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Groundbreaking women in STEM

Four new picture-book biographies introduce primary readers to female scientists and mathematicians who wouldn’t let anything stand in the way of their pursuit of knowledge. Also look for a review of Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement by Stephanie Roth Sisson in the upcoming September/October Horn Book Magazine. An early, vivid […]

Uncommon graphic novels for beginners

Difficult to classify — and entertaining to read. Here are four new graphic novels for beginning readers and middle graders. See also “Five Questions for Sergio Ruzzier” about his Fox + Chick series (in this issue), “New for New Readers: An Easy Reader Renaissance,” and Brian Selznick and David Serlin’s Talks with Roger interview about […]

Review of My Hair Is a Garden

My Hair Is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera; illus. by the author Primary    Whitman    32 pp.    g 4/18    978-0-8075-0923-4    $16.99 MacKenzie, teased yet again for her “always a mess” hair, turns to neighbor Miss Tillie for help. (Her mother — 
presumably the woman with lighter skin and hair shown in one illustration — has […]

Review of The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America

The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America by Jaime Hernandez; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    TOON    48 pp. 4/18    978-1-943145-28-7    $16.95 Paper ed.  978-1-943145-29-4    $9.99 Spanish ed.  978-1-943145-30-0    $16.95 Spanish paper ed.  978-1-943145-31-7    $9.99 Three amusing and enlightening folktales full of action, magic tricks, and fantasy are presented in a spirited and lively comic-book […]

Review of Jerome by Heart

Jerome by Heart by Thomas Scotto; illus. by Olivier Tallec; trans. from the French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick and Karin Snelson Primary    Enchanted Lion    32 pp. 4/18    978-1-59270-250-3    $16.95 Scotto and Tallec present a bittersweet story of an affectionate bond between two little boys. Raphael is the narrator, Jerome is his friend, and their friendship […]

Review of Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams

Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams by Lesa Cline-Ransome; illus. by James E. Ransome Primary, Intermediate    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 7/18    978-1-4814-7684-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7685-0    $10.99 Wife-and-husband team Cline-Ransome and Ransome celebrate tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, focusing on their formative childhoods and the way their preparation and talent fundamentally changed […]

Review of Saffron Ice Cream

Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin Kheiriyeh; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Levine/Scholastic    40 pp. 5/18    978-1-338-15052-0    $17.99 Kheiriyeh delivers an entertaining, heartfelt story based on her own childhood memories of family outings to the beach. Young narrator Rashin compares the beach in her birthplace of Iran to the beach in her new home of […]

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 […]