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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 […]

Review of Blue

Blue by Laura Vaccaro Seeger; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 9/18    978-1-62672-006-4    $17.99 Where this inventive author-illustrator explored both the palette and politics of the color green in Green (rev. 3/12), Blue finds her sneaking up on us with a story about loss, even if at first we think we […]

Review of A Gift from Abuela

A Gift from Abuela by Cecilia Ruiz; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 8/18    978-0-7636-9267-4    $15.99 Ruiz elevates a standard tale about the loving bond between a grandmother and granddaughter with historically significant and culturally relevant detail (the book is set in 1980s Mexico City). The beauty of Abuela and Niña’s quotidian […]

Review of A House That Once Was

A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano; illus. by Lane Smith Primary    Roaring Brook    48 pp. 5/18    978-1-62672-314-6    $18.99 “Deep in the woods / is a house / just a house / that once was / but now isn’t / a home.” So begins Fogliano’s rhythmic, read-aloud-perfect tale of two children who discover a mysterious abandoned house. As they […]

Review of We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Disney-Hyperion    48 pp. 6/18    978-1-368-00355-1    $17.99 The first day of school is tough enough; imagine you’re a wee Tyrannosaurus rex and it turns out that your classmates are, of all things, human. Penelope Rex does what any nervous dino would […]