February 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Preschool to Grade 4 Fiction | October 2013

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

Mo’s Mustache (Clanton)
©2013 by Ben Clanton

redstarFRANCESCHELLI, Christopher. Alphablock. illus. by Peskimo. 104p. Abrams/Appleseed. 2013. Board $16.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0936-4. LC 2012047783.

K-Gr 1–A high-concept alphabet book with appealing, retro-style illustrations. A pair of spreads is devoted to each letter. The recto is cut into the shape of an uppercase letter. Flip it and a new spread displays an item that starts with the given letter. Around the angles, holes, and curves of the letter readers get a peek of the image on the following page. Tracks and a puff of smoke hint at a train for letter “T,” balls and a hand are the clues for “J is for juggler.” Readers turn the page for the full image. Objects in the illustrations interact with the letter form in clever ways, such as an octopus’s tentacle wrapping over the arc of the “O.” Most of the featured items will be familiar to young readers. All the parts together make an appealing and fun way for youngsters to interact with the alphabet, and for slightly older children to enjoy the clever artwork.–Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK

redstarGOLAN, Avirama. Little Naomi, Little Chick. tr. from Hebrew by Annette Appel. illus. by Raaya Karas. 34p. Eerdmans. 2013. Tr $17. ISBN 978-0-8028-5427-8. LC 2013000492.

PreS-K–Children follow a parallel day in the lives of a girl and a chick in this charmingly illustrated tale. Little Naomi and Little Chick begin their day with the rooster’s call but then go in very different directions. Or do they? While the child’s day begins with greeting preschool friends, Little Chick also meets up with her friends, including a duck, a sheep, and a delightfully drawn mole. Little Naomi builds a tower of blocks while Little Chick creates a tower of friends, standing on one another’s heads. Finger painting may be fun for Little Naomi, but Little Chick can make pictures, too, with a little mud and some unique footprints. While Little Naomi’s eating, shopping, and swinging are all fine for a little girl, Little Chick can find similar things that are equally fun, including bath time at the end of the day. Then, it’s bedtime and once again, Little Naomi and Little Chick share snuggles in their very own way. Sweetly illustrated in crayon and pencil, this book will appeal to parents and children as an amusing and endearing bedtime story. While the events of Little Naomi’s day command the most text, Little Chick steals the story in the lovable, entertaining illustrations. A quality addition.–Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH

redstarGORBACHEV, Valeri. Me Too! illus. by author. 32p. (I Like to Read Series). Holiday House. 2013. Tr $14.95. ISBN 978-0-8234-2744-4. ebook available. LC 2012039294.

PreS-Gr 1–This simple, sweet story of Bear and his affable little friend, Chipmunk, follows the pair through a day of wintertime activities. “I love snow!” Bear says as they gaze out the window at the falling flakes. “Me, too!” Chipmunk replies, cap and sweater in hand. Outdoors, Bear has lots of ideas: he will dig a path in the snow, make a snowman, ice skate, and ski. And so will Chipmunk. At home, over cocoa and cookies in front of the fireplace, outerwear hanging on a clothesline, they reflect on the fun they had. Short declarative sentences and a great deal of repetition make this picture book perfect for developing readers. The large, joyful watercolor and ink illustrations are enchanting and will help children make predictions regarding unfamiliar words. Well done.–Erica Thorsen Payne, Meriwether Lewis Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA

redstarMCCULLY, Emily Arnold. Pete Won’t Eat. illus. by author. 32p. (I Like to Read Series). Holiday House. 2013. RTE $14.95. ISBN 978-0-8234-2853-3. ebook available. LC 2012039209.

PreS-Gr 1–In this successful addition to the easy-reader series, Pete the pig cannot go out to play until he eats his slop. “‘I made a treat,’ says Mom./‘Here it is–green slop.’/Dot loves the slop./Rose slurps the slop./Gus has all of it./But Pete won’t eat.” The book’s bigger format leaves plenty of room for the uncluttered, colorful cartoon pictures and appropriately placed large font. Short, simple sentences; similar vowel sounds; and repetition add to readers’ ability to decode the text. The illustrations are priceless, from Mom’s firm stance, arms folded and hovering over her son, to Pete’s misery as he sits alone at a table facing the bowl and then watches his friends play soccer outside. Finally, he tastes the slop, discovers that he likes it, and tears of frustration turn to expressions of elation. Young readers will identify with his dilemma.–Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY

redstarPENDZIWOL, Jean E. Once Upon a Northern Night. illus. by Isabelle Arsenault. 32p. Groundwood/House of Anansi. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-1-55498-138-0. ebook available.

PreS-Gr 1–In a dark room, a child lies sleeping in a cozy bed, while the unnamed narrator (parent? Mother Nature?) describes the silently majestic landscape of the northern night as it unfolds beyond the child’s window. Snow covers the pine trees that “[hold] out prickly hands to catch the falling flakes,” nocturnal animals visit the backyard in search of food, frost coats the windows and the pond. Arsenault’s full-page and double-page mixed-media illustrations (pencil, gouache, watercolor and ink) have a 1940s feel, a perfect accompaniment to the soothing tone of Pendizwol’s lyrical text with its restful “Once upon a northern night” refrain. Bursts of color highlight a branch here, some red fruits there, the green of the Northern Lights, an owl’s startling yellow eyes, in an otherwise black, gray, and white palette, building to the crescendo of the last spread–the lavender and white brilliance of a snow-covered panorama with a pop of orange from a fox and some deer. This is a lovely wintry bedtime story, best for sharing one-on-one.–Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY

For all the latest reviews in this subject area and more, check out our new Book Verdict site! Book Verdict is fully accessible to all users, though certain content and functionality are only available to subscribers.To log in to your account, click here. To view the new subscription options, Get Started With Book Verdict ProToday.Don’t know if you have an account with us? It’s easy to check and verify your email, or create a new account.

The following titles are reviewed in this month’s print issue.

Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

ADAMSON, Ged. Elsie Clarke and the Vampire Hairdresser. illus. by author. 28p. Sky Pony. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-62087-983-2. LC 2013012072.

ANDERSON, Julie. Erik the Red Sees Green: A Story About Color Blindness. illus. by David López. 32p. Albert Whitman. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8075-2141-0. LC 2013005187.

ARCHER, Dosh. Big Bad Wolf. ISBN 978-0-8075-8352-4. LC 2013005440.

––––.Itsy Bitsy Spider. ISBN 978-0-8075-8358-6. LC 2013005442.

ea vol: illus. by author. 48p. (Urgency Emergency! Series). Albert Whitman. 2013. Tr $12.99.

BEATY, Daniel. Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me. illus. by Bryan Collier. 40p. Little, Brown. Dec. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-316-20917-5. LC 2012043088.

BERKES, Marianne. Over in a River: Flowing Out to the Sea. illus. by Jill Dubin. 32p. further reading. map. websites. Dawn. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-58469-329-1; pap. $8.95. ISBN 978-1-58469-330-7. LC 2013009250.

BOISJOLY, Véronique. Francis, the Little Fox. tr. from French by Yvette Ghione and Karen Li. illus. by Katty Maurey. 92p. Kids Can. 2013. lib. ed. $17.95. ISBN 978-1-894786-40-9.

BRYAN, Ashley. Can’t Scare Me! illus. by author. 40p. S & S/Atheneum. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-7657-8; ebook $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-7658-5. LC 2013001490.

CHEDRU, Delphine. What Happens When…. tr. from French. illus. by author. 32p. Tate. 2013. Tr $15.95. ISBN 978-1-84976-103-1.

CHIEW, Suzanne. What a Wonderful World! illus. by Tina Macnaughton. 32p. Tiger Tales. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-58925-129-8.

CHRISTENSEN, Bonnie. A Single Pebble: A Story of the Silk Road. illus. by author. 40p. bibliog. map. websites. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter. Oct. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 978-1-59643-715-9.

CLANTON, Ben. Mo’s Mustache. illus. by author. 32p. Tundra. Oct. 2013. Tr $19.99. ISBN 978-1-77049-538-8. LC 2012955642.

CÔTÉ, Geneviève. Mr. King’s Castle. illus. by author. 32p. Kids Can. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-55453-972-7.

COX, Judy. Ukulele Hayley. illus. by Amanda Haley. 96p. Holiday House. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-0-8234-2863-2. ebook available. LC 2012045825.

DALE, Penny. Dinosaur Rescue! illus. by author. 32p. Candlewick/Nosy Crow. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6829-7. LC 2012950617.

DEACON, Alexis. Cheese Belongs to You! illus. by Viviane Schwarz. 32p. Candlewick. Nov. 2013. RTE $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6608-8. LC 2012947827.

DIESEN, Deborah. Picture Day Perfection. illus. by Dan Santat. 32p. Abrams. 2013. RTE $16.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0844-2.

DOCHERTY, Helen. The Snatchabook. illus. by Thomas Docherty. 32p. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4022-9082-4.

DODD, Emma. Forever. illus. by author. 24p. Candlewick/Templar. Oct. 2013. RTE $12.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-7132-7.

DODD, Emma. Foxy in Love. illus. by author. 40p. HarperCollins. Dec. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-201422-1. LC 2012015522.

DOMINGUEZ, Angela. Santiago Stays. illus. by author. 32p. Abrams/Appleseed. 2013. RTE $12.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0821-3. LC 2012041376.

DONOVAN, Gail. The Waffler. 224p. Dial. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3920-8.

ELKINS, J. Theron. You Are the Pea, and I Am the Carrot. illus. by Pascal Lemaitre. 32p. Abrams. Nov. 2013. RTE $16.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0850-3. LC 2012039868.

ESCOFFIER, Michaël. A Mammoth in the Fridge. tr. from French by Linda Burgess. illus. by Matthieu Maudet. 36p. Gecko Press. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-8775-7950-9.

EUGSTER, Rachel. The Pocket Mommy. illus. by Tom Goldsmith. 32p. Tundra. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-77049-300-1. ebook available. LC 2012948450.

FILLION, Susan. Pizza in Pienza. illus. by author. 32p. Godine. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-1-56792-459-6. LC 2012005140.

GALL, Chris. Awesome Dawson. illus. by author. 40p. Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-316-21330-1.

GONYEA, Mark. The Spooky Box. illus. by author. 32p. Holt. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 978-0-8050-8813-7. LC 2012013528.

GOOSSENS, Philippe. Knock! Knock! Knock! Who’s There? tr. from French. illus. by author. 32p. NorthSouth. 2013. Tr $15.95. ISBN 978-0-7358-4122-2.

GORDON, Gus. Herman and Rosie. illus. by author. 32p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter. Oct. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 978-1-59643-856-9.

GRISWELL, Kim T. Rufus Goes to School. illus. by Valeri Gorbachev. 32p. Sterling. 2013. Tr $14.95. ISBN 978-1-4549-0416-8. LC 2012035510.

HARDIN, Melinda. Hero Mom. illus. by Bryan Langdo. 24p. Amazon. 2013. RTE $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4778-1645-5; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4778-6645-0.

HAYES, Joe. Don’t Say a Word, Mamá/No digas nada, Mamá. illus. by Esau Andrade Valencia. 36p. Cinco Puntos. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-1-935955-29-0; pap. $7.95. ISBN 978-1-935955-45-0; ebook $7.95. ISBN 978-1-935955-30-6. LC 2012004536.

HEDER, Thyra. Fraidyzoo. illus. by author. 48p. Abrams. Nov. 2013. RTE $16.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0776-6. LC 2012039865.

HILLS, Tad. Rocket’s Mighty Words. illus. by author. 22p. Random/Schwartz & Wade. 2013. Board $10.99. ISBN 978-0-385-37233-6; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-385-37234-3. LC 2012049622.

KEARNEY, Meg. Trouper. illus. by E. B. Lewis. 32p. Scholastic. Nov. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-545-10041-0. LC 2012015730.

KELLY, Mark. Mousetronaut Goes to Mars. illus. by C. F. Payne. 40p. S & S/Paula Wiseman Bks. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-8426-9; ebook $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-8428-3.

KRENSKY, Stephen. I Know a Lot! illus. by Sara Gillingham. 12p. Abrams/Appleseed. 2013. Board $6.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0938-8. LC 2012045732.

LADEN, Nina. Once Upon a Memory. illus. by Renata Liwska. 40p. Little, Brown. Dec. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-316-20816-1. LC 2012043086.

LAROCHELLE, David. Arlo’s ARTrageous Adventure! illus. by author. 28p. Sterling. 2013. RTE $14.95. ISBN 978-1-4027-9226-7.

LE VERRIER, Renée & Samuel Frank. A Treasure Hunt for Mama and Me: Helping Children Cope with Parental Illness. illus. by Adam Taylor. ISBN 978-0-88282-436-9.

––––.Owen Has Burgers and Drum: Helping to Understand and Befriend Kids with Asperger’s Syndrome. illus. by Anita DuFalla. ISBN 978-0-88282-434-5.

ea vol: 48p. (Let’s Talk Series). New Horizon. 2013. pap. $9.95.

LEEDY, Loreen. Jack & the Hungry Giant Eat Right with MyPlate. illus. by author. 32p. websites. Holiday House. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-0-8234-2602-7. ebook available. LC 2012045822.

LIGHT, Steve. Diggers Go. illus. by author. 16p. Chronicle. 2013. Board $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4521-1864-2.

The Line. illus. by Paula Bossio. 32p. Kids Can. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-894786-84-3.

LONG, Heather. The Mixed-up Message. illus. by Ethan Long. 32p. (Max & Milo Series). S & S/Aladdin. Dec. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-5140-7. ebook available.

MANN, Jennifer Ann. Sunny Sweet Is So Not Sorry. illus. by author. 224p. Bloomsbury. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-59990-977-6. ebook available.

MARLOW, Layn. You Make Me Smile. illus. by author. 32p. Holiday House. 2013. RTE $16.95. ISBN 978-0-8234-2922-6. ebook available. LC 2013002403.

MOORE, Inga. Captain Cat. illus. by author. 48p. Candlewick. Oct. 2013. RTE $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6151-9. LC 2012947750.

NELSON-SCHMIDT, Michelle. Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster. illus. by author. 32p. Kane Miller. 2013. Tr $12.99. ISBN 978-1-61067-131-6; pap. $6.99. ISBN 978-1-61067-118-7. LC 2011945335.

OHI, Ruth. Kenta and the Big Wave. illus. by author. 32p. Annick. Oct. 2013. lib. ed. $19.95. ISBN 978-1-55451-577-6; pap. $9.95. ISBN 978-1-55451-576-9. ebook available.

PACE, Anne Marie. Vampirina Ballerina Hosts a Sleepover. illus. by LeUyen Pham. 40p. Hyperion/Disney. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4231-7570-4. LC 2013000652.

PAULI, Lorenz. The Fox in the Library. tr. from German by Andrew Rushton. illus. by Kathrin Shäerer. 32p. NorthSouth. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-0-7358-4150-5.

PEET, Mal & Elspeth Graham. Mysterious Traveler. illus. by P.J. Lynch. 48p. Candlewick. Oct. 2013. RTE $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6232-5. LC 2012947823.

REX, Adam. Moonday. illus. by author. 40p. Hyperion/Disney. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4231-1920-3. LC 2012020301.

ROBINSON, Fiona. Whale Shines: An Artistic Tale. illus. by author. 32p. Abrams. Nov. 2013. RTE $17.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0848-0. LC 2012042806.

ROSE, Deborah Lee. The Spelling Bee Before Recess. illus. by Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis. 32p. Abrams. 2013. RTE $15.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0847-3.

RUEDA, Claudia. Is It Big or Is It Little? tr. from Spanish. illus. by author. 26p. Eerdmans. 2013. Tr $14. ISBN 978-0-8028-5423-0. LC 2012048443.

SCHEFFLER, Axel. Pip and Posy: The Snowy Day. illus. by author. 32p. Candlewick/Nosy Crow. Oct. 2013. Tr $12.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6607-1. LC 2012950562.

SCOTTON, Rob. Splat and the Cool School Trip. illus. by author. 40p. HarperCollins/Harper. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-213386-1.

SPURR, Elizabeth. At the Beach. illus. by Manelle Oliphant. 22p. Peachtree. 2013. Board $6.95. ISBN 978-1-56145-583-6.

STINSON, Kathy. The Man with the Violin. illus. by Dušan Petričić. 32p. Annick Press. Oct. 2013. lib. ed. $19.95. ISBN 978-1-55451-565-3.

TROUPE, Thomas Kingsley. The Big Hairy Secret. Bk. 1. 128p. (Furry and Flo Series). Stone Arch. 2013. lib. ed. $8.95. ISBN 978-1-62370-033-1.

UREY, Gary. Super Schnoz and the Gates of Smell. illus. by Ethan Long. 144p. Albert Whitman. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 978-0-8075-7555-0.

VAN CAMP, Richard. Little You. illus. by Julie Flett. 24p. Orca. 2013. Board $9.95. ISBN 978-1-4598-0248-3. LC 2012952954.

VANDEN HEEDE, Sylvia. Wolf and Dog. tr. from Dutch. illus. by Marije Tolman. 96p. Gecko Press. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-877579-47-9.

VIAU, Nancy. Storm Song. illus. by Gynux. 24p. Amazon. 2013. RTE $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4778-1646-2; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4778-6646-7.

VULLIAMY, Clara. Martha Bunny Loves School. illus. by author. 32p. Albert Whitman. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8075-4976-6. ebook available.

WALDMAN, Helen. Polly’s Pipers. illus. by Monica Stein Ribald. 32p. Brown Books. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-61254-072-6. LC 2012948505.

WALDMAN, Neil. Al and Teddy. illus. by author. 48p. Dream Yard. Dec. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-0-615-72969-5.

WARD, B. J. Farty Marty. illus. by Steven Kellogg. 32p. S & S/Paula Wiseman Bks. Nov. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-3901-6; ebook $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-3902-3. LC 2012023597.

WEILL, Cynthia. Mi familia calaca/My Skeleton Family. illus. by Jesús Canseco Zárate. 32p. Cinco Puntos. 2013. Tr $14.95. ISBN 978-1-935955-50-4; ebook $14.95. ISBN 978-1-935955-51-1. LC 2013012342.

WINTERS, Kay. The Bears Go to School. illus. by Katherine Kirkland. 32p. (A Pete & Gabby Book). Albert Whitman. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8075-0592-2. LC 2013011300.

YARLETT, Emma. Sidney, Stella, and the Moon. illus. by author. 44p. Candlewick/Templar. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6623-1. LC 2012955182.

YEE, Wong Herbert. Mouse and Mole, Secret Valentine. illus. by author. 48p. (Mouse and Mole Series). Houghton Harcourt. Dec. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-547-88719-7. LC 2012041660.

YOLEN, Jane. How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad? illus. by Mark Teague. 40p. Scholastic/Blue Sky. Oct. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-545-14315-8. LC 2012040941.

YOON, Salina. Penguin in Love. illus. by author. 40p. Walker. Dec. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 978-0-8027-3600-0. LC 2013002847.

ZUPPARDI, Sam. The Nowhere Box. illus. by author. 40p. Candlewick. Nov. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6367-4. LC 2012947828.


This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Diversity and Cultural Competency Training: Collections & RA

Do you want to ensure that your library’s collections are diverse, equitable, inclusive, and well-read?

Do you want to become a more culturally literate librarian and a more effective advocate for your community?

We've developed a foundational online course—with live sessions on February 28 & March 14—that will explore key concepts essential to cultivating and promoting inclusive and equitable collections.