October 21, 2017

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Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna the Very First Chicken by Douglas Rees | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 1 –This prehistoric romp opens with Tyrannosaurus Rex throwing his weight around as usual, terrifying other dinosaurs as he searches of a suitable breakfast. As the other dinos flee in terror, Edna, the very first chicken, stands her ground, and when the “lord of the forest” tries to eat her, he gets a nasty surprise.

100 Things I Love To Do with You by Amy Schwartz | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –In the same format as her 100 Things that Make Me Happy, this book employs rhyming couplets and a diverse cast of characters to celebrate things children can enjoy with the people in their lives.

Waltz of the Snowflakes by Elly MacKay |SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 3 –This wordless picture book opens with Christmas just days away, but the only sign of holiday cheer is Gran’s holly leaf print dress and her excitement at having tickets to The Nutcracker.

The Wooden Camel by Wanuri Kahiu | SLJ Review

K-Gr 2 –Etabo dreams of racing camels, even though his siblings think he is much too small to ever accomplish this.

Herbert’s First Halloween by Cynthia Rylant | SLJ Review

Web excerpt

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Little Skeletons Countdown to Midnight/Esqueletitos un libro contar en El Día de los Muertos by Susie Jaramillo | SLJ Review

JARAMILLO, Susie. Little Skeletons Countdown to Midnight/Esqueletitos un libro contar en El Día de los Muertos. illus. by Susie Jaramillo. 40p. (Canticos). Encantos. Aug. 2017. Board $14.99. ISBN 9781945635069. BL

PreS-Gr 1 –Children can practice their numbers while singing and dancing with a delightful group of skeletons. In her now trademark bilingual concertina format, Jaramillo introduces children to a Mexican counting song. A clock with movable hands at the start of the book will help them keep track of the graveyard fun. As the […]

Red Again by Barbara Lehman | SLJ Review

LEHMAN, Barbara. Red Again. illus. by Barbara Lehman. 32p. HMH. Nov. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544818590.

K-Gr 3 –Picking up exactly where The Red Book leaves off, the boy who finds the mysterious red book at the end of that story takes it home to examine it in this one. Wordless panels show him looking through the pages at the islands that fans of the first tale will recognize, zooming in until he sees a girl fishing in a boat and finding the red book […]

No Kimchi for Me! by Aram Kim | SLJ Review

KIM, Aram. No Kimchi for Me! illus. by Aram Kim. 40p. Holiday House. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823437627.

PreS-Gr 2 –Their grandmother announces lunch featuring delicious Korean dishes while Yoomi and her brothers play. Yoomi enjoys grandma’s dried seaweed, soft egg omelets, and even the seasoned bean sprouts, but she does not like “stinky spicy kimchi!” Her older brothers, Jun and Yoon, won’t let her play with them because she’s too little; “big kids eat kimchi.” Despite trying various ways to mask […]

After the Fall by Dan Santat | SLJ Review

Humpty Dumpty, a spindly-limbed pale egg, copes with anxiety after his “Great Fall.”

We Love Books about Books! | SLJ Spotlight

Seven picture book titles perfect for young bookworms.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins | SLJ Review

PERKINS, Useni Eugene. Hey Black Child. illus. by Bryan Collier. 40p. Little, Brown. Nov. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316360302.

PreS-Gr 3 –Collier’s characteristic watercolor-and-collage masterpieces bring joy and gravity to Perkins’s inspirational poem. With a compelling rhythm that begs for recitation, the verse (often misattributed to Countee Cullen) celebrates the power and potential of black children. The illustrations pair young black faces with visions of their successful futures as astronauts, artists, politicians, and more and feature some of the artist’s favorite motifs, including […]

When the Moon Comes by Paul Harbridge | SLJ Review

HARBRIDGE, Paul. When the Moon Comes. illus. by Matt James. 40p. Tundra. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781101917770.
Gr 2-5 –As ducks fly south for the winter, kids wait impatiently for the full moon and the promise of ice on the beaver flood. When it finally arrives, they trek through the fresh-fallen snow to play hockey under the moonlight before clambering back to the warmth of their beds. This seemingly straightforward tale about a group of children playing hockey is grander than it first appears. […]

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett | SLJ Review

BARNETT, Mac. The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse. illus. by Jon Klassen. 40p. Candlewick. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763677541.

K-Gr 2 –When a little mouse gets gobbled up by a hungry wolf, all seems lost until he makes an unexpected friend in the belly of the beast: a duck that may have been swallowed but has “no intention of being eaten.” Indeed, life is not so bad inside the wolf. There’s a comfortable bed, a grand dining room table, and a fully […]

Where’s Halmoni? by Julie Kim | SLJ Review

KIM, Julie. Where’s Halmoni? illus. by Julie Kim. 96p. Little Bigfoot. Oct. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781632170774.

K-Gr 2 –In this fun adventure story inspired by Korean folktales, young Noona and her little brother Joon step into a fantastical land to find their missing Halmoni (“grandmother”). Their journey partitions into three sections, each highlighting lovable or distrusted figures from traditional stories who help or hinder the kids as they search. Where’s Halmoni? has all the thrills, laughs, and morals that you could want from a […]

Read the Book, Lemmings! by Ame Dyckman | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –Another delightful collaboration by the team behind Wolfie the Bunny and Horrible Bear! This story is set in the Arctic on a whale-shaped boat and it focuses on a trio of lemmings named Jumper, Me Too!, and Ditto!, who do not know that lemmings do not jump off of things because they cannot read. After repeated failed admonishments to get the lemmings to read the book…

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes | SLJ Review

BARNES, Derrick. Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut. illus. by Gordon C. James. 32p. Agate/Bolden. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781572842243.

K-Gr 3 –Rhythmic text describes the feeling of a young African American boy as he gets a “fresh cut” and how a trip to the barbershop changes the way he feels about the world and in turn how the world perceives him. He might just “smash that geography exam” or “rearrange the principal’s honor roll” and, of course, the cute girl in […]

A Different Pond by Bao Phi | SLJ Review

PHI, Bao. A Different Pond. illus. by Thi Bui. 32p. Capstone. Aug. 2017. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781623708030.

K-Gr 2 –This gorgeous tale about a father/son fishing trip shows the interconnectedness of family and the inexorable way that generational history impacts the present. The story is told from the boy’s perspective, as his father wakes him long before dawn to go fishing. Although the child enjoys the outing as a special adventure with his dad, they are fishing for food, not sport, and they […]

In the Middle of Fall by Kevin Henkes | SLJ Review

HENKES, Kevin. In the Middle of Fall. illus. by Laura Dronzek. 40p. HarperCollins/­Greenwillow. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062573117.

PreS-Gr 2 –In this lovely companion to When Spring Comes, poetic text and lush-hued acrylic paintings depict a rural setting fully turned to autumn. Leaves shimmer orange and yellow, “the sky is mostly gray/and the air is chilly,” “frisky” squirrels gather nuts, plump pumpkins stand ready for the picking, and apples hang from tree branches “like ornaments.” A red-jacketed girl and her dog, along with […]

Perfect Picnic Picture Books | SLJ Spotlight

Six perfect picture books for a family outing.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Seamus’s Short Story by Heather Hartt-Sussman | SLJ Review

HARTT-SUSSMAN, Heather. Seamus’s Short Story. illus. by Milan Pavlović. 32p. Groundwood. Aug. 2017. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781554987931.

PreS-Gr 2 –In this hilarious tale, Seamus, a big-headed and blue-haired kid, hates being short. He can never reach what he needs to, including a “horrid” baby picture of himself. He explores a few ineffectual options until he discovers his mom’s high heels and, suddenly, he is “having a blast.” Seamus’s being a boy in pumps passes without comment; high heels are simply a tool that […]