Vicky Smith

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Review of Patchwork

Patchwork by Matt de la Peña; illus. by Corinna Luyken Primary    Putnam    48 pp.    g 8/22    978-1-9848-1396-1    $18.99 Spanish ed.  978-0-593-53234-8    $18.99 A rhythmic text speaks to an unnamed child in the second person, describing what “we see” and how that trait or characteristic may inform a young...

Review of I Don’t Care

I Don’t Care by Julie Fogliano; illus. by Molly Idle and Juana Martinez-Neal Preschool, Primary     Porter/Holiday    40 pp.    g 11/22     978-0-8234-4345-1     $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-5430-3    $11.99 It’s all about the body language in this enjoyable collaboration. Idle (Flora and the Flamingo, rev. 7/13; Witch Hazel, rev. 9/22)...
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Review of The Poem Forest: Poet W. S. Merwin and the Palm Tree Forest He Grew from Scratch

The Poem Forest: Poet W. S. Merwin and the Palm Tree Forest He Grew from Scratch by Carrie Fountain ; illus. by Chris Turnham Primary     Candlewick    32 pp.         g9/22     978-1-5362-1126-9     $18.99 Readers meet poet and conservationist William Stanley Merwin (1927–2019) as a child, reading a...

Review of Hello, Moon

Hello, Moon by Evan Turk; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    40 pp.    g 9/22    978-1-5344-0080-1    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0081-8    $10.99 “Look! The Moon!” a child exclaims. “Should we go out to say hello?” Child and caretaker bundle up and head out into the snowy night to greet it;...

Review of Celia Planted a Garden: The Story of Celia Thaxter and Her Island Garden

Celia Planted a Garden: The Story of Celia Thaxter and Her Island Garden by Phyllis Root and Gary D. Schmidt; illus. by Melissa SweetPrimary, Intermediate    Candlewick    40 pp.    g5/22    978-1-5362-0429-2    $18.99Largely forgotten today, American writer Celia Laighton Thaxter enjoyed a significant literary career in the latter half of the nineteenth...
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Review of The Blanket Where Violet Sits

The Blanket Where Violet Sits by Allan Wolf; illus. by Lauren Tobia Preschool     Candlewick    32 pp.    g8/22    978-0-7636-9665-8    $17.99 In this preschooler’s introduction to the universe, a little girl’s city-set picnic with two loving caregivers zooms from the titular blanket out to “the known universe, past comprehension,” and back. Wolf...

Considering the Criteria: Addressing Book Discussion Guidelines in the Twenty-First Century

In our awards-focused children’s book industry, the calendar is full of rituals. January is when we learn which books won ALA awards and which did not; June is when we celebrate those winners. With the turning of the season to fall, this is the moment in the award year when...

Newbery 2011

As a member of two Newbery committees myself (A Single Shard, 2002; Criss Cross, 2006), I have tried to school myself against second-guessing what goes on behind those closed doors every January. It’s a certainty that committee members have read all of the books more often than I have, and...
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