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Review of Meet Cindy Sherman: Artist, Photographer, Chameleon

Meet Cindy Sherman: Artist, Photographer, Chameleon by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan Intermediate, Middle School    Porter/Roaring Brook    64 pp. 10/17    978-1-62672-520-1    $19.99 “She is a chameleon, changing her appearance from photograph to photograph, so that she is many people but never Cindy.” Prolific biographers-of-artists Greenberg and Jordan (Ballet for Martha, rev. 7/10; The Mad Potter, […]

Architects and designers

Architects Maya Lin, Zaha Hadid, and Frank Lloyd Wright drew inspiration from science, nature, and the world around them to create iconic buildings and structures; artist and designer Mary Blair saw the possibility in color and embraced the motto: “It’s a Small World.” These picture-book biographies may similarly encourage budding architects and designers. Jeanne Walker […]

Review of Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton

Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton by Sherri Duskey Rinker; illus. by John Rocco Primary    Houghton    48 pp. 9/17    978-0-544-71557-8    $17.99 Beloved author-illustrator Virginia Lee Burton receives a picture-book biography treatment, but not the standard childhood-to-adulthood story. We meet Virginia, known as Jinnee, when she is already the mother of two boys who […]

Review of Her Right Foot

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers; illus. by Shawn Harris Primary, Intermediate    Chronicle    104 pp. 9/17    978-1-4521-6281-2    $19.99 In digressive, idiosyncratic prose, Eggers outlines the history of the Statue of Liberty, gradually leading readers into the detail he’s really interested in — the statue’s right foot, poised as if to take a step. While it […]

Review of Who Am I?: An Animal Guessing Game

Who Am I?: An Animal Guessing Game by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page; illus. by Steve Jenkins Preschool    Houghton    40 pp.    g 11/17    978-0-544-93539-6    $14.99 “Who Am I?” ask seven animals, including a rabbit, crab, monkey, and flamingo. Viewers are first challenged with a set of five or six clues to each creature’s identity, including […]

Review of Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford; illus. by Eric Velasquez Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    48 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-7636-8046-6    $16.99 Growing up in Puerto Rico, Arturo Schomburg (1874–1938) asked his teachers why his textbooks omitted black people. He knew their contributions mattered, and ravenously read to learn more. At seventeen, Schomburg […]

Review of The Magician and the Spirits: Harry Houdini and the Curious Pastime of Communicating with the Dead

The Magician and the Spirits: Harry Houdini and the Curious Pastime of Communicating with the Dead by Deborah Noyes Middle School    Viking    152 pp. 8/17    978-0-8037-4018-1    $18.99 In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Spiritualist movement swept the nation. Noyes (Ten Days a Madwoman, rev. 1/16) uses Harry Houdini’s attempts to discredit the […]


Aronson, Marc and Budhos, Marina  Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism High school     294 pp.     Holt This biography begins with the D-Day landing, then flashes back and follows Capa and Taro through the development of photojournalism, including their documentation of the Spanish Civil War. Carefully selected and […]

Extreme weather

Arnosky, Jim  Frozen Wild: How Animals Survive in the Coldest Places on Earth Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Sterling How do animals survive the piercing cold and ice of winter? Arnosky invites readers to learn with his signature combination of detailed pencil sketches, colorful paintings, and a conversational narrative. Foldout spreads reveal Arctic and Antarctic animals […]

Harvest and agriculture

Eliot, Hannah  Carrots Like Peas: And Other Fun Facts Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Little Simon Illustrated by Aaron Spurgeon. Did You Know? series. Loosely linking quirky, random facts about food, Eliot begins on the farm (“Carrots and peas help each other grow”). The conversational text then samples “movie foods” (popcorn, candy), ice cream (and “brain […]