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Review of King of the Sky

King of the Sky by Nicola Davies; illus. by Laura Carlin Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 6/17    978-0-7636-9568-2    $17.99 “It rained and rained and rained…The streets smelled of mutton soup and coal dust. And no one spoke my language. All of it told me this is not where you belong.” An elderly Welsh miner and a […]

Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature

Children’s literature scholar and long-time friend of the Horn Book, Carolyn Shute recently let me know about a seasonal exhibit at the Concord (MA) Museum. If you live in the area or will be in or near eastern Massachusetts in the next few weeks, I recommend making the museum’s Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s […]

Review of Lines

Lines by Suzy Lee; illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    32 pp. 9/17    978-1-4521-5665-1    $17.99 The front endpapers show a pencil and eraser on a blank page. The main story begins with a solitary figure skater tracing a crisp line across the ice. What follows are wordless pages of elegant choreography as the skater launches […]

Review of Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story!

Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story! by JaNay Brown-Wood; illus. by Priscilla Burris Preschool    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 8/17    978-1-58089-712-9    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-868-9    $9.99 No matter how big Grandma’s extended family grows, she always finds room for relatives and friends. The young, brown-skinned narrator describes in (generally) metered verse a gathering at Grandma’s house. The […]

Review of After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 10/17    978-1-62672-682-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-19095-6    $9.99 If The Adventures of Beekle is a study of friendship and Are We There Yet? (rev. 3/16) an appeal for mindfulness, then Santat is now […]

Review of Windows

Windows by Julia Denos; illus. by E. B. Goodale Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 10/17    978-0-7636-9035-9    $15.99 “At the end of the day, before the town goes to sleep… / you can take a walk, out your door / into the almost-night.” A brown-skinned child puts on a red hoodie and heads out to take the […]

Review of That Is My Dream!

That Is My Dream! by Langston Hughes; illus. by Daniel Miyares Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    32 pp. 10/17    978-0-399-55017-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55018-8    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55019-5    $10.99 Langston Hughes’s 1924 poem “Dream Variation” tells of a wish “to fling my arms wide / In some place of the sun, / To whirl and to dance / Till […]

Review of The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 10/17    978-0-7636-7754-1    $17.99 The opening of this latest Barnett/Klassen collaboration (an original pourquoi tale) seems to presage dire events: “Early one morning, a mouse met a wolf, and he was quickly gobbled up.” But once inside, […]

In the middle of fall

Celebrate the season with these four autumnal picture books, perfect for sharing with preschoolers as the days get chillier. For more, see last November’s Notes article “Wonderfall!” In Rachael Cole’s City Moon, a mother and child embark on an autumnal evening ritual: they take a walk through the city, looking for the moon. The sharp-eyed […]

Review of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes; illus. by Gordon C. James Primary   Millner/Bolden Books/Agate    32 pp. 10/17    978-1-57284-224-3    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-1-57284-808-5    $17.95 Brown skin, a dimpled smile, and a fresh haircut worthy of a standing ovation. Barnes takes a weekly, mundane activity for an African American boy — a trip […]