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A Quick Way to Die: Humor in Translation

by Julia Marshall For humor to work, someone has to find it funny. There are many ways to kill a book, and trying to be funny and failing would be one of the quicker yet most painful. And that includes translated books. At Gecko Press here in Wellington, we handpick children’s books by some of […]

Review of Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth; illus. by Ekua Holmes Intermediate, Middle School, High School    Candlewick    50 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-8094-7    $16.99 The title of this innovative poetry collection comes from Lucille Clifton, who wrote, “Poems come out of wonder, not out of […]

From The Guide: Darkly Funny YA

When Andrew Smith’s book Grasshopper Jungle won the 2014 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction, it was praised for its blending of catastrophic sci-fi with angsty teen-humor. The following books likewise rely heavily on dark comedy to appeal to the snarky, self-referential nature of teenagers themselves, creating an appealing subgenre for self-aware readers looking to […]

Review of There’s a Mystery There: The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak

There’s a Mystery There: The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak by Jonathan Cott Doubleday    242 pp. 5/17    978-0-385-54043-8    $30.00 e-book ed.  978-0-385-54044-5    $15.99 Cott first interviewed Maurice Sendak for Rolling Stone in 1976 and again for Cott’s book Pipers at the Gates of Dawn (1983), in which the two first discussed […]

Review of Long May She Wave: The True Story of Caroline Pickersgill and Her Star-Spangled Creation

Long May She Wave: The True Story of Caroline Pickersgill and Her Star-Spangled Creation by Kristen Fulton; illus. by Holly Berry Primary    McElderry    40 pp. 5/17    978-1-4814-6096-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6097-2    $10.99 Caroline Pickersgill grew up around industrious women: her widowed mother ran a successful flag-making business from their Baltimore […]

Review of Thick as Thieves

Thick as Thieves [Queen’s Thief] by Megan Whalen Turner Middle School, High School    Greenwillow    339 pp.    g 5/17    978-0-06-256824-3    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-256825-0    $18.89 e-book ed.  978-0-06-256827-4    $9.99 Turner’s eagerly awaited fifth Queen’s Thief novel (beginning with The Thief, rev. 11/96) displays in full her many fortes: ingenious […]

Review of Walk with Me

Walk with Me by Jairo Buitrago; illus. by Rafael Yockteng; trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado Preschool, Primary    Groundwood    32 pp. 3/17    978-1-55498-857-0    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-858-7    $16.95 The book opens with an image of a young girl and a huge lion standing on a grassy hill, with a […]

Review of The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults

The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults by Cheryl B. Klein Norton    368 pp. 9/16    Paper ed.  978-0-393-29224-4    $18.95 Editor Klein has revised her earlier self-published book Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults, weaving the content of that […]

Review of Binny Bewitched

Binny Bewitched by Hilary McKay; illus. by Tony Ross Intermediate, Middle School    McElderry    233 pp.    g 6/17    978-1-4814-9102-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-9104-4    $10.99 McKay continues to display her extraordinary gifts (for language, nuance, humor; for capturing human nature and family dynamics) in this third book about the endearingly imperfect […]

Review of Go Sleep in Your Own Bed!

Go Sleep in Your Own Bed! by Candace Fleming; illus. by Lori Nichols Preschool    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 5/17    978-0-375-86648-7    $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96648-4    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-375-98767-0    $10.99 A cozy evening scene with a girl reading in bed, her window overlooking the silhouette of a […]