October 19, 2016

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Review of the Day: What Color Is the Wind? by Anne Herbauts

What Color Is the Wind? By Anne Herbauts Translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick Enchanted Lion Books $19.95 ISBN: 978-1-59270-221-3 Ages 5 and up On shelves now I’m going to have a hard time of it when my kids grow up. When I had them I swore up, down and sideways that I wouldn’t turn into […]

A Mathemagician’s Playbook | Apps


Criteria for selecting math apps and a few stellar examples.

Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel | SLJ Review


PATEL, Sonia. Rani Patel in Full Effect. 313p. ebook available. further reading. glossary. Cinco Puntos. Oct. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781941026496; pap. $11.95. ISBN 9781941026502.

Gr 10 Up –On Molokai in the early 1990s, Rani Patel lives the life of the ultimate outsider. A quiet class council member of Indian descent whose relationship with her parents is deeply dysfunctional, she takes comfort only in hip-hop and rap. Her unrequited crushes on two local guys lead her into the underground […]

A Voyage in the Clouds: The (Mostly) True Story of the First International Flight by Balloon in 1785 by Matthew Olshan | SLJ Review


OLSHAN, Matthew. A Voyage in the Clouds: The (Mostly) True Story of the First International Flight by Balloon in 1785. illus. by Sophie Blackall. 40p. Farrar/Margaret Ferguson Bks. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374329549.

K-Gr 3 –One remarkable milestone on the path to flight was the first manned balloon trip, which occurred in 1783. Up to that point, no one had accomplished a trip between countries, so Dr. John Jeffries (English) and Jean-Pierre Blanchard (French) decided to be the […]

#SVYALit Book Review: Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel

Publisher’s description Almost seventeen, Rani Patel appears to be a kick-ass Indian girl breaking cultural norms as a hip-hop performer in full effect. But in truth, she’s a nerdy flat-chested nobody who lives with her Gujarati immigrant parents on the remote Hawaiian island of Moloka’i, isolated from her high school peers by the unsettling norms […]

Preaching to the Chickens by Jabari Asim | SLJ Review


ASIM, Jabari. Preaching to the Chickens. illus. by E.B. Lewis. 32p. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399168567.

Gr 2-5 –Luminous artwork and stirring text shed light on the childhood of one of America’s most respected civil rights leaders. Young John Lewis found his calling early in life, tenderly caring for the many chickens on the family farm and emulating his church’s ministers by preaching to the attentive hens: “ ‘Blessed are the peacemakers,’ he’d say when […]

Jason and the Argonauts: The First Great Quest in Greek Mythology retold by Robert Byrd | SLJ Review


BYRD, Robert, retel. Jason and the Argonauts: The First Great Quest in Greek Mythology. illus. by Robert Byrd. 48p. bibliog. Dial. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780803741188. POP

Gr 3-6 –Byrd compellingly retells the ancient Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts. Jason, wishing to reclaim his rightful throne, takes 50 Argonauts (including the powerful Hercules) on a quest for the Golden Fleece, encountering a myriad of dangers along the way. He is alternately favored and cursed by the […]

Ormiboard: an IWB without the IWB (and a lot more interactive goodness_

If you are looking for ways to make your presentations more interactive and if you are working in a 1:1 environment and if you are looking for an instructional platform that easily moves across devices and if you’d like to have an interactive whiteboard with you wherever you share and teach, I think you’ll want […]

New Music from The Okee Dokee Brothers | ClefNotes


Reviews of recent children’s music albums.

The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk by Jan Thornhill | SLJ Review


THORNHILL, Jan. The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk. illus. by Jan Thornhill. 44p. bibliog. further reading. maps. websites. Groundwood. Oct. 2016. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781554988655.

Gr 2-5 –The auk was a northern penguin that lived and thrived in the cold waters of the Atlantic. This great bird “weighed as much as a sack of potatoes and stood as tall as a three-year-old,” but it had one flaw: the bird had tiny wings that were excellent for water but […]

Race the Night by Kirsten Hubbard | SLJ Review


HUBBARD, Kirsten. Race the Night. 288p. ebook available. Disney-Hyperion. Nov. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781484708347.

Gr 4-6 –The world has ended. All that’s left is the remote desert compound where 12-year-old Eider and four other children live under the stern rule of Teacher, whose tales of the cataclysm and dangers of the outside world keep the children isolated and afraid to question what they’ve been told. Eider’s growing sense of “something out there…something more” emboldens her to venture beyond […]

Portable and Practical: A Guide for Budding Birders | Touch and Go


A field guide to birds for the youngest children that’s chock-full of information and activities.

The Cat from Hunger Mountain by Ed Young | SLJ Review


YOUNG, Ed. The Cat from Hunger Mountain. illus. by Ed Young. 32p. ebook available. Philomel. Nov. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399172786.

K-Gr 4 –Lord Cat lives well on his mountaintop, blessed with the finest of goods and plenty of rice to eat. He has servants to build him the best home and prepare and serve his delicious meals. There are also workers to tend his prolific rice paddies. Life is stable until, one year, drought hits and crops fail. […]

Mark of the Plague (Blackthorn Key: Book 2) by Kevin Sands | SLJ Review


SANDS, Kevin. Mark of the Plague. 544p. (Blackthorn Key: Bk. 2). S. & S./Aladdin. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481446747.

Gr 4-8 –This follow-up to The Blackthorn Key places readers right in the middle of the nastiest event the 1600s had to offer—the Black Plague. Not only are Christopher and his friends tasked with avoiding the deadly disease but they must also contend with the prophets, zealots, and frauds who seem to attach themselves to all tragic events. Sands’s […]

#SVYALit Book Review: Wrecked by Maria Padian

Publisher’s description Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, […]

Review of the Day: Are You an Echo? by David Jacobson

Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko Narrative and Translation by David Jacobson, Sally Ito, and Michiko Tsuboi Illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri Chin Music Press $19.50 ISBN: 9781634059626 Ages 5 and up On shelves now Recently I was at a conference celebrating the creators of different kinds of children’s books. During one […]

Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami | SLJ Review


KRISHNASWAMI, Uma. Book Uncle and Me. illus. by Julianna Swaney. 152p. Groundwood. Sept. 2016. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781554988082; ebk. $12.95. ISBN 9781554988105.

Gr 2-4 –Nine-year-old Yasmin is a self described book-a-day reader. Every day after school she likes to stop by Book Uncle’s lending library on the corner by her apartment complex. Book Uncle has been on the corner as long as Yasmin can remember, and his motto of Right book for the right person for the right day” […]

Ape & Armadillo Take Over the World by James Sturm | SLJ Review


STURM, James. Ape & Armadillo Take Over the World. illus. by James Sturm. 40p. Toon. Sept. 2016. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781943145096.

Gr 1-4 –This graphic novel for younger readers is a funny romp into the fantastic world of two friends, an ape and an armadillo. Armadillo, who dons a red cape, wants to play a game of world domination, but his thoughtful friend Ape has another plan. Disappointed at being the sidekick, Ape makes the point that a solid […]

Swift Playgrounds: Not Just Another Coding App |SLJ Review


Are your students budding coders? Apple has just released a sophisticated app for students serious about programming. Our review of Swift Playgrounds.

Before Morning by Joyce Sidman | SLJ Review


SIDMAN, Joyce. Before Morning. illus. by Beth Krommes. 48p. HMH. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780547979175.

K-Gr 2 –At dusk, a woman, child, and dog hurry out of the park and pass by a bakery, though the wool-capped girl clearly wants to stop. They enter their apartment, where Dad has dinner ready, and everyone looks happy except the girl, who’s staring dolefully at a cap that sits atop a small suitcase. In the next illustration, as the windows reflect […]