December 12, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

The Digger and the Flower by Joseph Kuefler | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –Each day, the trucks hoist, push, and dig as they work together to build tall buildings, long roads, and big bridges. The work is the same day after day until one day Digger is inspired to make a change.

Picture Books: A Love Letter to NYPL, Retellings of Classic Tales, & More | December 2017 Xpress Reviews

A unique exploration of jobs A-Z; two brothers begin a quest to rescue their dragon-napped dog; and a tiny fish uses teamwork to help a lost baby whale in December’s picture book Xpress,

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

The Pond by Nicola Davies | SLJ Review

K-Gr 4 –The first thing one notices about this picture book is the black pages, sometimes appearing as solid backgrounds, at other points layered with textured, mixed media compositions. A relatively rare choice in children’s books, but one that supports the despondency and rage a boy experiences when his dad dies.

Nile Crossing by Katy Beebe | SLJ Review

Gr 2-5 –Readers will gain a whole new perspective on the first day of school when they read about a fisherman’s son in ancient Egypt on his first day.

How To Find an Elephant by Kate Banks | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –An imaginative, elephant-loving young explorer goes on an adventure to find one in the wild.

7 Snowy Picture Books | SLJ Spotlight

Seven delightful picture books about winter wonderlands.

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

Draw the Line by Kathryn Otoshi | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –Two boys have their backs to each other as they draw lines on the ground.

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 […]