Review of Why We Took the Car

herrndorf_why we took the car

Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf; trans. from the German by Tim Mohr Middle School, High School    Levine/Scholastic    250 pp. 1/14    978-0-545-48180-9    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-58636-8    $17.99 Two teens abandon their lackluster lives and hit the Autobahn in this audacious tragicomedy. Mike Klingenberg, boring and unpopular, lives a life of quiet desperation […]

Review of Lord and Lady Bunny — Almost Royalty!: By Mr. & Mrs. Bunny

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Lord and Lady Bunny — Almost Royalty!: By Mr. & Mrs. Bunny by Polly Horvath; illus. by Sophie Blackall Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    293 pp. 2/14    978-0-307-98065-6    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-307-98066-3    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-307-98067-0    $10.99 In this funny, meticulously crafted sequel to Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire! (rev. 1/12), young Madeline […]

Review of Gobble You Up!

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Gobble You Up! by Gita Wolf; illus. by Sunita Preschool, Primary    Tara    40 pp. 10/13    978-81-923171-4-4    $34.95 The outline is familiar: after gulping down animal after animal, a greedy creature bursts. Here it’s a jackal who devours the dozen fish his best friend the crane has caught for him, then the crane herself, and so […]

Review of How I Discovered Poetry

nelson_how i discovered poetry

How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson; 
illus. by Hadley Hooper Middle School    Dial    103 pp. 1/14    978-0-8037-3304-6    $16.99    g In fifty poems (some previously published) Nelson chronicles her formative years during the 1950s, from age four to thirteen, against the backdrop of the cold war and stirrings of the civil rights movement and women’s […]

Review of Hello, Mr. Hulot

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Hello, Mr. Hulot by David Merveille; 
illus. by the author Primary    NorthSouth    56 pp. 9/13    978-0-7358-4135-2    $17.95 Monsieur Hulot, a character invented and played by French filmmaker Jacques Tati in such movies as Les Vacances de M. Hulot (Mr. Hulot’s Holiday), is one part schlemiel, one part everyman, one part existentialist, and all parts kindness. […]

Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan on The Mad Potter

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In the January/February 2014 Horn Book Magazine, editor Martha Parravano asked Mad Potter authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan about choosing their unusual subject. Read the review here. Martha V. Parravano: How did you discover this fairly unknown subject? Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan: During the New Orleans ALA we headed over to Biloxi to […]

Review of The Mad Potter

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The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan Intermediate, Middle School    Porter/Roaring Brook    56 pp. 10/13    978-1-59643-810-1    $17.99 “Eccentric” is an apt word for Ohr, a Mississippi blacksmith’s son (1857–1918) who reinvented himself as a potter: though he began his distinctive works on a potter’s wheel, he then reshaped […]

Review of The Midnight Dress

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The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee High School    Knopf    281 pp. 10/13    978-0-375-85645-7    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-95645-4    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-449-81821-3    $9.99 Self-contained, morose fifteen-year-old Rose and her alcoholic father arrive in Australian beach town Leonora, and it seems like they may actually stay put for a spell, for once. Rose enrolls in school and […]

From The Guide: Picture Book Builders

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Judges and winners of the 2013 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards came together in early October for “The Horn Book at Simmons: Building Character,” a day-long event designed to give participants an opportunity to discuss how characters are constructed, and how they reach out from the page, building bridges to young readers in the process. In […]

Review of Big Bad Wolf and Itsy Bitsy Spider

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Big Bad Wolf [Urgency Emergency!] by Dosh Archer; illus. by the author Primary    Whitman    48 pp. 9/13    978-0-8075-8352-4    $12.99 Itsy Bitsy Spider [Urgency Emergency!] by Dosh Archer; illus. by the author Primary    Whitman    48 pp. 9/13    978-0-8075-8358-6    $12.99 New readers are in for a treat with these British imports. Both are set in an emergency […]