May 26, 2017

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Luann Toth

About Luann Toth

Luann Toth (ltoth@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor of SLJ Reviews. A public librarian by training, she has been reviewing books for a quarter of a century and continues to be fascinated by the constantly evolving, ever-expanding world of publishing.

4 Picture Books Celebrating the Importance of Family

A wide array of titles that show the warm and sometimes wacky world of familial interactions.

Poor Louie by Tony Fucile | SLJ Review

FUCILE, Tony. Poor Louie. illus. by Tony Fucile. 40p. Candlewick. Apr. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763658281.

PreS-Gr 1 –Louie is a cute and cuddly Chihuahua in crisis. He speaks directly to readers and tries to solicit their sympathy. The pup recounts his idyllic life as the apple of his human parents’ eye. Walks in the park, eating ice cream, and shopping excursions are all part of their normal family routine, along with dinner, movies, and plenty of snuggle time. […]

5 Picture Books Celebrating Dads (and Granddads)

5 warm and tender titles with male-focused parent-and-child interactions that celebrate the special bonds between father (or grandfather) and child

Answering the Call: Meg Rosoff on Finishing Mal Peet’s “Beck”

The award-winning author talks to SLJ about what is perhaps the biggest and most challenging project of her career: completing a novel begun by Mal Peet.

3 Adorably Fox-y Picture Books

Dispel the negative connotations surrounding foxes in children’s stories with these three cuddly tales.

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge | SLJ Review

HARDINGE, Frances. A Face Like Glass. 496p. ebook available. Abrams/Amulet. May 2017. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781419724848.

Gr 5 Up –Neverfell didn’t mean to cause a stir when she left Cheesemaster Grandible’s tunnels for the first time, nor could she have known that she would become a darling of the court, the target of assassins, a captive of the Kleptomancer, a pawn of the powerbrokers, or a leader of an uprising. She is just a girl trying to figure out […]

Checking the Bear-omator | SLJ Spotlight on Picture Books

Bear stories are perennial favorites for the toddler and preschool set to curl up with and these new titles are no exception.

Ox & Gazelle? A Valentine’s Day Love Story| SLJ Book Review

A lumbering yet loquacious ox wins over a glamorous yet conceited gazelle via the power of the pen in this epistolary picture book.

A Renaissance Woman| Up Close with Nikki Grimes

Nikki Grimes revisits works written nearly 100 years ago during the Harlem Renaissance and recasts the classic poets’ words in a way that will speak to today’s readers.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Dozers, Dumpers, and Drills | SLJ Spotlight

Titles featuring construction equipment and other big machines are evergreen favorites with the preschool set, and these new offerings do not disappoint. Whether told in infectious rhyme, reinforcing concepts, or building vocabulary, these active, irresistible narratives filled with vibrant art and awesome sound effects address early literacy skills and get the job done in style.

Cloudy with a Chance of Snowballs | SLJ Spotlight

There’s something magical and transformative about a winter storm, whether you live in a city or in a more rural locale. Weeks of gray skies and nippy weather mean nothing to kids as long as they can hold out hope for at least one blissful humungo snowfall to enjoy with their friends.

Stars? He’s Got It Covered: Introducing Artist Christian Robinson | Up Close

Cover artist Christian Robinson talks about his work, his interests, and some of his forthcoming picture books to keep an eye out for.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Every Dog Has His Day | SLJ Spotlight

Whether tiny and intrepid or large and stately, our canine companions are almost always willing helpmates and loyal friends. Even those with exuberant personalities and vocal proclivities add excitement, energy, and elements of fun to otherwise humdrum households. Here are some winning pup-related picture books from this issue.

Going to the Movies with Katherine Paterson | “The Great Gilly Hopkins”

A conversation with the award-winning author on the release of a major motion picture adaptation of The Great Gilly Hopkins.

Sleep Tight! | SLJ Spotlight

For babies, toddlers, and even elementary-age children, preparing for bed, settling down to rest, and calming fears of the dark are perennially popular picture book themes. This month brings a plethora of soothing stories to spark the imagination and usher in sweet dreams.

In Plain Sight: A Game by Richard Jackson | SLJ Review

JACKSON, Richard. In Plain Sight: A Game. illus. by Jerry Pinkney. 40p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Bks. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626722552.

PreS-Gr 2 –Sophie’s grandfather lives in her house, and while his mobility is restricted, his tender feelings for his granddaughter know no bounds. He waves her off to school from his second-floor window, and she comes to visit him every afternoon. Their daily routine includes the man asking for the child’s help in retrieving an everyday object […]

Duck, Duck, Porcupine! by Salina Yoon | SLJ Review

Yoon, Salina. Duck, Duck, Porcupine! illus. by Salina Yoon. 64p. Bloomsbury. May 2016. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9781619637238. 

PreS-Gr 1 –This wonderfully engaging easy reader, starring the titular trio, is divided into three short chapters. The two duck siblings and their purple porcupine pal go on an all-weather picnic, celebrate Porcupine’s birthday in style (well, eventually), and gather all of the things they need for a campout. The stories are told almost exclusively in dialogue, with the […]

Oh, Baby | SLJ Spotlight

There are loads of books about the arrival of cute bundles of joy into a household. These titles address some of the less charming aspects of infants. They disrupt established routines, demand (and command) constant attention, terrorize the family pets, and drive their siblings bonkers.

Rita Meade on Popular Pick “Edward Gets Messy”

Librarian and first-time author Rita Meade discusses creativity, the importance of taking risks, and how libraries can foster a sense of adventure.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

A Girl and Her Furry Amigo | Up Close with Juana Medina

Author/artist Juana Medina talks about her new, illustrated chapter book, which pubs in September.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.