September 20, 2017

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Review of the Day: The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez

The First Rule of Punk By Celia C. Perez Viking (an imprint of Penguin Random House) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-425-29040-8 Ages 9-12 On shelves now They don’t warn you in library school. They’ll tell you about all the cool children’s books you’ll get to read. They’ll stress how you’ll be able to make a difference in […]

Review of the Day: After the Fall by Dan Santat

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again By Dan Santat Roaring Brook (an imprint of Macmillan) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-62672-682-6 Ages 4 and up On shelves October 3rd Sometimes its easy to forget in the midst of all those picture books about farting dogs, night kitchens, and giant dance parties that initially literature […]

Review of the Day: How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit On a Plane? by Laura Overdeck

How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit On a Plane? Answers to Your Most Clever Math Questions By Laura Overdeck Feiwel and Friends (an imprint of Macmillan) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-250-07229-0 Ages 9-12 On shelves now Geez. How I ended up in this position I’ll never know. Me. A born and bred liberal arts major. The kind […]

Review of the Day: Patina by Jason Reynolds

Patina By Jason Reynolds Atheneum, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Books $16.99 ISBN: 978-1481450188 Ages 9-12 On shelves August 29th You cannot be a children’s librarian or an adult children’s book reviewer if you do not constantly remind yourself that you have to read outside your comfort zone on a regular basis. Our current […]

Review of the Day: What’s My Superpower? by Aviaq Johnston, ill. Tim Mack

What’s My Superpower? By Aviaq Johnston Illustrated by Tim Mack Inhabit Media $16.95 ISBN: 978-1-77227-140-9 Ages 4-7 On shelves August 4th I credit Booger Beard. I will explain. While many children’s librarians will tell you that they have strived to make their book collections diverse and inclusive, they have always been hampered by what was […]

Review of the Day: Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out! by Patricia C. McKissack, ill. Brian Pinkney

Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out! Games, Songs & Stories from an African American Childhood By Patricia McKissack Illustrated by Brian Pinkney Schwartz & Wade (an imprint of Penguin Random House) $24.99 ISBN: 978-0-375-87088-0 All ages On shelves now. Would you like to know the last film Orson Welles […]

Review of the Day: Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder

Orphan Island Laurel Snyder Walden Pond Press (an imprint of Harper Collins) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-06-244343-4 Ages 9-12 On shelves now *spoiler alert on the whole darn review, basically* I spend more time than I’d like thinking about what makes a person and how that person is an entirely new creation at different stages of life. […]

Review of the Day: Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi

Accident! By Andrea Tsurumi Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $17.99 ISBN: 978-0-544-94480-0 Ages 4-7 On shelves October 3rd There is no accident so small that a forward thinking six-year-old can’t turn it into World War III. You see, there are certain things they won’t tell you when you prepare to become a parent. They’ll conveniently fail to […]

2017: Marking the Rise of the Almighty Board Book

It’s not as though board books have ever really gotten their due. Doomed to withstand the incessant chompers of teeny tiny gums, half the time they are mistaken for chew toys and the other half as portable germ factories. Here’s a test. Walk into your local library. Look long and hard at the board book […]

Review of the Day: Silent Days, Silent Dreams by Allen Say

Silent Days, Silent Dreams By Allen Say Arthur A. Levine Books (an imprint of Scholastic) $21.99 ISBN: 978-0-545-92761-1 Ages 8-12 On shelves October 31st I have never written a biography, nor have I any inclination to do so. Biographical subjects don’t interest me, but the people that choose to write the biographies of others? Those […]

Review of the Day: Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

Beyond the Bright Sea By Lauren Wolk Dutton (an imprint of Penguin Young Readers) $16.99 ISBN: 978-11-101-99485-6 Ages 10-14 On shelves now. No author gets a free pass. Your last book have been a spot-on bit of brilliance, lighting up the literary landscape like a thousand Roman candles. Pfui. A writer is only as good […]

Newbery/Caldecott 2018: The Summer Prediction Edition

Did Betsy drop the ball in her last Spring Newbery/Caldecott Prediction post? Yes, Betsy did drop the ball in her last Spring Newbery/Caldecott Prediction post. Will Betsy do better with her Summer Newbery/Caldecott Prediction post? Yes, Betsy will do better with her Summer Newbery/Caldecott Prediction Post. Back in the spring I ran into a bit […]

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 […]

Review of the Day: Real Friends by Shannon Hale, ill. LeUyen Pham

Real Friends By Shannon Hale Artwork by LeUyen Pham Color by Jane Poole First Second (an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan) $12.99 ISBN: 978-1-62672-785-4 Ages 9-12 On shelves now. The autobiography assignment. I don’t pretend to know precisely why teachers give it out or what they hope child readers will get out of it. […]

Review of the Day: The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish

The Ethan I Was Before By Ali Standish Harper (an imprint of Harper Collins) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-06-243340-4 Ages 9-12 On shelves now Southern Gothic children’s literature. Sounds crazy, no? But as weird as it might sound it’s a legitimate genre. You may think it’s all Flannery and Faulkner but kids have a delightful range to […]

THEY’RE ALIIIIIIIIVE! 2017 Out-of-Print Books Back From the Dead

I like too many things. It’s beginning to get suspicious. One day I might write a post about the necessity of world literature on our children’s bookshelves. The next day I turn around and start beating the drum for small publishers. Blink again and it is imperative that I talk to you about the importance […]

Review of the Day: Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix By Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee Illustrated by Man One Readers to Eaters $18.95 ISBN: 978-0-9836615-9-7 Ages 5-10 On shelves now. A kid walked up to my Reference Desk. Looked me square in the eye. Said, “I need a biography…” “Sure thing!” I chirruped. That’s […]

Celebrating Small Publishers: An Array of Remarkable 2017 Titles From the Smallest Houses

When I was getting my library degree in grad school I remember quite clearly a class where we were told about the various publishers creating children’s books. At the time The Big Five (Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Harper Collins, and Little, Brown) were still The Big Six (before Penguin and Random House […]

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 […]

Review of the Day: My Valley by Charles Ponti

My Valley By Charles Ponti Translated by Alyson Waters Elsewhere Editions (an imprint of Archipelago Books) $24.00 ISBN: 978-0914671626 Ages 4-8 On shelves now. I’ve written a lot about the state of translated children’s books in America lately. It is what it is. Generally speaking, Americans can be a bit cagey when it comes to […]