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Minh Lê

About Minh Lê

Minh Lê is the author of Drawn Together, illustrated by Dan Santat, and Let Me Finish!, illustrated by Isabel Roxas. He blogs about children's literature at Bottom Shelf Books and writes and reviews for a variety of publications, including the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and The Horn Book Magazine. He served on the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee.

Review of Julián Is a Mermaid

Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 5/18    978-0-7636-9045-8    $16.99 The 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, walking […]

Review of A Most Unusual Day

A Most Unusual Day by Sydra Mallery; 
illus. by E. B. Goodale Primary    Greenwillow    32 pp.    g 4/18    978-0-06-236430-2    $17.99 Morning 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 usually […]

Review of The Antlered Ship

The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater; illus. by the Fan Brothers Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp. 9/17    978-1-4814-5160-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5161-1    $10.99 A 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

Lines by Suzy Lee; illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    32 pp. 9/17    978-1-4521-5665-1    $17.99 The 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 launches […]

Review of A Different Pond

A Different Pond by Bao Phi; illus. by Thi Bui Primary, Intermediate    Capstone    32 pp.    g 8/17    978-1-62370-803-0    $15.95 e-book ed.  978-1-62370-804-7    $9.95 Hours 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 Whale by Mordicai Gerstein Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp.    g 11/17    978-1-62672-505-8    $17.99 When 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 saving […]

Review of When’s My Birthday?

When’s My Birthday? by Julie Fogliano; illus. by Christian Robinson Preschool   Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 9/17    978-1-62672-293-4    $17.99 When 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 a […]

Review of Now

Now by Antoinette Portis; illus. by the author Preschool    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp. 7/17    978-1-62672-137-1    $17.99 A 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 opens […]

2016 in Review: The Year in Pictures: Somehow Still Beautiful

His drawings are not neat or clean, nor does he color inside the lines. They are sloppy, ugly, and sometimes weird, but somehow still beautiful. —from Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe At the end of each year, I take a step back to reflect upon the latest crop of picture books to see if any […]

Review of Uncle Holland

Uncle Holland by JonArno Lawson; illus. by Natalie Nelson Primary    Groundwood    32 pp. 4/17    978-1-55498-929-4    $17.95 Lawson, author of the touching Sidewalk Flowers (rev. 5/15), returns with a whimsical story based on his uncle Holland, who was always getting into trouble as a child. With an eye for pretty things and […]