Review of Shh! We Have a Plan

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 Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton; illus. by the author Preschool    Candlewick    40 pp. 9/14    978-0-7636-7293-5    $15.99 With cover art recalling Ungerer’s The Three Robbers (rev. 6/62) and the wry sensibility of Klassen’s Hat books, this is a natural choice for any storytime. A spare, humorous text pairs with blocky digital illustrations to […]

Review of The Penderwicks in Spring

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The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall Intermediate   Knopf   339 pp. 3/15   978-0-375-87077-4   $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-97077-1   $19.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-307-97459-4   $10.99 In this fourth Penderwicks book, time has passed and the family landscape has changed. Mr. Penderwick has married the lovely Iantha; Rosalind is away at college; and Skye is fending off best […]

Review of Dinosaur vs. Mommy

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Dinosaur vs. Mommy by Bob Shea; illus. by the author Preschool   Disney-Hyperion   32 pp. 3/15   978-1-4231-6086-1   $16.99 In his sixth showdown, Shea’s feisty red dino challenges Mommy all day long. From “Mommy taking a quick shower!” to a trip to the store (“roar! cookies! roar! cereal! roar! chips!”) — poor Mommy doesn’t really stand a […]

Hoppy Easter

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Easter’s almost here! This updated Easter recommended reading list has selections suitable for both secular and religious celebrations of the holiday.   Preschool In Ollie’s Easter Eggs, Olivier Dunrea’s lovable goslings celebrate Easter by dyeing and hiding eggs. That is, except for little Ollie, who steals all the eggs, whispering “my egg” each time he […]

Dayenu, 2015!

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Here’s an updated list of Passover books to nibble on when the matzo runs dry.   Preschool Two Shalom Sesame series entries, written by Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer and illustrated by Tom Leigh, follow Sesame Street characters in Israel as they learn about doing good deeds. In It’s a Mitzvah, Grover!, Grover and friends […]

Lindbergh enhanced e-book review

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Author/illustrator Torben Kuhlmann has collaborated with American publisher NorthSouth Books, their Swiss parent company NordSud Verlag, and German publishing company Friedrich Oetinger to create an enhanced e-book edition of Kulmann’s 2014 picture book Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse (April 2015). In Kulmann’s story (translated from the German by Suzanne Levesque), a mouse realizes […]

Signs of springtime: bicycles

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The snow is mostly gone, but here’s how we know it’s really springtime in Boston! While we’re waiting on those bicycles, here are some books about them. Reviews are from the Horn Book Guide Online.   Picture Books Davies, Matt Ben Rides On 32 pp. Roaring Brook/Porter 2013. ISBN 978-1-59643-794-4 Gr. K–3 Davies puts his […]

Review of Please Excuse This Poem

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Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation edited by Brett Fletcher Lauer and Lynn Melnick High School   Viking   289 pp. 3/15   978-0-670-01479-8   $16.99   g “Most poets begin writing poetry in secret.” Poet Carolyn Forché opens her introduction to this anthology of contemporary American poetry with a shout-out to young or burgeoning […]

Review of The Tight-Rope Walkers

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The Tight-Rope Walkers by David Almond High School   Candlewick   326 pp. 3/15   978-0-7636-7310-9   $17.99   g Dom is a clever, working-class boy from the north of England, beloved of his teachers, the hope of his parents. It’s the early 1960s, an optimistic period in British education, when the son of a shipbuilder could plausibly end up […]

Review of Use Your Words, Sophie!

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Use Your Words, Sophie! by Rosemary Wells; illus. by the author Preschool   Viking   24 pp. 3/15   978-0-670-01663-1   $16.99   g Mouse-child Sophie uses lots of words. She welcomes her new baby sister home from the hospital in Jellyfish language (“Jubbabubba”); she growls that she’s “too big for naps” in Hyena language (“Grabvjkloz!”). But her distracted parents […]