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Review of I Am Hermes!: Mischief-Making Messenger of the Gods

I Am Hermes!: Mischief-Making Messenger of the Gods by Mordicai Gerstein; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Holiday    72 pp.    g 4/19    978-0-8234-3942-3    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4203-4    $11.99 Following I Am Pan! (rev. 5/16), here comes Pan’s father, Hermes, the messenger god, eager to tell his own story. This Hermes is handsome, insouciant, impulsive, and […]

Review of Where the Heart Is

Where the Heart Is by Jo Knowles Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    294 pp.    g 4/19    978-1-5362-0003-4    $16.99 On Rachel’s thirteenth birthday, new neighbors move in, affluent dilettante “farmers” who engage her, at minimum wage, to look after their animals while they’re away during the week. She comes to love the menagerie, even Lucy, the surly […]

Review of You Are New

You Are New by Lucy Knisley; illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    48 pp. 3/19    978-1-4521-6156-3    $17.99 Knisley chronicled her wedding in her 2016 adult graphic-novel memoir Something New; her latest, Kid Gloves (2019), is about pregnancy; and concurrently she has authored her first picture book — about a newborn baby. In lilting, lighthearted rhyme, […]

Review of Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II

Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II by Andrea Warren Intermediate, Middle School    Ferguson/Holiday    214 pp. 3/19    978-0-8234-4151-8    $22.99 Continuing her theme of children in peril because of governmental policies outside of their control, Warren (Surviving Hitler, rev. 3/01; Escape from Saigon, […]

Review of My Papi Has a Motorcycle

My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero; illus. by Zeke Peña Primary    Kokila/Penguin    40 pp.    g 5/19    978-0-525-55341-0    $17.99 Spanish ed.  978-0-525-55494-3    $17.99 Quintero’s picture-book text acts as an evocative love letter to her apá and to the interconnected web of Mexican immigrant working-class people who built her hometown of Corona, California. When Papi […]

Review of Harold & Hog Pretend for Real!

Harold & Hog Pretend for Real! [Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!] by Dan Santat; illus. by the author; with additional illustrations by Mo Willems Primary    Hyperion    64 pp.    g 5/19    978-1-368-02716-8    $9.99 Santat takes the already-meta Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series to new heights of self-awareness in this easy reader starring Harold and Hog, […]

Review of B Is for Baby

B Is for Baby by Atinuke; illus. by Angela Brooksbank Preschool    Candlewick    40 pp. 3/19    978-1-5362-0166-6    $16.99 Atinuke and Brooksbank (Baby Goes to Market) reunite for another tenderly funny slice-of-life story set in an unspecified African village and starring a winsome baby girl, who is dearly loved. This alphabet book sticks with the letter B, […]

Review of Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born

Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born by Miranda Paul; illus. by Jason Chin Primary    Porter/Holiday    32 pp. 4/19    978-0-8234-4161-7    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4213-3    $18.99 A pithy quintain describes the moment a fertilized human egg becomes a two-celled zygote: “Small. / Ball. / The point of a pin. / Then it divides… / Our story begins.” It’s the first […]

Review of With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo High School    HarperTeen    392 pp. 5/19    978-0-06-266283-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-266285-9    $9.99 High school senior Emoni Santiago, whose “Puerto Rican side is as Black as [her] Black American side,” is many things — an aspiring chef, a proud North Philly native, a reserved student who keeps to […]

Review of The Little Guys

The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 4/19    978-1-62672-442-6    $17.99 The “strongest guys in the whole forest” are the Little Guys — small pastel-colored creatures with acorn-cap hats; red, nose-like appendages; and stick arms and legs. Together there is nothing they cannot conquer. For example, their […]