Martha V. Parravano

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Vroom!

Barbara McClintock's Vroom! is one of my favorite picture books of 2019 for very young children — and I'm a perennial cheerleader for great books for the youngest, though they rarely if ever garner Caldecott recognition. Still! They are worth speaking up for.  In recognition of its audience, Vroom! wastes no...

Review of The Shortest Day

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper; illus. by Carson Ellis Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 10/19    978-0-7636-8698-7    $17.99 “So the shortest day came, and the year died, / And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world / Came people singing, dancing / To drive the dark away.” Thus begins...

Review of A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation

A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation by Barry Wittenstein; illus. by Jerry Pinkney Primary, Intermediate    Porter/Holiday    48 pp.    g 8/19    978-0-8234-4331-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4374-1    $11.99 This superbly executed picture book takes readers behind the scenes of the writing of Dr....

Review of Love and the Rocking Chair

Love and the Rocking Chair by Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon; 
illus. by the authors Primary    Blue Sky/Scholastic    40 pp.    g 10/19    978-1-338-33265-0    $18.99 In this final collaboration (a note explains that much of the book, which was drawn from the couple’s own experiences, had been finished and put aside...

Review of Double Bass Blues

Double Bass Blues by Andrea J. Loney; illus. by Rudy Gutierrez Primary    Knopf    32 pp.    g 10/19    978-1-5247-1852-7    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-1853-4    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1854-1    $10.99 Told entirely through dialogue and sound effects, the story follows double-bass player Nic as he performs an “epic solo” at band practice at...

Offbeat pet picture books

Four picture books feature stories of unusual pets, from a ghost cat to a balloon puppy to a dog who thinks he's a baked potato. Also check out Jon Agee's hilarious new picture book I Want a Dog, reviewed in the upcoming November/December Horn Book Magazine, in which a determined...

Review of Born to Fly: The First Women’s Air Race Across America

Born to Fly: The First Women’s Air Race Across America by Steve Sheinkin; illus. by Bijou Karman Middle School    Roaring Brook    264 pp.    g 9/19    978-1-62672-130-2    $19.99 “There were about nine thousand licensed pilots in the United States in 1929. Fewer than one hundred of them were women. Of those,...

Review of Spot & Dot

Spot & Dot by Henry Cole; illus. by the author Primary    Little Simon    32 pp. 8/19    978-1-5344-2555-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2556-9    $10.99 We first met cat Spot and Spot’s boy owner in Spot, the Cat (rev. 3/16). Here Cole adds two new characters: dog Dot (like Spot, white with one...

Review of Daniel's Good Day

Daniel’s Good Day by Micha Archer; illus. by the author Preschool    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g 5/19    978-0-399-54672-3    $16.99 “What makes a good day for you?” As young Daniel (of Daniel Finds a Poem) walks through his busy city neighborhood (where he “knows many people”) to spend the day with his...

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