June 23, 2017

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Review: ‘The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap/Phantom Hourglass’

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap/Phantom Hourglass Writer/artist: Akira Himekawa Viz Media; $17.99 Rated A for All Ages The latest game in Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda franchise, Breath of The Wild, was released in March, leading to the regular, periodic spike in interest of all things Zelda. That might explain why Viz has been […]

Review of the Day: Town is By the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, ill. Sydney Smith

Town Is by the Sea By Joanne Schwartz Illustrated by Sydney Smith Groundwood Books $19.95 ISBN: 978-1-55498-871-6 Ages 4-9 On shelves now There’s been a lot of talk lately about how a parent can engender empathy in their children. It’s a good question and worth a lot of discussion and listening. As a parent I’ve […]

Wolfie the Bunny | SLJ DVD Review

Wolfie the Bunny. 8 min. Weston Woods. 2017. $59.95. ISBN 9781338161953.

PreS-Gr 2 –It’s bad enough when a new baby usurps your parents’ time and affection, but it’s worse when you’re a bunny and that baby left on the doorstep is a wolf. Dot is convinced the adopted child is going to eat the family up, but her parents are smitten. Just how long can her new baby brother survive on carrots alone? What to do, what to do? […]

Mini Book Review: Roar by Cora Carmack

Publisher’s Book Description: In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them. Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from […]

The Losers Club by Andrew Clements | SLJ Review

CLEMENTS, Andrew. The Losers Club. 240p. Random. Aug. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399557552.

Gr 3-6 –Sixth grader Alec, a true bibliophile, would rather read for pleasure than listen to his teachers, which often lands him in trouble with his parents, his teachers, and the principal. When Alec joins the after-school program, he is forced to pick a club, and quietly reading is not an option. Alec comes up with a plan to create a club that no kid would […]

Book Review: Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali

Publisher’s description Saints and Misfits is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen. There are three kinds of people in my world: 1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you glaze over them. Or, at least, I do. They’re in your face so […]

Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton | SLJ Review

HUTTON, Keely. Soldier Boy. 336p. Farrar. Jun. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374305635.

Gr 9 Up –A compelling tale that recounts the story of former, real-life Ugandan child soldier Ricky Richard Anywar. Told in alternating chapters that focus on Ricky’s past and the present-day story of Samuel, this brutally honest novel will have readers struggling to move through the often gruesome initiation of kidnapped children into the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Ricky is consumed by fear and desperation as he […]

Mighty Moby by Barbara DaCosta | SLJ Review

DACOSTA, Barbara. Mighty Moby. illus. by Ed Young. 40p. Little, Brown. Aug. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316299367.

PreS-Gr 2 –The book jacket depicting Herman Melville’s infamous behemoth befits the epic adventure it heralds: blackness swallows the crimson light surrounding the whale, setting an ominous tone. In an author’s note, DaCosta writes that every word comes from Moby-Dick except one. The text is minimal but dramatic, with dialogue as well as faux ballad and sea shanty verses. The story opens […]

Review: ‘DC/Looney Tunes 100-Page Super Spectacular’ #1

DC/Looney Tunes 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 Writer: Mark Evanier Artists: Joe Staton, Tom Palmer, and Mike DeCarlo DC Comics; $7.99 Rated E for Everyone DC Comics rather recently published a round of strange team-ups between some of their superhero properties and altered versions of Hanna-Barbra cartoon characters, an experiment apparently inspired by their Hanna-Barbera reboot […]

Heidi | SLJ DVD Review

Heidi. 111 min. Omnibus Entertainment. 2017. $14.99. UPC 859686006109.

Gr 4 Up –Filmed on location, this adaptation of Johanna Spyri’s 1881 novel about a Swiss girl who finds a home with her grandfather in the Alps is nearly perfect. Director Alain Gsponer’s evident affection for the story informs the retelling. Each building, room, costume, and prop paints a convincing portrait of 19th-century Germany and Switzerland, from the elaborate table settings to the rustic but solid simplicity of the grandfather’s […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#53)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? Loved this book as a kid. Hated it as an adult. I despised the main character, whose obsession with his dogs is not cute. And the faux-mysticism of the dogs is annoying. Pretty much the only people I rooted […]

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee | SLJ Review

ORMSBEE, Kathryn. Tash Hearts Tolstoy. 384p. S. & S. Jun. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781481489331.

Gr 9 Up –Seventeen-year-old Kentucky filmmaker and Tolstoy superfan Tash Zelenka’s summer takes an unexpected turn when her web series, Unhappy Families (a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina) goes viral. The newfound fame causes tension between Tash and her best friend Jack, who also works on the series. Tash is easily caught up in the increased social media attention, her fans’ expectations, and the […]

The Best of Raffi & 14 More Children’s Albums | ClefNotes

Fifteen reviews of new children’s albums

Our Country’s Presidents: A Complete Encyclopedia of the U.S. Presidency by Ann Bausum | SLJ Review

BAUSUM, Ann. Our Country’s Presidents: A Complete Encyclopedia of the U.S. Presidency. 224p. chart. chron. further reading. index. maps. photos. reprods. National Geographic. Jan. 2017. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781426326851.

Gr 4-7 –A clear, colorful design; a variety of sidebars; and rich historical material make this a solid, go-to resource for information on the presidents. The text is chronologically organized into six parts, each of which features a two-page time line delineating significant events. Each entry begins with a fact […]

How To Disappear by Sharon Huss Roat | SLJ Review

ROAT, Sharon Huss. How To Disappear. 384p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Aug. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062291752.

Gr 7 Up –Vicky Decker relies upon her best friend, Jenna, to shield her from stressful social situations. That is, until Jenna and her family move away and Vicky’s social anxiety is cast into sharp relief against Jenna’s seeming ease at making new friends. To cope with her jealousy and loneliness, Vicky Photoshops herself into one exciting social setting after another and uploads the images […]

SLJ Chats with Diana Panton | ClefNotes

Canadian vocalist Diana Panton on what led to her first album for children.

Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough | SLJ Review

BROCKENBROUGH, Martha. Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary. 384p. bibliog. chron. index. notes. Feiwel & Friends. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250123190.

Gr 7 Up –Brockenbrough engagingly re-creates the complex character and eventful life of Alexander Hamilton in her nuanced biography. The author explores this eloquent, passionate, and principled founding father, from his illegitimate birth on the Caribbean island of Nevis to his fatal duel with Aaron Burr. The chronological narrative relies on thorough research to present details of Hamilton as an […]

Review: ‘If Found Please Return to Elise Gravel’

If Found Please Return to Elise Gravel Writer/artist: Elise Gravel Drawn & Quarterly; $17.95 Montreal artist and author Elise Gravel has created over 30 books, many of them focused on simply and charmingly drawn monsters and animals that all seem to emanate a cuddly charisma and all-around cuteness…no small feat considering that many of those […]

Now by Antoinette Portis | SLJ Review

PORTIS, Antoinette. Now. illus. by Antoinette Portis. 32p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Bks. Jul. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626721371.

PreS-Gr 1 –A young girl names all her favorite things as she joyfully lives out her days. “This is my favorite mud…my favorite rain.” Other treasured objects include a worm and a paper boat. Mostly, the girl loves these things because they are what she is experiencing in the moment. For example, of the several holes she’s dug, her favorite is […]

Maker Apps? Why not? | Touch and Go

A host of maker apps await you and your library patrons, including one of our favorites that’s free on iTunes this week.