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Review of Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat by Leo Landry; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Houghton     32 pp. 8/12     978-0-547-24969-8     $12.99 Landry’s cheery watercolor and pencil illustrations and calm palette signal that this Halloween story is more treat than trick; together, the straightforward text and simple compositions build suspense and inject humor […]

Review of What Came from the Stars

What Came from the Stars  by Gary D. Schmidt Middle School     Clarion     293 pp. 9/12     978-0-547-61213-3     $16.99     g Schmidt brings high heroic fantasy and contemporary realism together in this novel of a bereaved family. In Plymouth, Massachusetts, Tommy grieves for his mother, who died eight […]

Review of Machines Go to Work in the City

 Machines Go to Work in the City by William Low; illus. by the author Preschool     Holt     32 pp. 6/12     978-0-8050-9050-5     $16.99 Books don’t get much better than this for machinery-loving preschoolers. Listeners are first introduced to a particular situation involving vehicles, from a garbage truck to a […]

Review of A Certain October

A Certain October by Angela Johnson High School     Simon     158 pp. 8/12     978-0-689-86505-3     $15.99     g e-book ed. 978-1-4424-1726-7     $9.99 At the start of the book, Scotty is an average high school junior living in East Cleveland. She hangs out with friends, makes plans for the homecoming dance, and avoids writing a book report on Anna […]

Review of This Is Not My Hat

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 10/12    978-0-7636-5599-0    $15.99    g The eyes have it in Klassen’s latest hat book (I Want My Hat Back, rev. 11/11). Klassen manages to tell almost the whole story through subtle eye movements and the tilt of seaweed and air […]

Reviews of Pirateria and Shiver Me Timbers!

Pirateria: The Wonderful Plunderful 
Pirate Emporium by Calef Brown; illus. by the author Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 7/12    978-1-4169-7878-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-3897-2    $12.99 Brown presents a book-length advertisement for an imaginary emporium of all things pirate. Whether you need rags or pantaloons, spinnakers or planks, you can be sure to find them at Pirateria. […]

Review of Penny and Her Doll

Penny and Her Doll by Kevin Henkes; illus. by the author Primary    Greenwillow    32 pp. 8/12    978-0-06-208199-5    $12.99 Naming things, whether children, pets, or toys, is serious business, and in this follow-up to Penny and Her Song (rev. 3/12) Henkes doesn’t take that task lightly. Gram sends mouse Penny a doll: “The doll had pink […]

Review of Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics

Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics by John Feinstein Middle School, High School     Knopf     314 pp. 5/12     978-0-375-86963-1     $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96963-8     $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-375-98455-6     $10.99 Timed to coincide with the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Feinstein’s sixth sports mystery novel again features teen reporters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson — […]