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Review of Animal Architects

Animal Architects by Amy Cherrix; illus. by Chris Sasaki Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    56 pp.    g 9/21    978-1-5344-5625-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-5626-6    $10.99 “Did you know the natural world is a construction zone? Whether they are large or small, in the ocean or on land, animals are amazing architects!” Cherrix (In...

Review of The Robber Girl

The Robber Girl by Franny Billingsley Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    416 pp.    g 9/21    978-0-7636-6956-0    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5362-0693-7    $9.99 Robber Girl only remembers the life she’s lived with outlaw Gentleman Jack, who rescued her when she was abandoned at age four. Or so he says. Now she’s eleven, a...

Review of Hurricane

Hurricane by John Rocco; illus. by the author Primary    Little, Brown    48 pp.    g 9/21    978-0-7595-5493-1    $17.99 Life is good for our young narrator. He loves to fish, crab, swim, and just watch the river passing by, and claims a little-used and neglected neighborhood dock as his own. One summer...

Review of Bad Sister

Bad Sister by Charise Mericle Harper; illus. by Rory Lucey Intermediate, Middle School    First Second    240 pp.    g 7/21    978-1-250-21906-0    $19.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-21905-3    $12.99 Skillfully told through the comics medium, this memoir centers on the author’s childhood experiences as a self-identified “bad sister”: “It wasn’t on purpose. The badness...

Review of Switch

Switch by A.S. King High School    Dutton    240 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-525-55551-3    $17.99 “It is, and has been, June 23, 2020, for nine months now.” Global time has inexplicably paused. The U.S. government has created a new school curriculum called “Solution Time” that instructs students “to solve the world’s time...

Review of The Fox and the Forest Fire

The Fox and the Forest Fire by Danny Popovici; illus. by the author Primary    Chronicle    40 pp.    g 8/21    978-1-7972-0282-2    $17.99 The book’s young narrator, sporting a red beanie, has just moved to the country with his mother and is not thrilled about it. “Nights are too quiet,” he complains....

Review of Survivor Tree

Survivor Tree by Marcie Colleen; illus. by Aaron Becker Primary, Intermediate    Little, Brown    48 pp.    g 8/21    978-0-316-48767-2    $18.99 Colleen uses the cycle of the seasons to tell the remarkable story of New York City’s Survivor Tree. Through lyrical prose, she describes the Callery pear tree as it stood for...

Review of Fast Pitch

Fast Pitch by Nic Stone Intermediate, Middle School    Crown    192 pp.    g 8/21    978-1-9848-9301-7    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-9848-9302-4    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-9303-1    $10.99 Softball is in Shenice “Lightning” Lockwood’s blood. The twelve-year-old catcher plays for the Fulton Firebirds, the first all-Black team in the league and the only team in...

Review of A House

A House by Kevin Henkes; illus. by the author Preschool    Greenwillow    32 pp.    g 9/21    978-0-06-309260-0    $18.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-309261-7    $19.89 Meet a house created out of simple forms and sturdy lines and nestled within a bordered square in a solid pastel blue space. The text (“A house”) is placed...

Review of Dust Off the Gold Medal: Rediscovering Children's Literature at the Newbery Centennial

Dust Off the Gold Medal: Rediscovering Children’s Literature at the Newbery Centennial edited by Sara L. Schwebel and Jocelyn Van Tuyl Routledge    264 pp.    g 7/21    978-0-367-33721-6    $160.00 e-book ed.  978-1-000-41761-6    $48.95 The Newbery Medal was first awarded in 1922; as the award approaches its centennial, this volume looks at...

Review of In the Shadow of the Fallen Towers: The Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, and Years After the 9/11 Attacks

In the Shadow of the Fallen Towers: The Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, and Years after the 9/11 Attacks by Don Brown; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Etch/Houghton   128 pp.    g 8/21    978-0-358-22357-3    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-21240-9    $14.99 Brown’s America Is Under Attack (rev. 11/11) offered...

Review of J.D. and the Great Barber Battle

J.D. and the Great Barber Battle by J. Dillard; illus. by Akeem S. Roberts Primary, Intermediate    Kokila/Penguin    128 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-593-11152-9    $15.99 Paper ed.  978-0-593-11154-3    $6.99 J.D. is excited about starting third grade at Douglass Elementary School. At least he was excited before his mom gave him a disastrous...

Review of The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess

The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess by Tom Gauld; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.    g 8/21    978-0-8234-4698-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-5067-1    $11.99 Familiar fairy-tale tropes are re-envisioned through Gauld’s (a cartoonist and New Yorker cover artist) particular deadpan lens for this original fairy tale....

Review of You Can't Say That: Writers for Young People Talk About Censorship, Free Expression, and the Stories They Have to Tell

You Can’t Say That: Writers for Young People Talk About Censorship, Free Expression, and the Stories They Have to Tell edited by Leonard S. Marcus Candlewick    220 pp.    g 7/21    978-0-7636-9036-6    $18.99 Marcus, author of many great interviews for The Horn Book Magazine, here compiles interviews with thirteen authors of...

Review of All Hands on Deck!: A Deadly Hurricane, a Daring Rescue, and the Origin of the Cajun Navy

All Hands on Deck!: A Deadly Hurricane, a Daring Rescue, and the Origin of the Cajun Navy by Robert Neubecker; illus. by the author Primary    Knopf    40 pp.    g 6/21    978-0-593-17689-4    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-593-17690-0    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-593-17691-7    $10.99 “The little boats come from all over the coast, one...

Review of Being Clem

Being Clem [Finding Langston] by Lesa Cline-Ransome Intermediate, Middle School    Holiday    256 pp.    g 8/21    978-0-8234-4604-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4896-8    $10.99 In the final installment of the trilogy (Finding Langston, rev. 9/18; Leaving Lymon, rev. 3/20), we are (re)introduced to Chicago-born Clemson Thurber Junior. Too young to remember his father,...

Review of El Cucuy Is Scared, Too!

El Cucuy Is Scared, Too! by Donna Barba Higuera; illus. by Juliana Perdomo Preschool, Primary    Abrams    40 pp.    g 7/21    978-1-4197-4445-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-64700-311-1    $15.54 Ramón, a Mexican American boy, is scared of starting school in a new town. El Cucuy, the Bogeyman in Mexican folklore, lives in a...

Review of From Sarah to Sydney: The Woman Behind All-of-a-Kind Family

From Sarah to Sydney: The Woman Behind All-of-a-Kind Family by June Cummins with Alexandra Dunietz Yale University Press    383 pp.    g 6/21    978-0-300-24355-0    $35.00 This long-awaited — and much ­anticipated — biography is the first ever of Sydney Taylor (1904–1978), author of the beloved All-of-a-Kind Family books about five Jewish...

Review of The Wisdom of Trees: How Trees Work Together to Form a Natural Kingdom

The Wisdom of Trees: How Trees Work Together to Form a Natural Kingdom by Lita Judge; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Roaring Brook    48 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-250-23707-1    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-82924-5    $10.99 Scientists are learning that trees communicate with one another, and with other species, by sending chemical...

Review of Harry Versus the First 100 Days of School

Harry Versus the First 100 Days of School by Emily Jenkins; illus. by Pete Oswald Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    240 pp.    g 6/21    978-0-525-64471-2    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-525-64472-9    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-64473-6    $10.99 Harry Bergen-Murphy is worried about a lot of things on the night before starting first grade —...

Review of I Can Make a Train Noise

I Can Make a Train Noise  by Michael Emberley and Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick; illus. by the authors  Preschool, Primary    Porter/Holiday    32 pp.    g  7/21    978-0-8234-4496-0    $18.99  e-book ed.  978-0-8234-5063-3    $11.99  The action begins on the book’s cover, where readers can spot a young child and her family walking down a busy city street, headed...

Review of A de Grummond Primer: Highlights of the Children's Literature Collection

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A de Grummond Primer: Highlights of the Children's Literature Collection edited by Carolyn J. Brown, Ellen Hunter Ruffin, and Eric L. Tribunella University Press of Mississippi    151 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-4968-3339-6    $45.00 e-book ed.  978-1-4968-3340-2    $30.00 A handsome introduction to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at the University of...

Review of This Very Tree: A Story of 9/11, Resilience, and Regrowth

This Very Tree: A Story of 9/11, Resilience, and Regrowth by Sean Rubin; illus. by the author Primary    Holt    48 pp.    g 5/21    978-1-250-78850-4    $18.99 This is the story of an extraordinary Callery pear tree, told in the voice of the tree itself. Planted in the 1970s, this early spring...

Review of Not My Problem

Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth High School    HarperTeen    368 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-06-295714-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-295716-0    $9.99 Bossy know-it-all perfectionist Meabh and underachieving social outcast Aideen are enemies at their Irish high school (think Derry Girls, but co-ed and with more than one wee lesbian). But when Aideen...

Review of My Two Border Towns

My Two Border Towns by David Bowles; illus. by Erika Meza Primary    Kokila/Penguin    40 pp.    g 8/21    978-0-593-11104-8    $17.99 Spanish ed.  978-0-593-32507-0    $17.99 A sleepy boy is nudged awake by his father for a routine Saturday trip, heading across the U.S.–Mexico border to “el Otro Lado.” As they reach the...

Review of The Art of Ramona Quimby: Sixty-Five Years of Illustrations from Beverly Cleary's Beloved Books

The Art of Ramona Quimby: Sixty Five Years of Illustrations from Beverly Cleary's Beloved Books by Anna Katz Chronicle    256 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-4521-7695-6    $40.00 This homage explores Cleary's beloved character through artwork by her five primary illustrators: Louis Darling, Alan Tiegreen, Joanne Scribner, Tracy Dockray, and Jacqueline Rogers. After...

Review of Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch

Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch by Heidi Tyline King; illus. by Ekua Holmes Primary, Intermediate    Putnam    40 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-101-99629-4    $17.99 American Beach in northeast Florida is now a protected part of the National Park Service, but it began as a private beach...

Review of Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-to-Be Best Friend

Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-to-Be Best Friend by Dawn Quigley; illus. by Tara Audibert Primary    Heartdrum/HarperCollins    80 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-06-301537-1    $15.99 Paper ed.  978-0-06-301538-8    $4.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-301539-5    $4.99 This series opener introduces Jo Jo Makoons Azure, a rambunctious first grader with “strong lungs” (according to her mom) and...

Review of Strollercoaster

 Strollercoaster by Matt Ringler; illus. by Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay Preschool    Little, Brown    32 pp.    g 6/21    978-0-316-49322-2    $17.99 Preschooler Sam needs a nap. “The inside feels too small” for her, and she throws a tantrum. There’s only one solution: her father swings her up into the air...

Review of Hello, Earth!: Poems to Our Planet

Hello, Earth!: Poems to Our Planet by Joyce Sidman; illus. by Miren Asiain Lora Primary, Intermediate    Eerdmans    72 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-8028-5528-2    $18.99 Sidman’s collection of short poems considers a variety of earth science concepts. On gorgeously illustrated pages that portray the planet in terms of space and time, weather...

Review of Baseball's Leading Lady: Effa Manley and the Rise and Fall of the Negro Leagues

Baseball’s Leading Lady: Effa Manley and the Rise and Fall of the Negro Leagues by Andrea Williams Middle School    Roaring Brook    336 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-250-62372-0    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-62373-7    $10.99 September 1946. Effa Manley is in the stands of New York City’s Polo Grounds to watch a Negro World...

Review of Take Back the Block

Take Back the Block by Chrystal D. Giles Intermediate, Middle School    Random    240 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-593-17517-0    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-593-17518-7    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-593-17519-4    $9.99 The most important things on Wes Henderson’s mind this summer are hanging out with his friends, having the newest, freshest sneakers, and preparing for...

Review of Wishes

Wishes by Mượn Thị Văn; illus. by Victo Ngai Primary    Orchard/Scholastic    40 pp.    g 5/21    978-1-338-30589-0    $18.99 A little girl living in an unsafe place watches her grandfather out the window. “The night wished it was quieter,” reads the text. With a page-turn: “The bag wished it was deeper,” as...

Review of The Elephants Come Home: A True Story of Seven Elephants, Two People, and One Extraordinary Friendship

The Elephants Come Home: A True Story of Seven Elephants, Two People, and One Extraordinary Friendship by Kim Tomsic; illus. by Hadley Hooper Primary    Chronicle    68 pp.    g 5/21    978-1-4521-2783-5    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-7972-0108-5    $11.99 On the first page of this moving true story, readers meet tenderhearted couple Lawrence and...

Review of The Legend of Auntie Po

The Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor; illus. by the author Middle School    Kokila/Penguin    304 pp.    g 6/21    978-0-525-55488-2    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-0-525-55489-9    $12.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-55490-5    $8.99 In this graphic novel, thirteen-year-old Mei Hao shares her homemade pies and homespun tales about the eponymous Auntie Po (a...

Review of On the Trapline

On the Trapline by David A. Robertson; illus. by Julie Flett Primary    Tundra    48 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-7352-6668-1    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-7352-6669-8    $10.99 From the creators of When We Were Alone (rev. 3/17) comes another powerful and affecting picture book, this one about a boy who accompanies his grandfather Moshom...

Review of Violet and Daisy: The Story of Vaudeville's Famous Conjoined Twins

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Violet and Daisy: The Story of Vaudeville’s Famous Conjoined Twins by Sarah Miller Middle School, High School    Schwartz & Wade/Random    320 pp.    g 4/21    978-0-593-11972-3    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-593-11973-0    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-593-11974-7    $10.99 On February 5, 1908, conjoined twins were born to Kate Skinner, an unwed mother, in Brighton,...

Review of Pawcasso

Pawcasso by Remy Lai; illus. by the author Intermediate    Holt    240 pp.    g 5/21    978-1-250-77448-4    $21.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-77449-1    $14.99 Lai’s finger is always precisely on the pulse of kid humor (see Pie in the Sky, rev. 7/19; Fly on the Wall, rev. 9/20), and she provides laughs galore in...

Review of The Museum of Everything

The Museum of Everything by Lynne Rae Perkins; illus. by the author Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-06-298630-6    $17.99 In this big, noisy world, a museum, even if it’s only in one’s imagination, is a place of quiet contemplation. With this absorbing and original picture book, Perkins offers a...

Review of The People's Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art

The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art by Cynthia Levinson; illus. by Evan Turk Primary, Intermediate    Abrams    48 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-4197-4130-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-64700-320-3    $15.54 Ben Shahn (1898–1969) was known as “the people’s painter” because his art told real stories about real people. Levinson...

Review of Wildflowers

Wildflowers by Liniers; illus. by the author Primary    TOON    40 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-943145-53-9    $12.95 Liniers (The Big Wet Balloon, rev. 9/13; Good Night, Planet, rev. 1/18) presents a charming celebration of nature, siblinghood, and imaginative play. As three sisters play together on a mysterious island (their backyard), they encounter...

Review of Wonder Walkers

Wonder Walkers by Micha Archer; illus. by the author Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g 3/21    978-0-593-10964-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-593-10966-3    $10.99 Two children sit inside a house near a shore, peering out the window. “Wonder walk?” asks one child. “Sure,” the other responds. At the page-turn, the children are outdoors,...

Review of We Are Still Here!: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know

We Are Still Here!: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know by Traci Sorell; illus. by Frané Lessac Primary, Intermediate    Charlesbridge    40 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-62354-192-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-63289-973-6    $9.99 In this informational picture book by the team behind We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga (rev. 11/18), a diverse group of students...

Review of My Last Summer with Cass

My Last Summer with Cass by Mark Crilley; illus. by the author High School    Little, Brown    256 pp.    g 3/21    978-0-7595-5546-4    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-0-7595-5545-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-70547-9    $9.99 In this graphic novel, Megan and Cass’s families have always summered together at a cottage in Topinabee, Michigan, where the...

Review of America My Love, America My Heart

America My Love, America My Heart by Daria Peoples-Riley; illus. by the author Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp.    g 4/21    978-0-06-299329-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-308934-1    $12.99 In an immediate, evocative text, a child of color asks America — her country, which she loves — if America loves her back. Against black,...

Review of Dear Treefrog

Dear Treefrog by Joyce Sidman; illus. by Diana Sudyka Primary    Houghton    40 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-358-06476-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-06671-2    $12.99 In what is in essence a nonfiction early-chapter-book in verse, a young girl moves to a new home. She’s lonely, but when she explores the garden, she observes a...

Review of Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Greenwillow    160 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-06-297042-8    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-297044-2    $8.99 Kelly (Newbery medalist for Hello, Universe, rev. 3/17, and honoree for We Dream of Space, rev. 5/20) reaches out to a younger audience in an...

Review of Early One Morning

Early One Morning by Mem Fox; illus. by Christine Davenier Preschool    Beach Lane/Simon    32 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-4814-0139-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-0140-1    $10.99 Fox (Where Is the Green Sheep?, rev. 5/04; Ducks Away!, rev. 1/18) delivers another impeccably paced book, hitting every beat and every page-turn perfectly. A little boy...

Review of Beyond: Discoveries from the Outer Reaches of Space

Beyond: Discoveries from the Outer Reaches of Space by Miranda Paul; illus. by Sija Hong Primary, Intermediate    Millbrook    32 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-5415-7756-5    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-7284-1898-8    $30.65 Paul’s (Nine Months, rev. 5/19) resonant verse examines phenomena in the far reaches of the universe: “Stretching the limits / of what...

Review of A Sitting in St. James

A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia High School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    480 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-06-236729-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-236732-7    $10.99 Williams-Garcia, whose YA titles include the 1995 classic Like Sisters on the Homefront and Jumped (rev. 3/09), offers an unusual angle on the subject of slavery with this...

Review of The Night Walk

The Night Walk by Marie Dorléans; illus. by the author; trans. from French by Polly Lawson Primary    Floris    32 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-78250-639-3    $17.95 Awakened by their mother’s voice and a sliver of light through their bedroom door, two children sleepily dress so they can “get there on time.” Where...

Review of What Are Little Girls Made Of?

What Are Little Girls Made Of? by Jeanne Willis; illus. by Isabelle Follath Primary    Nosy Crow/Candlewick    32 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-5362-1733-9    $14.99 What are little girls made of? More than “sugar and spice and everything nice” in Willis’s narrative-flipping revision of the classic rhyme. Her update? “Sun and rain and...

Review of Just Being Dalí: The Story of Artist Salvador Dalí

Just Being Dalí: The Story of Artist Salvador Dalí by Amy Guglielmo; illus. by Brett Helquist Primary, Intermediate    Putnam    40 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-9848-1658-0    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-1659-7    $10.99 This picture-book biography paints the Spanish surrealist artist as an imaginative, quirky person right from the start. As a child, he...

Review of Tag Team and Training Day

Tag Team [El Toro & Friends] by Raúl the Third; illus. by the author; color by Elaine Bay Primary    Versify/Houghton    56 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-358-38039-9    $9.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-39372-6    $6.99 Training Day [El Toro & Friends] by Raúl the Third; illus. by the author; color by Elaine Bay Primary    Versify/Houghton   ...

Review of We All Play

We All Play by Julie Flett; illus. by the author Preschool    Greystone Kids    40 pp.    g 5/21    978-1-77164-607-9    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-1-77164-608-6    $17.99 In Flett’s lively and beautifully illustrated story, animals engage in all sorts of playful behaviors, on land and in the water. Each spread depicts one or two...

Review of Niños: Poems for the Lost Children of Chile

Niños: Poems for the Lost Children of Chile by María José Ferrada; illus. by María Elena Valdez; trans. from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel Intermediate, Middle School    Eerdmans    80 pp.    g 3/21    978-0-8028-5567-1    $18.99 During General Pinochet’s dictatorship, thousands of Chilean citizens were “disappeared,” including thirty-four children. Ferrada’s (Mexique: A Refugee...

Review of A Shot in the Arm!

A Shot in the Arm! [Big Ideas That Changed the World] by Don Brown; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Amulet/Abrams   144 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-4197-5001-4    $13.99 e-book ed.  978-1-64700-090-5    $12.59 In this third installment of his Big Ideas That Changed the World comic-format series, Brown lays out the...

Review of Ophie's Ghosts

Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland Intermediate, Middle School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    336 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-06-291589-4    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-291585-6    $9.99 “When she was twelve, Ophelia Harrison saw her first ghost” — that of her father. Having been lynched for voting as a Black man in 1920s Georgia, he appears...

Review of Someone Builds the Dream

Someone Builds the Dream by Lisa Wheeler; illus. by Loren Long Primary    Dial    48 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-9848-1433-3    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-1434-0    $10.99 Written in aptly propulsive verse and illustrated with aptly muscular art, this is a paean to people who work with their hands. To make a house, an...

Review of Taking Care of Mama Rabbit

Taking Care of Mama Rabbit by Anita Lobel; illus. by the author Preschool    Wiseman/Simon    24 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-5344-7064-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-7063-7    $10.99 Mama Rabbit (from Lobel’s 10 Hungry Rabbits, rev. 1/12) is sick in bed, so, one at a time, the little rabbits bring small items to cheer...

Review of The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field

The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field by Scott Riley; illus. by Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien Primary, Intermediate    Millbrook    40 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-5415-7915-6    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-7284-1900-8    $9.99 Young Prasit Hemmin and his friends loved soccer. But because their small island...

Review of Merci Suárez Can’t Dance

Merci Suárez Can’t Dance by Meg Medina Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    384 pp.    g 4/21    978-0-7636-9050-2    $17.99 Merci navigates the troubles of home and seventh grade — and the gap between the two — with her irresistible combination of spirit and heart in this follow-up to the Newbery-winning Merci Suárez...

Review of Happy Springtime!

Happy Springtime! by Kate McMullan; illus. by Sujean Rim Preschool, Primary    Porter/Holiday    32 pp.    g 3/21    978-0-8234-4551-6    $18.99 Shades of icy blue suffuse the first double-page spread, with four kids all bundled up against a chilly, snowy day: “Here’s a message for school bus riders heading out on a cold,...

Review of The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau

The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Primary    Dial    40 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-593-11265-6    $17.99 In Agee’s 1988 picture book, a Horn Book Fanfare title, everyone at the Grand Contest of Art hates the title character’s painting — a simply drawn duck in a...

Review of Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued

Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued by Peter Sís; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Norton    64 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-324-01574-1    $19.95 e-book ed.  978-1-324-01575-8    $17.48 At the end of 1938, when the Germans invaded the border region of Czechoslovakia, a young...

Review of The One Thing You'd Save

The One Thing You’d Save by Linda Sue Park; illus. by Robert Sae-Heng Intermediate, Middle School    Clarion    72 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-328-51513-1    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-52601-8    $9.99 Ms. Chang has asked her students to think about what one thing they would save — beyond their families and pets — if...

Review of There Is a Rainbow

There Is a Rainbow by Theresa Trinder; illus. by Grant Snider Preschool, Primary    Chronicle    48 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-7972-1166-4    $15.99 A reassuring text and upbeat illustrations get to the heart of our shared COVID-19 experience — gently acknowledging loss and uncertainty while offering a message of hope and resilience. Trinder’s...

Review of The Blind Colt

The Blind Colt by Glen Rounds; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Holiday    83 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-8234-4353-6    $17.99 “You can’t hurry a Glen Rounds book,” says artist Matt Myers, who opens this eightieth anniversary edition with a new appreciation of the author-illustrator. That’s certainly true of this quiet yet...

Review of Saint Spotting; Or, How to Read a Church

Saint Spotting; Or, How to Read a Church by Chris Raschka; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Eerdmans    40 pp.    g 4/21    978-0-8028-5521-3    $17.99 Framing the book as an autobiographical recollection, Raschka provides a guide to “Saint Spotting,” a sort of game he and his mother would play while visiting...

Review of Firekeeper's Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley High School    Holt    496 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-250-76656-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-76657-1    $10.99 Recent high school graduate Daunis Firekeeper (known for much of the book by her white mother’s family name, Fontaine) decides to stay in Sault St. Marie, Michigan, and attend Lake State with...

Review of The Ramble Shamble Children

The Ramble Shamble Children by Christina Soontornvat; illus. by Lauren Castillo Preschool, Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g 3/21    978-0-399-17632-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-54582-5    $10.99 “Down the mountain, across the creek, past the last curve in the road, five children lived together in a ramble shamble house.” From this first welcoming...

Review of El Deafo: Superpowered Edition!

El Deafo: Superpowered Edition! by Cece Bell; illus. by the author; color by David Lasky Intermediate, Middle School    Amulet/Abrams    288 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-4197-4831-8    $19.99 Bell’s 2014 graphic memoir is here re-issued with a wealth of “superpowered extras.” Childhood photos with friendly hand-lettered captions, often showing key items referenced in...

Review of From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial That Galvanized the Asian American Movement

From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial That Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo High School    Norton    384 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-324-00287-1    $19.95 e-book ed.  978-1-324-00288-8    $17.48 Who was Vincent Chin? The brutal 1982 killing of the young Chinese American...

Review of Starfish

Starfish by Lisa Fipps Intermediate, Middle School    Paulsen/Penguin    256 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-9848-1450-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-1451-7    $10.99 Since she was five, Ellie (now eleven) has lived by a list of Fat Girl Rules: “Make yourself small”; “Move slowly so / your fat doesn’t jiggle”; “When you hear laughter, /...

Review of Yes & No

Yes & No by Elisha Cooper; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-250-25733-8    $18.99 Cooper brings readers the sweet tale of a cat and a dog, different as can be, illustrated in the same unfussy, ­minimalistic style as his Caldecott Honor–­winning Big Cat, Little...

Review of The Shrinking of Treehorn: 50th Anniversary Edition

The Shrinking of Treehorn: 50th Anniversary Edition by Florence Parry Heide; illus. by Edward Gorey Primary, Intermediate    Holiday    80 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-8234-4703-9    $16.99 “Something very strange was happening to Treehorn.” And with that, we’re off, to follow young Treehorn’s tribulations as he wakes up one day to discover that...

Review of Meltdown: Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Disaster in Fukushima

Meltdown: Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Disaster in Fukushima by Deirdre Langeland Middle School, High School    Roaring Brook    208 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-62672-700-7    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-62672-699-4    $10.99 In time for the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster (March 2011), Langeland chronicles the largest nuclear disaster of the twenty-first century....

Review of Billy Miller Makes a Wish

Billy Miller Makes a Wish by Kevin Henkes Primary, Intermediate    Greenwillow    192 pp.    g 4/21    978-0-06-304279-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-304281-0    $8.99 When Billy Miller fell on his head at the beginning of The Year of Billy Miller (rev. 9/13), he worried about forgetting things and whether he was smart enough...

Review of The Midnight Fair

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The Midnight Fair by Gideon Sterer; illus. by Mariachiara Di Giorgio Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-5362-1115-3    $16.99 Forest creatures emerge from the shadows to have their own nighttime fun at the county fairgrounds in this wordless and wondrous picture book. Once the humans head home for the evening,...

Review of Ice!: Poems About Polar Life

Ice!: Poems About Polar Life by Douglas Florian; illus. by the author Primary    Holiday    48 pp.    g 12/20    978-0-8234-4101-3    $17.99 Twenty-one humorous poems, each with an accompanying whimsical illustration (an emperor penguin sitting on a throne, wistfully looking at birds in flight, for example), introduce readers to Florian’s (Friends and...

Review of Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by Jeff Gottesfeld; illus. by Matt Tavares Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-5362-0148-2    $17.99 “In life we were our mothers’ sons. / In death we are faded photos on the mantel, / empty chairs at Thanksgiving, / prayers in...

Review of The Lion of Mars

The Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm Intermediate, Middle School    Random    272 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-593-12181-8    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-593-12182-5    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-593-12183-2    $9.99 Eleven-year-old Bell is the youngest resident of the American settlement on Mars. Along with the older kids — like Bell, all orphans transported from...

Review of Mel Fell

Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor; illus. by the author Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    40 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-06-287801-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-308952-5    $12.99 This playful and innovatively designed book tells the story of a small bird who is eager to fly. When Mama leaves the tree one day, Mel...

Review of The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice

The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice by A. F. Harrold; illus. by Mini Grey Intermediate    Bloomsbury    160 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-5476-0677-1    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5476-0678-8    $13.99 Harrold (The Song from Somewhere Else, rev. 5/17) presents poems (a few repurposed from previous collections) full of practical and not-so-practical insights on...

Review of Gone to the Woods: Surviving a Lost Childhood

Gone to the Woods: Surviving a Lost Childhood by Gary Paulsen Intermediate, Middle School    Farrar    368 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-374-31415-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-374-31416-3    $10.99 The prolific Paulsen dips into his seemingly inexhaustible well of memories to pen yet another memoir. Employing the same third-person narrative voice he used in...

Review of Amber & Clay

Amber & Clay by Laura Amy Schlitz; illus. by Julia Iredale Middle School, High School    Candlewick    544 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-5362-0122-2    $22.99 Curation, historical fiction, performance piece — Schlitz (Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!, rev. 11/07) brings a bundle of learning, artifice, and intentionality to this highly stylized tale of ancient...

Review of Keeping the City Going

Keeping the City Going by Brian Floca; illus. by the author Primary    Dlouhy/Atheneum    40 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-5344-9377-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-9378-0    $10.99 Caldecott winner Floca (Locomotive, rev. 9/13) presents a love letter to New York City and its essential workers during COVID-19. “We are here at home now, watching...

Review of Hard-Boiled Bugs for Breakfast: And Other Tasty Poems

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Hard-Boiled Bugs for Breakfast: And Other Tasty Poems by Jack Prelutsky; illus. by Ruth Chan Intermediate    Greenwillow    144 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-06-301913-3    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-301915-7    $9.99 Prelutsky fans specifically, and fans of humorous poetry generally, should find just what they’re looking for here: nonsense confidently delivered in lines that...

Review of Separate No More: The Long Road to Brown v. Board of Education

Separate No More: The Long Road to Brown v. Board of Education by Lawrence Goldstone Middle School, High School    Focus/Scholastic    288 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-338-59283-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-59285-6    $11.99 Goldstone (Unpunished Murder, rev. 9/18) takes a long view of the historic 1954 civil rights case Brown v. Board of...

Review of The Ambassador of Nowhere Texas

The Ambassador of Nowhere Texas by Kimberly Willis Holt Intermediate, Middle School    Ottaviano/Holt    320 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-250-23410-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-23411-7    $9.99 The narrator of this sequel to National Book Award winner When Zachary Beaver Came to Town (rev. 11/99) is Rylee Wilson, daughter of the first book’s protagonist,...

Review of The Rock from the Sky

The Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    96 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-5362-1562-5    $18.99 In this collection of five connected short stories, clocking in at over ninety pages and composed solely of dialogue, Klassen introduces readers to a turtle, an armadillo, and a snake...

Review of The Three Billy Goats Gruff: The FULL Story

The Three Billy Goats Gruff: The FULL Story by Richard Jackson; illus. by Katherine Tillotson Preschool, Primary    Dlouhy/Atheneum    48 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-4814-1573-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-1574-3    $10.99 It’s “the FULL story” of the classic tale of the three billy goats and the menacing troll, or what late author Jackson...

Review of Osnat and Her Dove: The True Story of the World's First Female Rabbi

Osnat and Her Dove: The True Story of the World’s First Female Rabbi by Sigal Samuel; illus. by Vali Mintzi Primary, Intermediate    Levine Querido    40 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-64614-037-4    $17.99 Osnat Barzani (1590–1670) convinced her father, a rabbi, to teach her to read Hebrew, unusual as that was for a...

Review of Last Night at the Telegraph Club

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo High School    Dutton    416 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-525-55525-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-55526-1    $10.99 High school senior Lily Hu lives in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1954 with her medical professional parents; she behaves obediently and dreams of working at the Jet Propulsion...

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 The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas

The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas by María García Esperón; illus. by Amanda Mijangos; trans. from Spanish by David Bowles Intermediate, Middle School, High School    Levine Querido    240 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-64614-015-2    $21.99 In this ambitious and expansive compendium, Esperón collects and presents lore and legend from a...

Review of Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston

Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston by Alicia D. Williams; illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara Primary, Intermediate    Dlouhy/Atheneum    48 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-5344-1913-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-1914-8    $10.99 “In a town called Eatonville…lived a girl who was attracted to tales like mosquitos to...

Review of Too Small Tola

Too Small Tola by Atinuke; illus. by Onyinye Iwu Primary    Candlewick    96 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-5362-1127-6    $15.99 Tola is small, but she is mighty. In three episodic chapters, Tola uses her not-inconsequential perseverance to help her grandmother, other family members, and those in her wider Lagos community. As she does...

Review of The Passover Guest

The Passover Guest by Susan Kusel; illus. by Sean Rubin Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-8234-4562-2    $18.99 This reimagining of I. L. Peretz’s 1904 Yiddish story “Der Kunzen-Macher” (“The Magician”) follows Muriel, a young girl living in Washington, D.C., during the Great Depression. On the first night of Passover,...

Review of Building Zaha: The Story of Architect Zaha Hadid

Building Zaha: The Story of Architect Zaha Hadid by Victoria Tentler-Krylov; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Orchard/Scholastic    48 pp.    g 12/20    978-1-338-28283-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-67489-7    $11.99 With fittingly bold, whimsical, flowing illustrations, this picture-book biography showcases Iraqi British architect Zaha Hadid, who “dreamed big and defied convention.” Born...
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