Review of Firefly July

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Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko; illus. by Melissa Sweet Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-4842-8    $16.99 Very short people attracted by Sweet’s child-friendly illustrations (and by the large picture book format) are likely to linger to enjoy the thirty-six excellent poems (grouped by season) showcased on […]

Review of Caminar

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Caminar by Skila Brown Middle School    Candlewick    200 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-6516-6    $15.99 “Forest sounds / all around / but on the ground / the sound / of Me / grew. Echoed. / I heard a path I could not see.” Exquisitely crafted poems are the basis of an unusually fine verse novel set in 1981, in […]

Review of The Children of the King

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The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    266 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-6735-1    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7042-9    $16.99 Continuing her string of novels exploring the effects of war on innocents (The Silver Donkey, rev. 9/06; The Midnight Zoo, rev. 9/11), Hartnett’s latest book tackles the home front. In the early days […]

Review of The Scraps Book

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The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert; illus. by the author Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    72 pp. 3/14    978-1-4424-3571-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-3572-8    $10.99 In a generously illustrated picture book memoir, Ehlert speaks directly to her audience, particularly readers who like collecting objects and making things. Aptly titled, the book is jam-packed […]

Review of My Bus

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My Bus by Byron Barton; illus. by the author Preschool    Greenwillow    40 pp. 4/14    978-0-06-228736-6    $16.99    g In a companion volume to My Car (rev. 11/01), we ride along with Joe as he drives Bus #123 across a bold-hued landscape populated with feline and canine passengers. “At my first stop, one dog gets on my […]

Review of Gobble You Up!

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Gobble You Up! by Gita Wolf; illus. by Sunita Preschool, Primary    Tara    40 pp. 10/13    978-81-923171-4-4    $34.95 The outline is familiar: after gulping down animal after animal, a greedy creature bursts. Here it’s a jackal who devours the dozen fish his best friend the crane has caught for him, then the crane herself, and so […]

Review of How I Discovered Poetry

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How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson; 
illus. by Hadley Hooper Middle School    Dial    103 pp. 1/14    978-0-8037-3304-6    $16.99    g In fifty poems (some previously published) Nelson chronicles her formative years during the 1950s, from age four to thirteen, against the backdrop of the cold war and stirrings of the civil rights movement and women’s […]

Review of Hello, Mr. Hulot

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Hello, Mr. Hulot by David Merveille; 
illus. by the author Primary    NorthSouth    56 pp. 9/13    978-0-7358-4135-2    $17.95 Monsieur Hulot, a character invented and played by French filmmaker Jacques Tati in such movies as Les Vacances de M. Hulot (Mr. Hulot’s Holiday), is one part schlemiel, one part everyman, one part existentialist, and all parts kindness. […]

Review of The Midnight Dress

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The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee High School    Knopf    281 pp. 10/13    978-0-375-85645-7    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-95645-4    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-449-81821-3    $9.99 Self-contained, morose fifteen-year-old Rose and her alcoholic father arrive in Australian beach town Leonora, and it seems like they may actually stay put for a spell, for once. Rose enrolls in school and […]

Review of Big Bad Wolf and Itsy Bitsy Spider

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Big Bad Wolf [Urgency Emergency!] by Dosh Archer; illus. by the author Primary    Whitman    48 pp. 9/13    978-0-8075-8352-4    $12.99 Itsy Bitsy Spider [Urgency Emergency!] by Dosh Archer; illus. by the author Primary    Whitman    48 pp. 9/13    978-0-8075-8358-6    $12.99 New readers are in for a treat with these British imports. Both are set in an emergency […]