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 […]

Review of A Chicken Followed Me Home

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A Chicken Followed Me Home: Questions and Answers 
About a Familiar Fowl by Robin Page; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Beach Lane/Simon   32 pp. 3/15   978-1-4814-1028-1   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-1029-8   $12.99 This straightforward introduction to chickens is a lesson in book design of young informational books. Lots of white space allows the exemplar […]

Review of X: A Novel

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 X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon High School   Candlewick   375 pp. 1/15   978-0-7636-6967-6   $16.99 e-book ed. 978-0-7636-7425-0   $16.99 Shabazz, Malcolm X’s third daughter, and YA author Magoon (Fire in the Streets, rev. 9/12; How It Went Down, rev. 11/14) team up to present a vivid, immediate fictionalized portrait of the civil rights […]

Review of Float

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Float by Daniel Miyares; illus. by the author Primary   Simon   40 pp. 6/15   978-1-4814-1524-8   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-1525-5   $12.99 The joys, fears, and frustrations of exploration — as well as the safety, support, and love of home — are examined in this wordless story. Using inspiration from the newspaper, a boy and his caregiver […]

Picture Book Reviews of 2015 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Winner and Honor Books

frazee_farmer and the clown

 Picture Book Winner The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary Beach Lane/Simon 32 pp. 10/14 978-1-4424-9744-3 $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-9745-0 $10.99 Appearances can be deceiving in this superb wordless book from two-time Caldecott Honor recipient Frazee. At sunset, a grim-faced, pitchfork-wielding farmer comes to the rescue when a […]

Fiction Reviews of 2015 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Winner and Honor Books

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms

 Fiction Winner Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell Middle School   Simon   248 pp. 8/14   978-1-4424-9061-1   $16.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-9063-5   $10.99 Will (short for Wilhelmina), the only daughter of William Silver, white foreman of the Two Tree Hill Farm in Zimbabwe, leads a “wildcat” life with her Shona best friend Simon, filled with good rich mud, […]

Nonfiction Reviews of 2015 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Winner and Honor Books

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Nonfiction Winner The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and 
the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming Middle School, High School 
 Schwartz & Wade/Random  287 pp. 7/14 978-0-375-86782-8 $18.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96782-5 $21.99 g e-book ed. 978-0-375-89864-8 $10.99 Marrying the intimate family portrait of Heiligman’s Charles and Emma (rev. 1/09) with the politics and intrigue […]

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

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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

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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 […]