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Review of The Sinking of the Vasa

The Sinking of the Vasa by Russell Freedman; illus. by William Low Primary, Intermediate    Godwin/Holt    40 pp.    g 8/18    978-1-62779-866-2    $18.99 Freedman (posthumously) tells the story of the Swedish warship Vasa, from its tragic sinking to its eventual recovery and restoration as a museum piece. Sweden’s King Gustav II Adolf commissioned the Vasa, intended to […]

Review of The Princess and the Pit Stop

The Princess and the Pit Stop by Tom Angleberger; illus. by Dan Santat Preschool, Primary    Abrams    48 pp. 7/18    978-1-4197-2848-8    $16.99 With one lap to go in this fast-paced mashup of fairy tale and auto race, the Princess finds herself in last place after a pit stop. Undaunted, she once again takes off around the […]

Review of Beasts of India

Beasts of India edited by Kanchana Arni and Gita Wolf; illus. by various artists Preschool, Primary    Tara    48 pp. 6/18    978-93-83145-58-4    $30.00 Pricey, sure, but precious (it’s a limited edition), this small square book depicts animals of India screen-printed on textured paper. The diversity is both biological (tiger, deer, snake, etc.) and cultural, with the […]

Review of Square

Square by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 5/18    978-0-7636-9607-8    $15.99 The Barnett-Klassen tag team is back with a companion book to Triangle (rev. 5/17), told through the collaborators’ signature meld of earthy, textured images and witty, thoughtful narrative. Square spends his days pushing square-shaped boulders from the bottom of […]

Review of The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs: The Story of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs: The Story of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation by Kate Messner; illus. by Matthew Forsythe Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 5/18    978-1-4521-3350-8    $17.99 The same sentence — “It starts with one” — opens and closes this account of the threatened Florida Keys coral reefs and one […]

Review of The Itchy Book

The Itchy Book [Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!] by LeUyen Pham; illus. by the author; with additional illustrations by Mo Willems Primary    Hyperion    58 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-368-00564-7    $9.99 Pham’s early reader touches on herd-mentality and nonconformity in a make-believe prehistoric setting. A turtle snoozes in front of a rock etched with the words “Dinosaurs […]

Review of Stop, Go, Yes, No!: A Story of Opposites

Stop, Go, Yes, No!: A Story of Opposites by Mike Twohy; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins   32 pp.    g 8/18    978-0-06-246933-5    $17.99 The playful and energetic yellow dog from Twohy’s Geisel Honor–winning, alphabet-themed picture book Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! (rev. 1/16) is back to create some more mayhem in this concept […]

Review of Dear Substitute

Dear Substitute by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick; illus. by Chris Raschka Primary    Disney-Hyperion    40 pp. 6/18    978-1-4847-5022-3    $17.99 With her regular teacher out sick (we glimpse a feverish Mrs. Giordano on the copyright page), a little girl in brown pigtails writes a series of letters throughout her school day, beginning: “Dear Substitute, / Wow. […]

August 2018 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: Picture Books

Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma by Keith Calabrese; illus. by Juana Medina Atheneum     40 pp. 7/18     978-1-5344-0894-4     $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0895-1     $10.99 Lena isn’t nervous to start kindergarten…but her shoes are. Lena enlists her headband (who is “a good listener”) to talk to them, and, with fears assuaged and a bit of reverse […]

Review of One Day a Dot

One Day a Dot by Ian Lendler; illus. by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb Primary    First Second/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 4/18    978-1-62672-244-6    $17.99 The book’s tagline (“the story of you, the universe, and everything”) aptly captures the all-encompassing scope of this ambitious, whirlwind tour of the Big Bang, the formation of the solar system, and […]