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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 […]

Review of A Big Mooncake for Little Star

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp.    g 8/18    978-0-316-40448-8    $17.99 Little Star and her mother bake a mooncake, the sweet treat associated with the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. The ingredients for their super-sized mooncake cover a mammoth table, because these two make their […]

Review of Niblet & Ralph

Niblet & Ralph by Zachariah OHora; illus. by the author Primary    Dial    40 pp.    g 6/18    978-0-7352-2791-0    $17.99 Gemma lives with her dad and her cat, Ralph, in an apartment across the hall from Dilla, his mom, and Dilla’s cat, Niblet. Though Gemma and Dilla have not yet met, Ralph and Niblet are fast friends, […]

Review of New Shoes

New Shoes by Chris Raschka; illus. by the author Preschool    Greenwillow    32 pp. 5/18    978-0-06-265752-7    $17.99 Children are often reminded to look up, not down at their feet while walking. Not so in this picture book that celebrates preschoolers’ close connection to the ground. Raschka illustrates the book from the perspective of a child narrator, […]

What lies beneath

Pursuant to that Trump biography, over on Facebook Sarah Hamburg told me about a really perceptive article about biographies for young people. “George Washington and Slavery: Going Beyond Picture Books to Teach About Our Flawed Founders,”* written by my erstwhile Child_Lit colleague Ebony Elizabeth Thomas along with James Joshua Coleman and Lindsay R. Cicchino, asks–and […]