November 22, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

A Love Letter to Salsa, a Tribute to Families, and an Unusual Friendship | Fiction Preschool to Grade 4

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See our complete list of
March 2015 SLJ Stars.

redstarArgueta, Jorge. Salsa: Un Poema Para Cocinar/A Cooking Poem. tr. from Spanish by Elisa Amado. illus. by Duncan Tonatiuh. Bilingual ed. 32p. (Bilingual Cooking Poems). Groundwood. Mar. 2015. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781554984428; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9781554984435.

Gr 1-3 –A boy and his sister make the spicy sauce with the help of family members in the latest entry from Argueta’s “Bilingual Cooking Poems” (Groundwood). The characters make salsa while dancing to salsa—the pan–Latin American musical genre. This lyrical, bilingual text (from Spanish to English) features an easy-to-follow recipe. The extended poem celebrates cooking as a family and cultural event, hearkening back to the Nahua, Aztec, and Maya traditions of using a molcajete (small black bowl) to grind ingredients to make the tasty treat. A symbol denotes tasks that require adult supervision and help. A suggestion for composting leftover materials is tied to fostering a relationship with Mother Nature. Complementing the heartwarming text are Tonatiuh’s pre-Columbian, Mixtec-inspired illustrations. The earthy tones, onomatopoeic word art, and borders peppered with pertinent images, such as tomatoes; limes; and musical notes, work together to serve up a completely satisfying offering. VERDICT A delectable work of art perfect for food-themed, bilingual, and Día storytimes.–Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal

redstarBarnett, Mac. The Skunk. illus. by Patrick McDonnell. 40p. Roaring Brook. Apr. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781596439665.

K-Gr 3 –A man is stalked by a silent skunk in this charmingly neurotic offering. Leaving his home one day, a bespectacled, tuxedo-clad gentleman discovers a small skunk sitting on his doorstep. As the man makes his way about town, the creature remains close on his heels (“…after a mile I realized I was being followed.”) He speeds up, he slows down, he takes many wild turns, but to no avail. Still the skunk remains. Barnett’s text is delivered in short, clipped sentences that convey the man’s annoyance and increasing paranoia. McDonnell’s distinctive pen-and-ink illustrations (the little skunk bears a striking resemblance to a couple of familiar mutts) harken back to classic comic strip humor, with expressive body language, dynamic action lines, and thoughtful compositions, creating tension and drama. The majority of the book uses a limited palette of black, peach, touches of red (notably for the skunk’s oversized nose and the man’s posh bow-tie), and smart use of white space. The man finally outruns his striped admirer, purchasing a new house in a different part of the city. He throws himself a fancy party with dancing and dessert. But he finds himself wondering about that skunk (“What was he doing? Was he looking for me?”) Roles reverse and the pursued becomes the pursuer, as the man now slinks around corners and behind trees, surreptitiously following the skunk—who, on the last page, looks anxiously over his shoulder at the man. Why did the skunk follow the man initially? Is this a tale of regret and missed opportunities, a lesson on the dangers of letting potential friends slip away? Of not knowing what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone? Barnett and McDonnell offer no explanations, but invite readers to ponder the possibilities. Here’s hoping this talented duo pair up for many more picture book collaborations. VERDICT Clever visual motifs, sly storytelling, and tight pacing make this a picture book that will be enjoyed by children and their grown-ups.–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

redstarGerstein, Mordicai. The Night World. illus. by Mordicai Gerstein. 40p. Little, Brown. Jun. 2015. Tr $18. ISBN 9780316188227. LC 2014006903.

PreS-Gr 2 –The shadows of a summer night sing the promise of morning to a boy and his cat as they venture out into the dark yard surrounding their house. In the introductory scene just before the title page, the redheaded boy, tucked in bed in his darkened room, addresses the black cat curled above him, gazing through the window at the dusky world. “Good-night, Sylvie.” Sylvie, it soon appears, is not ready for sleep and meows insistently until the two tiptoe through the sleeping house and out into the nighttime shadows. Gerstein’s roughly sketched scenes with well-chosen detail are done on gray art paper, a fine choice for these shadowy night views. The early indoor scenes are boxed against the outer page. Heading for the open door, Sylvie hints, “It’s coming…hurry.” The dark outside opens fully on a spread and is soft and comfortable with shadows everywhere. “Are those shadows roses? Are those lilies and sunflowers? Where are their colors?” Soon the shadows reveal a great variety of animals that begin to echo Sylvie’s hint. “It’s on its way…here it comes…It’s almost here.” Eventually a glow appears above the trees, the shadowy animals slip away, and the world gathers color, leading to a full burst of sun. Boy and cat rush into the house to announce the beautiful day. Gerstein adds a personal note about his early childhood discomfort with the outer night world and his lifelong love of sunrise. Children will surely respond to his simple scheme, beautifully crafted with spare text and with much to enjoy in the homely views of house and yard. VERDICT This is fun bedtime fare, but so much more—parents and teachers will find many possibilities for conversations about night and day.–Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston

redstarMiyares, Daniel. Float. illus. by Daniel Miyares. 40p. S. & S. Jun. 2015. ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781481415255; Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481415248. LC 2014016404.

PreS-Gr 3 –A boy clad in a bright yellow raincoat and hat graces the cover, recalling Ezra Jack Keats’s A Letter to Amy (Viking, 1968). This homage to Peter’s dance with an invitation has its own tale to tell, but those in the know will enjoy noticing the connections: the attire, fence, special effects with water, and paper journeys. Miyares’s wordless adventure, employing panels of varying sizes, opens with a father and son forming an origami boat from a newspaper. The setting is monochromatic except for the child’s clothing and significant spots of pink and blue on the newsprint. Soon after the child rushes outdoors for the launch, rain forces him to shield the boat inside his slicker. Long, gray digital strokes create an impressionistic shower around the blurry boy; clarity resumes as the storm recedes. The artist plays with aerial views and simultaneous succession, e.g., six sun-colored, puddle-jumping protagonists in one scene, until the current sweeps the boat through several pages to a sewer-fed stream. The soppy page is returned to Dad, who has hugs, cocoa, and a new idea for the next sheet of paper. This time when the door opens, sunshine floods the room and a plane is about to lift off. This warm family story models rainy-day fun and just the right amount of parental intervention. Endpapers provide directions for both forms of transportation. VERDICT The thoughtful use of color, perspective, and texture makes following this young “maker’s” projects a visual pleasure.–Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library

redstarShannon, George. One Family. illus. by Blanca Gomez. 32p. Farrar/Frances Foster Bks. May 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374300036.

PreS-Gr 2 –This deceptively simple concept book celebrates family and community, while also offering young readers a chance to practice counting. Each spread features an increasing number of people who form a family. From babies in buggies to white-haired elders holding hands, families stretch across generations and races. Young listeners will recognize familiar activities such as strolling through the zoo, doing laundry, or baking cookies. The brief text mentions objects to be counted, and children can practice again with a spread that features all the items from 1 to 10. A final view of the city streets brings together many of the people featured in earlier pages to celebrate “One is one and everyone./ One earth. One world./ One family.” Gomez’s rich colors and clean design make the book a good choice for small group sharing, but she also includes many details to be appreciated in solo rereadings. Even the fly leaves are carefully designed. In the front, individual portraits of people and animals gaze ahead as they hang on the wall. In the back, the characters lean from their frames to converse with one another, while some of the pets escape entirely. VERDICT Thoughtful text and great design make this counting book a top choice for most libraries.–Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato

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

Anderson, Derek. Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure. illus. by Derek Anderson. 40p. Orchard. May 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545168465.

Aesop. The Tortoise and the Hare. illus. by Bernadette Watts. 32p. NorthSouth Books. Mar. 2015. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780735842076.

Bastianich, Lidia. Lidia’s Egg-Citing Farm Adventure. illus. by Renée Graef. 60p. (Nonna Tell Me a Story). Running Pr. Kids. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780762451265. LC 2013937585.

Bauer, Marion Dane. Crinkle, Crackle, Crack: It’s Spring. illus. by John Shelley. 32p. Holiday House. Apr. 2015. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9780823429523; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823433520. LC 2013012235.

Björkman, Steve. Look Out, Mouse! illus. by Steve Björkman. 24p. (I Like To Read). Holiday House. May 2015. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9780823429530; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9780823433971. LC 2014006416.

Bottner, Barbara. Feet, Go to Sleep. illus. by Maggie Smith. 32p. Knopf. May 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780449813256; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780449813263; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780449813270. LC 2012045972.

Bowles, Paula. Messy Jesse. illus. by Paula Bowles. 32p. Tiger Tales. Mar. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781589251335.

Cali, Davide. A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to School. illus. by Benjamin Chaud. 44p. Chronicle. Mar. 2015. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781452131689.

Caraballo, Samuel. Estas manos: Manitas de mi familia/These Hands: My Family’s Hands. illus. by Shawn Costello. 32p. Piñata Books. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781558857957. LC 2014009651.

Carroll, Lewis. Alice in Wonderland: Down the Rabbit Hole. retold by Joe Rhatigan & Charles Nurnberg. illus. by Eric Puybaret. 28p. Charlesbridge/Imagine! 2015. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781623540494. LC 2014015880.

Cohen, Santiago. The Yiddish Fish. illus. by Santiago Cohen. 36p. ebook available. Sky Pony. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781629146331; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9781632202345. LC 2014021418.

Cohn, Scott M. Daddy Sat on a Duck. illus. by Scott M. Cohn. 32p. (The Daddy Series). Little, Brown. May 2015. Tr $15. ISBN 9780316407496. LC 2014004119.

Cooke, Trish. Look Back! illus. by Caroline Binch. 32p. Interlink. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781566569804. LC 2014004757.

Courtauld, Sarah. Buckle and Squash: The Perilous Princess Plot. 208p. Feiwel & Friends. May 2015. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781250052773.

De Kinder, Jan. Red. tr. from Dutch by Laura Watkinson. illus. by Jan De Kinder. 32p. Eerdmans. Mar. 2015. Tr $16.00. ISBN 9780802854469. LC 2014031128.

Fleming, Candace. Bulldozer’s Big Day. illus. by Eric Rohmann. 40p. S. & S./Atheneum. May 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481400978; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9781481400985. LC 2013038526.

Friend, Alison. Freddy & Frito and the Clubhouse Rules. illus. by Alison Friend. 40p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. May 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062285805. LC 2014005871.

Gehl, Laura. Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel. illus. by Sarah Goodreau. 32p. (Israel: Bk. 1). Kar-Ben. Mar. 2015. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781467721998; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781467738194; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9781467762021. LC 2014003669.

Hannan, Peter. Petlandia. illus. by Peter Hannan. 144p. Scholastic. May 2015. Tr $8.99. ISBN 9780545162111; ebk. $8.99. ISBN 9780545470414.

Heppermann, Christine & Ron Koertge. Sadie’s Story. illus. by Deborah Marcero. 176p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Jul. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062338389. LC 2014029443.

James, Ann. Bird and Bear. illus. by Ann James. 40p. little bee. Apr. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781499800371. LC 2014943760.

Jönsson, Maria. Astrid the Fly. tr. from Swedish by Christina Reiss. illus. by Maria Jönsson. 32p. Holiday House. May 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823432004; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823433261. LC 2014006044.

Korda, Lerryn. So Cozy. illus. by Lerryn Korda. 32p. Candlewick. Mar. 2015. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763673734. LC 2013957339.

Knapman, Timothy. Soon. illus. by Patrick Benson. 40p. Candlewick. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763674786.

Landström, Lena. Where is Pim? tr. from Swedish by Julia Marshall. illus. by Olof Landström. 32p. Gecko Pr. Apr. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781927271735.

Larsen, Andrew. See You Next Year. illus. by Todd Stewart. 32p. Owlkids. Mar. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781926973999. LC 2014945471.

Lewin, Betsy. Good Night, Knight. illus. by Betsy Lewin. 24p. (I Like To Read). Holiday House. May 2015. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9780823432066; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780823433155; ebk. $14.95. ISBN 9780823433407. LC 2014007376.

Lobe, Mira. Hoppelpopp and the Best Bunny. tr. from German by Cäcilie Kovács. illus. by Angelika Kaufmann. 32p. Holiday House. Apr. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823432875; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823433346. LC 2014012319.

McCully, Emily Arnold. 3, 2, 1, Go! illus. by Emily Arnold McCully. 24p. (I Like To Read). Holiday House. May 2015. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9780823432882; ebk. $14.95. ISBN 9780823433469; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780823433148. LC 2014013402.

Martin, David. Peep and Ducky: Rainy Day. illus. by David Walker. 32p. Candlewick. 2015. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763668846. LC 2013957286.

Matheson, Christie. Touch the Brightest Star. illus. by Christie Matheson. 40p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. May 2015. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780062274472. LC 2014030491.

Meiners, Cheri J. Cool Down and Work Through Anger/Cálmate y supera la ira. ISBN 9781575424736. LC 2014012986.

––––. Share and Take Turns/Comparte y turna. ISBN 9781575424743. LC 2014013006.

ea vol: tr. from by Ingrid Paredes. illus. by Meredith Johnson. 48p. (Learning to Get Along). glossary. Free Spirit. 2014. pap. $12.45.

Müller, Hildegard. The Cowboy. illus. by Hildegard Müller. 24p. (I Like To Read). Holiday House. May 2015. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9780823432028; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780823433162; ebk. $14.95. ISBN 9780823433445. LC 2014013857.

Niemann, Christoph. The Potato King. tr. from German. illus. by Christoph Niemann. 32p. Owlkids. Apr. 2015. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781771471398.

Nilsson, Ulf. Detective Gordon: The First Case. illus. by Gitte Spee. 96p. (Detective Gordon: Bk. 1). Gecko Pr. Apr. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781927271490.

Noble, Trinka Hakes. Lizzie and the Last Day of School. illus. by Kris Aro McLeod. 32p. Sleeping Bear. Mar. 2015. spiral $15.99. ISBN 9781585368952. LC 2014026954.

Ohi, Debbie Ridpath. Where Are My Books? illus. by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. 40p. S. & S. May 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442467415; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781442467422. LC 2014015990.

Petricic, Dušan. My Family Tree and Me. illus. by Dušan Petricic. 24p. Kids Can. Apr. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771380492.

Rissi, Anica Mrose. Anna, Banana, and the Friendship Split. May 2015. ISBN 9781481416054. LC 2014006375.

––––. Anna, Banana, and the Monkey in the Middle. Jul. 2015. ISBN 9781481416085. LC 2014017618.

ea vol: illus. by Meg Park. 128p. (Anna, Banana). S. & S. Tr. $15.99.

Robaard, Jedda. The Little Fox Who Lost His Tail. illus. by Jedda Robaard. 12p. little bee. 2015. Board $7.99. ISBN 9781499800036.

Rocklin, Joanne. I Say Shehechiyanu. illus. by Monika Filipina. 24p. (Kar-Ben Favorites). ebook available. Kar-Ben. Mar. 2015. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781467734677; pap. $6.95. ISBN 9781467734691.

Schatell, Brian. Owl Boy. illus. by Brian Schatell. 32p. Holiday House. May 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823432080; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823433247.

Schneider, Antonie. Mr. Happy and Miss Grimm. illus. by Susanne Strasser. 32p. Holiday House. May 2015. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9780823431984; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823433605. LC 2014005694.

Schubert, Ingrid. There Is a Crocodile Under My Bed. tr. from Dutch. illus. by Dieter Schubert. English ed. 32p. Lemniscaat. May 2015. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781935954088.

Scieszka, Jon. Frank Einstein and the Electro-Finger. illus. by Brian Briggs. 176p. (Frank Einstein: Bk. 2). ebook available. Abrams/Amulet. Mar. 2015. pap. $13.95. ISBN 9781419714832.

Shulevitz, Uri. Troto and the Trucks. illus. by Uri Shulevitz. 32p. Farrar/Margaret Ferguson Bks. May 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780374300807.

Singer, Marilyn. Tallulah’s Tap Shoes. illus. by Alexandra Boiger. 48p. Clarion. May 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544236875. LC 2014021786.

Soffer, Gilad. Duck’s Vacation. tr. from Hebrew by Rena Rossner & Ilana Kurshan. illus. by Gilad Soffer. 40p. Feiwel & Friends. May 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250056474.

Stagliano, Katie with Michelle H. Martin. Katie’s Cabbage. illus. by Karen Heid. 40p. (Young Palmetto Books). Univ. of South Carolina. 2014. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781611175042; pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781611175059; ebk. $14.95. ISBN 9781611175066.

Steers, Billy. Tractor Mac New Friend. illus. by Billy Steers. 32p. (Tractor Mac). Farrar. May 2015. Tr $8.99. ISBN 9780374301101.

Stein, David Ezra. Tad and Dad. illus. by David Ezra Stein. 40p. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. Apr. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399256714.

Stein, Peter. Little Red’s Riding ‘Hood. illus. by Chris Gall. 40p. Orchard. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545609692; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9780545615563.

Tellegen, Toon. The Day No One Was Angry. illus. by Marc Boutavant. 80p. Gecko Pr. Apr. 2015. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781927271575.

Thompson, Laurie Ann. My Dog Is the Best. illus. by Paul Schmid. 40p. Farrar. Jun. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374300517. LC 2013041347.

Van Biesen, Koen. Roger Is Reading a Book. illus. by Koen Van Biesen. 42p. Eerdmans. Mar. 2015. Tr $16. ISBN 9780802854421.

van Lieshout, Elle & Erik van Os. Uh-Oh Octopus! tr. from Dutch. illus. by Mies van Hout. 32p. Lemniscaat. Apr. 2015. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781935954392.

Wahl, Charis. Rosario’s Fig Tree. illus. by Luc Melanson. 32p. House of Anansi/Groundwood. Mar. 2015. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781554983414.

Williams, Brenda. Millie’s Chickens. illus. by Valeria Cis. 40p. glossary. Barefoot Bks. Mar. 2015. pap. $8.99. ISBN 9781782850830; Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781782850823.

Williams, Brenda. Outdoor Opposites. illus. by Rachel Oldfield. 32p. w/CD. Barefoot Bks. May 2015. Tr ISBN 9781782850953.

Wilson, Karma. Bear Counts. illus. by Jane Chapman. 32p. (The Bear Books). S. & S./Margaret K. McElderry Bks. May 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442480926; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781442480933. LC 2014015913.

Graphic Novels

Lindgren, Astrid. Pippi Won’t Grow Up. tr. from Swedish by Tiina Nunnally. illus. by Ingrid Vang Nyman. 56p. Drawn & Quarterly/Enfant. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781770461680.

Lynn, Sarah & Pierre Collet-Derby. The Boulder Brothers: Meet Mo and Jo. 72p. (Jump Into Chapters). Blue Apple. 2014. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781609055011; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781609055615.

McCloskey, Kevin. We Dig Worms! illus. by Kevin McCloskey. 40p. ebook available. TOON Graphic. Apr. 2015. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781935179801.

Mizielinska, Aleksandra. The World of Mamoko in the Time of Dragons. illus. by Daniel Mizielinski. 16p. Candlewick/Big Picture. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763675189. LC 2013955958.

Proimos III, James. Apocalypse Bow Wow. illus. by James Proimos Jr. 224p. Bloomsbury. 2015. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781619634428. LC 2014016674.

Ricard, Anouk. Anna & Froga: Thrills, Spills, and Gooseberries. tr. from French by Helge Dascher. 3. 40p. (Anna & Froga). Drawn & Quarterly/Enfant. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781770461567.

Sturm, James & others. Sleepless Knight. illus. by authors. 40p. (Adventures in Cartooning). First Second. Apr. 2015. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781596436510.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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