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Review of School’s First Day of School

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex; 
illus. by Christian Robinson Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 6/16    978-1-59643-964-1    $17.99    g We’ve had many books about kids getting ready for the first day of school, but now we have another perspective: the school’s itself. The title page shows the finishing touches being added to a […]

Review of Thunder Boy Jr.

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie; 
illus. by Yuyi Morales Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 5/16    978-0-316-01372-7    $17.99    g “I HATE MY NAME!” Why, Thunder Boy Smith complains, couldn’t he have been named “Sam” like his mother (Agnes) wanted? And why does he have to share his name with his father, Thunder Boy Smith […]

Review of Among a Thousand Fireflies

Among a Thousand Fireflies by Helen Frost; photos by Rick Lieder Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/16    978-0-7636-7642-1    $15.99    g Frost and Lieder (Step Gently Out; Sweep Up the Sun) collaborate on a third picture book featuring a poem by Frost illustrated with Lieder’s luminous photographs, this time on the subject 
of fireflies. Frost’s short […]

Review of A Tangle of Gold

A Tangle of Gold [Colors of Madeleine] by Jaclyn Moriarty Middle School, High School    Levine/Scholastic    470 pp. 4/16    978-0-545-39740-7    $17.99    g e-book ed. 978-0-545-77735-3    $17.99 Going into this final book in the trilogy set in two worlds (A Corner of White, rev. 5/13; The Cracks in the Kingdom, rev. 3/14), Moriarty left herself with an […]

Review of On the Farm, at the Market

On the Farm, at the Market by G. Brian Karas; illus. by the author Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    40 pp. 4/16    978-0-8050-9372-8    $16.99 Karas divides his entertaining and enlightening behind-the-scenes story of a farmers’ market into two sections. The first, “On the Farm,” places a sunny focus on the daily grind that keeps three types of farms […]

Review of Prairie Dog Song: The Key to Saving 
North America’s Grasslands

Prairie Dog Song: The Key to Saving 
North America’s Grasslands by Susan L. Roth and Cindy 
Trumbore; illus. by Susan L. Roth Primary    Lee & Low    40 pp. 4/16    978-1-62014-245-5    $18.95    g Roth and Trumbore take off from the cumulative folk song “The Green Grass Grew All Around” to detail the plight of the prairie […]

Review of Raymie Nightingale

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo Intermediate    Candlewick    264 pp. 4/16    978-0-7636-8117-3    $16.99    g When ten-year-old Raymie Clarke’s father runs away with a dental hygienist, Raymie has no idea how to take charge of her life. Her mother’s no help, and her father’s secretary simply assures her that “most things work out right in the end.” […]

Review of Horrible Bear!

Horrible Bear! by Ame Dyckman; 
illus. by Zachariah OHora Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 4/16    978-0-316-28283-3    $16.99 The action begins on the title-page spread, with a little red-haired girl standing on the bottom of the left-hand page. She’s flying a kite — and she’s frowning. The kite is high up in the sky, on […]

Review of Booked

Booked by Kwame Alexander Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    314 pp. 4/16    978-0-544-57098-6    $16.99    g Eighth grader Nick Hall is quite a wordsmith, thanks largely to his father, a linguistics professor and the author of Weird and Wonderful Words, which Nick is required to read page by page: “You’re the only kid / on your block / […]

Review of Twenty Yawns

Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley; 
illus. by Lauren Castillo Preschool    Two Lions    32 pp. 4/16    978-1-4778-2635-5    $17.99    g Lucy and her parents stay late at the beach, playing in the waves, walking the length of the shore, rolling down dunes, building a sandcastle. Everyone is happily worn out, and Mom decrees an early bedtime. So […]