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Review of The Not So Quiet Library

ohora_not so quiet library

The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah OHora; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Dial    40 pp. 7/16    978-0-8037-4140-9    $17.99    g Every Saturday Dad takes Oskar and his bear Theodore to the library after a hearty breakfast at the doughnut shop. Dad heads upstairs (to the “nap department”) while Oskar and Theodore visit the children’s […]

In the doghouse

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Barking. Digging. Breaking things. True, the pooch protagonists of these recent picture books may have some bad habits. But as it turns out, even not-so-great qualities can have upsides, and the pups are excellent at what really matters: being a kid’s best friend. (And cleaning the floor, of course.) In Excellent Ed, each of the […]

Beware the Jabberbook!

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Or don’t beware. Be excited. Picture books with made-up words that make complete sense are my new favorite trend.   There’s Best Frints in the Whole Universe by Antoinette “Kleebo” Portis (Roaring Brook, July 2016; received a starred review in the May/June 2016 Horn Book Magazine), about two residents of Boborp who have been best […]

Review of The Snurtch


The Snurtch by Sean Ferrell; 
illus. by Charles Santoso Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 8/16    978-1-4814-5656-2    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5657-9    $10.99 In this author-illustrator team’s (I Don’t Like Koala, rev. 3/15) second book, Ruthie, a wide-eyed, snub-nosed child with pigtail tufts that stick straight up, “has a problem at school.” And it’s a big […]

Review of Grumpy Pants

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Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer; illus. by the author Preschool    Whitman    32 pp. 5/16    978-0-8075-3075-7    $16.99    g Penguin, dressed in yellow rain slicker and matching hat and standing under an ominous gray cloud, is in “a bad mood. A very bad mood.” He stomps inside and begins shedding layers. Off come the “grumpy boots,” “grumpy […]

Review of Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles

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Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson; illus. by Meilo So Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 4/16    978-1-4521-1241-1    $16.99 When Viv moves with her family to one of the South Carolina barrier islands — beautifully evoked in So’s luscious watercolors of […]



Protagonists are having terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days in these new and upcoming picture books: (What’s with the pissy penguins? I thought they were supposed to have happy feet.) Fortunately, these grumpy characters find ways to turn their frowns upside-down. The protagonist of Jory John and Lane Smith’s Penguin Problems gets a reality […]

Tribal trials

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The latest book to cause noisy debate among our crowd is Lane Smith’s Tribe of Kids; it began with a post by Sam Bloom at Reading While White but was picked up by Roxanne Feldman, Debbie Reese, and Rosanne Parry. I feel like all concerned have had some good points to make, and I have […]

Review of There Is a Tribe of Kids

smith_there is a tribe of kids

There Is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 5/16    978-1-62672-056-5    $18.99 This is a book straight from the thoughts of a young child, with the feel of a daydream. On the face of it, it’s a simple book about collective nouns (“a colony of […]

Review of Mr. Hulot at the Beach

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Mr. Hulot at the Beach by David Merveille; 
illus. by the author Primary    NorthSouth    56 pp. 5/16    978-0-7358-4254-0    $18.95 At the end of Hello, Mr. Hulot (rev. 1/14), the hero is seen planning a holiday. In this sequel we discover what particular challenges a seaside vacation offers the lanky, well-meaning, and diffident Frenchman. Having borrowed […]