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Review of Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the World; and When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the World by Gary Golio; illus. by Rudy Gutierrez Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    40 pp. 9/18    978-1-62779-512-8    $18.99 When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana by Michael Mahin; illus. by Jose Ramirez Primary    Atheneum    48 pp.
9/18    978-1-5344-0413-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0414-4    $10.99 Carlos Santana’s 1971 rendition […]

Review of Thank You, Omu!

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora; illus. by the author Primary    Little, Brown    32 pp. 10/18    978-0-316-43124-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-43123-1    $9.99 Grandmotherly Omu (a brief note on the front endpapers explains that the name is pronounced “AH-moo” and is “the Igbo term for ‘queen’”) seasons and stirs her “thick red stew in a big […]

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 Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise; illus. by Paola Escobar Primary     Harper/HarperCollins     40 pp. 1/19     978-0-06-274868-3     $17.99 In her native Puerto Rico, a young Pura Belpré retells folk stories to children under a tamarind tree; when she visits Nueva York in 1921 and decides to stay, obtaining […]

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 […]

Review of Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival

Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival by Lindsay Moore; illus. by the author Primary     Greenwillow     48 pp.     g 1/19     978-0-06-279128-3     $17.99 A polar bear wanders alone through icy northern landscapes and across the seasons in search of food, her survival practices described as she hunts seals and paddles past sharks, narwhals, and whales. […]

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 […]

Schemers, sleuths, and spies

The familiar characters and structures of these early-chapter-book series entries will help emerging readers build confidence; plots featuring mysteries and madcap plans will keep them turning pages. The Infamous Ratsos return in Project Fluffy. BMOC Chuck Wood seeks Louie Ratso’s advice in winning over his crush, Fluffy Rabbitski. Thrilled by Chuck’s attention, Louie outlines 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 […]