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Review of Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki; illus. by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    298 pp. 5/19    978-1-250-31284-6    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-1-62672-259-0    $17.99 This relatable, heart-wrenching, and often funny graphic novel opens with seventeen-year-old Frederica (“Freddy”) Riley’s email to advice columnist Anna Vice. “For almost the past year I’ve been […]

Five questions for Mariko Tamaki

Charismatic, too-cool Laura Dean is many things — but a good girlfriend is not one of them. Mariko Tamaki (author of Skim and This One Summer, both illustrated by Jillian Tamaki) and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell’s relatable, warm, and witty graphic novel Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (Roaring Brook/First Second, 14 years and up) follows […]

One of the choices

A couple of years ago, I had an idea for a blog post: a collection pictures I’d taken of my kids over time, having fallen asleep on books or with books next to them, asleep, in their beds. Gripping, right? Well, that post hasn’t come to pass…you’re welcome. Elissa’s post about her kids reading rather […]

Peep show…or how, nevertheless, the Little Red Hen persisted

Spring has sprung around Boston! Daffodils are blooming, birds are singing, and our library is hosting a “Peep Literary Diorama Exhibition.” This year, my family got in on the fun with our own entry. I’m using family and our loosely. I thought my kids would be excited about the idea of making a shoe-box diorama […]

Review of New Kid

New Kid by Jerry Craft; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Harper/HarperCollins    249 pp.    g 2/19    978-0-06-269120-0    $21.99     Paper ed.  978-0-06-269119-4    $12.99     e-book ed.  978-0-06-269121-7    $10.99  Craft’s engaging graphic novel follows Jordan Banks (an African American seventh grader from Washington Heights) through his first year at the prestigious Riverdale Academy Day School (RAD). Jordan […]

Review of On a Sunbeam

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden; illus. by the author High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    537 pp. 10/18    978-1-250-17814-5    $32.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-17813-8    $21.99 This serial webcomic turned epic graphic novel tells Mia and Grace’s story in two alternating, far-future timelines, each initially distinguished by a different limited palette. In the first timeline, depicted in […]

Review of My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder

My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder by Nie Jun; illus. by the author; trans. from the Chinese by Edward Gauvin Primary, Intermediate    Graphic Universe/Lerner    128 pp. 9/18    978-1-5124-4590-9    $30.65 Paper ed.  978-1-5415-2642-6    $9.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5124-9859-2    $30.65 In the first of four stories in this graphic novel for young readers, Yu’er, who walks with […]

Review of Hey, Kiddo

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Graphix/Scholastic    320 pp.    g 10/18    978-0-545-90247-2    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-0-545-90248-9    $14.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-90249-6    $9.99 Krosoczka offers a graphic memoir that is altogether more mature in style, theme, and content than his previous work for younger audiences (the Lunch Lady series; […]

CaldeComics, Part One

Today on Calling Caldecott, Alec Chunn writes about three 2018 graphic novels. He will contribute a second graphic novel round-up post later this year. —J.D. Jillian and Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer was (controversially) chosen as a 2015 Caldecott Honor book. A graphic novel hasn’t received recognition since, though Thi Bui and Bao Phi’s 2018 Caldecott […]

Review of Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide

Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero; illus. by Zeke Peña Middle School, High School    Getty    96 pp. 3/18    978-1-947440-00-5    $19.95 This 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Award–winning biography introduces readers to “an icon. Orgullo mexicano. Maestra.” Photographer Graciela Iturbide’s (b. 1942) story is told in comic-panel format, with striking black-and-white illustrations, high-quality […]