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Review of Cloud and Wallfish

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Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet Intermediate    Candlewick    390 pp. 10/16    978-0-7636-8803-5    $16.99 Noah Keller’s life in 1989 small-town Virginia is uneventful — until the day his parents pick him up after school and whisk him off to East Berlin, where, he is told, his PhD candidate mother will be researching children’s speech challenges such […]

Review of Wonderfall

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Wonderfall by Michael Hall; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp. 9/16    978-0-06-238298-6    $17.99 After his earlier inventive picture books introducing shapes (Perfect Square, rev. 3/11) and colors (Red: A Crayon’s Story, rev. 1/15), Hall turns now to a season: autumn. Replacing the suffix -ful with his own created suffix -fall, he invents […]

Review of Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune

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Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner; 
illus. by Gareth Hinds Intermediate, Middle School    Charlesbridge    236 pp. 2/16    978-1-58089-584-2    $16.95 Turner (The Frog Scientist, rev. 9/09) is best known for her science books for children; here she delivers an excellent biography of Japan’s legendary samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune. Because he lived […]

Roald Dahl’s Twit or Miss app review

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When you open Roald Dahl’s Twit or Miss (Penguin, 2015; iOS and Android), a British-accented voice welcomes you to “the ghastly world of The Twits.” Then you’re ushered through an overgrown yard and into the Twits’ dining room, with art inspired by Quentin Blake’s classic illustrations. The app consists of a single game with a […]

Review of Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine

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Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine by Ibtisam Barakat Middle School, High School    Ferguson/Farrar    223 pp. 10/16    978-0-374-30251-1    $17.99    g In this follow-up to her first memoir (Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood), and beginning where that book left off, Barakat leads readers through her adolescent years in the West Bank during […]

Review of The Sun Is Also a Star

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The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon High School    Delacorte    349 pp. 11/16    978-0-553-49668-0    $18.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-49669-7    $21.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-553-49670-3    $10.99 New York City high school senior Natasha believes in science and rationality. An undocumented immigrant from Jamaica, she and her family are facing immediate deportation thanks to her father’s […]

Review of I Used to Be a Fish

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I Used to Be a Fish by Tom Sullivan; illus. by the author Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    48 pp. 10/16    978-0-06-245198-9    $17.99 A simple, cartoonlike fish prompts musings on the history of human evolution. The text fancifully traces a fish in the water who “got tired of swimming” all the way up in its evolution […]

Review of Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

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Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe; illus. by the author Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 10/16    978-0-316-21388-2    $17.99 Picture books about artists are tricky. Should the illustrator mimic the subject’s style, or instead attempt to capture his or her essence? Steptoe does a little of both in this introduction […]

Review of Juana & Lucas

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Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    90 pp. 9/16    978-0-7636-7208-9    $14.99 This brisk, episodic (in the best way) chapter book introduces Juana, a young girl living in Bogotá, Colombia, who loves many things: her city, her family, reading, Brussels sprouts, and her dog, Lucas. She does not like […]

Wonderfall!

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Bid goodbye to summer, embrace the natural beauty and coziness of autumn, and prepare for the coming cold with these seasonally appropriate new picture books. Kenard Pak‘s Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn offers a warm welcome to fall. “Hello, late summer morning,” says a young girl in a red scarf as she leaves her house on […]