Review of My Family Tree and Me

petricic_my family tree and me

My Family Tree and Me by Dušan Petričić; illus. by the author Primary   Kids Can   24 pp. 4/15   978-1-77138-049-2   $16.95 The truth that if one’s parents hadn’t met one wouldn’t exist is a head-exploding realization of childhood. In this celebration of ancestry, Petričić bounces off that revelation to create an innovative introduction to the ordinary […]

Review of The Last Leaves Falling

benwell_last leaves falling

The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell High School   Simon   360 pp. 5/15   978-1-4814-3065-4   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-3067-8   $10.99 Sora, only seventeen, has ALS — “an old man’s 
disease” — and knows he’s going to die in just a few years. First, however, he’ll become a vegetable, dependent on his single mom to do […]

Review of Fun in the Sun

catrow_fun in the sun

Fun in the Sun by David Catrow; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Holiday   32 pp. 5/15   978-0-8234-2945-5   $16.95 When the sun comes out, it’s time for a trip to the beach, in Catrow’s (I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More, the Silly Dilly Songs books) inimitable, frenetic style. The main character (a human-like dog) packs […]

Review of March: Book Two

lewis_march bk 2

March: Book Two by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate Powell Middle School, High School   Top Shelf Productions   192 pp. 1/15   978-1-60309-400-9   $19.95   g Lewis and Aydin begin this second volume of the graphic memoir trilogy in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2009 (President Obama’s first inauguration), then they move back in time […]

Review of The Game of Love and Death

brockenbrough_ game of love and death

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough High School   Levine/Scholastic   332 pp. 5/15   978-0-545-66834-7   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-545-66835-4   $17.99 Love and Death have played many Games down through the centuries — and Death has always won. The setting for this particular battle is Depression-era Seattle, and while Love has chosen as his […]

Review of Roger Is Reading a Book

van biesen_roger is reading a book

Roger Is Reading a Book by Koen Van Biesen; illus. by the author; trans. from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson Primary   Eerdmans   40 pp. 3/15   978-0-8028-5442-1   $16.00 The rainy-night endpapers of this 
Belgian import draw readers into the cozy lamplight of Roger’s apartment. “Shhhh! Quiet. Roger is reading. Roger is reading a book.” The page […]

Review of Tricky Vic

pizzoli_tricky vic

Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the 
Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli; illus. by the author Intermediate   Viking   48 pp. 3/15   978-0-670-01652-5   $17.99 Amidst the current plethora of picture-book biography role models, it’s nice to see a book about a con artist. “Ah, yes. But an artist all the same.” […]

Review of Dear Hank Williams

holt_dear hank williams

Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt Intermediate   Holt   220 pp. 5/15   978-0-8050-8022-3   $16.99   g On the first day of school, September 1, 1948, eleven-year-old Tate P. Ellerbee learns that her class will be writing to pen pals, with her teacher explaining that “new worlds will unfold in front of you, and you’ll see your […]

Review of My Bike

barton_my bike

 My Bike by Byron Barton; illus. by the author Preschool   Greenwillow   40 pp. 4/15   978-0-06-233699-6   $16.99 This latest installment in Barton’s transportation series (My Car, rev. 11/01; My Bus, rev. 3/14) may be the best one yet. Which is saying a lot. With bright primary colors, simple bold shapes, and the briefest of texts, Barton […]

Review of Water Is Water

paul_water is water

Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul; illus. by Jason Chin Preschool, Primary   Porter/Roaring Brook   40 pp. 5/15   978-1-59643-984-9   $17.99 An evocative rhyming text and verdant watercolors introduce the water cycle to young readers by linking water’s forms — from water to steam to clouds to fog to rain to […]