Dean Schneider

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Review of Bear Island

Bear Island by Matthew Cordell; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Feiwel    48 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-250-31716-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-82193-5    $10.99 As in his Caldecott Medal–winning Wolf in the Snow (rev. 11/16), Cordell begins his story before the title page, a series of wordless images telling of loss and...

Review of A Hopeful Heart: Louisa May Alcott Before Little Women

A Hopeful Heart: Louisa May Alcott Before Little Women by Deborah Noyes Middle School, High School    Schwartz & Wade/Random    304 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-525-64623-5    $18.99 Library ed.  978-0-525-64624-2    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-64625-9    $11.99 Before he actually had children, Bronson Alcott wondered, “Can parents limit ­outside influences and raise a perfect...

Review of The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall’s Life, Leadership, and Legacy

The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall’s Life, Leadership, and Legacy by Kekla Magoon; illus. by Laura Freeman Primary, Intermediate    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    40 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-06-291251-0    $17.99 “Thurgood would become the first to do a lot of things that a Black person had never done before.” When he attended Lincoln University,...

The 2021 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

It’s hard to believe this is the fourth annual selection for the Robin Smith Picture Book Prize, four years since my wife, Robin Smith, died of cancer at age 57. Robin co-founded Calling Caldecott, reviewed for the Horn Book Magazine and Kirkus Reviews, served on the Caldecott committee and several others,...

Review of Try It!: How Frieda Caplan Changed the Way We Eat

Try It!: How Frieda Caplan Changed the Way We Eat by Mara Rockliff; illus. by Giselle Potter Primary, Intermediate    Beach Lane/Simon    32 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-5344-6007-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-6008-9    $10.99 Go to a market today, and the range of foods is amazing. Thank produce pioneer Frieda Caplan for that....

Review of One Real American: They Life of Ely S. Parker, Seneca Sachem and Civil War General

One Real American: The Life of Ely S. Parker, Seneca Sachem and Civil War General by Joseph Bruchac Middle School    Abrams    248 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-4197-4657-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-64700-163-6    $15.54 Ely (“pronounced, he always said, to rhyme with freely”) Samuel Parker was “a man who more than any other...

In a Jar

Aren’t all of us collectors? If we are conscious of the lives we lead, we know we collect things. We treasure our partners, children, friendships, books, the myriad fine moments that make a life. But look even closer — “see a world in a grain of sand,” as William Blake would...

If You Come to Earth

How do you fit the whole world between the covers of a picture book? How do you describe our whole world to an alien? Well, narrator Quinn gives it a good shot in If You Come to Earth. (Sophie Blackall avoids gendering Quinn for this book.) Quinn writes, “Dear Visitor...

Review of Becoming Muhammad Ali: Based on the Story of Young Cassius Clay

Becoming Muhammad Ali: Based on the Story of Young Cassius Clay by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander; illus. by Dawud Anyabwile Intermediate, Middle School    Patterson/Little, Brown/Houghton    320 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-316-49816-6    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-49818-0    $9.99 Patterson and Alexander, two heavyweights in the world of books (and their respective publishing...

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