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Review of Hands Up!

Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel; illus. by Shane W. Evans Preschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp.    g 1/19    978-0-525-55231-4    $17.99  In this affirmation of self-love for children of color, an exuberant brown-skinned girl recounts many situations in which she puts her “hands up”: playing peek-a-boo as a very young child, then, as she gets older, […]

Review of What Is Given from the Heart

What Is Given from the Heart by Patricia C. McKissack; illus. by April Harrison Primary, Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g  1/19    978-0-375-83615-2    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-93615-9    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-375-98800-4    $10.99  From the late Patricia McKissack, a story of giving — even when it seems one has nothing to spare. James Otis and […]

Field Notes: Camp Read-a-Rama: Learning to “Live Books”

Leader: Hey Nick. Nick: Yeah! L: Hey Nick. N: Yeah! L: Can you Gruff? N: Gruff-a-what? L: Can you Gruff? N: Gruff-a-lo. N: My hands are high, my feet are low, and this is how I Gruffalo. [Nick dances] All: His hands are high, his feet are low, and this is how he Gruffalos! [Everyone […]

Review of Martin Rising: Requiem for a King

Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney; 
illus. by Brian Pinkney Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    128 pp. 1/18    978-0-545-70253-9    $19.99 A creative poetic celebration of the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. that also, as a song for the dead, includes a meticulous explanation of how and why he died. Henny Penny […]

Review of I Am Loved

I Am Loved by Nikki Giovanni; illus. by Ashley Bryan Primary    Dlouhy/Atheneum    32 pp. 1/18    978-1-5344-0492-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0493-9    $10.99 A legendary pair presents a volume of verse worth remembering. Bryan’s recognizably vibrant, colorful, and moving illustrations accompany a selection of Giovanni’s poems (both new and previously published). The electric blue, sunny yellow, warm […]

Review of Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story!

Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story! by JaNay Brown-Wood; illus. by Priscilla Burris Preschool    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 8/17    978-1-58089-712-9    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-868-9    $9.99 No matter how big Grandma’s extended family grows, she always finds room for relatives and friends. The young, brown-skinned narrator describes in (generally) metered verse a gathering at Grandma’s house. The […]

Review of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes; illus. by Gordon C. James Primary   Millner/Bolden Books/Agate    32 pp. 10/17    978-1-57284-224-3    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-1-57284-808-5    $17.95 Brown skin, a dimpled smile, and a fresh haircut worthy of a standing ovation. Barnes takes a weekly, mundane activity for an African American boy — a trip […]

Review of Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford; illus. by Eric Velasquez Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    48 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-7636-8046-6    $16.99 Growing up in Puerto Rico, Arturo Schomburg (1874–1938) asked his teachers why his textbooks omitted black people. He knew their contributions mattered, and ravenously read to learn more. At seventeen, Schomburg […]