May 27, 2016

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This Is Not a Picture Book by Sergio Ruzzier | SLJ Review

This Is Not a Picture Book

Ruzzier, Sergio. This Is Not a Picture Book. illus. by Sergio Ruzzier. 40p. Chronicle. May 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781452129075. 

PreS-Gr 2 –In this winsome examination of the power of words, a little duckling is delighted to find a red book lying on the ground. “Where are the pictures?!” the fuzzy yellow bird exclaims in dismay upon opening it up. The duck flips through the pages, scanning the plethora of print, and begins to recognize some […]

MakerSpace: Challenge Cards, getting teens to try new activities in the Teen MakerSpace

We are having tremendous success with our Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH) and are very excited to see the teens in our community using the space and learning new things. We have learned that certain items are more popular than others, with the button makers and 3D […]

CHOMP On This App | Touch and Go


It’s hard to imagine an app that can rival Chistoph Niemann’s Petting Zooin novelty and engagement. There’s now a contender.

Princeless: Save Yourself! Deluxe Edition by Jeremy Whitley | SLJ Review


Whitley, Jeremy. Princeless: Save Yourself! Deluxe Edition. illus. by M. Goodwin. 168p. (Princeless: Bk. 1). Action Lab. Feb. 2016. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781632291202.

Gr 4-7 –Princess Adrienne is no hero’s fair maiden, and she is not afraid to say so! She’s the seventh daughter whom her father, the king, has stranded in a tower (his goal is to lure a prince worthy to rule the kingdom of Ashland). Prince after prince has tried to rescue Adrienne, […]

Review of the Day: Next to You by Lori Haskins Houran

Next to You: A Book of Adorableness By Lori Haskins Houran Illustrated by Sydney Hanson Albert Whitman & Co. $16.99 ISBN: 9780807556009 Ages 4-7 On shelves now Years ago I saw a very interesting sketch produced during the early years of Disney animated filmmaking. The drawing was an explanation to animators on the precise proportions […]

United States Encyclopedia: People, Places, and Events | SLJ Review

United States Encyclopedia National Geo

United States Encyclopedia: People, Places, and Events. 272p. chron. further reading. glossary. index. maps. photos. reprods. websites. National Geographic. Sept. 2016. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781426320927. 

Gr 4 Up –Every inch of this book is expertly executed. In the first section, “Story of a Nation,” the author explains in a succession of tidy spreads how the United States was shaped socially, politically, and geographically by major forces, such as the arrival of the English in North America. Following this […]

Review: ‘Doctor Fate Vol. 1: The Blood Price’

Doctor Fate Vol. 1: The Blood Price Writer: Paul Levitz Artist: Sonny Liew DC Comics; $14.99 Rated T for Teen It was ten years ago that DC Comics canceled their previous attempt to build an ongoing series around their Doctor Fate character, a very ’90s take that turned the golden-helmed super-magician created during the Golden […]

Teens Review Kat Ellis’s “Breaker,” Steampunk, and More

Vanishing Throne_final front cover.pdf

The young adults of the Kitsap (WA) Regional Library YA Book Group assess a modern adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, a historical work set during South Africa’s apartheid, and the sequel to Elizabeth May’s The Falconer.

Adobe Spark: rebranded apps & a platform-agnostic website for free student creation

A little over a month ago, I posted about my affection for the growing Adobe suite of tools/apps in Smashing Adobe. A couple of years ago, I kinda raved about Adobe Voice in Adobe Voice: Elegant, easy(!) storytelling. This week Adobe announced an official smashing of its apps with its integrated Adobe Spark, designed as […]

Book Review: Without Annette by Jane B. Mason

Publisher’s description Josie Little has been looking forward to moving halfway across the country to attend Brookwood Academy, a prestigious boarding school, with her girlfriend, Annette, for ages. But underneath Brookwood’s picture-perfect image lies a crippling sense of elitism that begins to tear the girls apart from the moment they arrive. While Josie struggles to […]

The Blobfish Book by Jessica Olien | SLJ Review

The Blobfish Book

Olien, Jessica. The Blobfish Book. illus. by Jessica Olien. 40p. websites. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062394156. 

PreS-Gr 2 –A misunderstood deep-sea dweller gets its moment in the sun in this tongue-in-cheek informational picture book. The bubble-gum pink blobfish is sketched onto the pages of a nonfiction work that presents facts about and photos of the fascinating creatures that live miles beneath the ocean surface. Snappy dialogue balloons and humorously exaggerated cartoon features […]

Middle Grade Xpress Reviews | June 2016


Jason Reynolds makes his middle grade debut, Wendy Spinale takes on Peter Pan, and Henry Cole tells a “somewhat true” mouse tale.

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

Picture Books Xpress Reviews | June 2016


Say goodbye to Mo Willems’s Elephant and Piggie, meet Los Pollitos, and go Vroom! with Liesbet Slegers’s latest.

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

Graphic Novels Xpress Reviews | June 2016


A manga-style look at anatomy, a heart-wrenching work about the Holocaust, and the latest installments in two ongoing series.

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

YA Xpress Reviews | June 2016


David Lubar delivers thought-provoking metafiction, Rick Yancey concludes “The Fifth Wave,” and Kristy Acevedo offers complex and profound science fiction.

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

Nonfiction Xpress Reviews | June 2016


Inside an orangutan orphanage, all about Minecraft, and a bevy of weird factoids sure to attract browsers.

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

Multicultural Literature for Latino Children, Early Literacy, and Storytelling | Professional Reading


This month’s professional reading titles include global offerings for storytellers, a primer on developing literacy skills, and more.

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

Dara Palmer’s Major Drama by Emma Shevah | SLJ Review

MG-Shevah-Dara Palmer's Major Drama

Shevah, Emma. Dara Palmer’s Major Drama. illus. by Helen Crawford-White. 288p. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky. Jul. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781492631385. POP 

Gr 3-6 –British fifth grader Dara Palmer is a natural-born actress, destined for Hollywood stardom. At least, that’s what she and her best friend, Lacey, think, until neither of them lands the lead role in their school’s musical production of The Sound of Music. Dara, who is adopted from Cambodia, believes that she may have been passed […]

Wildlife of the World | SLJ Review

REF-DK-Wildlife of the World

Wildlife of the World. 480p. index. photos. DK. Oct. 2015. Tr $50. ISBN 9781465438041. 

Gr 4 Up –Looking outside one’s window can give students an appreciation for nature, and this volume greatly widens the view. Detailed data panels provide a snapshot of the size, diet, status, and habitat of each species. The book begins with information on animal habitats and then shifts the focus to species in more than 40 ecoregions. Vibrant, full-color images illuminate the pages, with […]

Review of the Day: The King of Kazoo by Norm Feuti

King of Kazoo By Norm Feuti Graphix (an imprint of Scholastic) $22.99 ISBN: 978-0545770880 Ages 9-12 On shelves July 26th When I used to run a children’s book club for 9-12 year-olds, I’d regularly let them choose the next book we’d discuss. In time, after some trial and error, I learned that the best way […]