February 22, 2018

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Book Review: Preschool to Grade 4 Fiction | November 2013

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Deep in the Sahara (Cunnane)
©2013 by Hoda Hadadi

Preschool to Grade 4

redstarCUNNANE , Kelly. Deep in the Sahara. illus. by Hoda Hadadi. 40p. glossary. Random/Schwartz & Wade. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780-375870347; lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780375970344. LC 2011050245.

Gr 2-4 –”In a pale pink house the shape of a tall cake,/you watch Mama’s malafa/flutter as she prays./More than all the stars in a desert sky,/you want a malafa so you can be beautiful too.” Mama cautions Lalla that a malafa is for more than beauty. The pattern continues as Lalla envies her sister’s sense of mystery, the market ladies’ femininity, and her grandmother’s air of ancient tradition until she gets a malafa of her own, “as blue as the ink in the Koran” so she can take her place beside her mother for the evening prayer. Cunnane has a strong connection to Africa, having lived in both Kenya and Mauritania, the setting of this lovely original story. Like For You Are a Kenyan Child (S & S, 2006), this book incorporates authentic cultural details in both the poetic text and the evocative illustrations. Local Hassaniya words, for example, appear naturally in the text, and are helpfully defined in a glossary. Cut-paper collage illustrations feature boys in turbans, men hurrying to prayers, and women dressed in brightly colored swaths of cloth, enlivening the browns, greens, and adobe brick of the desert background. An author’s note acknowledges that she’d believed the wearing of the veil was repressive to women until she understood it was a “relaxed and colorful expression of…faith and culture.” Perhaps this upbeat picture book about a mother welcoming her daughter into their community of faith will engender a more positive attitude toward women who choose traditional dress in the modern world.–Toby Rajput, National Louis University, Skokie, IL

redstarKHAN , Rukhsana. King for a Day. illus. by Christiane Krömer. 32p. glossary. Lee & Low. 2013. RTE $17.95. ISBN 9781600606595. LC 2013007506.

PreS-Gr 2 –Spring has arrived in Lahore, Pakistan, and the celebration of Basant ushers it in with an annual kite-flying contest. Young Malik plans to win the self-proclaimed title of “king of Basant” by capturing and/or setting free more kites than anyone else. He puts all his faith in his small handmade kite, Falcon, and enters the competition. Thus ensues the story of how Malik, who, incidentally, is in a wheelchair, sits on his balcony and, with assistance from his sister and brother, wins the coveted designation and defeats the bully next door. Mixed-media collage illustrations consist of an intriguing combination of cut paper, floss, yarn, cloth, and pencil sketches. Varying perspectives include ground level, balcony level, and kite’s-eye views of the action. The breezy conditions are evident in the soaring kites, billowing curtains, and Malik’s sister’s clothing. An author’s note gives a historical view of the spring festival and its traditions in the ancient city.–Maryann H. Owen, Children’s Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI

redstarKHERDIAN, David. Come Back, Moon. illus. by Nonny Hogrogian. 32p. S & S/Beach Lane. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442458871; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781442458888. LC 2012037038.

PreS-K –The moon looms large in children’s literature: Frank Asch, Eric Carle, Kevin Henkes, and countless others have paid homage to that fascinating round face in the night sky. In Come Back, Moon, Kherdian and Hogrogian have collaborated on an original story that has the simplicity and resonance of a folktale. Bear is stretched out uncomfortably, head in hand, as a smiling golden moon floats over the blue night and the just-perceptible forest. The accompanying text is refreshingly direct: “Bear couldn’t sleep and blamed the light of the moon. So Bear stole the moon.” Fox, Skunk, Opossum, Raccoon, and Crow are on the case, consulting wise Owl and using their particular skills to effect a rescue. Hogrogian captures the character of each animal, mood, and scene with disarming expertise. Readers know that it’s night, but the darkness has many colors. The brilliant orange of the fox and the dramatic patterning of the skunk add extra contrast to every page. Even the opossum is endearingly drawn. Kherdian is at his poetic best, gracing the tale with few, carefully chosen words. The artwork is beautifully balanced and radiates personality. The combination of great talent, elegant restraint, and exceptional creative decisions has produced a timeless book that will still be enjoyed by the great grandchildren of those who read it today.–Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

redstarSCIESZKA , Jon & Mac Barnett. Battle Bunny. illus. by Matthew Myers. 32p. S & S. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781442446731. ebook available. LC 2012025515.

Gr 1-3 –Alex is clearly too old for the sappy picture book that his Gran Gran gives him for his birthday. Originally entitled Birthday Bunny, about a bunny who thinks his friends have forgotten his birthday, he spices it up by changing the title to Battle Bunny and making the main character an evil carrot-eating mastermind that is trying to take over the world. The boy also changes the dialogue frequently. For example, the crossed out text says, “Everybody needs a Special Thinking Place where they can think their best thoughts. Where is your Special Thinking Place?” The new, much-improved and hilarious text reads, “Everybody needs an Evil Plan Place where they can launch their Evil Plans. Where is your Evil Plan Place?” The tweaks to the oil and pencil illustrations, such as adding an eye patch and WWF wresting belt to the bunny, are priceless. This is a perfect book to give independent readers who are looking for something a little different. The unique layout and design will inspire creativity in readers.–Brooke Rasche, La Crosse Public Library, WI

redstarSTEPHENS , Helen. How to Hide a Lion. illus. by author. 32p. Holt. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780805098341. LC 2013001930.

PreS-Gr 2 –Purchasing a hat on a hot day is a perfectly ordinary errand–unless you’re a lion. When this particular shopper is chased off the premises by understandably terrified townspeople, he finds refuge in the playhouse of a little girl. Being the brave and practical sort, Iris determines that due to her fugitive’s large size, he must be hidden indoors. She combs his mane, tends to a wounded paw, and comforts and conceals him because, as everyone knows, “moms and dads can be funny about having a lion in the house.” Readers get the impression that this arrangement could go on indefinitely if it weren’t for the fact that lions are difficult to move when sleeping–which they do “a lot.” The lion is roused by the shrieks of Iris’s surprised mother and is forced to find a new hiding spot masquerading between two stone lions in front of the town hall. His watchful nature, and ability to pin down burglars, ultimately makes him a town hero. He proudly marches in a parade held in his honor and claims his reward: the hat he was searching for in the first place. Bright, cheerful sketches accompany this engaging plot filled with pluck, tenderness, and just a dash of English whimsy. Without the slightest bit of treacle and a great deal of humor, Stephens weaves a story about bravery and kindness that adults and children will reach for again and again.–Jenna Boles, Greene County Public Library, Beavercreek, OH

The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue:

BARCHERS , Suzanne I. , retel. The Boy and the North Wind: A Tale from Norway. illus. by Laura Jacobsen. ISBN 9781937529727; ISBN 9781937529567; ISBN 9781936163885. LC 2012951558.

––––. The Brave Servant: A Tale from China . illus. by Yu-mei Han. ISBN 9781937529734; ISBN 9781937529574; ISBN 9781936163892. LC 2012951559.

––––. The Wounded Lion: A Tale from Spain. illus. by John Joven. ISBN 9781937529796; ISBN 9781937529635; ISBN 9781936163953. LC 2012951565.

ea. vol: 32p. (Tales of Honor Series). glossary. Red Chair. 2013. lib. ed. $26.60; pap. $8.95; ebk. $29.95.

BARCHERS, Suzanne I. , retel. Kumba and Kambili: A Tale from Mali. illus. by Keith D. Shepherd. ISBN 9781937529741; ISBN 9781937529581; ISBN 9781936163908.

––––. The Lute Player: A Tale from Russia. illus. by Viktor Sluzhaev. ISBN 9781937529758; ISBN 9781937529598; ISBN 9781936163915.

––––. One Last Wish: A Tale from India. illus. by Sue Todd. ISBN 9781937529765; ISBN 9781937529604; ISBN 9781936163922.

ea vol: 32p. (Tales of Honor Series). glossary. Red Chair. 2013. lib. ed. $26.60; pap. $8.95; ebk. $29.95.

BELL , Samantha. The Perfect Pet. illus. by author. ISBN 9781607186212; ISBN 9781607186335; ISBN 9781607186458. LC 2012045098.

BERKES , Marianne. Anybody Home? illus. by Rebecca Dickinson. ISBN 9781607186182; ISBN 9781607186304; ISBN 9781607186427. LC 2012045032.

ea vol: 32p. Sylvan Dell. 2013. Tr $17.95; pap. $9.95; ebk. $9.95.

BENNETT , Jeffrey. Max Goes to the Space Station. illus. by Michael Carroll. 32p. (Science Adventures with Max the Dog Series). websites. Big Kid Science. Nov. 2013. Tr $15. ISBN 9781937548285.

BRASCH , Nicolas. Hot Springs and Brown Bears. illus. by Bill Bolton. ISBN 9781480717367; ISBN 9781433356377.

CONDON , Bill. Pipeline News. illus. by Tom Bonson. ISBN 9781480717343; ISBN 9781433356353.

––––. Tiddalick, the Greedy Frog: An Aboriginal Dreamtime Story. illus. by Nina Rycroft. ISBN 9781480717350; ISBN 9781433356360.

ea vol: 32p. (Read! Explore! Imagine! Fiction Readers Series). Teacher Created Materials. 2013. lib. ed. $19.96; pap. $6.96.

BRIGHT , Rachel. Love Monster. illus. by author. 32p. Farrar. Dec. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780374346461.

BROOM , Jenny. Walk This World. illus. by Lotta Nieminen. 24p. Candlewick/Big Picture. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780763668952. LC 2013931474.

BYNUM , Betty K. I’m a Pretty Little Black Girl! illus. by Claire Armstrong Parod. 36p. (I’m a Girl! Collection). Midpoint. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780615785516; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9780615742496. LC 2013939365.

BYRNE , Gayle. Sometimes Just One Is Just Right. illus. by Mary Haverfield. 32p. Abbeville Press. 2013. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9780789211293. LC 2012042197.

CORDEROY , Tracey. No! illus. by Tim Warnes. 32p. Tiger Tales. 2013. RTE $14.99. ISBN 9781589251502.

COTTER , Bill. Don’t Push the Button! illus. by author. 32p. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky. Nov. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781402287466.

DAVEY , Owen. Laika: Astronaut Dog. illus. by author. 32p. photos. Candlewick/Templar. 2013. RTE $15.99. ISBN 9780763668228. LC 2012950622.

DERRICK , David G., Jr. I’m the Scariest Thing in the Jungle! illus. by author. 36p. Immedium. 2013. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781597020879. LC 2013010351.

DOTLICH , Rebecca Kai. Digger the Dinosaur. ISBN 9780062222220; ISBN 9780062222213.

––––. Digger the Dinosaur and the Cake Mistake. ISBN 9780062222244; ISBN 9780062222237. LC 2013935040.

ea vol: illus. by Gynux. 24p. (I Can Read! Series). HarperCollins. 2013. Tr $16.99; pap. $3.99.

EMBERLEY , Rebecca & Ed Emberley. The Crocodile and the Scorpion. illus. by authors. 32p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9781596434943.

FREEMAN , Tor. Olive and the Bad Mood. illus. by author. 32p. Candlewick/Templar. 2013. RTE $15.99. ISBN 9780763666576. LC 2012950626.

FRETZ , Denette. Pirates on the Farm. illus. by Gene Baretta. 40p. (The Next Door Series). Zonderkidz. 2013. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780310723486.

GAZZETTA , Katherine Cutchin. Love from a Star. illus. by author. 32p. Frog House. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780989206716.

GEORGE , Patrick. Magic Colors. ISBN 9781907967542.

––––. Magic Opposites. ISBN 9781907967559.

ea vol: illus by author. 28p. Boxer Bks. 2013. RTE $14.95.

GIBSON , Amy. Catching Kisses. illus. by Maria van Lieshout. 32p. maps. Feiwel & Friends. Dec. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780312376475.

GOOSSENS , Jesse. Jumping Penguins. tr. from Dutch. illus. by Marije Tolman. 56p. index. Lemniscaat. 2013. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781935954323.

GUNNUFSON , Charlotte. Halloween Hustle. illus. by Kevan J. Atteberry. 32p. Amazon/Two Lions. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9781477817230; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781477867235.

GUTKNECHT , Allison. Don’t Wear Polka-Dot Underwear with White Pants (And Other Lessons I’ve Learned). illus. by Stevie Lewis. 144p. S & S/Aladdin. Nov. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781442483934; pap. $5.99. ISBN 978-1442483927. ebook available.

HOLZWARTH , Werner. I Wish I Were a…. tr. from German by Talia Rebecca Ergas. illus. by Stefanie Jeschke. 40p. Sky Pony. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781620879931. LC 2013012073.

HURWITZ , Johanna. The Two and Only Kelly Twins. illus. by Tuesday Mourning. 96p. Candlewick. 2013. RTE $14.99. ISBN 9780763656027; ebk. $14.99. ISBN 9780763667641. LC 2012947732.

JEWEL . Sweet Dreams. illus. by Amy June Bates. 32p. w/CD. S & S/Paula Wiseman Bks. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442489318; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781442489325. LC 2012045364.

KARPES , H. R. Morris…the Downside-Up Bat. illus. by author. 32p. Sky Pony. 2013. Tr $11.95. ISBN 9781620879870.

KENAH , Katharine. Lost in the Leaf Pile. ISBN 9780545481434.

––––. The Pumpkin Fair Problem. ISBN 9780545481441.

––––. Teacher Trouble! ISBN 9780545481458.

ea vol: illus. by Tammie Lyon. 32p. (The Saturday Triplets Series). Scholastic. 2013. pap. $3.99.

KIM , Patti. Here I Am. illus. by Sonia Sánchez. 40p. Picture Window. 2013. lib. ed. $27.32. ISBN 9781404882997; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781479519316. ebook available. LC 2012051009.

KIMMELMAN , Leslie. The Very Crowded Sukkah. illus. by Bob McMahon. 32p. Amazon/Two Lions. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9781477817162; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781477867167.

KIRSCH , Vincent X. Freddie & Gingersnap. illus. by author. 40p. Hyperion/Disney. Dec. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9781423159582.

KROMHOUT , Rindert. Eat Up, Little Donkey. tr. from Dutch by Bill Nagelkerke. illus. by Annemarie van Haeringen. 20p. Gecko Press. 2013. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781877579332.

KROMHOUT , Rindert. 1 2 3 Little Donkey. tr. from Dutch by Bill Nagelkerke. illus. by Annemarie van Haeringen. 20p. Gecko Press. 2013. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781877579349.

LAMMERTINK , Ilona. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No! tr. from Dutch. illus. by Lucie Georger. 32p. (Bumps & Bubbles Series). Clavis. 2013. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781605371481.

LEBLANC , Catherine. How to Get Rid of Ghosts. ISBN 9781608871957.

––––. How to Outwit Witches. ISBN 9781608871933.

––––. How to Ward Off Wolves. ISBN 9781608871940.

ea vol: tr. from French. illus. by Roland Garrigue. 32p. Insight Kids. 2013. Tr $14.99.

LEBLANC , Catherine. How to Pulverize Pirates. tr. from French. illus. by Roland Garrigue. 32p. Insight Kids. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781608871926.

LECIS , Alessandro. I Am Not Little Red Riding Hood. tr. from German by Talia Rebecca Ergas. illus. by Linda Wolfsgruber. 32p. Sky Pony. Nov. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781620879856.

MCCARTY , Peter. Fall Ball. illus. by author. 32p. Holt. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780805092530. LC 2013009202.

MCCONDUIT , Denise Walter. The Boy Who Wouldn’t Read. illus. by David Harrington. 32p. Pelican. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781455618293. ebook available. LC 2013001121.

MCDERMOTT , Tom. Otis Steele and the Taileebone: A Southern Tall Tale. illus. by Jeff Crosby. 32p. Pelican. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781455617364. LC 2012026591.

MACKINTOSH , David. Standing in for Lincoln Green. illus. by author. 32p. Abrams. 2013. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9781419707872.

MAHONEY , Daniel J. Monstergarten. illus. by Jef Kaminsky. 40p. Feiwel & Friends. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9781250014412.

MARTIN , Bill, Jr. & Michael Sampson. Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Are You Going to School? illus. by Laura J. Bryant. 24p. Amazon/Two Lions. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9781477817223; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781477867228.

MARTÍN , Irene Aparici. Mom Goes to War. tr. from Spanish by Jon Brokenbrow. illus. by Mónica Carretero. 24p. Cuento de Luz. 2013. RTE $15.95. ISBN 9788415503200.

MAY , Eleanor. Albert Is NOT Scared. ISBN 9781575656281; ISBN 9781575656298; ISBN 9781575656304. LC 2012051090.

––––. A Beach for Albert. ISBN 9781 575655307; ISBN 9781575655314; ISBN 9781575655321. LC 2012051087.

ea vol: illus. by Deborah Melmon. 32p. (Mouse Math Series). Kane Press. 2013. lib. ed. $22.60; pap. $7.95; ebk. $16.95.

MEYERS , Susan. Rock-A-Bye Room. illus. by Amy Bates. 32p. Abrams. 2013. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9781419705373.

MILES , Victoria. Mimi Power and the I-don’t-know-what. illus. by Marc Mongeau. 217p. Tradewind. 2013. pap. $12.95. ISBN 9781896580654.

MIURA , Taro. The Tiny King. tr. from Japanese. illus. by author. 32p. Candlewick. 2013. RTE $14.99. ISBN 9780763666873. LC 2012955151.

NELSON , Steve & Jack Rollins. Frosty the Snowman. illus. by Sam Williams. 16p. Scholastic/Cartwheel. 2013. Board $9.99. ISBN 9780545450058.

OTOWA , Rebecca. My Awesome Japan Adventure: A Diary About the Best 4 Months Ever! illus. by author. 48p. chart. diag. maps. Tuttle. 2013. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9784805312162.

PEARCE , Philippa. Amy’s Three Best Things. illus. by Helen Craig. 40p. Candlewick. Nov. 2013. RTE $15.99. ISBN 9780763663148. LC 2012947755.

PFISTER , Marcus. Animal ABC. tr. from German. illus. by author. 32p. NorthSouth. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780735841369.

PINKWATER , Daniel. Mrs. Noodlekugel and Four Blind Mice. illus. by Adam Stower. 96p. Candlewick. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763650544; ebk. $14.99. ISBN 9780763667184. LC 2012947756.

PORTER , Matthew. The Thunderbolt Express. illus. by author. 32p. (Monkey World Series). Sasquatch. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781570618772.

RAYNER , Catherine. Abigail. illus. by author. 32p. Tiger Tales. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781589251472. LC 2013009088.

ROUSS , Sylvia A. Sammy Spider’s First Yom Kippur. illus. by Katherine Janus Kahn. 32p. Kar-Ben. 2013. lib. ed. $16.95. ISBN 9780761391951; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9780761391968; ebk. $6.95. ISBN 9781467716390. LC 2012029132.

SAID . Snow Bears Never Lie. tr. from German by David Henry Wilson. illus. by Marine Ludin. 32p. NorthSouth. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780735841376.

SANDALL , Ellie. Copycat Bear! illus. by author. 32p. Tiger Tales. 2013. RTE $14.99. ISBN 9781589251205.

SAUNDERS , Katie. Toddler World. illus. by author. 12p. Barron’s. 2013. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9780764166266. LC 2013930221.

SAVAGE , Stephen. Ten Orange Pumpkins: A Counting Book. illus. by author. 48p. Dial. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780803739383. LC 2012042091.

SCATTARELLA , Christy. The Boy Who Learned Upside Down. illus. by Winky Wheeler. 44p. Black Heron. Nov. 2013. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781936364046.

SELFORS , Suzanne. The Lonely Lake Monster. Bk. 2. illus. by Dan Santat. 205p. (The Imaginary Veterinary Series). Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $16. ISBN 9780316225670.

SKEWES , John & Andrew Fox. Larry Gets Lost in Prehistoric Times: From Dinosaurs to the Stone Age. illus. by John Skewes. 32p. Sasquatch. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781570618628.

SMITH , Icy & Crystal Smith. Daddy, My Favorite Guy/bà bà, wo zuì xi huan de rén. tr. to Chinese by Emily Wang. illus. by Octavio Oliva. 28p. East West. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780985623791. LC 2013934783.

THOMSON , Bill. Fossil. illus. by author. 40p. Amazon/Two Lions. Nov. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9781477847008; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781477897003.

THOMSON , Sarah L. Cub’s Big World. illus. by Joe Cepeda. 32p. Houghton Harcourt. Nov. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544057395.

TORSETER , Øyvind. The Hole. tr. from Norwegian by Kari Dickson. illus. by author. 64p. Enchanted Lion. 2013. RTE $22.95. ISBN 9781592701438.

TUKEL , Onur. Rainstack! illus. by author. 60p. Amazon/Two Lions. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9781477816554; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781477866559.

WALTERS , Eric. My Name Is Blessing. illus. by Eugenie Fernandes. 32p. maps. photos. Tundra. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781770493018. ebook available. LC 2012955581.

WARD , Jennifer. The Sunhat. illus. by Stephanie Roth Sisson. 32p. Rio Nuevo/Rio Chico. 2013. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781933855783. LC 2013002030.

WORMELL , Chris. Eric!: …the Hero? illus. by author. 32p. Red Fox. Nov. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781849412841.

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

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