Review of Playful Pigs from A to Z

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Playful Pigs from A to Z by Anita Lobel; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Knopf     40 pp. 7/15     978-0-553-50832-1     $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-553-50833-8     $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-553-50834-5     $10.99 Twenty-six pigs wake up in their pen and decide to explore the countryside, running down the road and finding a field of “magical surprises”: […]

Review of Binny in Secret

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Binny in Secret by Hilary McKay; illus. by Micah Player Intermediate, Middle School     McElderry     276 pp. 6/15      978-1-4424-8278-4     $16.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-8280-7     $10.99 Belinda (Binny for Short, rev. 1/14) is back, along with her single-parent mum, responsible sister Clem, and lovable little brother James. In this second adventure the Cornwallis family […]

Review of The Skunk

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The Skunk by Mac Barnett; illus. by Patrick McDonnell Primary     Roaring Brook     32 pp. 4/15     978-1-59643-966-5     $17.99 A skunk shows up on the narrator’s doorstep and begins to tail him. Try as he might, our narrator just can’t seem to shake the skunk — “When I sped up, the skunk sped up. When […]

Review of Wait

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Wait by Antoinette Portis; illus. by the author Preschool     Porter/Roaring Brook     32 pp. 7/15     978-1-59643-921-4     $16.99 A harried mother rushes her toddler son through the busy city streets, and he resists, stalling to look at everything they encounter. This fundamental tension plays out in a series of spreads illustrating the same refrain. She […]

Review of Stonewall

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 Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum Middle School, High School     Viking     120 pp. 5/15     978-0-670-01679-2     $16.99 Bausum begins her history of the gay rights movement with a careful, detailed exposition of the June 1969 Stonewall riots, laying out the events leading up to the clash between the […]

Review of I Yam a Donkey!

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I Yam a Donkey! by Cece Bell; illus. by the author Primary   Clarion   32 pp. 6/15   978-0-544-08720-0   $16.99 “I yam a donkey,” declares a self-aware donkey on the title page. Not so fast. The grammar police arrive in the form of a bespectacled yam. “What did you say? ‘I yam a donkey?’ The proper way […]

Review of X: A Novel

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 X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon High School   Candlewick   375 pp. 1/15   978-0-7636-6967-6   $16.99 e-book ed. 978-0-7636-7425-0   $16.99 Shabazz, Malcolm X’s third daughter, and YA author Magoon (Fire in the Streets, rev. 9/12; How It Went Down, rev. 11/14) team up to present a vivid, immediate fictionalized portrait of the civil rights […]

Review of Float

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Float by Daniel Miyares; illus. by the author Primary   Simon   40 pp. 6/15   978-1-4814-1524-8   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-1525-5   $12.99 The joys, fears, and frustrations of exploration — as well as the safety, support, and love of home — are examined in this wordless story. Using inspiration from the newspaper, a boy and his caregiver […]

Review of My Family Tree and Me

petricic_my family tree and me

My Family Tree and Me by Dušan Petričić; illus. by the author Primary   Kids Can   24 pp. 4/15   978-1-77138-049-2   $16.95 The truth that if one’s parents hadn’t met one wouldn’t exist is a head-exploding realization of childhood. In this celebration of ancestry, Petričić bounces off that revelation to create an innovative introduction to the ordinary […]

Review of The Last Leaves Falling

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The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell High School   Simon   360 pp. 5/15   978-1-4814-3065-4   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-3067-8   $10.99 Sora, only seventeen, has ALS — “an old man’s 
disease” — and knows he’s going to die in just a few years. First, however, he’ll become a vegetable, dependent on his single mom to do […]