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A bumpy ride

bus

I had been content to let Calling Caldecott’s enlightening discussion about A Fine Dessert speak for itself, and the subsequent publication of A Birthday Cake for George Washington a year later was more than anything a spectacular example of bad timing–by the time A Fine Dessert was gathering outrage, A Birthday Cake was well on its […]

Review of Murphy in the City

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Murphy in the City by Alice Provensen; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Simon   32 pp. 11/15   978-1-4424-1971-1   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-1832-4   $10.99 The small, busy, curious, noisy farm terrier from A Day in the Life of Murphy (rev. 7/03) is on his way to the big city with his family for a day of […]

Five questions for Barbara McClintock

Barbara McClintock

Each of author/illustrator Barbara McClintock’s picture books provides a glimpse into a jewel-box of a world, from bustling early-twentieth-century Paris (Adèle & Simon; Farrar, 4–7 years) to a cozy 1970s mouse-house (Where’s Mommy?, written by Beverly Donofrio; Schwartz & Wade, 4–7 years). Her latest, Emma and Julia Love Ballet (Scholastic, 4–7 years), does the same […]

The world around us

sayre_woodpecker wham

Preschoolers’ curiosity makes them an ideal audience for books about animals and the natural world. These nonfiction picture books communicate information at a preschool-perfect pace — and with plenty of wonder. In Woodpecker Wham!, author April Pulley Sayre uses a rhyming, sound word–filled text to introduce the distinctively noisy woodpecker and the rhythmic cadences that […]

Get a move on

pinkney_on the ball

Whether kicking a soccer ball, dancing ballet, tiptoeing through the…jungle, or belly-sliding on the ice, these feisty protagonists know how to keep things moving. Get on up! Brian Pinkney’s On the Ball begins on a soccer field, then takes flight as a young boy’s imagination soars. The opening text reads, “Owen loved playing ball,” and […]

Review of Emma and Julia Love Ballet

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Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Scholastic   32 pp. 3/16   978-00-439-89401-2   $16.99   g “Emma wakes up early. Julia wakes up early, too…They both have ballet lessons this morning.” McClintock follows young Emma as she goes to her ballet lesson and professional dancer Julia as she attends company […]

Review of I Hear a Pickle (and Smell, See, Touch, 
and Taste It, Too!)

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I Hear a Pickle (and Smell, See, Touch, 
and Taste It, Too!) by Rachel Isadora; illus. by the author Preschool   Paulsen/Penguin   32 pp. 1/16   978-0-399-16049-3   $16.99   g Starting with a clever, attention-grabbing title, Isadora’s book about the five senses is aimed perfectly at another sense — kids’ sense of humor. Separate sections, beginning with sound […]

Review of Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game

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Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game by John Coy; illus. by Randy DuBurke Primary, Intermediate   Carolrhoda   32 pp. 10/15   978-1-4677-2604-7   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4677-8810-6   $17.99 Based closely on a 1996 New York Times article by Scott Ellsworth, this picture book tells the dramatic story of an illegal college basketball game planned and played […]

Review of On the Ball

pinkney_on the ball

On the Ball by Brian Pinkney; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Disney-Hyperion   32 pp. 9/15   978-1-4847-2329-6   $17.99 Pinkney’s latest picture-book offering begins on a soccer field, then takes flight as a young boy’s imagination soars. The opening text reads, “Owen loved playing ball,” and the accompanying illustrations show a boy first dribbling and then […]

Review of Samurai Santa: A Very Ninja Christmas

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Samurai Santa: A Very Ninja Christmas by Rubin Pingk; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Simon   40 pp. 9/15   978-1-4814-3057-9   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-3058-6   $10.99 It’s hard to be a ninja when no one will join your snowball fight for fear of landing on Santa’s naughty list. There’s only one thing for Yukio to do: […]