Exotic creatures

mystery of darwin's frog

Crump, Marty The Mystery of Darwin’s Frog Gr. 4–6   40 pp. Boyds Illustrated by Steve Jenkins. Told in an accessible first-person narrative by the behavioral ecologist author, this book describes the Darwin’s frog, an unusual species in which the male broods tadpoles in his vocal sac until they emerge as froglets. The science is solid, […]

Handicrafts

learn to speak fashion

deCarufel, Laura Learn to Speak Fashion: A Guide to Creating, Showcasing, and Promoting Your Style Middle school, high school   96 pp. Owlkids Illustrated by Jeff Kulak. This enthusiastic and informative introduction will be of interest to any reader intrigued by fashion design. Handsomely illustrated chapters cover a wide range of topics, including how to find […]

Cookery

unofficial narnia cookbook

Bucholz, Dinah The Unofficial Narnia Cookbook: From Turkish Delight to Gooseberry Fool — Over 150 Recipes Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia Gr. 4–6   231 pp. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky Inspired by the bountiful references and descriptions of food and eating in C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, recipes range from simple toast to fried trout. Grouped by […]

Native Americans

red bird sings

Capaldi, Gina and Pearce, Q. L. Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Ša, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist Gr. 4–6   32 pp. Carolrhoda Illustrated by Gina Capaldi. This picture book adaptation of three of Zitkala-Ša’s semiautobiographical stories (published in the early 1900s) begins with the Native American girl’s 1884 enrollment in a Quaker-run boarding […]

World religions

growing up muslim

Ali-Karamali, Sumbul Growing Up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam High school   214 pp. Delacorte Ali-Karamali balances facts, personal experience, and thoughtful discussion in this accessible introduction to Islam, written in an easygoing, occasionally humor-sparked style. Explanations of rules and practices lead naturally into good summations of Muhammad’s life, the religion’s spread, the […]

Review of Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing

randolph caldecott

Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing by Leonard S. Marcus Foster/Farrar     64 pp. 8/13     978-0-374-31025-7     $24.99 Randolph Caldecott (1846–1886) is especially known for his ability to make his subjects “jump off the page,” and Marcus is able to do the same for his subject here. With wit and fluency, he tells how […]

Sports season

miracle mud

Kelly, David A. Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud That Changed Baseball Gr. K–3  32 pp.  Millbrook Illustrated by Oliver Dominguez. Every baseball used in a Major League game is broken in by being rubbed with special mud harvested from a secret location — who knew? This fascinating account relates how former player […]

Visual arts

picasso i the king

Bernier-Grand, Carmen T. Picasso: I the King, Yo el rey High school  64 pp  Amazon Illustrated by David Diaz. Free verse poems chronicle the dramatic life of modern art’s pinnacle figure. Rather than glossing over Picasso’s flaws — his womanizing, his self-absorption, etc. — they are Bernier-Grand’s intriguing focus. The poetry is powerful but challenging, […]

Technology innovations, past and present

hybrid and electric vehicles

Carmichael, L. E. Hybrid and Electric Vehicles High schoo  112 pp.  ABDO Farrell, Courtney Methane Energy High school  112 pp.  ABDO Hand, Carol Biomass Energy High school  112 pp.  ABDO Hirsch, Rebecca Hydrogen and Fuel Cells High school  112 pp.  ABDO Innovative Technologies series. These dense books describe energy sources and technologies that can serve […]

Literary biographies

pablo neruda

Brown, Monica Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People Gr. K–3  32 pp.  Holt Illustrated by Julie Paschkis. Brown opens with Neftali’s boyhood love of reading, writing, and nature, celebrating the subjects that informed his poetry and his “dreams of peace.” Paschkis’s signature effusions of color and stylized forms are embellished with words — in English, […]