Reviews

Reviews of selected books by Patrick Jennings

jennings_odd weird and little

Putnam and Pennyroyal by Patrick Jennings; illus. by Jon J Muth Intermediate     Scholastic     165 pp. 11/99     0-439-07965-9     $15.95 From the beginning of his narrative, it’s evident that Cora Lee’s Uncle Frank is possessed by a contrary streak. Cora always spends New Year’s with Frank, fishing in one of Arizona’s rare ponds, because he won’t visit […]

Review of Dreaming in Indian

charleyboy_dreaming in indian

Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale Middle School, High School   Annick   130 pp. 11/14   978-1-55451-687-2   $19.95 “If your imagination isn’t working — and, of course, in oppressed people that’s the first thing that goes — you can’t imagine anything better. Once you can imagine something different, […]

Review of Ling & Ting: Twice as Silly

lin_ling & ting twice as silly

Ling & Ting: Twice as Silly by Grace Lin; illus. by the author Primary   Little, Brown   44 pp. 11/14   978-0-316-18402-1   $16.00 Lin’s third Ling and Ting easy reader (Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same, rev. 7/10; Ling & Ting Share a Birthday, rev. 9/13) is certainly a silly one, with each of the six […]

Review of A Fine Dessert

jenkins_fine dessert

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins; illus. by Sophie Blackall Primary   Schwartz & Wade/Random   40 pp. 1/15   978-0-375-86832-0   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96832-7   $20.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-375-98771-7   $10.99 In four vignettes, set a hundred years apart from each other, parents and children make delicious blackberry fool from blackberries, […]

Physics and chemistry

adam_super science matter matters

Adams, Tom Super Science: Matter Matters! Gr. 4–6    18 pp.    Candlewick/Templar Illustrated by Thomas Flintham. In this chemistry overview on eight double-page pop-up spreads, readers can explore topics ranging from atoms and elements to water, air, and radioactivity. Some of the movable features creatively present content, such as mini-booklets for scientist profiles and flaps that […]

Language and literature

bryant_right word

Becker, Helaine AlphaBest: The Zany, Zanier, Zaniest Book About Comparatives and Superlatives Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Kids Can Illustrated by Dave Whamond. Adjectival comparatives and superlatives from angry, angrier, angriest to zany, zanier, zaniest are presented alongside energetic cartoons of carnival scenes. Some pages require a careful look to discern the connection between word and […]

Archaeology

aveni_buried beneath us

Athans, Sandra K. Secrets of the Sky Caves: Danger and Discovery on Nepal’s Mustang Cliffs Gr. 4–6     64 pp.     Millbrook The “sky caves” were dug into cliff faces in Nepal’s Mustang region roughly one-thousand years ago. Variously used as living and burial spaces, the caves remained unexplored and unused for centuries until they were unearthed […]

Presidents and their families

gherman_first mothers

Gherman, Beverly First Mothers Gr. K–3     64 pp.    Clarion Illustrated by Julie Downing. This book provides a fascinating perspective on U.S. presidents by focusing on the personalities and influences of their mothers. Each mom has her own section, descriptive epithet (e.g., Barbara Pierce Bush, “The Outspoken Mother”), amusing anecdote, and cartoonlike portrait; sidebars in varying […]

Black History Month

smith_28 days

Aretha, David The Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Photographs Gr. 4–6     48 pp.    Enslow Aretha, David The Story of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement in Photographs Gr. 4–6     48 pp.    Enslow Aretha, David The Story of the Civil Rights Freedom Rides in Photographs Gr. 4–6     48 pp.    Enslow Aretha, David […]

Review of Draw What You See

benson_draw what you see

Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews by Kathleen Benson; illus. with paintings by Benny Andrews Primary, Intermediate   Clarion   32 pp. 1/15   978-0-544-10487-7   $16.99 Benson opens in New Orleans in 2005, where Benny Andrews traveled after Hurricane Katrina to teach children “to use art to express their feelings about what they […]