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Martha V. Parravano

About Martha V. Parravano

Martha V. Parravano is book review editor of The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog.

Kate, Who Tamed the Wind

Kate, Who Tamed the Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon; illus. by Lee White Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 2/18    978-1-101-93479-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93480-7    $20.99 This ecologically friendly picture book opens quietly, but it soon pivots from its lulling beginning (“The man lived all alone in the creaky house on the tip-top of […]

Review of A Skinful of Shadows

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge Middle School, High School    Amulet/Abrams    415 pp. 10/17    978-1-4197-2572-2    $19.99 Hardinge’s (The Lie Tree, rev. 5/16) latest tour de force is set during the reign of King Charles I against the backdrop of the 1600s English Civil War and is, as unlikely as it sounds, something of a […]

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse

Last Friday, the team from the Guessing Geisel blog dropped by to discuss some 2017 picture books with possible crossover Geisel and Caldecott appeal. One of the titles was Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s Triangle. But today we’re here to discuss Barnett and Klassen’s other 2017 picture book, The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse […]

Review of The Librarian of Auschwitz

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe; trans. from the Spanish by Lilit Žekulin Thwaites High School    Godwin/Holt    424 pp. 10/17    978-1-62779-618-7    $19.99 January 1944: “In this life-destroying factory that is Auschwitz-Birkenau, where the ovens burn corpses day and night, Block 31 is atypical, an anomaly.” It’s where the children in camp BIIb, or the […]

Review of Ducks Away!

Ducks Away! by Mem Fox; illus. by Judy Horacek Preschool    Scholastic    32 pp.    g 1/18    978-1-338-18566-9    $16.99 Fox and Horacek (Where Is the Green Sheep?, rev. 5/04) team up again in this silly, cheerful counting book for the very youngest. When a mother duck waddles onto a bridge, she’s followed by her five ducklings — […]

Review of Windows

Windows by Julia Denos; illus. by E. B. Goodale Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 10/17    978-0-7636-9035-9    $15.99 “At the end of the day, before the town goes to sleep… / you can take a walk, out your door / into the almost-night.” A brown-skinned child puts on a red hoodie and heads out to take the […]

Good Night, Planet

Good Afternoon, (Picture Book) Planet! I have to say that one of the best moments of this Calling Caldecott season was realizing that Argentine artist Liniers is currently a Vermont resident, making his comic book story Good Night, Planet eligible for Caldecott consideration. (Helps a bit with the disappointment of not being able to cover the brilliant Written […]

Review of The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 10/17    978-0-7636-7754-1    $17.99 The opening of this latest Barnett/Klassen collaboration (an original pourquoi tale) seems to presage dire events: “Early one morning, a mouse met a wolf, and he was quickly gobbled up.” But once inside, […]

In the middle of fall

Celebrate the season with these four autumnal picture books, perfect for sharing with preschoolers as the days get chillier. For more, see last November’s Notes article “Wonderfall!” In Rachael Cole’s City Moon, a mother and child embark on an autumnal evening ritual: they take a walk through the city, looking for the moon. The sharp-eyed […]

Review of The War I Finally Won

The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley Intermediate    Dial    388 pp.    g 10/17    978-0-5254-2920-3    $16.99 This sequel to Bradley’s Newbery Honor–winning The War That Saved My Life (rev. 1/15) begins with high drama: surgery for London-slum-born Ada to correct her clubfoot; the news that abusive Mam has died; Ada’s mistaken belief that she’ll […]