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Review of Prairie Dog Song: The Key to Saving 
North America’s Grasslands

roth_prairie dog song

Prairie Dog Song: The Key to Saving 
North America’s Grasslands by Susan L. Roth and Cindy 
Trumbore; illus. by Susan L. Roth Primary    Lee & Low    40 pp. 4/16    978-1-62014-245-5    $18.95    g Roth and Trumbore take off from the cumulative folk song “The Green Grass Grew All Around” to detail the plight of the prairie […]

Review of Raymie Nightingale

dicamillo_raymie nightingale

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo Intermediate    Candlewick    264 pp. 4/16    978-0-7636-8117-3    $16.99    g When ten-year-old Raymie Clarke’s father runs away with a dental hygienist, Raymie has no idea how to take charge of her life. Her mother’s no help, and her father’s secretary simply assures her that “most things work out right in the end.” […]

Review of Horrible Bear!

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Horrible Bear! by Ame Dyckman; 
illus. by Zachariah OHora Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 4/16    978-0-316-28283-3    $16.99 The action begins on the title-page spread, with a little red-haired girl standing on the bottom of the left-hand page. She’s flying a kite — and she’s frowning. The kite is high up in the sky, on […]

Review of Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems

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Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka Primary, Intermediate     Roaring Brook    44 pp. 3/16     978-1-62672-236-1     $17.99     g Graphic design meets riddle meets visual wordplay in this collection of sturdy and joyful perspectives on the ordinary stuff of the world. Each of the twenty-one offerings consists of a one-word title and […]

Review of Booked

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Booked by Kwame Alexander Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    314 pp. 4/16    978-0-544-57098-6    $16.99    g Eighth grader Nick Hall is quite a wordsmith, thanks largely to his father, a linguistics professor and the author of Weird and Wonderful Words, which Nick is required to read page by page: “You’re the only kid / on your block / […]

Review of Twenty Yawns

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Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley; 
illus. by Lauren Castillo Preschool    Two Lions    32 pp. 4/16    978-1-4778-2635-5    $17.99    g Lucy and her parents stay late at the beach, playing in the waves, walking the length of the shore, rolling down dunes, building a sandcastle. Everyone is happily worn out, and Mom decrees an early bedtime. So […]

Review of ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / 
Olinguito, from A to Z!

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¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / 
Olinguito, from A to Z! Descubriendo el bosque nublado / Unveiling the Cloud Forest by Lulu Delacre; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Children’s Book Press/Lee & Low    40 pp. 2/16    978-0-89239-327-5    $18.95    g In 2013, a team of scientists discovered a new species, the olinguito, in […]

Review of The Lie Tree

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The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge Middle School, High School    Amulet/Abrams    378 pp. 4/16    978-1-4197-1895-3    $17.95 Everything in this audacious novel is on the cusp or in limbo, setting up delicious tensions and thematic riches. The time is nineteenth-century England just after Darwin’s theory of evolution has thrown the scientific world into turmoil; the setting […]

Review of The Passion of Dolssa

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The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry Middle School, High School    Viking    482 pp. 4/16    978-0-451-46992-2    $18.99    g Berry (All the Truth That’s in Me, rev. 11/13) tells the story of (fictional) Catholic mystic Dolssa de Stigata after she escapes being burned as a heretic in 1241 Toulouse, France; mostly, however, it’s the story of […]

Review of Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs

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Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park; 
illus. by Jennifer Black Reinhardt Primary    Clarion    40 pp. 3/16    978-0-544-39101-7    $16.99 Park and Reinhardt pair animal names with actions in this picture book in which yaks yak, apes ape, parrots parrot, and finally kids kid. Each double-page spread features a single phrase such as “Flounders […]