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Five questions for Jessica Love

In Jessica Love's picture book Julián Is a Mermaid (Candlewick, 4–7 years), the little-boy protagonist daydreams about becoming a mermaid. Left to his own devices, he fashions a mermaid costume from household items and applies a coat of lipstick…but what will Abuela think?1. This is the best type of "message...

Review of Julián Is a Mermaid

Julián Is a Mermaidby Jessica Love; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g5/18    978-0-7636-9045-8    $16.99The story begins on the front endpapers with a group of older women in a pool and a boy swimming underwater. The next spread (on the copyright and title pages) shows the child, Julián,...

Review of A Most Unusual Day

A Most Unusual Dayby Sydra Mallery; 
illus. by E. B. GoodalePrimary    Greenwillow    32 pp.    g4/18    978-0-06-236430-2    $17.99Morning arrives, and Caroline, who is “usually” up with the birds, can’t get herself out of bed. There is something coming later in the day, and the anticipation is obviously affecting her: “Caroline was...

Review of The Antlered Ship

The Antlered Shipby Dashka Slater; illus. by the Fan BrothersPrimary    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp.9/17    978-1-4814-5160-4    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5161-1    $10.99A young fox’s inquisitiveness sets him apart from the other foxes. Marco’s questions and observations are playful and wide-ranging, from “Why don’t trees ever talk?” to “How deep does the sun go...

Review of Lines

Linesby Suzy Lee; illus. by the authorPreschool    Chronicle    32 pp.9/17    978-1-4521-5665-1    $17.99The front endpapers show a pencil and eraser on a blank page. The main story begins with a solitary figure skater tracing a crisp line across the ice. What follows are wordless pages of elegant choreography as the skater...

Review of A Different Pond

A Different Pondby Bao Phi; illus. by Thi BuiPrimary, Intermediate    Capstone    32 pp.    g8/17    978-1-62370-803-0    $15.95e-book ed.  978-1-62370-804-7    $9.95Hours before sunrise, a father and son go fishing for that night’s meal. So begins this powerfully understated picture book, which shifts the focus of the refugee narrative from the harrowing journey...

Review of The Boy and the Whale

The Boy and the Whaleby Mordicai GersteinPrimary    Roaring Brook    40 pp.    g11/17    978-1-62672-505-8    $17.99When a whale gets caught in their only fishing net, a boy and his father have drastically different reactions. The father leaves the ensnared animal in search of a replacement net, while the boy is focused on...

Review of When's My Birthday?

When’s My Birthday?by Julie Fogliano; illus. by Christian RobinsonPreschool   Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp.9/17    978-1-62672-293-4    $17.99When it comes to young children, there is one day that supersedes all others: the birthday. Fogliano understands the singular focus children have for this day and captures that intensity by repeating the word birthday with...

Review of Now

Nowby Antoinette Portis; illus. by the authorPreschool    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp.7/17    978-1-62672-137-1    $17.99A natural follow-up to Portis’s Wait (rev. 7/15), about a woman in a rush and the child who reminds her to stop and smell the roses, Now is an affirmation of the present and its many wonders. It...

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