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Reviews of the Week

Each week we publish four brand-new reviews of books people are — or should be — talking about. Look for recommended picture books on Mondays, fiction on Tuesdays, nonfiction on Wednesdays, and poetry on Thursdays.

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 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 […]

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 […]

Review of Rebound

Rebound by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Dawud Anyabwile Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    414 pp. 4/18    978-0-544-86813-7    $16.99 In this prequel to Alexander’s Newbery Medal–winning The Crossover (rev. 5/14), it’s the summer of 1988, and twelve-year-old Charlie Bell would rather roller-skate with his two best friends or escape into the pages of his beloved Fantastic Four […]

Review of Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word

Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word by Sarah Jane Marsh; illus. by Edwin Fotheringham Primary, Intermediate    Disney-Hyperion    80 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-4847-8144-9    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-368-02251-4    $10.99 Corset maker. Sailor. Tax collector. Husband. Thomas Paine fails at all these pursuits. But what he can do is write and persuade, and when in 1774 he immigrates […]

Review of All Summer Long

All Summer Long by Hope Larson; illus. by the author Middle School    Farrar    172 pp. 5/18    978-0-374-30485-0    $21.99 Paper ed.  978-0-374-31071-4    $12.99 This sensitive, realistic coming-of-age graphic novel by Eisner winner (most recently, for her Wrinkle in Time graphic novel adaptation) Larson beautifully captures the experiences of finding one’s own rhythm and place in a […]

Review of Niblet & Ralph

Niblet & Ralph by Zachariah OHora; illus. by the author Primary    Dial    40 pp.    g 6/18    978-0-7352-2791-0    $17.99 Gemma lives with her dad and her cat, Ralph, in an apartment across the hall from Dilla, his mom, and Dilla’s cat, Niblet. Though Gemma and Dilla have not yet met, Ralph and Niblet are fast friends, […]