March 27, 2017

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Review of the Day: Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Wolf in the Snow By Matthew Cordell Feiwel and Friends (an imprint of Macmillan) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1250076366 Ages 4-7 On shelves now It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why it is that I love picture books as much as I do. Putting aside the usual reasons (brain growth, increasing a child’s capacity for wonder, parent/child bonding, […]

Review of the Day: The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson, ill. Vanessa Brantley Newton

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist By Cynthia Levinson Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton Atheneum (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-4814-0070-1 Ages 6-10 On shelves now Today I’d like to begin with a small talk about diversity. Not diversity of people necessarily, but diversity […]

Review of the Day: Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder, ill. Emily Hughes

Charlie & Mouse By Laurel Snyder Illustrated by Emily Hughes Chronicle Books $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-4521-3153-5 Ages 6-9 On shelves April 11th Only the jaded should write reviews of children’s books. Oh, it makes sense! Think about it. Children’s books are where the saccharine and overblown and overbearing go to die. Things that wouldn’t cut it […]

Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza, ill. Alyssa Bermudez

Lucia the Luchadora By Cynthia Leonor Garza Illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez POW! Kids Books $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-57687-827-9 Ages 4-7 On shelves March 7th It was probably seven or so years ago. I was working as a children’s librarian in New York City. We were hosting a class of kids, first or second graders, and after […]

Review of the Day: One Trick Pony by Nathan Hale

One Trick Pony By Nathan Hale Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams) $14.95 ISBN: 978-1-4197-2128-1 Ages 9-12 On shelves March 14th Let us say, for the sake of argument, that you are a wonderfully successful author/artist of a New York Times bestselling graphic novel series about historical events. Hazardous historical events. Let us say that […]

Review of the Day: The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet by Carmen Agra Deedy, ill. Eugene Yelchin

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! By Carmen Agra Deedy Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin Scholastic $17.99 ISBN: 978-0-545-72288-9 Ages 4-8 On shelves now Allegorical tales are not supposed to make you giggle. They’re steeped in seriousness. Rooted in meaning. Awash in heartfelt feelings that are meant to make you think deeply about the state […]

Review of the Day: The Secret Project by Jonah Winter, ill. Jeanette Winter

The Secret Project By Jonah Winter Illustrated by Jeanette Winter Beach Lane Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-4814-6913-5 Ages 4 and up On shelves February 7th Writing history for kids used to be a simple affair. I remember from my own youth the deadly dull books that somehow seemed to always […]

Review of the Day: Princess Cora and the Crocodile by Laura Amy Schlitz, ill. Brian Floca

Princess Cora and the Crocodile By Laura Amy Schlitz Illustrated by Brian Floca Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-4822-0 Early Chapter Book On shelves March 28th What if. What if Good Night Moon had been illustrated by someone other than Clement Hurd? What if. What if Charlotte’s Web had had an artist who wasn’t Garth Williams? […]

Scythe

Sometimes the world really does save the best for last. Because people? Scythe is amazing. I keep thinking about it. I unabashedly loved reading it in that can’t put it down way, but I also absolutely love it as a contender. It jumped the queue right into my top 5, and as the second to […]

Review of the Day: Prince Ribbit by Jonathan Emmett, ill. Poly Bernatene

Prince Ribbit By Jonathan Emmett Illustrated by Poly Bernatene Peachtree Press $16.95 ISBN: 978-1-56145-761-8 Ages 4-7 On shelves March 1, 2017 There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about . . . well, the news. Specifically fake news. Articles and stories that look real when you find them in your in-box or […]

Newbery / Caldecott 2017: Final Prediction Edition

Normally published in December, now pushed up to January for your reading pleasure.  But I’m shaking things up this time around.  Let’s do something a little different. In all my past Final Prediction Editions of Newbery/Caldecott winners, I cling stubbornly to the same format: name the predicted winner and honors.  This year I’m going a […]

(like you really need another list from me) 100 Magnificent Children’s Books 2016!

It has been a crazy December.  So just in brief then, here are 100 of the books that showed up on my 31 Days, 31 Lists series that I personally enjoyed the most.  I do this list each year as a kind of personal bookkeeping.  Go about your business.  We’ll be back to our regularly […]

Tales from Mother Russia

We’re back from a few days of rest, travel, and so much family, with yet another double post — always, as the year draws to a close, the double posts, because the good books just keep piling up. Today’s books in many ways have nothing in common — one historical fiction, absolutely realistic despite some […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 31 – The Best Picture Books of 2016

And that, as they say, is that.  A noble experiment runs its natural course.  For those of you who followed along every day, I thank you.  It’s been a thrill, an exhausting exhausting thrill, to bring you a different list of great 2016 books every day in December.  Now we find ourselves on the cusp […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 30 – Wonderful 2016 Children’s Novels

No excuses!  These are just the books that I read in 2016 that I thought knocked it out of the park.  These aren’t the “best of the year”.  These are just the books that were particularly good and that somehow crossed my radar.  I read a lot more than what you’ll see here, but I […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 29 – 2016 Reprinted Children’s Novels

Back on December 9th I wrote a piece on those reprinted picture books I was happiest to encounter in 2016.  Now I’ll say a word or two about the reprinted novels of this year.  Naturally, if you look at the output from the publisher New York Review Books you’ll find a lovely array of titles.  […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 28 – 2016 Great Nonfiction Chapter Books for Kids

I peer into the darkness and at long last I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We’re almost there!  Almost at the end of this month’s 31 Days, 31 Lists challenge.  I’m certainly delighted, not least because I’ve managed to keep it up so far (knocking on wood now as hard as […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 27 – 2016 Nonfiction Picture Books

It’s finally come!  The list is nearing its end.  So it is with great delight that I present to you some of the last of the lists.  Today’s is particularly long, celebrating what I consider to be some of the best books of 2016. Since so many of them have shown up on my other […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 26 – 2016 Unique Biographies for Kids

During the 2016 Boston Globe-Horn Book Colloquium Carol Boston Weatherford and Ekua Holmes spoke together about the art of writing about other people.  During the speech they mentioned how part of their job is to break down “the canonical boundaries of biography.”  Too often kids read the same biographies about the same people over and […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 25 – 2016 Transcendent Holiday Titles

Note that I didn’t specify which holidays, of course.  These are just the books I think did a slam bang job of lauding their respective days of celebration.  Enjoy one and all! 2016 Transcendent Holiday Titles Babushka: A Christmas Tale by Dawn Casey, ill. Amanda Hall Oh, certainly this isn’t the first Babushka title you’ve […]