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Review of The Wall in the Middle of the Book

The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Preschool     Dial     48 pp. 10/18     978-0-525-55545-2     $17.99 Unlike Richard Byrne’s This Book Just Ate My Dog! (rev. 1/15), wherein the book’s gutter did service as a chasm to be negotiated by the characters, here it is […]

Review of All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah

All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins; illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 9/18    978-0-399-55419-3    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55420-9    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55421-6    $10.99 “When darkness comes, it will be the first night of Hanukkah, 1912.” This original picture book based on Sydney Taylor’s beloved characters serves as a perfect standalone […]

Review of The Patchwork Bike

The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke; illus. by Van Thanh Rudd Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 9/18    978-1-5362-0031-7    $15.99 A child in an unnamed “village where we live inside our mud-for-walls home” describes the diversions of daily life: “whooping and shrieking and laughing” on the sand hill, exploring the desert, and playing atop an abandoned […]

Review of Fangsgiving

Fangsgiving by Ethan Long; illus. by the author Primary    Bloomsbury    32 pp. 9/18    978-1-68119-825-5    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68119-826-2    $11.89 The Fright Club (rev. 9/15) monsters are cooking up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, from sweet potato casserole to turkey. But what to do when vampire Vladimir’s family shows up unexpectedly? Invite them in — the more […]

Noticing nature’s cycles

These picture books invite readers to reflect upon the cycles of our environment (i.e., weather patterns, seasons) and to pay close attention to marvels of the natural world. In They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki, a girl considers the wondrousness of the world around her, prompted by the colors she encounters throughout her day. The […]

Five questions for Traci Sorell and Frané Lessac

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge, 5–8 years), is a lushly illustrated, through-the-seasons look at a contemporary Cherokee community’s daily life, pausing for celebrations of traditional observances (e.g., Cherokee New Year) and making special note of gratitude. 1. “Cherokee people say otsaliheliga to express gratitude. It is a reminder […]

Review of Dreamers

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales; illus. by the author Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp. 9/18    978-0-8234-4055-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4125-9    $18.99 Spanish ed.  978-0-8234-4258-4    $18.99 Two pairs of eyes shine from the cover of Morales’s book — the infant’s eyes brilliant with curiosity, his mother’s gaze pensive. These two “migrantes” arrive on “the other side, / thirsty, in […]

CaldeNOTT

On Saturday, December 1, Horn Book reviewer and all around Great Guy Thom Barthelmess is going to be leading his annual CaldeNOTT Award discussion here at Simmons, sponsored by the Horn Book and the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. The CaldeNOTT, invented by Thom, applies the Caldecott terms and criteria to books ineligible for […]

Review of We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell; illus. by Frané Lessac Primary    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 9/18    978-1-58089-772-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-63289-633-9    $9.99 “Cherokee people say otsaliheliga to express gratitude. It is a reminder to celebrate our blessings and reflect on struggles — daily, throughout the year, and across the seasons.” An extended family engages with […]

Review of Samurai Scarecrow: A Very Ninja Halloween

Samurai Scarecrow: A Very Ninja Halloween by Rubin Pingk; illus. by the author Primary    Simon    48 pp. 7/18    978-1-4814-3059-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-3060-9    $10.99 In his second holiday-themed adventure (Samurai Santa, rev. 11/15), young ninja Yukio faces a familiar Halloween-night dilemma: how to handle a tagalong sibling. Doting little sis Kashi emulates all of Yukio’s […]