Grace McKinney

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Review of Kondo & Kezumi Visit Giant Island

Kondo & Kezumi Visit Giant Island by David Goodner; illus. by Andrea Tsurumi Primary    Little, Brown    80 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-368-02577-5    $15.99 e-book ed.  978-1-368-04605-3    $9.99 Kondo, a large yellow creature, and Kezumi, a small orange creature, live on an island full of “berry bushes and flitter-birds and fluffle-bunnies.” One...

Review of What About Worms!?

What About Worms!? [Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!] by Ryan T. Higgins; illus. by the author; with additional illustrations by Mo Willems Primary    Hyperion    64 pp.    g 5/20    978-1-368-04573-5    $9.99 Tiger is BIG. Tiger is BRAVE. Tiger is afraid of nothing...“except worms.” Tiger, a plush Calvin and Hobbes-ian animal with...

Review of Rita & Ralph's Rotten Day

Rita & Ralph’s Rotten Day by Carmen Agra Deedy; illus. by Pete Oswald Preschool, Primary    Scholastic    48 pp. 3/20    978-1-338-21638-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-59927-5    $10.99 Rita and Ralph are best friends. Each day they meet at the apple tree midway between their houses and play games together. One day the...

Review of My Best Friend

My Best Friend by Julie Fogliano; illus. by Jillian Tamaki Preschool    Atheneum    32 pp. 3/20    978-1-5344-2722-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2723-5    $10.99 What begins on the title spread as a small redheaded girl hesitantly approaching another girl on a tire swing becomes an ode to making friends. Our narrator gleefully shares this discovered joy:...

Review of Best Friends

Best Friends by Shannon Hale; illus. by LeUyen Pham; color by Hilary Sycamore Intermediate, Middle School    First Second/Roaring Brook    250 pp. 8/19    978-1-250-31745-2    $21.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-31746-9    $12.99 In this follow-up to her graphic memoir Real Friends (rev. 5/17), Hale straps in to the roller coaster rides, both real and...

Review of Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot!

Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! by Cece Bell; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    70 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-7636-7936-1    $12.99 Gone are the days of Dick and Jane easy readers, with their boring characters and their notably unthreatening dog. Bell’s (El Deafo, rev. 11/14; the Rabbit & Robot books)...

Sea Bear

I typically shy away from books that carry any sort of “message.” The heavy hand of adulthood often lands a little too hard for my taste, replacing narrative and beauty with “You get it now, right?” Not so in Lindsay Moore’s nonfiction picture book Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival. In...

Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World

I saw the cover and a single preview page of Christy Hale’s Water Land online and thought gleefully (and a little smugly) to myself that Hale probably had no idea she’d put together a perfect Montessori picture book. It’s just like our Water and Land Forms! Simple! Elegant! Clean! If only she...

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