Cynthia K. Ritter

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Review of Oscar's Tower of Flowers

Oscar’s Tower of Flowers by Lauren Tobia; illus. by the author Preschool    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 5/21    978-1-5362-1777-3    $17.99 In her first solo picture book, Tobia (illustrator of the beloved Anna Hibiscus books) crafts an affecting and wordless tale of separation, growth, neighborliness, and love. Viewers are introduced to young...

Five questions for Marcie Colleen and Aaron Becker

This Saturday will mark the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. For children born after this tragic event in which 2,996 individuals lost their lives in New York; Washington, DC; and Pennsylvania, reading books such as Marcie Colleen and Aaron Becker’s moving tribute Survivor Tree (Little, Brown, 6–9 years)...

2021: The Year of the Tree?

We've spotted the birds and the bees, then bears, now trees? Yes, that's right, a new trend in picture books is putting down roots (and it's also been pretty prevalent in longer works, too; see Maybe, Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly for just one such example from this...

Review of Friends Forever

Friends Forever by Shannon Hale; illus. by LeUyen Pham; color by Hilary Sycamore and LeUyen Pham Intermediate, Middle School    First Second    299 pp.    g 8/21    978-1-250-31755-1    $21.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-31756-8    $12.99 In Hale’s third graphic memoir (Real Friends, rev. 5/17; Best Friends, rev. 11/19), thirteen-year-old Shannon is now in eighth...

Review of Mazie

Mazie  by Melanie Crowder  High School    Philomel    352 pp.    g  2/21    978-0-525-51674-3    $17.99  In 1959, seventeen-year-old Mazie suddenly finds herself with the funds to leave Nebraska and spend six weeks in New York City pursuing her Broadway dreams. At first she’s overwhelmed and lonely, living in the big city at a boardinghouse for...

Review of Taking Care of Mama Rabbit

Taking Care of Mama Rabbit by Anita Lobel; illus. by the author Preschool    Wiseman/Simon    24 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-5344-7064-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-7063-7    $10.99 Mama Rabbit (from Lobel’s 10 Hungry Rabbits, rev. 1/12) is sick in bed, so, one at a time, the little rabbits bring small items to cheer...

Review of The Blind Colt

The Blind Colt by Glen Rounds; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Holiday    83 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-8234-4353-6    $17.99 “You can’t hurry a Glen Rounds book,” says artist Matt Myers, who opens this eightieth anniversary edition with a new appreciation of the author-illustrator. That’s certainly true of this quiet yet...

Review of Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers' Rights

Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers’ Rights by Deborah Hopkinson; illus. by Kristy Caldwell Primary, Intermediate   Peachtree    40 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-68263-136-2    $18.99 Not only was workers’ rights advocate and public servant Frances Perkins (1880–1965) the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet, she also improved the welfare...

Review of Grace Banker and Her Hello Girls Answer the Call: The Heroic Story of WWI Telephone operators

Grace Banker and Her Hello Girls Answer the Call: The Heroic Story of WWI Telephone Operators by Claudia Friddell; illus. by Elizabeth Baddeley Primary, Intermediate    Calkins/Boyds Mills & Kane   40 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-68437-350-5    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-63592-371-1    $11.99 Already a college graduate and an instructor at a switchboard operators’...
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