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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 […]

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 […]