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July 2, 2015

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The Circus Mirandus Blog Tour: How Hard Is It to Write a Circus That Isn’t Creepy?

When I was asked to participate in the current Circus Mirandus Blog Tour, I was intrigued.  You know how sometimes a publisher will fall in love with a debut novel and then promote the whozitz out of it, hither, thither, and yon?  Well, that’s what Penguin has done with this title from first time author […]

Review: ‘Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula’

Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula By Andi Watson First Second; $15 In the highly-abstracted, black-and-white cartoon underworld of Andi Watson’s latest original graphic novel, signified by a stark white castle before black clouds, young Princess Decomposia is a reluctant regent. She’s running the underworld for her bed-ridden father, the manipulative, prune-faced king who spends all […]

Review: Billy and Goat at the State Fair by Dan Yaccorino

Billy and Goat at the State Fair By Dan Yaccarino Knopf (Random House) ISBN: 9780385753258 $16.99 Grades K-2 Out June 30, 2015 Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library Since it seems appropriate, I’d like to start with a very perceptive quote by author-illustrator Peter Brown, from his Boston Globe-Horn Book acceptance speech for […]

Cover Reveal: Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin

Folks sometimes ask me if I’ll ever do cover reveals of debuts.  It’s an interesting question.  Often the books that I’m doing cover reveals of are by authors or illustrators that I admire.  If I’m doing a review of someone new, how do I know they’re any great shakes?  I don’t, of course, but sometimes […]

Buttocks — Fiction

Full credit (or blame, depending on how you look at it) goes to MK Eagle and Gretchen Kolderup on this one.  It’s a pretty simple post.  Hardly worth mentioning . . . except that at heart I think we’re all 10-year-olds.  And it’s completely librarian related, so I don’t even know if you’ll be as […]

Review of the Day: Hilo by Judd Winick

Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth By Judd Winick Random House Children’s Books $13.99 ISBN: 978-0-385-38617-3 Ages 9-12 On shelves September 1st Relentless cheer. You can use it for good. You can use it for evil. You can use it in the name of humor too, but that’s a trickier game to play. I’m […]

Review of the Day: Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer By Kelly Jones Illustrated by Katie Kath Alfred A. Knopf (an imprint of Random House Children’s Books) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-385-75552-8 On shelves now The epistolary novel has a long and storied history. At least when it comes to books written for adults. So too does it exist in […]

Review: A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories

What do a Duck and Mouse, a Cat, a Bunny, and two elderly Pigs have in common? All the wacky, wild, and funny adventures they go on both together and apart. Whether it’s painting a room, flying a plane, or just waiting for the bus, there are plenty of hijinks to be had. A Cat […]

Review: ‘Terrible Lizard’

Terrible Lizard Written by Cullen Bunn Art by Drew Moss Oni Press; $20 The meaner, snarkier part of my critic’s brain can’t help but wish Cullen Bunn and Drew Moss’ comic book about a little girl and the Tyrannosaurus Rex she befriends was a great deal worse, if only so that it could legitimately be […]

Review: ‘Lumberjanes,’ vol. 1

Review: ‘Lumberjanes,’ vol. 1

At Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hard-core Lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed Foxes. Secret Caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five, rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let a magical quest or array of supernatural critters get […]

Review: ‘Darth Vader and Friends’

Review: ‘Darth Vader and Friends’

Darth Vader and Friends By Jeffrey Brown Chronicle Books; $14.95 Yes, the Star Wars Celebration convention in Anaheim, California just wrapped up, the new Star Wars: Battlefront video game looks incredible, and there was a new trailer for this year’s Episode VII, featuring Old Han Solo and Chewbacca. And that’s all well and good, but […]

Review of the Day: Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick

Review of the Day: Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear By Lindsay Mattick Illustrated by Sophie Blackall $18.00 ISBN: 978-0-316-32490-8 Ages 4-7 On shelves October 20th What is it with bears and WWI?  Aw, heck.  Let’s expand that question a tad.  What is it with adorable animals and WWI?  Seems these days no matter […]

Review: Benjamin Bear in Brain Storms!

Review: Benjamin Bear in Brain Storms!

Benjamin Bear in Brain Storms! By Philippe Coudray Toon Books; $13 Does familiarity really breed contempt? Because this is the third Toon Books collection of French artist Philippe Coudray’s one-page Benjamin Bear gag comics, and I’m certainly not feeling anything in the general vicinity of contempt for the cartoonist, cartoons or character yet. Quite the […]

Review of the Day: The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

Review of the Day: The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

The Jumbies By Tracey Baptiste Algonquin Young Readers $15.95 ISBN: 9781616204143 Ages 9-12 On shelves now “All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” So sayeth Leo Tolstoy (at least in theory). Regardless of whether or not it’s actually true, it is fun […]

Review of the Day: On the Shoulder of a Giant by Neil Christopher

Review of the Day: On the Shoulder of a Giant by Neil Christopher

On the Shoulder of a Giant: An Inuit Folktale By Neil Christopher Illustrated by Jim Nelson Inhabit Media $16.95 ISBN: 978-1-77227-002-0 Ages 4-7 On shelves now My daughter is afraid of giants. She’s three so this isn’t exactly out of the norm. However, it does cut out a portion of her potential reading material. Not […]

Review: The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach

Review: The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich By Julia Sarcone-Roach Knopf (Random House) ISBN: 9780375858604 $16.99 Grades K-2 Out Now *Best New Book* Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library It’s sounds counter-intuitive, but the best Big Reveals are the ones that aren’t necessary. Or maybe it makes more sense to think of it this way: […]

Review: Jem and the Holograms #1

Review: Jem and the Holograms #1

At the beginning of March, I wrote about the reboot of the 80s cartoon Jem and the Holograms as a comic. At the time, I was skeptical about the reboot. Jem and the Holograms is a treasured memory from my childhood and I didn’t want to see it ruined. Fortunately, IDW put the book into […]

Review: How To Fake A Moon Landing

Review: How To Fake A Moon Landing

Climate change, fracking, evolution, vaccinations, homeopathy, chiropractics, even the moon landing, are all hot button controversies that come up in the news. In this book, Darryl Cunningham looks at them with a cool, critical approach, exposing the myths of science denial using comics, photographs and easily readable text. Review: How To Fake A Moon Landing: […]

Review of the Day: Beastly Verse by Joohee Yoon

Review of the Day: Beastly Verse by Joohee Yoon

Beastly Verse By Joohee Yoon Enchanted Lion Books $18.95 ISBN: 978-1-59270-166-7 Ages 3 and up On shelves now Poetry. What’s the point? I say this as a woman who simultaneously gets poetry and doesn’t get it. I get that it’s important, of course. I only need to watch my three-year-old daughter come up with an […]

Review: Sonic Boom! #1-4

Review: Sonic Boom! #1-4

Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and newcomer Sticks are back in an all-new series as they continue their battle to try to stop the evil antics of Dr. Eggman and his robotic creations. But can they remain a team long enough to get the job done? Review: Sonic Boom! #1-4 Written […]