Reviews

Cat’s Cradle Book 1: The Golden Twine e-book review

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Earlier this year publisher Kids Can Press and developer Animanga Plus released a “motion comic” e-book version of 2012 print graphic novel Cat’s Cradle Book 1: The Golden Twine (January 2015), written and illustrated by Jo Rioux. This fantasy series-opener begins with an intriguing prologue: a young boy sent to lock up his family’s chicken […]

Review of In Mary’s Garden

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In Mary’s Garden by Tina Kügler and Carson Kügler; illus. by the authors Primary   Houghton   32 pp. 3/15   978-0-544-27220-0   $16.99 As a girl, Mary “was happiest when her hands were busy making, building, creating things.” As she grew up and traveled around the world, those early interests developed into a love for art. She returns […]

Review of Completely Clementine

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Completely Clementine by Sara Pennypacker; illus. by Marla Frazee Primary, Intermediate   Disney-Hyperion   181 pp. 3/15   978-1-4231-2358-3   $14.99   g In this series-ender, third grade is almost over, but Clementine is far from ready to say goodbye to her familiar classmates and supportive teacher. Mr. D’Matz keeps trying to tell her about all the ways she’s grown […]

Sporting life

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Amstutz, Lisa J.  Bicycle Basics: Let It Roll! Gr. K–3     24 pp.   Capstone Amstutz, Lisa J.  Bike Safety: A Crash Course Gr. K–3     24 pp.    Capstone Pebble Plus: Spokes series. These primers are good introductions to the sport as well as to bicycling safety, history, and mechanical basics. Clearly focused on promoting the recreational fun […]

Folklore from around the world

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Andrews, Jan  When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew: Tales of Ti-Jean Gr. 4–6     69 pp.     Groundwood Illustrated by Dušan Petričić. Ti-Jean, cheerful, hapless stripling of French-Canadian folklore, makes a winning appearance in three tales of European origin lightly transposed to a New World setting. Andrews is a storyteller, and these zesty, well-paced […]

National Poetry Month

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Florian, Douglas Poem Depot: Aisles of Smiles Gr. K–3     154 pp.     Dial Readers browse through “Poem Depot’s” eleven “aisles” (chapters) with names like “Chortles & Chuckles” and “Tons of Puns.” Many of the pieces are four to ten lines long, easily memorized by the audience, who will enjoy the funny punch lines. Florian uses thick, […]

Earth Day 2015

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Chancellor, Deborah  The Changing Environment Gr. K–3     48 pp.    Kingfisher/Macmillan Kingfisher Readers series. In two-page chapters, the book introduces foundational environmental concepts, including animal species, ecosystems, climate, and fossil fuels, then seamlessly unites these concepts in discussions of environmental threats and possible resolutions. Complex connections (e.g., the relationship between global warming, habitat loss, and endangered […]

Trailblazing women

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Demi  Florence Nightingale Gr. K–3     40 pp.    Holt A straightforward text of declarative sentences describes Florence Nightingale’s childhood, training, service in Crimean War hospitals, and lifelong crusade to reform nursing and health care. The true draw of this clear picture book biography, however, is Demi’s simple line-drawn illustrations with collage elements: close reader attention will […]

Review of You Nest Here with Me

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You Nest Here with Me by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple; illus. by Melissa Sweet Preschool   Boyds Mills   32 pp. 3/15   978-1-59078-923-0   $16.95   g Yolen and Stemple gracefully incorporate natural science into a comforting picture book comparing various nesting birds with a “nesting” child (“My little nestling, time for bed…”). Some birds, such […]

Review of I, Fly

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I, Fly: The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are by Bridget Heos; illus. by Jennifer Plecas Primary   Holt   40 pp. 3/15   978-0-8050-9469-5   $17.99   g An adorable fly — googly-eyed, fuzzy-bodied, and with a winning smile, as portrayed in Plecas’s funny but informative cartoon illustrations — makes a compelling argument for why he should […]