December 13, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Fall Announcement Issue Picture Books, Easy Readers, and Beginning Chapter Books | Fiction Preschool to Grade 4

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See our complete list of
September 2014 SLJ Stars.

redstarBrowne, Anthony. What If…? illus. by Anthony Browne. 32p. Candlewick. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780763674199. LC 2013952843.

PreS-Gr 2 –Young Joe is apprehensive about attending his friend Tom’s evening birthday party. He lost the invitation, remembers the street name, but forgot the house number. His mother assures him they’ll find Tom’s home if they just walk along the street and look in windows. As he and his mother search, Joe peppers her with questions that reveal his anxiety: “What if I don’t like the food?” and “What if there’s someone at the party I don’t know?” His mother patiently attempts to assuage his uneasiness. Joe’s fears feed his imagination, causing him to see disquieting visions in the houses they pass, including possible aliens, a huge elephant, and slithering snakes. Once they find the right place and Joe joins the party, it’s his mother who begins to have doubts about leaving him. The intriguing gouache and crayon illustrations are enjoyable to study as Browne subtly inserts strange images, including a rabbit on a roof and the shadow of a menacing bear. The common fear of dealing with a new situation is handled well, and Browne’s treatment of the topic will have readers nodding with understanding.–Maryann H. Owen, Children’s Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI

redstarHeinz, Brian. Mocha Dick: The Legend and the Fury. illus. by Randall Enos. 32p. Creative Editions. Sept. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781568462424. LC 2013040661.

Gr 3 up –This intricately designed picture book tells the story of the real life whale that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. The tale begins in 1810, near the island of Mocha, with the spotting of a sperm whale by a whaling crew. The ship gave chase, harpooning the whale, who burst from the water, attacking the small boat (“The huge head shook savagely until only splinters remained.”). Christened Mocha Dick by the sailors, this giant continued to battle with whaling crews over the years, most famously sinking the 238-ton Essex in 1820, until meeting his end in 1859. Much like a tall tale, the legend of Mocha Dick is a combination of history and embellishment. Heinz’s text relies on powerful imagery to convey the strength and magnificence of the whale (“Droplets fell like jewels upon his back. His flukes hammered the surface like a cannon shot.”), while Enos’s linocut collage illustrations, surrounded by colorful borders, are reminiscent of scrimshaw and capture the story’s action well. Pair this exciting title with Eric Kimmel’s Moby Dick: Chasing the Great White Whale (Feiwel & Friends, 2012) to contrast the real and fictional whales or with Nathaniel Philbrick’s Revenge of the Whale: The True Story of the Whaleship Essex (Penguin, 2002) to give students more information on the Essex.–Jackie Partch, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR

redstarMader, Roger. Tiptop Cat. illus. by Roger Mader. 40p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Nov. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544147997.

PreS-Gr 3 –Mader makes smart use of the picture book form to convey the daily life and dramatic mishaps of a city-dwelling cat. A familiar sort in many neighborhoods, this black-and-white feline, expressive and unnamed, arrives in a new home. “Of all the gifts she got that day, the best one was the cat.” Long strips of small pictures follow the cat’s exploration of the rooms in his new home. Oh, look! These cozy bits open to a dramatic view of the place he likes best—the balcony. This is a fine, tall apartment building, and from the balcony the cat can get to the rooftop. The varied pages of small and large scenes convey the cat’s doings so effectively that this could actually work as a wordless book, but the spare text adds humor and drama. Every day, the animal climbs all the way to his favorite spot “on top of the world.” High atop a robust red brick chimney, he gazes out on a crowded city with the Eiffel Tower off in the distance. The balcony/rooftop peace erupts one day with the arrival of a pigeon (“A little jungle beast awoke within the cat.”). Alas, the cat’s leap for the bird leads to his plunge “down…down…down.” Humans make their only appearance with the cat’s landing in the arms of an astonished street merchant and the subsequent visit to the vet for an x-ray. “Nothing was broken except…his spirit.” The cowering feline and his subsequent varied hiding spots are a funny anti-climax, lasting only until the day a crow shows up on the balcony (“and that inner beast stirred again.”). Mader’s fine use of pastels and apt choices of detail, surfaces, and light and shadow provide storytelling and viewing sure to be widely enjoyed.–Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston

The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue:

Adderson, Caroline. A Simple Case of Angels. 160p. House of Anansi/Groundwood. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781554984282; ebk. $14.95. ISBN 9781554984305.

Alexander, Rilla. The Best Book in the World! illus. by Rilla Alexander. 48p. Flying Eye Books. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781909263307.

Barnett, Mac. Telephone. illus. by Jen Corace. 40p. Chronicle. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781452110233. LC 2013040706.

Barrett, Ron. Cats Got Talent. illus. by Ron Barrett. 32p. ebook available. S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442494510. LC 2013012400.

Beilenson, Evelyn. The Zoo Is Closed Today!: Until Further Notice. illus. by Anne Kennedy. 32p. Peter Pauper. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781441315267. LC 2013040050.

Biedrzycki, David. Mi dragón y yo (Me and My Dragon). tr. from English by Yanitzia Canetti. illus. by David Biedrzycki. Spanish ed. 32p. ebook available. Charlesbridge. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781580896931; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781580895743. LC 2013004295.

Billet, Marion. Littleland Around the World. illus. by Marion Billet. 32p. Nosy Crow. 2014. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763675790. LC 2013957279.

Bingham, J. Z. Channel Blue: Riders of the Storm. illus. by Jason Buhagiar. 40p. (Salty Splashes Collection). Balcony7. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781939454072. LC 2013951029.

Bornholdt, Jenny. A Book Is a Book. illus. by Sarah Wilkins. 44p. Gecko Pr. Oct. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781877579929.

Brannen, Sarah S. Madame Martine. illus. by Sarah S. Brannen. 32p. Albert Whitman. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807549056.

Brian, Janeen. I’m a Dirty Dinosaur. illus. by Ann James. 22p. Kane Miller. Sept. 2014. Tr $11.99. ISBN 9781610672962. LC 2013949620.

Burfoot, Ella. How to Bake a Book. illus. by Ella Burfoot. 32p. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781492606512.

Burningham, John. The Way to the Zoo. illus. by John Burningham. 40p. Candlewick. 2014. RTE $15.99. ISBN 9780763673178. LC 2013952847.

Clanton, Ben. Rex Wrecks It! illus. by Ben Clanton. 40p. Candlewick. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763665012. LC 2013955671.

Cohn, Ariel. The Zoo Box. illus. by Aron Nels Steinke. 48p. First Second. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626720527.

COLATO Laínez, René. ¡Juguemos al fútbol y al football!/Let’s Play Fútbol and Football! illus. by Lancman Ink. 31p. glossary. websites. Alfaguara. 2014. RTE $15.95. ISBN 9780882723280.

Corderoy, Tracey. Just Right for Two. illus. by Rosalind Beardshaw. 40p. Nosy Crow. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763673444. LC 2013955661.

Côté, Geneviève. Goodnight, You. illus. by Geneviève Côté. 32p. (Piggy and Bunny). Kids Can. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771380508.

De Moüy, Iris. Naptime. tr. from French by Shelley Tanaka. illus. by Iris De Moüy. 28p. House of Anansi/Groundwood. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781554984879; ebk. $14.95. ISBN 9781554984886.

Donaldson, Julia. The Scarecrows’ Wedding. illus. by Axel Scheffler. 32p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545726061. LC 2014005340.

Drummond, Ree. Charlie and the New Baby. illus. by Diane deGroat. 40p. HarperCollins/Harper. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062297501.

Dávila, Claudia. Super Red Riding Hood. illus. by Claudia Dávila. 32p. Kids Can. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771380201.

Fine, Edith Hope. Sleepytime Me. illus. by Christopher Denise. 40p. Random. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780449810620.

Fleming, Denise. Go, Shapes, Go! illus. by Denise Fleming. 40p. S. & S./Beach Lane. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442482401; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442482418. LC 2013004899.

Foreman, Michael. Cat & Dog. illus. by Michael Foreman. 32p. ebook available. Andersen. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781467751247.

Franceschelli, Christopher. Countablock. illus. by Peskimo. 94p. Abrams Appleseed. 2014. Board $16.95. ISBN 9781419713743. LC 2014932558.

Gill, Deirdre. Outside. illus. by Deirdre Gill. 40p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780547910659.

Goodhart, Pippa. Just Imagine. illus. by Nick Sharratt. 32p. Kane Miller. Sept. 2014. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781610673433. LC 2014936088.

Graham, Bob. Vanilla Ice Cream. illus. by Bob Graham. 40p. Candlewick. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780763673772. LC 2013952841.

Gudeon, Adam. Ping Wants to Play. illus. by Adam Gudeon. 24p. (I Like to Read). Holiday House. Sept. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9780823428540; ebk. $14.95. ISBN 9780823432257. LC 2012039210.

Hamilton, Tim. But! illus. by Tim Hamilton. 32p. Holiday House. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9780823430468; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823432172.

Hatanaka, Kellen. Work: An Occupational ABC. illus. by Kellen Hatanaka. 40p. House of Anansi/Groundwood. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781554984091.

Hatke, Ben. Julia’s House for Lost Creatures. illus. by Ben Hatke. 40p. First Second. Sept. 2014. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9781596438668. LC 2013034610.

Henn, Sophy. Where, Bear? illus. by Sophy Henn. 32p. Philomel. Jan. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399171581.

HoráCek, Petr. The Mouse Who Ate the Moon. illus. by Petr Horácek. 32p. Candlewick. Sept. 2014. RTE $15.99. ISBN 9780763670597. LC 2013955676.

Howard, Martin. The Flock Factor: Shaun the Sheep. illus. by Andy Janes. 96p. (Tales from Mossy Bottom Farm). ebook available. Candlewick. Nov. 2014. pap. $4.99. ISBN 9780763675356. LC 2013955954.

Joyce, William. A Bean, a Stalk, and a Boy Named Jack. illus. by William Joyce & Kenny Callicutt. 56p. (The Guardians of Childhood). S. & S./Atheneum. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442473492; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442473508.

Kirk, Daniel. You Are Not My Friend, But I Miss You. illus. by Daniel Kirk. 32p. Abrams. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781419712364; ebk. $15.54. ISBN 9781613126905. LC 2013041483.

Korngold, Jamie. Sadie, Ori, and Nuggles Go to Camp. illus. by Julie Fortenberry. 24p. Kar-Ben. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781467704243; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781467704250; ebk. $6.95. ISBN 9781467746717. LC 2013021753.

Lloyd, Jennifer. Murilla Gorilla and the Hammock Problem. illus. by Jacqui Lee. 48p. (Murilla Gorilla). Simply Read Bks. 2014. Tr $9.95. ISBN 9781927018477.

Lord, Cynthia. Jelly Bean. illus. by Erin McGuire. 128p. (Shelter Pet Squad: Bk. 1). ebook available. Scholastic. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545635967; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780545635974; ebk. $5.99. ISBN 9780545635981. LC 2014005097.

McDonnell, Patrick. A Perfectly Messed-Up Story. illus. by Patrick McDonnell. 40p. Little, Brown. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.00. ISBN 9780316222587. LC 2013041668.

MAIZELS, Jennie. Pop-up New York . illus. by Jennie Maizels. 12p. Candlewick. 2014. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780763671624. LC 2013952839.

Miller, Edward. Recycling Day. illus. by Edward Miller. 32p. Holiday House. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823424191; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823432370. LC 2014001893.

Mora, Pat & Libby Martinez. Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! illus. by Amelia Lau Carling. 32p. House of Anansi/Groundwood. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781554983438; ebk. $14.95. ISBN 9781554983452.

New York: Inside & Out. illus. by Josh Cochran. 16p. Candlewick/Big Picture. Sept. 2014. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9780763675202. LC 2013953402.

Nolen, Jerdine. Irene’s Wish. illus. by AG Ford. 32p. S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780689863004; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442493230.

Novak, B. J. The Book With No Pictures. 48p. Dial. Sept. 2014. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780803741713.

Park: A Foldout Book in Four Seasons. illus. by James Gulliver Hancock. 6p. Duo Pr. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781938093302.

Paul, Ruth. Bad Dog Flash. illus. by Ruth Paul. 32p. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Oct. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781492601531.

Percival, Tom. Herman’s Letter. illus. by Tom Percival. 32p. Bloomsbury. Nov. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781619634237.

Pomranz, Craig. Made by Raffi. illus. by Margaret Chamberlain. 36p. Frances Lincoln. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781847804334.

Preston-Gannon, Frann. Dinosaur Farm. 32p. Sterling. Sept. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781454911326.

Quatromme, France. Lullaby for Baby Bear. tr. from Dutch. illus. by Parastou Haghi. 32p. Clavis. 2014. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781605371900.

Rowland, Joanna. Always Mom, Forever Dad. illus. by Penny Weber. 32p. Tilbury House. 2014. pap. $16.95. ISBN 9780884483670; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9780884483694. LC 2013040077.

Rylant, Cynthia. Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page. illus. by Arthur Howard. 40p. (Mr. Putter & Tabby). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Nov. 2014. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780152060633.

Sassi, Laura. Goodnight, Ark. illus. by Jane Chapman. 32p. Zonderkidz. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780310737841.

Shepherd, Jessica. Grandma. illus. by Jessica Shepherd. 32p. Child’s Play. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781846436024.

Smith, Alex T. Claude on the Slopes. illus. by Alex T. Smith. 96p. Peachtree. Oct. 2014. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781561458059.

Stanton, Brandon. Little Humans. photos by Brandon Stanton. 40p. Farrar. Oct. 2014. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780374374563; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781466872578.

Steiner, Toni. Jenny & Lorenzo. tr. from Dutch by Kathryn Bishop. illus. by Eve Tharlet. 32p. Minedition. Sept. 2014. Tr ISBN 9789888240760.

Tekavec, Heather. Stop, Thief! illus. by Pierre Pratt. 32p. Kids Can. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771380126.

Thong, Roseanne Greenfield. Noodle Magic. illus. by Meilo So. 32p. Orchard. Nov. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545521673.

Tyler, Brenda. The Tomtes of Hilltop Stream. illus. by Brenda Tyler. 32p. Floris. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781782500452.

Uegaki, Chieri. Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin. illus. by Qin Leng. 32p. Kids Can. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781894786331.

Van Allsburg, Chris. Misadventures of Sweetie Pie. illus. by Chris Van Allsburg. 32p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Nov. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780547315829; ebk. $18.99. ISBN 9780544465084. LC 2013038996.

WEINGARTEN , Gene . Me & Dog . illus. by Eric Shansby. 48p. S. & S. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442494138; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442494145. LC 2013006448.

Yaccarino, Dan. Doug Unplugs on the Farm. illus. by Dan Yaccarino. 40p. Knopf. 2014. lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780385753296; Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780385753289; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780385753302. LC 2013039893.

Yoon, Salina. Tap to Play! illus. by Salina Yoon. 40p. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. Oct. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780062286840.

Graphic Novels

Lendler, Ian. The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents: Macbeth. illus. by Zack Giallongo. 80p. First Second. Sept. 2014. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781626721012; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781596439153.

McDonnell, Patrick. The Mutts Diaries. 224p. AMP! Comics. Oct. 2014. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781449458706. LC 2014931551.

Proimos, James. The Complete Adventures of Johnny Mutton. illus. by James Proimos. 160p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Oct. 2014. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780544324046.

Schultz, Charles M. Pow! 224p. (The Peanuts Collection). ebook available. AMP! Comics. 2014. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9781449458263. LC 2014931549.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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