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Review of North, South, East, West

North, South, East, West by Margaret Wise Brown; illus. by Greg Pizzoli Primary     Harper/HarperCollins     40 pp. 1/17     978-0-06-026278-5     $17.99 Pizzoli’s digital illustrations for this never-before-published text by Margaret Wise Brown follow a little red bird whose mother sings to her about taking flight. She sets out exploring […]

Auggie and Her, Jess’s Dad and Me

Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia was one of the first books to make me cry. I was in fourth grade when I read it, and Leslie’s death wrecked me. I wept at its suddenness, at the shock of a child’s death, and at the plain wrongness of it all while my heart ached for Leslie’s […]

Review of Nanette’s Baguette

Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems; illus. by the author Primary    Hyperion    40 pp. 10/16    978-1-4847-2286-2    $17.99    g Willems’s latest picture book takes place in France, where the mother of a young anthropomorphic frog entrusts her daughter, the eponymous Nanette, with the responsibility of purchasing a baguette. The village Nanette traverses on her way to the […]

Review of Before Morning

Before Morning by Joyce Sidman; 
illus. by Beth Krommes Preschool    Houghton    48 pp. 10/16    978-0-547-97917-5    $17.99    g Sidman and Krommes (Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow, rev. 9/06; Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature, rev. 9/11) reunite for this picture-book evocation of a child’s hopes. Wordless front-matter illustrations rendered in Krommes’s signature scratchboard […]

Becoming “A Better Witness for What’s Beautiful”: Reading Last Stop on Market Street with Children

Last Stop on Market Street was among my top choices for 2016 Caldecott gold, so I was delighted when illustrator Christian Robinson won both Coretta Scott King and Caldecott honors. And, like many in the room at the ALA Youth Media Awards Announcements last January, I was also surprised — and delighted! — when it […]

Review of The Moon’s Almost Here

The Moon’s Almost Here by Patricia MacLachlan; 
illus. by Tomie dePaola Primary    McElderry    32 pp. 6/16    978-1-4814-2062-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-2063-1    $10.99 MacLachlan’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 Excellent Ed

Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty; 
illus. by Julia Sarcone-Roach Primary    Knopf    32 pp. 5/16    978-0-553-51023-2    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-51024-9    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-553-51025-6    $10.99 Ed, the beloved dog in the Ellis family, has a bit of an inferiority complex. Each of the five alliteratively named Ellis children has something that he or she is “excellent” […]

Review of Oops Pounce Quick Run!: An Alphabet Caper

Oops Pounce Quick Run!: An Alphabet Caper by Mike Twohy; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins 32 pp.   2/16   978-0-06-237700-5   $17.99   g Shelves may groan under the weight of abecedaries, but this one stands out with its use of alphabetic structure to tell a spare, fast-paced story through cartoon illustrations that excel […]

Review of On the Ball

On the Ball by Brian Pinkney; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Disney-Hyperion   32 pp. 9/15   978-1-4847-2329-6   $17.99 Pinkney’s latest picture-book offering begins on a soccer field, then takes flight as a young boy’s imagination soars. The opening text reads, “Owen loved playing ball,” and the accompanying illustrations show a boy first dribbling and then […]

Waiting

Many have praised Kevin Henkes’s artistic achievements in Waiting. The Horn Book review, for example, cites “confident brown outlines filled in with a muted palette of light greens, blues, and pinks in colored-pencil and watercolor.” While I recognize and laud such successes, I believe the criterion of “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child […]