How does Jasper Fforde come up with the magnificent characters, creatures, and settings in his “Chronicles of Kazam” series? He relies on “stuff—the exciting smorgasbord of weird stuff that happens to us, around us, and in us.”
A mystery that takes place during a high school music festival set in an old resort hotel during a snowstorm? The Bellweather is certainly less terrifying than The Overlook of The Shining fame, but it holds its own secrets–especially room 712. In the introduction to her novel’s playlist on Largehearted Boy, Kate Racculia shares that she played the bassoon [...]
Large, colorful pictures of more than 20 animal eyes are accompanied by a small illustration of the entire creature and a brief paragraph of intriguing information.
Robert Louis Stevenson published The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1886, and the next year Arthur Conan Doyle published A Study in Scarlet, the first novel to feature Sherlock Holmes–both works set in the heart of London. And in September of 1888, the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper began [...]
In Twelve Kinds of Ice, Ellen Bryan Obed presents a joyful celebration of winter. Twenty short chapters skim over each type of ice and the activities that follow. Be sure to read the starred review of this audiobook version.
We write a lot about genre and the types of books that teens enjoy reading. But what about setting? Do teen readers care about sinking into the setting of a book? This is an element that teens rarely mention when they share what they enjoy reading, or how much they liked a particular book. But [...]
FRYDENBORG, Kay. Wild Horse Scientists. 80p. (Scientists in the Field Series Series). diags. further readig. glossary. index. maps. photos. reprods. websites. Houghton Harcourt. 2012. Tr $18.99. ISBN 978-0-547-51831-2.
Gr 5 Up–Focusing on the wild horses of Assateague Island, Frydenborg effectively combines scientific facts such as coloration and size, as well as the actual definition of a wild animal, with a compelling narrative about several of the scientists who are working to protect and maintain the wild horse population there. A large [...]
OBED, Ellen Bryan. Twelve Kinds of Ice. illus. by Barbara McClintock. 64p. Houghton Harcourt. 2012. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-618-89129-0.
Gr 3-6–The coming of winter in the rural north brings ice. The first ice “came on the sheep pails…a skim of ice so thin that it broke when we touched it.” Gradually as the weather grows colder, the ice becomes field ice, “short-lived but glorious…,” stream ice, black ice from “water shocked still by the cold before the snow.” The ice and [...]
LOGUE, Mary. Sleep Like a Tiger. illus. by Pamela Zagarenski. 40p. Houghton Harcourt. 2012. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-547-64102-7.
PreS-Gr 1–The common theme of a child not ready for bed receives fresh treatment here. When a young girl repeatedly declares that she is not sleepy, her parents remain calm. She dutifully dresses in pajamas and washes up. After climbing into bed, she again proclaims that she is wide awake and questions her parents about how things in the world go to sleep. [...]