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Reviews of the 2024 CSK Illustrator Award Winners

Winner An American Story by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Dare Coulter Primary, Intermediate    Little, Brown    56 pp. 1/23    9780316473125    $18.99 Alexander and Coulter have created a powerful counternarrative in their efforts to answer the question, “How do you tell a story about slavery?” Starting before Africans were forcibly brought to...
      

Reviews of the 2024 Caldecott Medal Winners

Winner Big by Vashti Harrison; illus. by the author Primary    Little, Brown    64 pp. 5/23    9780316353229    $19.99 e-book ed.  9780316566223    $12.99 As Harrison writes in her author’s note, “In childhood, big is good. Big is impressive, aspirational. But somewhere along the way, the world begins to tell us something different:...
      

Reviews of 2023 Mind the Gap Award winners

Not all deserving books bring home ALA awards. Our annual Mind the Gap Awards pay tribute to our favorite books that didn’t win. Here’s how we reviewed our 2023 winners.   Every Dog in the Neighborhood by Philip C. Stead; illus. by Matthew Cordell Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.    g 6/22   ...
      

Reviews of the 2023 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Award Winner and Honor Books

Fiction and Poetry Winner Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley High School    Holt    400 pp. 5/23    9781250766588    $19.99 e-book ed.  9781250766595    $11.99 Boulley returns to Sugar Island, Michigan, in 2014, ten years after the events of the multi-award-winning Firekeeper’s Daughter (rev. 5/21). This novel’s protagonist is Daunis’s sixteen-year-old niece, Perry...
      

Review of The Three Billy Goats Gruff

The Three Billy Goats Gruff retold by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen Preschool, Primary    Orchard/Scholastic    48 pp. 10/22    9781338673845    $18.99 Frequent collaborators Barnett and Klassen serve up a delectable rendition of the oft-retold folktale. The bare-bones narrative “clip clops” along with abundant humor and plenty of verbal delights, repetition,...
      

Review of Stars of the Night: The Courageous Children of the Czech Kindertransport

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Stars of the Night: The Courageous Children of the Czech Kindertransport by Caren Stelson; illus. by Selina Alko Primary, Intermediate    Carolrhoda    40 pp. 2/23    9781541598683    $19.99 In this quiet but immediate nonfiction picture book, Stelson (A Bowl Full of Peace, rev. 7/20) tells the story of the 669 children evacuated...
      

Review of Let’s Go!

Let’s Go! [I Like to Read: Comics]by Michael Emberley; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Holiday    40 pp.1/23    9780823446520    $14.99e-book ed.  9780823455096    $8.99Emberley’s crew of critters (I Did It!, rev. 9/22) returns for another exciting early-reader comic. This fast-paced story begins before its title page with a caped reptile launching a...
      

Review of Nell Plants a Tree

Nell Plants a Tree by Anne Wynter; illus. by Daniel MiyaresPreschool, Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    40 pp.1/23    9780062865779    $17.99Wynter (Everybody in the Red Brick Building, rev. 11/21) presents a loving brown-skinned family through the generations in a story that explores, by providing glimpses into the past, how long it takes...
      

Review of The Last Plastic Straw: A Plastic Problem and Finding Ways to Fix It

The Last Plastic Straw: A Plastic Problem and Finding Ways to Fix It [Books for a Better Earth] by Dee Romito; illus. by Ziyue Chen Primary    Holiday    40 pp. 2/23    9780823449491    $18.99 e-book ed.  9780823455133    $11.99 A fascinating history of straws morphs into a call to action. The first two-thirds...
      

Review of Unraveller

Unraveller by Frances HardingeMiddle School, High School    Amulet/Abrams    432 pp.1/23    9781509836970    $19.99e-book ed.  9781647005627    $15.54In a magical land where anger grows like an egg inside certain people until it bursts into a destructive curse, quick-tempered Kellen has a special talent: through persistent sleuthing and his own lively intuition, he can...
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