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Review of Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong

cline-ransome_just a lucky so and so

Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong by Lesa Cline-Ransome; 
illus. by James Ransome Primary    Holiday    40 pp. 4/16    978-0-8234-3428-2    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3598-2    $16.95 Today’s child may know Louis Armstrong only as the trumpeter of “What a Wonderful World” or as a character in an old movie; the Ransomes’ newest […]

Review of The Moon’s Almost Here

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The Moon’s Almost Here by Patricia MacLachlan; 
illus. by Tomie dePaola Primary    McElderry    32 pp. 6/16    978-1-4814-2062-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-2063-1    $10.99 MacLachlan’s lyrical text combines with ethereal illustrations by dePaola in this simultaneously nostalgic and fresh bedtime book. A generous trim size gives dePaola ample space for the sky under which his characters, the […]

Toca Dance app review

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So, you think you can dance? Bust a move with Toca Dance (March 2016). Much like Siân’s fave Toca Band, this latest Toca Boca app is weird and wonderful, with an emphasis on creative, exploratory play. (I also love the quieter Toca Nature.) First choose your performers, then outfit them with costumes and accessories. Then […]

Review of Crossing Niagara: The Death-Defying Tightrope 
Adventures of the Great Blondin

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Crossing Niagara: The Death-Defying Tightrope 
Adventures of the Great Blondin by Matt Tavares; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    36 pp. 4/16    978-0-7636-6823-5    $17.99    g In 1859, Jean François Gravelet — the Great Blondin — was the world’s greatest tightrope walker. Niagara Falls, then as now one of the world’s most breathtaking natural attractions, […]

Happy World Giraffe Day!

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It’s World Giraffe Day, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation’s “worldwide celebration of these amazing and much loved animals” and “annual event to raise support, create awareness and shed light on the challenges giraffes face in the wild.” Go donate to the GCF to help save giraffes, then meet some new (and very tall!) friends in the […]

Review of Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks

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Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks by Skila Brown; illus. by Bob Kolar Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/16    978-0-7636-6543-2    $16.99 Brown begins this playful and illuminating collection by taking a bite out of the most infamous of these ocean predators, the great white shark: “you’re no bully, / just a big attention hog. So / move […]

Review of The White Cat and the Monk: A Retelling of the Poem “Pangur Bán”

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The White Cat and the Monk: A Retelling of the Poem “Pangur Bán” by Jo Ellen Bogart; 
illus. by Sydney Smith Preschool, Primary    Groundwood    32 pp. 3/16    978-1-55498-780-1    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-781-8    $16.95 Perhaps best known to us now through Barber and Auden’s song “The Monk and His Cat” (there is also a YA novel […]

Doctor Who Comic Maker app review

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As a fan of both Doctor Who and comics, how could I resist the siren song of that familiar theremin theme emanating from BBC’s official Doctor Who Comic Maker app (March 2016)? Similar to HarperCollins/Night & Day Studio’s Big Nate: Comix by U!, this app lets you write your own adventures for the Doctor and […]

Review of Hare and Tortoise

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Hare and Tortoise by Alison Murray; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 5/16    978-0-7636-8721-2    $16.99 With warm, lively digital art and snappy narrated text, this new rendition of Aesop’s famous race will make a funny and satisfying read-aloud for both those familiar with the fable and those coming to it for the […]

Party animals

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Newly independent readers will go wild for these animal adventures with a hearty helping of wacky, slapsticky humor. A Goofy Guide to Penguins by twin-brother team Jean-Luc Coudray and Philippe Coudray supplies “everything you never, ever asked about penguins!” In an early-reader, four-panels-per-spread graphic-novel format, young Emperor penguins ask and answer silly questions: “How do […]