Review of First Snow

mccarty_first snow

First Snow by Peter McCarty; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins   40 pp. 1/15   978-0-06-218996-7   $16.99 Genial siblings Sancho, Bella, Lola, Ava, and Maria welcome their cousin Pedro, visiting from warmer climes, and introduce him to the joys of snow. The siblings are thrilled with an overnight snowfall and excitedly proclaim their […]

Review of Firebird

copeland_firebird

Firebird: Ballerina Misty Copeland 
Shows a Young Girl How to 
Dance like the Firebird by Misty Copeland; 
illus. by Christopher Myers Primary   Putnam   40 pp. 9/14   978-0-399-16615-0   $17.99   g Think you can simply write off celebrity books? Think again. American Ballet Theatre soloist Copeland is just as graceful with words as she is with her […]

Review of I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel

yacowitz_i know an old lady who swallowed a dreidel

I Know an Old Lady Who 
Swallowed a Dreidel by Caryn Yacowitz; 
illus. by David Slonim Primary   Levine/Scholastic   32 pp. 9/14   978-0-439-91530-4   $17.99 The American Gothic parody on the 
first wordless spread — showing Ma 
and Pa, a boy, a cat…and a menorah — previews this freewheeling volume, part warm family holiday story, part art […]

Review of Blizzard

rocco_blizzard

Blizzard by John Rocco; illus. by the author Primary    Disney-Hyperion    48 pp. 11/14    978-1-4231-7865-1    $17.99 Rocco presents a story of New England’s blizzard of 1978, based on his own childhood experience. The same warm family feeling that permeates his Caldecott Honor book Blackout is here, but this time he sticks to a boy’s-eye view of […]

Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold

sidman_winter bees

Baby, it’s cold outside. Time to look at this very wintry book. Taking it from the top… We notice the arresting cover: the leaping fox; the contrast between the fox’s red coat /dark paws and the white, snowy background; the overlay of snow in the air. Open the book to see endpapers the color of […]

Liniers on What There Is Before There Is Anything There

liniers_what there is before there is anything there

In the November/December 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, editor Martha Parravano asked Argentinian cartoonist Liniers about the inspiration for his “deeply unsettling” but “bravely existential” new picture book, What There Is Before There Is Anything There: A Scary Story. Read the full review here. Martha V. Parravano: What made you decide to make […]

Review of What There Is Before There Is Anything There: A Scary Story

liniers_what there is before there is anything there

What There Is Before 
There Is Anything There: A Scary Story by Liniers; illus. by the author; trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado Primary    Groundwood    24 pp. 9/14    978-1-55498-385-8    $18.95 Argentinian cartoonist Liniers’s (The 
Big Wet Balloon, rev. 9/13) bravely existential picture book eschews cute monsters in closets to capture the true reality of […]

A Letter for Leo

letter for leo

I have been looking forward to this book since I (and my class of second graders) fell in love with Sergio Ruzzier’s Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? last year. Let’s take a look at it the way I learned to do on the Caldecott committee. I like to savor a book when I […]

Review of Flora and the Penguin

idle_flora and the penguin

Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 9/14    978-1-4521-2891-7    $16.99 Having mastered the art of the dahhnce in Flora and the Flamingo (rev. 7/13), the same little-girl protagonist takes up figure skating. While lacing up her skates, she spies an orange beak peeking out of a […]

Review of A Perfectly Messed-Up Story

mcdonnell_perfectly messed-up story

A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 10/14    978-0-316-22258-7    $17.00 “No pages were harmed in the making of this book.” This cheeky copyright page disclaimer is undoubtedly true, but the very realistic-looking messes inside — and on the cover—make it hard to believe. For Louie, […]