March 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Book Review: Preschool to Grade 4 Fiction

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Weasels (Dolan) ©2014 by Elys Dolan, p.70

Weasels (Dolan)
©2014 by Elys Dolan, p.70

redstarBrown, Marc. In New York. illus. by Marc Brown. 40p. Knopf. Mar. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780375864544. LC 2013020158. ebook available.

PreS-Gr 1 –Brown offers a kid-friendly tour of New York City that captures the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. In rich, detailed spreads, readers are taken from the West Village, Brown’s own neighborhood, back in time to New Amsterdam, where “clucks,” “oinks,” and “bahhs,” mirror the ubiquitous “honks” and “beeps” of the next spread’s modern metropolis. A father and son explore the city along with the reader, from the top of the Empire State Building to the lower levels of the subway, through parks, bridges, and museums across Manhattan. Locating the pair on each page is part of the fun. Young readers who have visited the Big Apple or recognize its landmarks will enjoy spotting familiar places and faces (Brown’s famous character Arthur makes an appearance as a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.) The watercolor and gouache illustrations show the modern face and skyline of New York City, which includes the recently completed Freedom Tower and the High Line, a park built on an old elevated train track. Kids will love poring over the images and will revel in the facts and statistics given, like the fun tidbit that Central Park features 24,000 trees! The simple, conversational text makes this a great read-aloud, even for younger children. One minor issue is that Brown does not incorporate information on the outer boroughs, focusing only on Manhattan. Still, young travelers and travelers-at-heart won’t be able to get enough of this wonderful look at the iconic city.–Marian McLeod, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich, CT

redstarCarle, Eric and Friends. What’s Your Favorite Animal? illus. by authors. 40p. Holt. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780805096415. LC 2013018841.

PreS-Gr 2 –Carle and a number of noteworthy picture-book artists (Nick Bruel, Lucy Cousins, Susan Jeffers, Steven Kellogg, Jon Klassen, Tom Lichtenheld, Peter McCarty, Chris Raschka, Peter Sís, Lane Smith, Erin Stead, Rosemary Wells, and Mo Willems) write about their favorite animals. The text takes the form of poems, stories, and narrative descriptions, and each entry is illustrated in a variety of styles, materials, and techniques. The back matter contains a biographical sketch of each contributor and information about the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (the benefactor of the sales of this book) in Amherst, Massachusetts. This successful collaboration of old favorites and newer names in illustration is sure to keep youngsters engaged and may inspire them to write about and draw their favorite animals or to take a closer look at other works by Carle and his friends.–Lindsay Persohn, University of South Florida, Tampa

redstarDolan, Elys. Weasels. illus. by Elys Dolan. 32p. Candlewick. Feb. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763671006. LC 2013943084.

Gr 1-4 –While most people carelessly assume that weasels are munching nuts and berries in the woods, they may be overlooking the vast hi-tech headquarters from which the creatures are plotting world domination. Dolan is the author/illustrator who’s reporting the story here. With generous visual detail, she unveils the numerous characters, situations, and machinery involved in the conspiracy. Dozens of subplots and personalities crowd the pages. Patient readers will enjoy the monocled, Mao-jacketed, mouse-carrying leader; the robots and mad scientists; the enthusiast who insists, “I’m entirely confident that this huge drill will fix everything”; and the white-furred, blue-scarved weasel who brings around the coffee (weasels LOVE their coffee) and who unwittingly ruins, then revives, the evil scheme. Children who prefer a fast-moving plot or individual character development may find Dolan’s book challenging. Those who take the time to explore the riot of sardonic cartoonery will be well rewarded.–Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

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

Preschool to Grade 4

Anderson, Constance. Smelling Sunshine. illus. by Constance Anderson. 32p. Star Bright. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781595726353; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781595726360. LC 2012031053.

Anholt, Laurence. Two Nests. illus. by Jim Coplestone. 28p. Frances Lincoln/Janetta Otter-Barry Bks. ­2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781847803238; pap. $7.79. ISBN 9781847804969.

Baillie, Allan. DragonQuest. illus. by Wayne Harris. 40p. Candlewick. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763666170. LC 2012950624.

Baker, E. D. A Question of Magic. 262p. Bloomsbury. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781599908557; ebk. $11.99. ISBN 9781619630567. LC 2013009598.

Beck, Robert. A Bunny in the Ballet. illus. by Robert Beck. 40p. Scholastic/Orchard. Feb. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545429306.

Benton, Jim. The End (Almost). illus. by Jim Benton. 40p. Scholastic. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545177313. LC 2013009268.

Berk, Sheryl. Dance Divas: Showtime! Bk. 1. 140p. (Dance Divas Series). Bloomsbury. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781619631823; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781619631816.

Bunting, Eve. Frog and Friends: Frog Saves the Day. Bk. 6. illus. by Josée Masse. 40p. (I Am a Reader!: Frog and Friends Series). Sleeping Bear. 2013. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9781585368099; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9781585368105. LC 2013004091. ebook available.

Burleigh, Robert. Zoom! Zoom!: Sounds of Things that Go in the City. illus. by Tad Carpenter. 32p. S & S/Paula Wiseman Bks. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442483156; Board $12.99. ISBN 9781442483163. LC 2012041015.

Burrows, Mark. Little Things Aren’t Little… When You’re Little. illus. by Alison Davis Lyne. 32p. Pelican. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781455617913; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9781455617920. LC 2012040016.

Calmenson, Stephanie & Joanna Cole. No Dogs Allowed. illus. by Heather Ross. Bk. 1. 114p. (Ready, Set, Dogs! Series). Holt/Christy Ottaviano. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780805096453. LC 2013017884.

Chase, Kit. Oliver’s Tree. illus. by Kit Chase. 32p. Putnam. Mar. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780399257001.

Clayton, Dallas. A Is for Awesome. illus. by Dallas Clayton. 32p. Candlewick. Mar. 2014. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763657451. LC 2013934304.

Collodi, Carlo. Pinocchio: A Cut-Paper Book. retold by Agnese Baruzzi. illus. by Agnese Baruzzi. 14p. Tango. 2013. Tr $19.99. ISBN 978-1-85707-862-6.

Cook, Gary. The Best Saturday Ever! illus. by Adam Sward. 48p. (Robbie’s Big Adventures Series). Scarletta Kids. 2013. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781938063251. LC 2013008891.

Cyrus, Kurt. Motor Dog. illus. by David Gordon. 40p. Hyperion/Disney. Feb. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9781423168225.

Czajak, Paul. Monster Needs a Costume. Bk. 1. illus. by Wendy Grieb. 32p. (Monster & Me Series). Scarletta Kids. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781938063091. LC 2013008014.

DePalma, Mary Newell. Two Little Birds. illus. by Mary Newell DePalma. 34p. Eerdmans. Feb. 2014. Tr $16. ISBN 9780802854216. LC 2013024835.

Donaldson, Julia. Superworm. illus. by Axel Scheffler. 32p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545591768. LC 2013001546.

Egbert, Charles F. D. The Story of Princess Olivia. illus. by Kathie Kellerher. 144p. Bunker Hill. 2013. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781593731472; ebk. $11.95. ISBN 9781593731731. LC 2013934781.

Ferreirós, Lili. John’s Whistle. tr. from Spanish by Jon Brokenbrow. illus. by Sonja Wimmer. 32p. Cuento de Luz. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9788415784128.

Flory, Neil. The Short Giraffe. illus. by Mark Cleary. 24p. Albert Whitman. Mar. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780807573464.

Freeman, Anna Harber. Love You More Than Anything. illus. by Jed Henry. 24p. Sterling. 2014. Tr $9.95. ISBN 9781454900214. LC 2013013382.

Frossard, Claire. Emma in Paris. illus. by Claire Frossard. photos by Christophe Urbain. 56p. maps. Enchanted Lion. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781592701391.

Galbraith, Kathryn O. Two Bunny Buddies. illus. by Joe Cepeda. 32p. Houghton Harcourt. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544176522.

Gill, Shelley. Prickly Rose. illus. by Judy Love. 32p. maps. Charlesbridge. Feb. 2014. RTE $17.95. ISBN 9781570913563; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781570913570; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9781607346319. LC 2012039607.

Goldie, Sonia. Ghosts. tr. from French by Claudia Z. Bedrick. illus. by Marc Boutavant. 40p. Enchanted Lion. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781592701421.

Gude, Paul. When Elephant Met Giraffe. illus. by Paul Gude. 56p. Hyperion/Disney. Feb. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9781423163039. LC 2012015041.

Guion, Melissa. Baby Penguins Love Their Mama. illus. by Melissa Guion. 32p. Philomel. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399163654. LC 2013015911.

Hancocks, Helen. Penguin in Peril. illus. by Helen Hancocks. 32p. Candlewick/Templar. Feb. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763671594; pap. $7.26. ISBN 9781848778627. LC 2013943078.

Harper, Charise Mericle. Go! Go! Go! Stop! illus. by Charise Mericle Harper. 40p. Knopf. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780375869242; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780375969249; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780385753395. LC 2012046655.

Hoffman, Sarah & Ian Hoffman. Jacob’s New Dress. illus. by Chris Case. 32p. Albert Whitman. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807563731. LC 2013028443.

Hruby, Emily. Counting in the Garden. illus. by Patrick Hruby. 60p. AMMO. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781623260057.

Hutchins, Hazel. Cat Comes Too. ISBN 9781554514786.

––––. Dog Comes Too. ISBN 9781554514793.

ea vol: illus. by Gosia Mosz. 26p. Annick. 2013. Board. $6.95.

Jenson-Elliott, Cindy. Weeds Find a Way. illus. by Carolyn Fisher. 40p. S & S/Beach Lane. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442412606; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781442441262. LC 2011018524.

Lachenmeyer, Nathaniel. Scarlatti’s Cat. illus. by Carlyn Beccia. 32p. Carolrhoda. Mar. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9780761354727; ebk. $12.95. ISBN 9781467724012. LC 2013018648.

Levy, Janice. Thomas the Toadilly Terrible Bully. illus. by Bill Slavin & Esperança Melo. 34p. Eerdmans. Feb. 2014. Tr $17. ISBN 9780802853738. LC 2013024834.

Lobel, Anita. Taking Care of Mama Rabbit. illus. by Anita Lobel. 24p. Knopf. Feb. 2014. Tr $11.99. ISBN 9780385753685. LC 2013003154.

Luján, Jorge. Numeralia. tr. from Spanish by Susan Ouriou. illus. by Isol. 32p. Groundwood. 2014. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781554984442.

Lütje, Susanne. The Best Mama in the World. tr. from German. illus. by Eleni Zabini. 16p. NorthSouth. 2014. Board $7.95. ISBN 9780735841574.

Lütje, Susanne. A Kiss for You. tr. from German. illus. by Annette Swoboda. 16p. NorthSouth. 2013. Board $7.95. ISBN 9780735841598.

McDonald, Megan. Jessica Finch in Pig Trouble. ISBN 9780763657185; ISBN 9780763670276. LC 2012947726.

––––. Rocky Zang in the Amazing Mr. Magic. ISBN 9780763657161; ISBN 9780763670283. LC 2012947727.

ea vol: illus. by Erwin Madrid. 64p. (Judy Moody and Friends Series). Candlewick. Feb. 2014. Tr. $12.99. pap. $4.99.

McDonald, Megan. Shoe Dog. illus. by Katherine Tillotson. 40p. S & S/Atheneum/Richard Jackson Bks. Mar. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781416979326; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781416985884.

McKay, Hilary. Lulu and the Cat in the Bag. Bk. 3. illus. by Priscilla Lamont. 112p. (Lulu Series). Albert Whitman. 2013. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9780807548042. LC 2013005439.

Meshon, Aaron. Tools Rule! illus. by Aaron Meshon. 40p. S & S/Atheneum. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442496019; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781442496026. LC 2013009361.

Morris, Jackie. Little Evie in the Wild Wood. illus. by Catherine Hyde. 36p. Frances Lincoln. 2013. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781847803719.

Nayar, Nandini. What Could It Be? Bk. 2. ISBN 9788181902856.

––––. What Will I Be? Bk. 1. ISBN 9788181902849.

ea vol: illus. by Francesco Manetti. 28p. (Curious Sameer Series). Karadi Tales. 2014. pap. $11.95.

Oliver, Lin. Little Poems for Tiny Ears. illus. by Tomie dePaola. 32p. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399166051. LC 2013014049.

Pearson, Susan. Mouse House Tales. illus. by Amanda Shepherd. 56p. Blue Apple. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781609050504.

Polacco, Patricia. Gifts of the Heart. illus. by Patricia Polacco. 40p. Putnam. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780399160943. LC 2012048016.

Reagan, Jean. How to Babysit a Grandma. illus. by Lee Wildish. 32p. Knopf. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385753845; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780385753852; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780385753869. LC 2013019509.

Reynolds, Peter H. & Paul A. Reynolds. Going Places. illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. 40p. S & S/Atheneum. Mar. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781442466081; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442466098. LC 2012051351.

Robinson, Sharon. Under the Same Sun. illus. by AG Ford. 40p. glossary. maps. photos. Scholastic. 2014. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780545166720. LC 2012015732.

Roth, Carol. Five Little Ducklings Go to Bed. tr. from German. illus. by Sean Julian. 32p. NorthSouth. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780735841284.

Ruzzier, Sergio. Bear and Bee: Too Busy. illus. by Sergio Ruzzier. 48p. Hyperion/Disney. Mar. 2014. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781423159612. LC 2012037300.

Salinas, Veronica. The Voyage. tr. from German by Jeanne Eirheim. illus. by Camilla Engman. 40p. Groundwood/House of Anansi. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781554983865.

Sandu, Anca . Churchill’s Tale of Tails. illus. by Anca Sandu. 32p. Peachtree. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781561457380.

Schaefer, Lola M. One Busy Day: A Story for Brothers and Sisters. illus. by Jessica Meserve. 40p. Hyperion/Disney. Mar. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9781423171126. LC 2013000494.

Schwartz, Corey Rosen & Beth Coulton. Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears. illus. by Nate Wragg. 32p. ebook available. Putnam. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399256851. LC 2012046278.

Sheehan, Monica. Love Is You & Me. illus. by Monica Sheehan. 48p. S & S/Little Simon. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781442436077; ebk. $7.99. ISBN 9781442449756.

Shields, Carol Diggory. Baby’s Got the Blues. illus. by Lauren Tobia. 32p. Candlewick. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763632601. LC 2013943085.

Sierra, Judy. E-I-E-I-O!: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help from a Hen. illus. by Matthew Myers. 32p. Candlewick. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763660437. LC 2013934306.

Snowe, Olivia. Cassie and the Woolf. ISBN 9781434237866. LC 2013002779.

––––. A Home in the Sky. ISBN 9781 434250414. LC 2013002778.

ea vol: illus. by Michelle Lamoreaux. 128p. (Twicetold Tales). Stone Arch. 2013. lib. ed. $23.99.

Stanton, Karen. Monday, Wednesday, and Every Other Weekend. illus. by Karen Stanton. 40p. Feiwel & Friends. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250034892.

Tellegen, Toon. A Great and Complicated Adventure. tr. from Dutch by Martin Cleaver. illus. by Jessica Ahlberg. 154p. Boxer Bks. 2013. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781907152399.

Van Wright, Cornelius. When an Alien Meets a Swamp Monster. illus. by Cornelius Van Wright. 32p. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399256233. LC 2013014046.

Weatherford, Carole Boston. Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood. illus. by R. Gregory Christie. 32p. Albert Whitman. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807576502.

Willis, Jeanne. Upside Down Babies. illus. by Adrian Reynolds. 32p. Andersen. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781467734240; ebk. $12.95. ISBN 9781467734486.

Winters, Ben H. Literally Disturbed: Tales to Keep You Up at Night. illus. by Adam F. Watkins. 64p. Price Stern Sloan. 2013. RTE $9.99. ISBN 9780843171945.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.