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Review of The Party and Other Stories

The Party and Other Stories [Fox + Chick] by Sergio Ruzzier; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Chronicle    46 pp. 4/18    978-1-4521-5288-2    $14.99 In a volume with a picture book’s trim size but plenty of graphic-novel elements (simply structured panels, dialogue balloons, sound effects), Ruzzier delivers three stories well suited to both reading newcomers and […]

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 Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word

Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word by Sarah Jane Marsh; illus. by Edwin Fotheringham Primary, Intermediate    Disney-Hyperion    80 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-4847-8144-9    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-368-02251-4    $10.99 Corset maker. Sailor. Tax collector. Husband. Thomas Paine fails at all these pursuits. But what he can do is write and persuade, and when in 1774 he immigrates […]

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 Water Land: Land and Water Forms 
Around the World

Water Land: Land and Water Forms 
Around the World by Christy Hale; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp. 5/18    978-1-250-15244-2    $17.99 Die-cuts serve both useful and playful purpose in this introduction to Earth’s various meetings of water and landforms. A boy idyllically fishes on a small pond while a girl plays […]

Review of The Flying Girl: How Aída de Acosta Learned to Soar

The Flying Girl: How Aída de Acosta Learned to Soar by Margarita Engle; 

illus. by Sara Palacios Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 3/18    978-1-4814-4502-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-4503-0    $10.99 In this slightly fictionalized account (with brief invented dialogue) Engle and Palacios introduce readers to Aída de Acosta (1884–1962), who defied the sexist attitudes of her era […]

Review of Goldfish on Vacation

Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones; illus. by Leo Espinosa Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 4/18    978-0-385-38611-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-38612-8    $20.99 Three city-dwelling siblings, goldfish owners, feel sad for the derelict, once-magnificent fountain at the end of their street. Then a sign appears on the fountain: “COMING IN TWO WEEKS! CALLING ALL […]