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Review of Silent Night

Silent Night illus. by Lara Hawthorne Primary    Frances Lincoln    32 pp.    g 10/18    978-1-78603-066-5    $15.99  With gouache paintings rendered into collagelike illustrations via Photoshop, Hawthorne’s version of the classic Christmas carol notably features Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as a brown-skinned family. The text includes all three verses of John Freeman Young’s English translation and is […]

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 […]

Review of I Lost My Tooth!

I Lost My Tooth! [Unlimited Squirrels] by Mo Willems; illus. by the author Primary    Hyperion    86 pp. 10/18    978-1-368-02457-0    $12.99 Willems hands the reins of this new early reader series to fifteen cartoony squirrels, a yellow bird (a.k.a. Flappy Squirrel), and a couple of joke-telling acorns. The series is a step up in complexity from […]

Review of The Wall in the Middle of the Book

The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Preschool     Dial     48 pp. 10/18     978-0-525-55545-2     $17.99 Unlike Richard Byrne’s This Book Just Ate My Dog! (rev. 1/15), wherein the book’s gutter did service as a chasm to be negotiated by the characters, here it is […]

Review of Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story

Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story by Rita Lorraine Hubbard; illus. by John Holyfield Primary    Lee & Low    32 pp.    g 9/18    978-1-60060-969-5    $17.95 William “Bill” Lewis (1810?–1896) was born into slavery in Tennessee on a plantation owned by Colonel Lewis. As a boy toiling alongside his mother, aunt, and siblings in the fields, […]

Review of All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah

All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins; illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 9/18    978-0-399-55419-3    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55420-9    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55421-6    $10.99 “When darkness comes, it will be the first night of Hanukkah, 1912.” This original picture book based on Sydney Taylor’s beloved characters serves as a perfect standalone […]

Review of The Patchwork Bike

The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke; illus. by Van Thanh Rudd Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 9/18    978-1-5362-0031-7    $15.99 A child in an unnamed “village where we live inside our mud-for-walls home” describes the diversions of daily life: “whooping and shrieking and laughing” on the sand hill, exploring the desert, and playing atop an abandoned […]

Review of Fangsgiving

Fangsgiving by Ethan Long; illus. by the author Primary    Bloomsbury    32 pp. 9/18    978-1-68119-825-5    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68119-826-2    $11.89 The Fright Club (rev. 9/15) monsters are cooking up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, from sweet potato casserole to turkey. But what to do when vampire Vladimir’s family shows up unexpectedly? Invite them in — the more […]

Review of What Do You Do with a Voice like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

What Do You Do with a Voice like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton; illus. by Ekua Holmes Primary, Intermediate    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp. 9/18    978-1-4814-6561-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6562-5    $10.99 This large book, with its lush, vivid, mixed-media illustrations, makes an artistic statement as bold as groundbreaking African American […]

Noticing nature’s cycles

These picture books invite readers to reflect upon the cycles of our environment (i.e., weather patterns, seasons) and to pay close attention to marvels of the natural world. In They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki, a girl considers the wondrousness of the world around her, prompted by the colors she encounters throughout her day. The […]