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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 […]

Review of The Book of Boy

The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock; illus. by Ian Schoenherr Intermediate, Middle School    Greenwillow    278 pp. 2/18    978-0-06-268620-6    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-268622-0    $7.99 Secundus is a pilgrim. A child, known simply as Boy, is a goatherd. Together they travel, master and servant, from France to Rome in the Holy Year of 1350. Each […]

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 Rebound

Rebound by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Dawud Anyabwile Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    414 pp. 4/18    978-0-544-86813-7    $16.99 In this prequel to Alexander’s Newbery Medal–winning The Crossover (rev. 5/14), it’s the summer of 1988, and twelve-year-old Charlie Bell would rather roller-skate with his two best friends or escape into the pages of his beloved Fantastic Four […]

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 Field

The Field by Baptiste Paul; illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara Primary    NorthSouth    32 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-7358-4312-7    $17.95 The place: a verdant Caribbean islandscape. The day’s activity for the community’s children: a pickup game of futbol (soccer). Does it matter that the futbol field is a converted cow pasture? Does it matter that some of the […]

Review of Be Prepared

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol; illus. by the author; 

color by Alec Longstreth Intermediate    First Second/Roaring Brook    256 pp. 4/18    978-1-62672-444-0    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-1-62672-445-7    $12.99 “This book is a true story. And also made up.” Brosgol’s (Anya’s Ghost, rev. 7/11; Leave Me Alone, rev. 9/16) fictionalized graphic memoir captures the ups and downs (let’s […]

Review of A Round of Robins

A Round of Robins by Katie Hesterman; 

illus. by Sergio Ruzzier Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    40 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-399-54778-2    $16.99 Sixteen poems follow a pair of robin parents as they raise not one but two sets of baby robins in this factual and funny volume. The story begins with “Defender Dad” telling three annoyed-looking birds on […]

Review of Speak: The Graphic Novel

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson; illus. by Emily Carroll High School    Farrar    376 pp. 2/18    978-0-374-30028-9    $19.99 In this new graphic novel adaptation of Anderson’s Speak (rev. 9/99) — a powerful narrative of a high school freshman’s year of self-preservation after a brutal sexual assault — artist Carroll starkly renders protagonist Melinda’s […]

Review of Julián Is a Mermaid

Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 5/18    978-0-7636-9045-8    $16.99 The story begins on the front endpapers with a group of older women in a pool and a boy swimming underwater. The next spread (on the copyright and title pages) shows the child, Julián, walking […]