Susan Dove Lempke

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Review of I Begin with Spring: The Life and Seasons of Henry David Thoreau

I Begin with Spring: The Life and Seasons of Henry David Thoreau by Julie Dunlap; illus. by Megan Elizabeth Baratta Intermediate, Middle School    Tilbury    96 pp.    g 3/22    978-0-88448-908-5    $18.95 Dunlap begins her illustrated biography with a question posed by Thoreau in a school report, his earliest known writing: “Why...

Review of Out of This World: Star-Studded Haiku

Out of This World: Star-Studded Haiku by Sally M. Walker; illus. by Matthew TruemanPrimary    Candlewick    48 pp.    g4/22    978-1-5362-0356-1    $18.99The huge expanse of space and its mind-blowing wonders are crystalized by Walker (Earth Verse, rev. 1/18) into seventeen precise syllables making up each of thirty-two haiku. She begins with the...
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Review of I’m Not Sydney!

I’m Not Sydney! by Marie-Louise Gay; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Groundwood    40 pp.    g3/22    978-1-77306-597-7    $19.99e-book ed.  978-1-77306-599-1    $16.99On the title page, Sydney, a towheaded boy, stands smiling beneath a tree, but when the story starts, he is no longer in sight. Now up in the tree, he answers...
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Review of Duet

Duet by Elise Broach; illus. by Ziyue ChenIntermediate    Ottaviano/Little, Brown    304 pp.    g5/22    978-0-316-31135-9    $16.99e-book ed.  978-0-316-31155-7    $9.99Mirabelle, a goldfinch with a sparkling personality, narrates this engaging music-focused mystery con brio. She attributes her excellent taste in music to listening through the window to a world-renowned pianist, and she’s intrigued...
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Review of The Puffin Keeper

The Puffin Keeper by Michael Morpurgo; illus. by Benji DaviesPrimary, Intermediate    Puffin Canada    112 pp.    g2/22    978-0-73527-180-7    $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-73527-181-4    $10.99Morpurgo writes a deliciously old-fashioned story to celebrate Puffin Books’ eightieth anniversary, naming his main character after the founder, Allen Williams Lane. The story begins when a lighthouse keeper makes...
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Review of Lifeling

Lifeling by Kirsty ApplebaumIntermediate    Holt    272 pp.    g4/22    978-1-250-31735-3    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-250-31736-0    $10.99Twelve-year-old Lonny is a lifeling: he has the ability to restore life to dying creatures—though this special power causes him to age every time he uses it. He’s close to adult-size now; to protect him, his watchmaker father...
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Review of A Is for Bee: An Alphabet Book in Translation

A Is for Bee: An Alphabet Book in Translation by Ellen Heck; illus. by the authorPrimary    Levine Querido    40 pp.    g3/22    978-1-64614-127-2    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-64614-153-1    $17.99It would seem that alphabet picture books have covered everything from A to Z (including mixing things up à la Bingham and Zelinsky’s hilarious Z...
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Review of On a Rainy Day

On a Rainy Day by Sarah LuAnn Perkins; illus. by the authorPreschool    Viking    32 pp.    g3/22    978-0-593-40508-6    $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-593-40510-9    $10.99The “WHOOOSH!” and CRRRREAK!” of a swing is interrupted by the “dit dot drip!” of raindrops, and “soon, there are more.” A brown-skinned, dark-haired father and daughter reluctantly head to...

Review of Poems from When We Were Very Young

Poems from When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne; illus. by Rosemary Wells Preschool    Norton    80 pp.    g 10/21    978-1-324-01653-3    $19.95 e-book ed.  978-1-324-01654-0    $17.48 Wells says in an opening note that she chose her favorite twelve poems from Milne’s beloved classic to present in “picture-book format.” She...
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