalized interracial marriage throughout the country is here given a picture-book accounting. Richard Loving was white, Mildred Jeter’s skin was a “creamy caramel”; […]

Review of Nimona


Nimona by Noelle Stevenson; illus. by the author Middle School, High School   HarperTeen   266 pp. 5/15   978-0-06-227823-4   $17.99 Paper ed. 978-0-06-227822-7   $12.99 Ballister Blackheart — ex-knight and current 
supervillain — is focused on the destruction of the Institute of Law Enforcement and Heroics. He also wouldn’t mind getting even with Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, a knight-school […]

Review of Tad and Dad

stein_tad and dad

Tad and Dad by David Ezra Stein; 
illus. by the author Preschool   Paulsen/Penguin   40 pp. 4/15   978-0-399-25671-4   $16.99   g Poor Dad. Poor Tad. Neither frog is getting any sleep in his (lily)pad. Tad loves his dad so much that he can hardly bear to be away from him, even at night. Whether Tad is a […]

Review of Untamed


Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey Intermediate, Middle School   National Geographic   
96 pp. 6/15   978-1-4263-1518-3   $18.99 Library ed. 978-1-4263-1519-0   $28.90   g Jane Goodall has spent a lifetime dedicated to understanding and protecting chimpanzees. This accessible account of her life (with a foreword by Goodall herself) emphasizes the qualities that will likely […]

Review of Unusual Chickens for the 
Exceptional Poultry Farmer

jones_unusual chickens for the exceptional poultry farmer

Unusual Chickens for the 
Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones; illus. by Katie Kath Intermediate   Knopf   213 pp. 5/15   978-0-385-75552-8   $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-385-75553-5   $19.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-385-75554-2   $10.99 Moving to a farm inherited from her great-uncle may not be city-girl Sophie’s first choice for improving her family’s financial situation, but she’s determined to […]

Review of I Yam a Donkey!

bell_i yam a donkey

I Yam a Donkey! by Cece Bell; illus. by the author Primary   Clarion   32 pp. 6/15   978-0-544-08720-0   $16.99 “I yam a donkey,” declares a self-aware donkey on the title page. Not so fast. The grammar police arrive in the form of a bespectacled yam. “What did you say? ‘I yam a donkey?’ The proper way […]