May 28, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Book Review: Preschool to Grade 4 Fiction | December 2013

The Tiny Mouse (Ian)
©2013 by Ingrid & Dieter Schubert

redstarANDERSEN , Hans Christian. The Little Mermaid: A Pop-up Adaptation of the Classic Fairy Tale. adapt. by Robert Sabuda. illus. by adapter. 12p. S & S/Little Simon. 2013. Tr $29.99. ISBN 9781416960805.

Gr 1-4 –Illustrations and pop-ups that sparkle with shimmering light and graceful motion characterize the latest title adapted by a master bookmaker. Much abridged and gently updated, the text closely follows the original, often echoing Andersen’s phrasings and similes while streamlining events to create an eloquent yet accessible retelling. The little mermaid’s heartfelt longing for her human prince, her quiet courage, and her selfless sacrifice at story’s end are poignantly depicted in both words and images. Outlined with heavy black lines that lend a stained-glass effect, the artwork is spectacular. Glowing green and coral hues emblazon a multitiered sculpture of the sea king’s realm festooned with plants that seem to tremble in an invisible current. The prince’s storm-tossed ship is presented with the bow jabbing out toward readers, 3-D masts and ropes askew, and roiling blue-black ocean waves curling all around; the sea witch’s abode, “built from the bones of shipwrecked sailors,” towers tall and menacing. The stately pacing of narrative and artwork allows children to linger over the pages and explore the depths of the tale’s emotional complexity.–Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal

redstarIAN , Janis. The Tiny Mouse. illus. by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert. 32p. w/CD. Lemniscaat. 2013. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781935954309.

PreS-Gr 1 –Based on the first children’s song written by the Grammy-winning songwriter, this amusing and mildly macabre picture book tells of a bored mouse who decides to go to sea. Unfortunately, he discovers that the ship’s captain is a cat and quickly throws himself overboard to avoid becoming his dinner. Making it to dry land, he marries and has dozens of mouslings to whom he tells his adventurous tale, concluding with the moral: “Think before you sail…and always know what’s in the bowl before you eat!” The text has a natural cadence that lends itself to either singing or reading aloud. Full-page watercolor illustrations depict the protagonist as a dapper fellow dressed in a white vest, black morning coat, and red shoes. A scene in which he is seasick is particularly amusing as he lists from side to side, and young readers will love the captain’s bedside table, which is full of yummy mice tidbits. To maintain the rhyming scheme, the tiny mouse’s wife is referred to as a “mouseketeer,” which is a tad confusing, both for the nostalgic TV reference and because she’s dressed like a musketeer (which makes her gender less obvious), but kids won’t mind and it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the book. In fact, the tiny mouse becomes something of a house husband at the end, adding a charming red-and-white checked apron to his look. A CD of Ian performing “The Tiny Mouse” is included. An appealing and amusing picture-book debut from a noteworthy writer.–Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library

redstarPAKKALA , Christine. Last-But-Not-Least Lola Going Green. illus. by Paul Hoppe. 192p. Boyds Mills. 2013. RTE $15.95. ISBN 9781590789353. LC 2013938848.

Gr 2-4 –In school, when your surname begins with “Z,” it means being last at everything. Last to be called on. Last to go to lunch. Last to leave at the end of the day. But Lola Zuckerman’s desire to go to the head of her class is the focus of this winning, environmentally themed book. Competing to win the coveted “green” vest by coming up with the best recycling project, the second grader anxiously watches as her classmates nab all the best ideas. The vest was previously won by her older brother, so Lola really feels the pressure. She is also competing against her former best friend, Amanda. The characters are fully developed, each with their own delightful quirks. For example, her teacher, Mrs. Denedebetti, loving refers to her students in candy terms such as “Jujubes” and “Gummy Bears.” However, when they cause a food fight in the cafeteria, they’re just “class.” Children will root for Lola as she tries to mend fences, save the planet, and come out on top. The lessons of recycling are creatively explored, showing readers big and small ways to help our planet. Those who have enjoyed “Clementine” will welcome this contemporary tale as it tackles family, competition, friendship, and the environment. The pencil drawings are energetic, and the list of Lola’s classmates gives a real sense of what the child is up against. A great choice for early chapter-book readers.–Sada Mozer, Los Angeles Public Library

redstarSTEGGALL , Susan. The Diggers Are Coming! illus. by author. 32p. Frances Lincoln. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781847802880.
–The wreckers are coming, and “they whack and they wallop and wham! Flinging and slinging their weight around, they bash old buildings to the ground.” Then rebuilding begins, and each spread depicts a step in the process as houses take shape against the backdrop of a city skyline and the changing seasons. There is much to look at with each page turn: tiny figures walking or biking on a path in the background and the huge machines and workers in the foreground gradually bringing the residences to life. The last page shows people moving in, planting trees, and getting settled. This is a lively, well-designed addition to the many books on construction for young enthusiasts, distinguished by its brilliant creative collages and an imaginative, descriptive text that’s full of fun, alliterative phrases.–Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA

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

ANDERSON , Airlie. Momo and Snap Are NOT Friends! illus. by author. 32p. Child’s Play. Dec. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781846436031.

APPLEBY , Danny. Ella and the Balloons in the Sky. illus. by Lauren Pirie. 32p. Tundra. 2013. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781770495289.

ASHBURN , Boni. The Fort That Jack Built. illus. by Brett Helquist. 32p. Abrams. 2013. RTE $17.95. ISBN 9781419707957.

BALSLEY , Tilda. Soo’s Boo-Boos. illus. by Shelagh McNicholas. 32p. Tiger Tales. 2013. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781589251182.

BANKS , Kate. City Cat. illus. by Lauren Castillo. 48p. Farrar/Frances Foster. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374313210.

BARDHAN-QUALLEN , Sudipta. Duck, Duck, Moose! illus. by Noah Z. Jones. 32p. Hyperion/Disney. Jan. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9781423171102.

BASS , Guy. The Pirate’s Eye. Bk. 2. illus. by Pete Williamson. 208p. (Stitch Head Series). Capstone. 2013. Tr $10.95. ISBN 9781623700089.

BEE , William. and the cars go…. illus. by author. 32p. Candlewick. Dec. 2013. RTE $15.99. ISBN 9780763665807. LC 2012947829.

BETHUNE , Helen. A Bright New Day. illus. by Mike Brownlow. ISBN 9781480717398; ISBN 9781433356407.

BRASCH , Nicolas. A Baseball Giant. illus. by Mark Jones. ISBN 9781480717435; ISBN 9781433356445.

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

BIGGS , Brian. Everything Goes: By Sea. illus. by author. 56p. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780061958113. LC 2012051820.

BREITROSE , Prudence. Mousemobile: When Mice Hit the Road. illus. by Stephanie Yue. 288p. (A Mousenet Book). Hyperion/Disney. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9781423174127. LC 2013020527.

CAPUCILLI , Alyssa Satin. Tulip Loves Rex. illus. by Sarah Massini. 32p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. Jan. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062094131.

CASTEEL , Seth. Underwater Dogs: Kids Edition. photos by author. 40p. Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $17. ISBN 9780316255585; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780316401036. LC 2013015550.

CHIN , Oliver. Julie Black Belt: The Belt of Fire. illus. by Charlene Chua. 36p. Immedium. 2013. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781597020794. LC 2013001010.

CORDEROY , Tracey. Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam. illus. by Steven Lenton. 32p. Candlewick/Nosy Crow. 2013. RTE $14.99. ISBN 9780763668389. LC 2012954337.

CRAWFORD , Isabel. The Circus Mice. illus. by Kimberley Scott. ISBN 9781848987838.

GEORGE , Lucy. Goose Flight. illus. by Monica Armino. ISBN 9781848987906.

GOODMAN , Louise. The Gigantic Bear. illus. by Sarah Vonthron-Laver. ISBN 9781848987876.

HAMM , Melanie. Jemima the Spy. illus. by Lawrence Chase. ISBN 9781848987852.

ea vol: 24p. (I Love Reading Phonics Series). chart. TickTock. 2013. pap. $3.99.

CUYLER , Margery. Skeleton for Dinner. illus. by Will Terry. 32p. Albert Whitman. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807573983.

DEAN , James. Pete the Cat: The Wheels on the Bus. illus. by author. 32p. HarperCollins/Harper. 2013. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9780062198716. LC 2012014222.

DENEUX , Xavier. Colors. ISBN 9781452117263.

––––. Opposites. ISBN 9781452117256.

ea vol: tr. from French. illus. by author. 20p. (TouchThinkLearn Series). Chronicle/Handprint. 2013. Board $14.99.

DEWDNEY , Anna. Llama Lama and the Bully Goat. illus. by author. 40p. (Llama Llama Series). Viking. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780670013951. LC 2012048415.

DRUMMOND , Ree. Charlie Goes to School. illus. by Diane deGroat. 40p. HarperCollins/Harper. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062219206.

DUFFETT-SMITH , James. A Curious Robot on Mars! illus. by Bethany Straker. 32p. Sky Pony. 2013. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781620879948.

EDWARDS , Michelle. Max Makes a Cake. illus. by Charles Santoso. 32p. Random. Jan. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780449814314; lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780375971648; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780375981470. LC 2012043411.

ENDERLE , Dotti. Beyond the Grave: A Choose Your Own Ending Mystery Adventure. illus. by Mary Uhles. ISBN 9781616419646.

––––. Clawed!: A Choose Your Own Ending Horror Adventure. illus. by Vivienne To. ISBN 9781616419653.

ea vol: 80p. (Up2U Adventures Series). ABDO/Magic Wagon. 2013. lib. ed. $27.07. ebook available.

FLIESS , Sue. A Gluten-Free Birthday for Me! illus. by Jennifer E. Morris. 32p. websites. Albert Whitman. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807529553. LC 2013005443.

FOREMAN , Michael. Superfrog and the Big Stink! illus. by author. 32p. Andersen. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781849395168.

GALBRAITH , Bree. Once Upon a Balloon. illus. by Isabelle Malenfant. 32p. Orca. 2013. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781459803244. LC 2013935385.

, Kallie. Spark. illus. by Geneviève Côté. 44p. (Tiny Tales Series). Simply Read. 2013. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781927018248.

GIBBS , Edward. I Spy Pets. illus. by author. 32p. Candlewick/Templar. 2013. RTE $14.99. ISBN 9780763666224. LC 2012947725.

GIFF , Patricia Reilly. Patti Cake and Her New Doll. illus. by Laura J. Bryant. 32p. Scholastic/Orchard. Jan. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780545244657. LC 2012015712.

GILBERT , Melissa. Daisy and Josephine. illus. by Julia Kuo. 32p. S & S/Paula Wiseman Bks. Jan. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442445789; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781442445796. LC 2012048272.

GUTIERREZ , Amy. Smarty Marty’s Got Game. illus. by Adam McCauley. 40p. Cameron. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781937359515. LC 2013941449.

HIGHWAY , Tomson. Caribou Song. illus. by John Rombough. 32p. Fifth House. 2013. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781897252611.

HILLERT , Margaret. What’s in My Pocket, Dear Dragon? ISBN 9781599535791. LC 2012043564.

––––. What’s in the Pond, Dear Dragon? ISBN 9781599536071. LC 2013010283.

––––. What’s in the Sky, Dear Dragon? ISBN 9781599535807. LC 2012043566.

––––. What’s in the Woods, Dear Dragon? ISBN 9781599536064. LC 2013010627.

ea vol: illus. by David Schimmell. 32p. (Dear Dragon Series). Norwood. 2013. lib. ed. $21.27. ebook available.

HOFMEYR , Dianne, retel. The Magic Bojabi Tree. illus. by Piet Grobler. 28p. Frances Lincoln/Janetta Otter-Barry Bks. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781847802958.

HORVATH , James. Build, Dogs, Build: A Tall Tail. illus. by author. 40p. HarperCollins/Harper. Jan. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780062189677.

HÜBNER , Marie. Call Me Jacob! tr. from German by Nicholas Miller. illus. by Iris Wolfermann. 32p. NorthSouth. Jan. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780735841345.

HUNG , Yating. Where Is Mama?: A Pop-Up Story. tr. from French. illus. by author. 24p. Abrams/Appleseed. 2013. Board $19.95. ISBN 9781419707186.

JENKINS , Emily. The Whoopie Pie War. Bk. 3. illus. by Harry Bliss. 160p. (Invisible Inkling Series). HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780061802263. LC 2012030493.

JOYCE , William. The Mischievians. illus. by author. 56p. S & S/Atheneum. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442473478; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781442473485. LC 2013001889.

KELLY , L. J. R. Blanket & Bear, a Remarkable Pair. illus. by Yoko Tanaka. 32p. Putnam. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780399256813. LC 2012009638.

KOCH , Miriam. Digby Differs. tr. from German by Ann Garlid. illus. by author. 40p. Peter Pauper Press. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9781441313065. LC 2013010053.

KOPPENS , Judith. Good-bye, Fish. ISBN 9781605371535.

––––. The Seesaw. ISBN 9781605371528.

ea vol: illus. by Eline van Lindenhuizen. 32p. (Animal Square Series). Clavis. 2013. Tr $13.95.

KRAULIS, Julie. Whimsy’s Heavy Things. illus. by author. 32p. Tundra. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781770494039.

LEFEBVRE , Jason. Too Much Glue. illus. by Zac Retz. 32p. Flashlight. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781936261277. LC 2013933388.

LESTER , Alison. Sophie Scott Goes South. illus. by author. 40p. diag. glossary. maps. photos. Houghton Mifflin. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544088955.

LI , Jian. Ming’s Adventure with the Terracotta Army. tr. from Chinese by Yijin Wert. illus. by author. 42p. Better Link. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781602209831.

LONG , Loren. An Otis Christmas. illus. by author. 40p. Philomel. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780399163951.

LUMER , Marc. Benny’s Mitzvah Notes. illus. by author. 30p. Hachai. 2013. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781929628698. LC 2012956365.

MCCALL SMITH, Alexander. The Mystery of Meerkat Hill: A Precious Ramotswe Mystery for Young Readers. illus. by Iain McIntosh. 112p. Anchor Books. 2013. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780345804587; lib. ed. $13.99. ISBN 9780345806161; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780345804464.

MACCARTHY , Patricia. Moon Forest. illus. by author. 28p. Frances Lincoln. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781847802835.

MCNAMARA , Margaret. Rosy and the Secret Friend. Bk 2. ISBN 9780062228055; ISBN 9780062228048. LC 2012038106.

––––. Sylva and the Fairy Ball. Bk 1. ISBN 9780062228024; ISBN 9780062228017. LC 2012024990.

ea vol: illus. by Julia Denos. 128p. (The Fairy Bell Sisters Series). score. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. 2013. Tr $15.99; pap. $4.99.

MASSENOT , Véronique. The Three Musicians: A Children’s Book Inspired by Pablo Picasso. tr. from French by Agathe Joly. illus. by Vanessa Hié. 32p. (Pictures That Tell Stories: Art for Children Series). Prestel. 2013. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9783791371511.

MELLING , David. Splish, Splash, Splosh! illus. by author. 22p. Tiger Tales. 2013. Board $8.95. ISBN 9781589256439.

MOORE , Julianne. My Mom Is a Foreigner, But Not to Me. illus. by Meilo So. 40p. Chronicle. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781452107929. LC 2013008426.

, Susanna. It’s Not Yours, It’s Mine! illus. by author. 32p. Child’s Play. Dec. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781846436000.

MORGAN , Matthew & David Sinden. Yuck’s Big Booger Challenge and Yuck’s Smelly Socks. illus. by Nigel Baines. 112p. (Yuck Series). S & S/Paula Wiseman Bks. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781442483118; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9781442483125; ebk. $4.99. ISBN 9781442483132.

MURRAY , Alison. Princess Penelope and the Runaway Kitten. illus. by author. 32p. Candlewick/Nosy Crow. Dec. 2013. RTE $15.99. ISBN 9780763669522. LC 2013931464.

MYERS , Tim. Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe. illus. by Macky Pamintuan. 40p. Sterling. 2013. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781402777981. LC 2010020713.

NA , Il Sung. A Book of Babies. illus. by author. 24p. Knopf. Jan. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780385752909; lib. ed. $18.99. ISBN 9780385752916; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780385752923. LC 2012050490.

RICE , Clay. Mama, Let’s Make a Moon. illus. by author. 32p. Familius. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781938301063; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781938301056. LC 2012945115.

RIVARD , Joanna. A Real Prince Is Hard to Find: A Modern Fairy Tale. illus. by Adam Larkum. 32p. Bloomsbury. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781619632158; RTE $17.89. ISBN 9781619632165. LC 2013007772.

SERRANO , Berta. Born from the Heart. illus. by Alfonso Serrano. 40p. Sterling. 2013. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781454911449.

SHEA , Bob. Don’t Play with Your Food! illus. by author. 40p. Hyperion/Disney. Jan. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9781423168072.

SHIELDS , Gillian. Elephantantrum! illus. by Cally Johnson-Isaacs. 32p. Tiger Tales. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781589251267.

SIMINOVICH , Lorena. You Know What I Love? illus. by author. 32p. Dial. Dec. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780803737778. LC 2012035617.

SLEGERS , Liesbet. Kevin’s Big Book of Emotions. tr. from Dutch. illus. by author. 56p. Clavis. 2013. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781605371641.

SMITH , Alex T. Claude at the Circus. illus. by author. 96p. Peachtree. 2013. RTE $12.95. ISBN 9781561457021. LC 2013000896.

SMITH , Elwood H. I’m Not a Pig in Underpants. illus. by author. 40p. Creative Editions. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781568462295. LC 2012046310.

STANTON , Elizabeth Rose. Henny. illus. by author. 40p. S & S/Paula Wiseman Bks. Jan. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442484368; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781442484382. LC 2012047858.

STIER , Catherine. What’s Bugging Nurse Penny?: A Story about Lice. illus. by Suzanne Beaky. 32p. websites. Albert Whitman. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807588031. LC 2013001663.

THORP , James. The Weasel, Puffin, Unicorn, Baboon, Pig, Lobster Race. illus. by Angus Mackinnon. 56p. Digital Leaf Limited. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781909428027.

TONE , Satoe. The Very Big Carrot. tr. from French. illus. by author. 26p. Eerdmans. 2013. Tr $12. ISBN 9780802854261. LC 2012048445.

VALENTINE , Madeline. The Bad Birthday Idea. illus. by author. 40p. Knopf. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780449813317; lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780449813324; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780449813331. LC 2012042634.

WATT , Mélanie. Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween: A Safety Guide for Scaredies. illus. by author. 64p. (Scaredy Squirrel Series). Kids Can. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781894786874.

WEIR , Liz. When Dad Was Away. illus. by Karin Littlewood. 32p. websites. Frances Lincoln/Janetta Otter-Barry Bks. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781845079130.

WILLEMS , Mo. I’m a Frog! illus. by author. 64p. (An Elephant & Piggie Book). Hyperion/Disney. 2013. Tr $8.99. ISBN 9781423183051. LC 2012034510.

WILLIS , Jeanne. The Wind in the Wallows. illus. by Tony Ross. 32p. Andersen Press. Dec. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781849394536.

WILSON , Karma. Who Goes There? illus. by Anna Currey. 40p. S & S/McElderry. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781416980025; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781442449848. LC 2012040994.

ZUCKERBERG , Randi. Dot. illus. by Joe Berger. 32p. HarperCollins/Harper. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062287519.

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