Performing artists

cardillo_just being audrey

Cardillo, Margaret Just Being Audrey Gr. K–3   32 pp.  HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray Illustrated by Julia Denos. From Audrey Hepburn’s childhood in Nazi-occupied Europe, to a film career, motherhood, and role as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, this picture book biography encapsulates Hepburn’s “certain something.” Cardillo’s prose is focused and elegant; Denos’s paintings perfectly depict the delicate beauty […]

Disasters

goldsmith_bombs over bikini

Goldsmith, Connie Bombs over Bikini: The World’s First Nuclear Disaster Middle school, high school   88 pp.  Twenty-First Century This book offers a riveting tale of the aftermath of U.S. nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific. The tests themselves and the lives of the Marshall Islanders directly affected by the resulting radiation contamination are described in […]

All about animals

disiena_chickens don't fly

DiSiena, Laura Lyn and Eliot, Hannah Chickens Don’t Fly: And Other Fun Facts Gr. K–3   32 pp.  Little Simon DiSiena, Laura Lyn and Eliot, Hannah Hippos Can’t Swim: And Other Fun Facts Gr. K–3   32 pp.  Little Simon Did You Know? series. Illustrated by Pete Oswald. Each volume presents select trivia about a variety of […]

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame app review

breathe think do menu

Simple app Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame (Sesame Workshop, December 2013), starring a blue, horned Sesame Street monster, models the “Breathe, Think, Do” problem-solving strategy for the very youngest (ages 2-5): “First…breathe to calm down after facing a challenge; next, think of plans to solve the problem; and then choose one of the plans.” (From […]

Review of Neighborhood Sharks

roy_neigborhood sharks

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites 
of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Macaulay/Roaring Brook    
48 pp. 9/14    978-1-59643-874-3    $17.99    g Look closely at the cover of this impressive account of great white sharks off the Northern California coast: that bright red in the illustration is blood trailing […]

Review of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

berry_scandalous sisterhood of prickwillow place

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry Middle School    Roaring Brook    354 pp. 9/14    978-1-59634-956-6    $15.99    g This airy confection could not be more different from Berry’s most recent (and pitch-black) novel All the Truth That’s in Me (rev. 11/13). Part murder mystery, part girls’-school story, part dark drawing-room comedy (think Edwin Drood, […]

Review of Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

uegaki_hana hashimoto, sixth violin

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki; illus. by Qin Leng Primary    Kids Can    32 pp. 8/14    978-1-894786-33-1    $16.95 Despite her brothers’ teasing, little Hana plans to play her violin at the talent show. True, she’s only a beginner, but Hana is a stalwart and determined young lady, practicing every day and performing for any […]

Review of Picture This

bang_picture this first ed

Picture This: Perception and Composition by Molly Bang; illus. by the author Intermediate     Bulfinch/Little     141 pp. 9/91     Paper ed. 0-8212-1855-7     $12.95 With a forward by Rudolf Arnheim. If I could buy only one book this year, this would be the one. If I could take only one book on a long cavation, this would be […]

Reviews of selected books by Marla Frazee

frazee_roller coaster

Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Harcourt     32 pp. 5/03     0-15-204554-6     $16.00 Once a roller coaster is all loaded up, and the operator releases the brake to start the cars slowly chugging up the first hill, that’s that. “Now it is too late for anyone to change their mind,” Frazee […]

Kids Discover: Cells app review

cells menu

By now, nonfiction magazine Kids Discover has adapted twenty-two (and counting) of its issues to digital, covering a wide range of natural and social science topics from the microscopic to the galactic. Every issue — and by extension, every app — offers eight informational chapters, each with an introductory paragraph followed by a engaging, collagelike […]