Adrienne L. Pettinelli

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New for New Readers: Beginning Reader Roundup Fall 2023

The most important things we can do as teachers, librarians, caregivers, and book creators are to understand how children acquire ­reading skills and ensure they’re getting access to high-quality books. These books should engage new readers while also systematically providing the opportunity to practice the skills they need to become...

Review of Maybe a Whale

Maybe a Whale by Kirsten Pendreigh; illus. by Crystal SmithPrimary    Groundwood    40 pp.8/23    9781773066646    $21.99e-book ed.  9781773066653    $16.99The unnamed narrator’s grandfather has died, and her mother is taking her on a trip he had planned for them, to the ocean to see his beloved whales. The girl doesn’t want to...

Review of Pass the Baby

Pass the Baby by Susanna Reich; illus. by Raúl ColónPreschool    Porter/Holiday    32 pp.10/23    9780823450855    $18.99e-book ed.  9780823457311    $11.99Reich offers up a rhythmic, rhyming celebration of family, particularly the family’s youngest member: “Call the guests to gather round, / grab a chair and take a seat. / Baby’s fussing, must be...

Review of Ways to Play

Ways to Play by Lyn Miller-Lachmann; illus. by Gabriel AlborozoPreschool, Primary    Levine Querido    40 pp.8/23    9781646142590    $18.99Riley likes to tear up old newspapers, line stuffies up by size, and draw colorful swirls. But when Bossy Older Cousin Emma and her sister, Violet, come to visit, Bossy Emma says Riley’s games...

Review of Hornbeam All In

Hornbeam All In by Cynthia Rylant; illus. by Arthur HowardPrimary    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp.12/23    9781665924818    $18.99e-book ed.  9781665924825    $10.99This cozy transitional reader introduces a new character in prolific author Rylant’s pantheon: Hornbeam, a moose who loves his friends, sleeping, and potato salad. Three short chapters tell everyday stories: Hornbeam attends...

The Hospital Book

When I was a young librarian, there was one clear choice to give families who were looking for books to share with children before surgery or when a beloved relative was in the hospital: Going to the Hospital by Fred Rogers. Looking at a copy now, the fashions and medical equipment...

Review of What Happened to You?

What Happened to You? by James Catchpole; illus. by Karen GeorgePreschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp.4/23    9780316506472    $18.99Joe is having a ball playing pirate at the playground until some kids he hasn’t met before arrive. One of them shouts, “You’ve only got one leg!” Joe agrees, unimpressed: “And you’ve just...

A Flag for Juneteenth

I am fortunate to have quilts made by my Italian-American great-grandmother. She used scraps of the fabric from the dresses she sewed for her four daughters to make crazy quilts, though she delved into patterns, too, when her girls were older and her life less frantic. These quilts teach me...

Review of The Remarkable Rescue at Milkweed Meadow

The Remarkable Rescue at Milkweed Meadow by Elaine Dimopoulos; illus. by Doug SalatiPrimary, Intermediate    Charlesbridge    192 pp.5/23    9781623543334    $17.99e-book ed.  9781632893062    $9.99“Bird affairs are not rabbit affairs,” says Butternut’s mother. But when the young rabbit meets Piper, an outgoing and adventurous fledgling robin, she starts connecting with other animals in...

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