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Review of Look at the Weather

Look at the Weather by Britta Teckentrup; illus. by the author; trans. from the German and adapted by Shelley Tanaka Intermediate    Owlkids    152 pp.    g 4/18    978-1-77147-286-9    $19.95 “We have such a strong connection to weather, we can’t help but wonder about it.” Across the next 150-plus pages, Teckentrup’s words and illustrations embody this connection, […]

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 They Say Blue

They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki; illus. by the author Primary    Abrams    40 pp. 3/18    978-1-4197-2851-8    $17.99 A girl considers the wondrousness of the world around her, prompted by the colors she encounters throughout her day. While at the beach, she gazes across the water (“They say the sea is blue…But when I hold the […]

Review of The Book of Boy

The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock; illus. by Ian Schoenherr Intermediate, Middle School    Greenwillow    278 pp. 2/18    978-0-06-268620-6    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-268622-0    $7.99 Secundus is a pilgrim. A child, known simply as Boy, is a goatherd. Together they travel, master and servant, from France to Rome in the Holy Year of 1350. Each […]

An Interview with Denene Millner

In 2016 Chicago-based Agate Publishing announced the launch of a new line under its Bolden Books imprint dedicated to the work of African American authors. Writer, editor, journalist, and founder of the parenting website MyBrownBaby.com, Denene Millner began her eponymous imprint at Agate as “a love letter to children of color who deserve to see […]

2017 in Review: The Year in Pictures

Travis: I feel like we should begin with a great quote about children’s book illustration. Got one handy? Jules: Well, it’s not about illustration, but given this year’s Caldecott winner, I choose: “Hooooooooowwlll!” On that note, Travis, what are some of the things that stood out for you about the 2018 ALA Youth Media Award […]

Review of House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery

House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg; illus. by Julie Morstad Middle School, High School    Candlewick    339 pp.    g 6/18    978-0-7636-6057-4    $17.99 The author best known for Anne of Green Gables left behind extensive letters and journals; Rosenberg has gathered information from these and other sources to create a detailed […]

Review of The Penderwicks at Last

The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall Intermediate    Knopf    294 pp. 5/18    978-0-385-75566-5    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-75567-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-385-75568-9    $10.99 The Penderwick series finale (most recently The Penderwicks in Spring, rev. 3/15) is a summertime reverie set at the real-but-still-magical-seeming Arundel estate where it all began fifteen years before. Preparations are underway to […]

2017 in Review: The Year in Words

Literature, whether for adults or young readers, often reflects its time. Each year at awards time, along with such perennial debates as popularity versus literary quality, subjectivity, and age appropriateness, critics often focus on thematic treatments that are on the general public’s minds. Recent times have been challenging for many, with societal concerns such as […]

Review of A Big Mooncake for Little Star

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp.    g 8/18    978-0-316-40448-8    $17.99 Little Star and her mother bake a mooncake, the sweet treat associated with the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. The ingredients for their super-sized mooncake cover a mammoth table, because these two make their […]