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Non-snoozy storytimes

Need some inspiration for a new year of storytimes? Learn how to shake things up with Julie Roach’s classic tips for reading aloud, then choose one of these lively new picture books and invite participants to vroom, roar, bark, and awoooooooo along. The latest of Kate and Jim McMullan’s things-that-go books, I’m Tough!, stars a […]

Review of The Bell Rang

The Bell Rang by James E. Ransome; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate     Dlouhy/Atheneum     40 pp. 1/19     978-1-4424-2113-4     $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-7671-3     $10.99 “The bell rings, / and no sun in the sky. / Daddy gathers wood. / Mama cooks. / We eat.” Ransome paints a heartbreaking picture of an enslaved family existing within the […]

Review of Me and My Fear

Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna; illus. by the author Primary    Nobrow/Flying Eye    32 pp. 9/18    978-1-911171-53-9    $17.95 This follow-up to The Journey (rev. 3/17), about a refugee family fleeing a war-torn homeland, focuses on the young daughter’s apprehension as she adjusts to life in a new country and a new school. In the […]

Review of The Little Barbarian

The Little Barbarian by Renato Moriconi; illus. by the author Preschool    Eerdmans    48 pp. 8/18    978-0-8028-5509-1    $17.00 The little barbarian strides in, page left. Armed with sword and shield, he mounts his handsome black steed and proceeds through a malevolent world. Spread after spread, he gallops over and under hazards and monsters — a deep […]

Review of Silent Night

Silent Night illus. by Lara Hawthorne Primary    Frances Lincoln    32 pp.    g 10/18    978-1-78603-066-5    $15.99  With gouache paintings rendered into collagelike illustrations via Photoshop, Hawthorne’s version of the classic Christmas carol notably features Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as a brown-skinned family. The text includes all three verses of John Freeman Young’s English translation and is […]

Review of Kitten and the Night Watchman

Kitten and the Night Watchman by John Sullivan; illus. by Taeeun Yoo Preschool     Wiseman/Simon     32 pp. 9/18     978-1-4814-6191-7     $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-6192-4     $10.99 A night watchman spies a stray kitten one night, and they befriend each other. As the man makes his rounds of the construction site, the kitten accompanies him […]

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 […]