Review of More of Monkey & Robot

catalanotto_more of monkey robot

More of Monkey & Robot by Peter Catalanotto; illus. by the author Primary    Jackson/Atheneum    58 pp. 3/14    978-1-4424-5251-0    $14.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5253-4    $9.99 Monkey and Robot are back (Monkey & Robot, rev. 1/13) in four stories for new readers. Monkey continues to make a mess, and Robot patiently helps him fix things. First Monkey worries […]

Review of You Can’t Have Too Many Friends!

gerstein_you can't have too many friends

You Can’t Have 
Too Many Friends! by Mordicai Gerstein; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Holiday    32 pp. 4/14    978-0-8234-2393-4    $16.95    g e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3101-4    $16.95 This retold French folktale (“Drakestail”) stars a farmer duck who, in this absurdist version, is wealthy in the jelly beans he has grown. When the little-boy king “borrows” his […]

Melissa Sweet on Firefly July

Melissa Sweet

In the March/April 2014 Horn Book Magazine, Mag assistant editor Cynthia Ritter asked Melissa Sweet about her creative process when illustrating Firefly July. Read the starred review here. Cynthia K. Ritter: Your visual interpretations of the seasonal poems in this collection are a mix of literal and symbolic. What was your artistic process like when […]

Review of Firefly July

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Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko; illus. by Melissa Sweet Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-4842-8    $16.99 Very short people attracted by Sweet’s child-friendly illustrations (and by the large picture book format) are likely to linger to enjoy the thirty-six excellent poems (grouped by season) showcased on […]

Review of Alien Encounter

harper_alien encounter

Alien Encounter [Sasquatch and Aliens] by Charise Mericle Harper; illus. by the author Intermediate    Ottaviano/Holt    205 pp. 4/14    978-0-8050-9621-7    $12.99    g Minutes after fourth graders Morgan and Lewis meet for the first time (underpants are involved), they share an alien sighting. This is obviously a solid basis for friendship, because they are practically inseparable in […]

Review of In New York

brown_in new york

In New York by Marc Brown; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 3/14    978-0-375-86454-4    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-96454-1    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-307-97444-0    $10.99 Join the little blue-capped boy from the cover as he and his father make cameo appearances throughout this enthusiastically busy guide to New York City. Just about all of […]

Review of Dare the Wind

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Dare the Wind by Tracey Fern; 
illus. by Emily Arnold McCully Primary    Ferguson/Farrar    40 pp. 2/14    978-0-374-31699-0    $17.99    g In the early 1800s, young Ellen Prentiss (1814–1900) learned to be a keen and fearless sailor on her father’s trading schooner. Captain Prentiss also taught Ellen a difficult skill most sailors, and even some captains, never […]

Review of Sophie Sleeps Over

russo_sophie sleeps over

Sophie Sleeps Over by Marisabina Russo; 
illus. by the author Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp. 3/14    978-1-59643-933-7    $16.99    g Sophie and Olive are BBFFs (best bunny friends forever). When Olive announces a sleepover birthday party, Sophie is excited to go (“‘Sleepover parties are my favorite kind,’ said Sophie, even though she had never been to […]

From the Guide: Wordless Picture Books

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Truly accomplished picture book art not only works with and complements a text but also expands on the story, sometimes even offering an alternate version — or stepping in completely when there are no words at all (as with the three wordless Caldecott Honors this year). With sweeping panoramic vistas, zippy gouache cartoons, photos of […]

Review of Pure Grit

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Pure Grit: How American World War II 
Nurses Survived Battle and 
Prison Camp in the Pacific by Mary Cronk Farrell Middle School, High School    Abrams    160 pp. 2/14    978-1-4197-1028-5    $24.95 There are many books written about young people enlisting in the military, being unprepared for the horrors of battle or tortures of capture, serving bravely, […]