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About Nell Beram

Nell Beram is coauthor of the young adult biography Yoko Ono: Collector of Skies (Amulet/Abrams), which made the 2014 Amelia Bloomer Project list and YALSA’s 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound list.

Review of The Party and Other Stories

The Party and Other Stories [Fox + Chick] by Sergio Ruzzier; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Chronicle    46 pp. 4/18    978-1-4521-5288-2    $14.99 In a volume with a picture book’s trim size but plenty of graphic-novel elements (simply structured panels, dialogue balloons, sound effects), Ruzzier delivers three stories well suited to both reading newcomers and […]

Review of Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown; illus. by John Parra Primary    NorthSouth    40 pp. 9/17    978-0-7358-4269-4    $17.95 Spanish ed.  978-0-7358-4292-2    $17.95 Mexican painter, feminist icon, artistic genius — to these descriptors for Frida Kahlo we should add “animal lover.” That’s the takeaway from this lovely biographical portrait (simultaneously published in a Spanish-language edition), […]

Review of Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters!

Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters! by Marikka Tamura; illus. by Daniel Rieley Preschool    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g 1/18    978-1-101-99696-6    $16.99 The book begins with a snapshot of penguin paradise: “Penguins on ice. / Penguins in the sea. Penguins love the sea!” But wait: “WHAT is this?” A ship has spilled its oil in the ocean. The cold, […]

Review of A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars

A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars by Seth Fishman; illus. by Isabel Greenberg Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp. 9/17    978-0-06-245578-9    $17.99 “This entire world is filled with crazy numbers, built one on top of the other, making it whole and complete.” Fishman and Greenberg engagingly highlight the wondrousness of numbers and stars, as well as just about […]

Review of The Book of Mistakes

Luyken, Corinna The Book of Mistakes 56 pp. Dial 2017. ISBN 978-0-7352-2792-7 (3) K–3 “It started / with one mistake”: a drawing of a girl’s head has mismatched eyes. “But the glasses — they were a good idea”: the eyes are now masked by glasses. The pattern of mistakes followed by cover-ups continues, becoming a […]

Review of Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals by Mo Willems; illus. by the author Preschool    Hyperion    32 pp. 5/17    978-1-4847-6746-7    $15.99 An offstage narrator addresses listeners using the language of the hospitality industry: “THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. / Your arrival has been anxiously awaited…PLEASE / ENJOY YOUR STAY.” Our world is presented as a cruise […]

Review of Trudy’s Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm

Trudy’s Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm by Sue Macy; illus. by Matt Collins Primary    Holiday    40 pp. 3/17    978-0-8234-3665-1    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3825-9    $16.95 Bitter cold, fatigue, leg cramps, driftwood obstacles, jellyfish stings, threats of shark attacks — it’s the rare individual who would risk […]

Review of Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger

Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger by Anita Silvey Intermediate    Clarion    104 pp. 8/16    978-0-547-33012-9    $17.99 “Pete Seeger became the most important folk singer of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. But he might have chosen a very different path.” In addition to abundant primary source material, Silvey makes terrific […]

Review of Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist

Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood; illus. by Duncan Tonatiuh Primary, Intermediate    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 9/16    978-1-58089-673-3    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-825-2    $9.99 Growing up in Mexico, Juan Garcia Esquivel got an earful of mariachi, but he wanted to create his own sound. Self-taught and persistent, he was playing piano at a radio station at […]

Review of 88 Instruments

88 Instruments by Chris Barton; 
illus. by Louis Thomas Primary    Knopf    32 pp. 8/16    978-0-553-53814-4    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-53815-1    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-553-53823-6    $10.99 Move over, kid in the candy shop: a child has been unleashed in a music store, and the sight of its many — eighty-eight — instruments has the effect of […]