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Review of Let ’Er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion

Let ’Er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illus. by Gordon C. James Primary, Intermediate    Carolrhoda    40 pp.    g 2/19    978-1-5124-9808-0    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5145-4180-1    $18.99 Nelson (Bad News for Outlaws, rev. 11/09) returns to the Old West for this engrossing picture-book biography of African American cowboy and bronc buster George […]

Review of Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight

Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight by Duncan Tonatiuh; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Abrams ComicArts    24 pp.  8/18    978-1-4197-2854-9   $19.99  “You don’t know our names but you’ve seen us.” The accompanying illustration is of Juan, an undocumented immigrant, with one hand raised in a fist and the other holding a megaphone from which the […]

Picture book love and community

These new picture books model self-love, strength in community, and pride in identity for very young children of color. Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel, illustrated by Shane W. Evans, is an affirmation of self-love for children of color. An exuberant brown-skinned girl recounts many situations in which she puts her “hands up”: playing peek-a-boo, […]

Review of Hands Up!

Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel; illus. by Shane W. Evans Preschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp.    g 1/19    978-0-525-55231-4    $17.99  In this affirmation of self-love for children of color, an exuberant brown-skinned girl recounts many situations in which she puts her “hands up”: playing peek-a-boo as a very young child, then, as she gets older, […]

Review of What Is Given from the Heart

What Is Given from the Heart by Patricia C. McKissack; illus. by April Harrison Primary, Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g  1/19    978-0-375-83615-2    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-93615-9    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-375-98800-4    $10.99  From the late Patricia McKissack, a story of giving — even when it seems one has nothing to spare. James Otis and […]

Winter Secrets

Winter can seem like a time when there isn’t much going on outside; in fact, the season offers opportunities to see things that are otherwise obscured by the growth and busyness of the other seasons. At our house in winter, for example, we can see through the skeletons of trees out back to the Christmas […]

Review of The Elephant

The Elephant by Jenni Desmond; illus. by the author Primary    Enchanted Lion    48 pp. 10/18    978-1-59270-264-0    $18.95 In this companion to the author-
illustrator’s The Blue Whale and The Polar Bear (rev. 3/17), a brown-skinned boy wearing a red crown introduces readers to one of nature’s endangered wild things: the elephant. In a setup similar to […]

Review of Found.

Found. by Jeff Newman; illus. by Larry Day Preschool, Primary    Simon    48 pp. 11/18    978-1-5344-1006-0    $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-5344-1007-7    $10.99 A sense of isolation permeates the opening spreads of this wordless story as a girl gazes out at a rain-drenched city street from an apartment window. She soon spots a little lost dog, and a […]

Review of The Stuff of Stars

The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer; illus. by Ekua Holmes Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 9/18    978-0-7636-7883-8    $17.99 From darkness, we experience the Big Bang, the birth of the universe, and the emergence of life on Earth. Holmes, known for her striking collage art (Voice of Freedom, rev. 9/15; Out of Wonder, rev. 5/17) […]

Review of Chicken Talk

Chicken Talk by Patricia MacLachlan; illus. by Jarrett J. Krosoczka Preschool, Primary    Tegen/HarperCollins     32 pp. 1/19     978-0-06-239864-2     $17.99 In this slight but charming tale, a farm family’s chickens discover the power of the written word. (It’s not an original conceit, of course; see earlier exemplars of farm-animal empowerment […]