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Review of Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!: Games, Songs & Stories from an African American Childhood

mckissack_let's clap, jump, sing & shout

Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!: Games, Songs & Stories from an African American Childhood by Patricia C. McKissack; illus. by Brian Pinkney Preschool, Primary, Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    171 pp. 1/17    978-0-375-87088-0    $24.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-97088-7    $27.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-307-97495-2    $12.99 Children’s book royalty and storyteller supreme, […]

Snow day reading

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Most of New England has been buried in snow over the past few days, and many schools and workplaces are closed today. It’s a perfect excuse to cuddle up on the couch with a hot drink and a good book. Here are some suggestions for chilly reads to warm the heart — and help keep kids […]

Review of Grand Canyon

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Grand Canyon by Jason Chin; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Porter/Roaring Brook    56 pp. 2/17    978-1-59643-950-4    $19.99    g Vacationing in Grand Canyon provides a father and daughter — and readers — numerous opportunities to explore this National Park’s geology and ecology. Travel guide–like narration (“After climbing out of the Inner Gorge, you’ll find yourself […]

Review of Me and Marvin Gardens

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Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King Intermediate, Middle School    Levine/Scholastic    250 pp. 2/17    978-0-545-87074-0    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-87077-1    $10.99 The middle-grade debut of YA novelist A.S. King (Still Life with Tornado, rev. 9/16) was bound to be a little weird — and it is. It’s also a smart, environmentally conscious underdog story […]

Notes on Black History Month 2017

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At the 2016 Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium, author Carole Boston Weatherford said, “Some people would like to close the book of our shared history around race because it is uncomfortable and seems ‘a long time ago.’ But we need to acknowledge realities of that history — from slavery to segregation to current police brutality […]

Review of The Silver Gate

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The Silver Gate by Kristin Bailey Intermediate, Middle School    Tegen/HarperCollins    313 pp. 1/17    978-0-06-239857-4    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-239859-8    $9.99 In Elric’s superstitious feudal village, people think children born with disabilities are changelings; even worse, that they bring down a curse on the community. That’s why Elric’s mother and younger sister, Wynn, with her strange […]

Pet Bingo app review

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I wish I had had Pet Bingo (Duck Duck Moose/Khan Academy, 2015; iOS and Android) when I was in elementary school. It combines one of my favorite things, pets, with one of my least favorite things, the necessary evil that is math, for math practice that is actually kinda…fun. (Here’s another math app I like […]

Review of Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught 
the World About Kindness

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Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught 
the World About Kindness by Donna Janell Bowman; 
illus. by Daniel Minter Primary, Intermediate    Lee & Low    48 pp. 9/16    978-1-62014-148-9    $19.95    g William “Doc” Key was a self-taught veterinarian, businessman, and patent medicine salesman who was born into slavery in 1833 and became a free […]

Review of Somos como las nubes / 
We Are like the Clouds

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Somos como las nubes / 
We Are like the Clouds by Jorge Argueta; illus. by 
Alfonso Ruano; trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado Primary, Intermediate    Groundwood    32 pp. 10/16    978-1-55498-849-5    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-850-1    $16.95 Argueta’s bilingual collection of poems gives voice to the many refugee children who emigrate from Central American countries to […]

Me app review

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Remember Dr. Seuss’s My Book About Me? Me by Tinybop (November 2016; iOS only) is a lot like that. You start by creating an avatar for yourself, choosing from a number of options for the shapes and hues of your face, your eyes, etc. There are enough options that I found myself looking in a […]