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Review of Square

Square by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 5/18    978-0-7636-9607-8    $15.99 The Barnett-Klassen tag team is back with a companion book to Triangle (rev. 5/17), told through the collaborators’ signature meld of earthy, textured images and witty, thoughtful narrative. Square spends his days pushing square-shaped boulders from the bottom of […]

Review of Stop, Go, Yes, No!: A Story of Opposites

Stop, Go, Yes, No!: A Story of Opposites by Mike Twohy; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins   32 pp.    g 8/18    978-0-06-246933-5    $17.99 The playful and energetic yellow dog from Twohy’s Geisel Honor–winning, alphabet-themed picture book Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! (rev. 1/16) is back to create some more mayhem in this concept […]

Review of Dear Substitute

Dear Substitute by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick; illus. by Chris Raschka Primary    Disney-Hyperion    40 pp. 6/18    978-1-4847-5022-3    $17.99 With her regular teacher out sick (we glimpse a feverish Mrs. Giordano on the copyright page), a little girl in brown pigtails writes a series of letters throughout her school day, beginning: “Dear Substitute, / Wow. […]

August 2018 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: Picture Books

Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma by Keith Calabrese; illus. by Juana Medina Atheneum     40 pp. 7/18     978-1-5344-0894-4     $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0895-1     $10.99 Lena isn’t nervous to start kindergarten…but her shoes are. Lena enlists her headband (who is “a good listener”) to talk to them, and, with fears assuaged and a bit of reverse […]

Review of My Hair Is a Garden

My Hair Is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera; illus. by the author Primary    Whitman    32 pp.    g 4/18    978-0-8075-0923-4    $16.99 MacKenzie, teased yet again for her “always a mess” hair, turns to neighbor Miss Tillie for help. (Her mother — 
presumably the woman with lighter skin and hair shown in one illustration — has […]

Review of Jerome by Heart

Jerome by Heart by Thomas Scotto; illus. by Olivier Tallec; trans. from the French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick and Karin Snelson Primary    Enchanted Lion    32 pp. 4/18    978-1-59270-250-3    $16.95 Scotto and Tallec present a bittersweet story of an affectionate bond between two little boys. Raphael is the narrator, Jerome is his friend, and their friendship […]

Review of Saffron Ice Cream

Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin Kheiriyeh; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Levine/Scholastic    40 pp. 5/18    978-1-338-15052-0    $17.99 Kheiriyeh delivers an entertaining, heartfelt story based on her own childhood memories of family outings to the beach. Young narrator Rashin compares the beach in her birthplace of Iran to the beach in her new home of […]

Review of They Say Blue

They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki; illus. by the author Primary    Abrams    40 pp. 3/18    978-1-4197-2851-8    $17.99 A girl considers the wondrousness of the world around her, prompted by the colors she encounters throughout her day. While at the beach, she gazes across the water (“They say the sea is blue…But when I hold the […]

Deep blue sea

With activities such as beach trips, aquarium visits, and whale-watching on the agenda, summer is a great time for kids to learn more about our oceans, marine flora and fauna, and deep-water exploration. Here’s a handful of new nonfiction picture-book titles to get primary and early-intermediate readers’ feet wet. Die-cuts serve both useful and playful […]

Summer staycations

These picture books show that summer vacations don’t have to be elaborate going-away affairs — with a little imagination and some good friends, they can be a state of mind. In Deborah Underwood’s Monster & Mouse Go Camping, outdoor enthusiast Mouse convinces her anxious pal Monster to go camping with her: “Camping is great!” Mouse’s […]