Book Reviews

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Review of Hello: How Nüwa Created the World

Hello: How Nüwa Created the World by Viola Wang; illus. by the author Primary    Little Bee    40 pp. 2/24    9781499814927    $18.99 e-book ed.  9781499814934    $9.99 This story (inspired by the Chinese myth of Nüwa, who crafted humankind) takes readers and listeners on a journey back to a time “when the...

Review of Stories of the Islands

Stories of the Islands by Clar Angkasa; illus. by the authorIntermediate, Middle School    Holiday    176 pp.10/23    9780823449781    $22.99Paper ed.  9780823455737    $14.99e-book ed.  9780823457281    $11.99These graphic-format retellings of three Indonesian folktales steer their female protagonists away from traditional “superficial tropes” and render them as empowered, intelligent characters who determine their own...

Review of The North Wind & the Sun

The North Wind & the Sun by Philip Stead; illus. by the authorPreschool    Porter/Holiday    48 pp.10/23    9780823455836    $18.99In this retelling of an Aesop’s fable, three elderly sisters don their patched-up coats—yellow, blue, and red—and head out for a walk. The next two spreads are vertically oriented: readers turn the book...

Review of The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale

The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale by Jon Klassen; illus. by the authorPrimary    Candlewick    112 pp.7/23    9781536223361    $19.99e-book ed.  9781536232158    $19.99“One night…Otilla finally ran away.” After trekking through the snowy forest, she knocks at the door of a large old house. A skull in the window says he’ll let the girl...

Review of Arthur, the Always King

Arthur, the Always King by Kevin Crossley-Holland; illus. by Chris RiddellIntermediate, Middle School    Candlewick Studio    240 pp.4/23    9781536212655    $29.99Crossley-Holland (the Arthur Trilogy, including The Seeing Stone, rev. 11/01) presents a retelling of several Arthurian stories and parts of Thomas Malory’s sweeping Morte d’Arthur. He has shaped his work “to tell...

Review of The Making of Butterflies

The Making of Butterflies by Zora Neale Hurston; adapted by Ibram X. Kendi; illus. by Kah Yangni Preschool    Amistad/HarperCollins    24 pp. 3/23    9780063111585    $9.99 In this board-book adaptation of a pourquoi story chronicled in Hurston’s 1935 anthology Mules and Men, Kendi and Yangni collaborate to introduce young children to the...

Review of Ancient Night

Ancient Night by David Álvarez with David Bowles; illus. by David Álvarez Preschool, Primary    Em Querido/Levine Querido    40 pp. 3/23    9781646142514    $18.99 Spanish ed.  9781646142545    $18.99 e-book ed.  9781646142859    $18.99 Rabbit keeps the moon shining brightly by trekking across the world to bring back aguamiel, “the precious, glowing nectar that...

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 An Illustrated Collection of Nordic Animal Tales

An Illustrated Collection of Nordic Animal Tales by Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin; illus. by the author; trans. from Finnish by Jill G. Timbers Primary, Intermediate    Floris    128 pp.    g 10/22    978-1-78250-744-4    $22.95 These twenty-six Nordic tales are mostly inspired by stories from the author-illustrator’s native Finland. In a brief introduction, Surojegin...
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