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Reviews of 2017 Mind the Gap Award winners

Not all deserving books bring home ALA awards. Our annual Mind the Gap Awards pay tribute to our favorite books that didn’t win. Here’s how we reviewed our 2017 winners. The Airport Bookby Lisa Brown; illus. by the authorPrimary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp.5/16    978-1-62672-091-6    $17.99As an (interracial) family of four...
      

Reviews of the 2017 Sibert Award Winners

Winner: March: Book Threeby John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate PowellMiddle School, High School  Top Shelf Productions  254 pp.8/16    978-1-60309-402-3    $19.99    gThis final volume (March: Book One, rev. 1/14; March: Book Two, rev. 5/15) includes the expected and necessary set pieces from the civil rights...
      

Reviews of the 2017 CSK Illustrator Award winners

Winner Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiatby Javaka Steptoe; illus. by the authorPrimary Little, Brown 40 pp.10/16 978-0-316-21388-2 $17.99Picture books about artists are tricky. Should the illustrator mimic the subject’s style, or instead attempt to capture his or her essence? Steptoe does a little of both in...
      

Reviews of the 2017 Caldecott Award winners

Winner: Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiatby Javaka Steptoe; illus. by the authorPrimary    Little, Brown    40 pp.10/16    978-0-316-21388-2    $17.99Picture books about artists are tricky. Should the illustrator mimic the subject’s style, or instead attempt to capture his or her essence? Steptoe does a little of both in...
      

Review of Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune

Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsuneby Pamela S. Turner; 
illus. by Gareth HindsIntermediate, Middle School    Charlesbridge    236 pp.2/16    978-1-58089-584-2    $16.95Turner (The Frog Scientist, rev. 9/09) is best known for her science books for children; here she delivers an excellent biography of Japan’s legendary samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune. Because he...
      

Foreign Correspondence: Translator: Trafficking Between Cultures

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Translation has often been compared to the building of a bridge. The text originates from within one culture and has to arrive safely in another. A translator acts as travel guide across that bridge, helping the book to find its audience and success in a new land. Yes, some luggage...
      

Review of Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong

Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrongby Lesa Cline-Ransome; 
illus. by James RansomePrimary    Holiday    40 pp.4/16    978-0-8234-3428-2    $16.95e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3598-2    $16.95Today’s child may know Louis Armstrong only as the trumpeter of “What a Wonderful World” or as a character in an old movie; the Ransomes’ newest...
      

Review of Grayling's Song

Grayling’s Songby Karen CushmanIntermediate    Clarion    210 pp.6/16    978-0-544-30180-1    $16.99    gCushman’s previous works (The Midwife’s Apprentice, rev. 7/95; Will Sparrow’s Road, rev. 11/12; etc.) fall into the realm of historical fiction; this novel is historically based but a fantasy, set in a culture inspired by, but not wedded to, medieval Europe....
      

Review of The Moon's Almost Here

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The Moon’s Almost Hereby Patricia MacLachlan; 
illus. by Tomie dePaolaPrimary    McElderry    32 pp.6/16    978-1-4814-2062-4    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-4814-2063-1    $10.99MacLachlan’s lyrical text combines with ethereal illustrations by dePaola in this simultaneously nostalgic and fresh bedtime book. A generous trim size gives dePaola ample space for the sky under which his characters, the...
      

Review of Crossing Niagara: The Death-Defying Tightrope 
Adventures of the Great Blondin

Crossing Niagara: The Death-Defying Tightrope 
Adventures of the Great Blondinby Matt Tavares; illus. by the authorPrimary, Intermediate    Candlewick    36 pp.4/16    978-0-7636-6823-5    $17.99    gIn 1859, Jean François Gravelet — the Great Blondin — was the world’s greatest tightrope walker. Niagara Falls, then as now one of the world’s most breathtaking natural...

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