April 29, 2017

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The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner | SLJ Review

RENNER, Benjamin. The Big Bad Fox. tr. from French by Joe Johnson. illus. by Benjamin Renner. 192p. First Second. Jun. 2017. pap. $15.99. ISBN 9781626723313.

Gr 3-6 –The proverbial fox may be a menace to the henhouse—but not the hero of this work. The titular character lacks gumption, guile, or cunning, and the chickens send him running each time he ventures into the farmyard. Taking pity on the fox, the wolf proposes playing the long game: stealing eggs and […]

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson | SLJ Review

ANDERSON, Jodi Lynn. Midnight at the Electric. 272p. HarperCollins/­HarperTeen. Jun. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062393548.

Gr 9 Up –Adri’s, Catherine’s, and Lenore’s lives are intertwined but not in the way that one would think. Adri lives in 2065 Kansas, Catherine lives in 1930s Kansas, and Lenore lives in England in 1919. As Adri is preparing to go to Mars, she stays with her cousin in Kansas, where the training takes place. Upon settling in, she comes across letters written […]

What’s Your Favorite Color? by Eric Carle & others | SLJ Review

CARLE, Eric & others. What’s Your Favorite Color? illus. by Eric Carle & others. 40p. Holt. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780805096149.

PreS-Gr 2 –Carle and 14 other picture book artists share their favorite colors through memories, poems, and child-friendly snippets in this collection of testimonials. Despite the emphasis on the visuals, text and illustrations in each spread are equally strong. From Philip C. Stead’s gentle ode to the many shades of green to Jill McElmurry’s tactile imagining of […]

Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb | SLJ Audio Review

WEBB, Holly. Return to the Secret Garden. 4 CDs. 5:13 hrs. Dreamscape. Dec. 2016. $29.99 ISBN 9781520064765. digital download.

Gr 3-6 – Emmie and the other orphans of the Craven Home for Orphaned Children are being evacuated from London to Misselthwaite Manor on the eve of World War II. The chaos of displacement mirrors Emmie’s loneliness and frustration. This powerful historical setting is the backdrop for Webb’s lovely sequel to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic The Secret Garden. As Emmie […]

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley | SLJ Review

CROWLEY, Cath. Words in Deep Blue. 288p. Knopf. Jun. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781101937648.

Gr 9 Up –An astonishingly realistic look at loss, grief, love, and the importance of words. Rachel Sweetie’s world changed forever the day her little brother Cal drowned. In the eight months since, she’s failed to graduate from school and alienated most of her friends. Rachel’s family seems to think returning to live with her aunt in their old hometown will help. She’s up for […]

Maker Spaces, STEM, Library Management | Professional Reading

Maker space projects galore; “a fascinating look at the intersection of science and the maker movement”; and an accessible guide on management for school librarians.

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

YA: Mean Girls, “Mad Miss Mimic,” and Mars | May 2017 Xpress Reviews

Eve Darrows delivers a poignant, gripping exploration of bullying; Sarah Henster’s latest is sure to please fans of Victoriana; and Jonathan Maberry takes a trip to Mars.

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

Middle Grade: An Immigrant’s Story, Lucha Libre, and More | May 2017 Xpress Reviews

A young Congolese refugee faces her first year in America; Xavier Garza throws down another installment in the “Lucha Libre Adventures”; and more.

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

Picture Books: Fatherhood, Fears, and More | May 2017 Xpress Reviews

A young girl describes the challenges and rewards of life with her sister and father; a young boy left at home alone faces his fears; and more.

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

Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Publisher’s Book Description A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married. Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the […]

Goldfish Ghost by Lemony Snicket | SLJ Review

SNICKET, Lemony. Goldfish Ghost. illus. by Lisa Brown. 40p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Bks. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626725072.

K-Gr 3 –In a droll twist on the typical “beloved dead pet” story, this one opens with a death—reimagined as an otherworldly birth—of a boy’s pet goldfish. Born upside down and floating on top of his fishbowl, Goldfish Ghost, who remains in that position throughout, slowly drifts out of the boy’s bedroom and along the idyllic seascapes of Cape Cod […]

My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads by Hope Anita Smith | SLJ Review

SMITH, Hope Anita. My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads. illus. by Hope Anita Smith. 32p. Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780805091892.

PreS-Gr 3 –Dedicated to “every man ‘fathering’ a child,” this volume spotlights the bond between dads and their kids. Written in a child’s voice, the poems depict dads snoring, making breakfast, giving a haircut or guitar lesson, wrestling, playing catch, teaching a child to ride a bike, and reading. “Love Letter” is about […]

Review: ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink’

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink Writers: Brenden Fletcher, Kelly Thompson, and Tini Howard Artist: Daniele Di Niculolo BOOM! Studios; $19.99 When the original Pink Ranger left the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show, like the first Red, Black, and Yellow Rangers before her, the producers had merely to come up with a convenient, plausible-sounding […]

Review of the Day: York – The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby

York: The Shadow Cipher By Laura Ruby Walden Pond Press (an imprint of Harper Collins) $17.99 ISBN: 9780062306937 Ages 9-14 On shelves May 9th. A wise bookseller friend of mine once said (and I’m paraphrasing here because she bloody tweets too often to locate the precise words), “If you work in a bookstore you are […]

Nonfiction: Yoga, Space, Sharks, and More | May 2017 Xpress Reviews

Yoga poses for those about to head off to bed, an exciting exploration of Apollo 13, and more.

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

Chapter Books: Mysteries, Friendship, and Invisible Cats | May 2017 Xpress Reviews

Andrea Cheng follows up her The Year of the Book with a stellar prequel; meet Squishy McFluff, an invisible cat; and solve mysteries with King and Kayla.

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

Graphic Novels: The Latest from Matt Kindt, Margaret Atwood, and More | May 2017 Xpress Reviews

An undersea adventure, another “Angel Catbird” volume, and a graphic novel look at Colonial America.

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

Teens Review “Rebel of the Sands” Sequel and More

In this last column by the Kitsap YA Group, the teens review the follow-up to Alwyn Hamilton’s fantasy adventure, a hard-hitting contemporary debut, and more.

Go Sleep in Your Own Bed! by Candace Fleming | SLJ Review

FLEMING, Candace. Go Sleep in Your Own Bed! illus. by Lori Nichols. 40p. Random/Schwartz & Wade. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780375866487.

PreS-Gr 1 –Day is done, and the farm animals quietly take to their beds to get some much-needed rest. Pig toddles off to his sty, with all its glorious mud and slop, but finds a cow in his spot. “Go sleep in your own bed!” Pig demands. Cow clompety-stomps to her stall, but there she startles awake […]

5 Reference Titles for Armchair Travelers, Record Breakers, and More

Lonely Planet takes readers on a ride through 86 cities and Guinness World Records recaps all the latest weird and wacky pop culture trends.

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