February 18, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Summer and Fall Picture Books, Easy Readers, and Beginning Chapter Books | Preschool to Grade 4 Fiction

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Quest (Becker) ©2014 by Aaron Becker

Quest (Becker)
©2014 by Aaron Becker

redstarBecker, Aaron. Quest. illus. by Aaron Becker. 40p. Candlewick. Aug. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763665951.

K-Gr 3 –Becker places the boy, girl, and violet bird from Journey (Candlewick, 2013)—the first title of his wordless trilogy—into the gray watercolor and ink landscape of the second. Each child has a magical marker. As they take refuge from the rain under a bridge, the background skyscrapers recede and the fanciful sculptures of a winged gladiator and mermaid foreshadow coming adventures. Upon receiving a color-coded map from a king in custody, the kids sketch keys and enter the familiar realm from the previous title, where golden, Islamic domes mingle with medieval fortresses. This time, however, turrets blaze and enemy soldiers occupy the land. The quest takes the protagonists to an underwater Greco-Roman temple, through Mayan ruins and near a Buddha-like sculpture; four newly mined markers slip into a special belt that, when lifted up by the bird, creates a rainbow whose brilliance temporarily blinds their pursuers until order is restored. The arc also connects the children to their world upon reentry. Becker creates a visual narrative that is clear enough for children to decipher but complex enough to reward multiple readings. Much of the interest comes from his ability to successfully blend architectural styles from a variety of cultures and time periods, the type of exotic settings that children associate with potential danger and requisite cleverness and courage. He clearly understands (and perhaps wants to suggest) that loneliness, boredom, or rainy days can trigger rich, imaginative play. Creative problem solving is at the heart of this genial book.–Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library

redstarHawkes, Kevin. Remy and Lulu. illus. by Kevin Hawkes & Hannah E. Harrison. 40p. Knopf. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780449810859; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780449810897; lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780449810873. LC 2012021740.

K-Gr 3 –This is a delightful story that must be viewed and read several times to capture all of its wonderful details, humor, and charm. Remy is an artist who paints “the essence of a person, not their likeness,” no doubt because of his very poor eyesight. Lulu is a Jack Russell–type dog who becomes Remy’s traveling companion, but Lulu happens to be an artist as well. When Remy sets up his huge canvasses to paint a portrait, Lulu draws a miniature portrait down along the bottom of the canvas at Lulu height, but Lulu’s subjects are the animals that each poser has with him or her. While Remy’s portraits are quite abstract and usually integrate some of the pet’s features into the image of the sitter, Lulu creates finely detailed portraitures of the pets with extravagant clothing reminiscent of their owner. The patrons are astonished at Lulu’s talent, and the duo become solvent, as well as the talk of the town. It is only when one patron, an optometrist, gives Remy a new pair of spectacles that Remy “sees” why his popularity has taken a sharp upturn. The result is utter despondence until an invitation comes their way that gives both a new perspective. Reminiscent of Peggy Rathmann’s Officer Buckle and Gloria (Putnam, 1995), the dog is the one with the crowd-pleasing talent, while the human remains oblivious for a time. Children and adults will enjoy giving the two types of paintings a close look and picking up the subtle humor in each. Hawkes has done the illustrations for the story, but Harrison is credited for creating Lulu’s miniatures. The contrast of the two types of illustration is what make this book so clever.–Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID

redstarShea, Bob. Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads. illus. by Lane Smith. 32p. Roaring Brook. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781596439757.

K-Gr 2 –The gold stealin’ and cattle kissin’ Toad Brothers are terrorizing the town of Drywater Gulch again! So when seven-year-old Ryan rides into town on a tortoise and offers to help, the mayor immediately gives him the task of wrangling up the Toads. The new sheriff may not know anything about riding horses or lassoing crooks, but like most boys, he does know an awful lot about dinosaurs. As Ryan investigates the crime scenes, he blatantly blames dinosaurs for the crime in the town and sets out to nab the terrifying lizards. Although Sheriff Ryan is pretty ridiculous in his accusations, children will love the ending, since the little hero gets the last laugh. Shea’s humor is spot-on in Sheriff Ryan’s unwavering logic and assumptions, and his distinct characters will make this an instant hit at storytime. Smith’s illustrations, with grainy color and vivid textures, match the deadpan silliness to a tee, and keen dinosaur hunters will love the few dinosaur mirages hidden in the background. Another stellar job by Shea and Smith.–Peter Blenski, Greenfield Public Library, WI

redstarTULLET, Hervé. Mix It Up. illus. by Hervé Tullet. 64p. Chronicle. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781452137353.

PreS-Gr 1 –Following up his ingenious Press Here (Chronicle, 2011), dynamic and innovative author and illustrator Tullet presents another interactive picture book, this time designed to teach children about color. Tullet shows blobs of paint on white pages and asks readers to touch their fingers to each blob to mix and create new colors. Though the book is clearly aimed at young children, even adult readers will admire this gorgeously made volume—and may find it difficult to resist physically shaking and touching the book as per the author’s directions. While simple, the book’s design is effective and even intricate in the details: spatters of paint adorn the sides and corners of each white spread, adding an authenticity that readers will love. The text is spare yet inviting (“Now try tilting the book to the right. What do you think will happen? Right again!”). Tullet has in the past proven himself a master at playing with the author/reader relationship, through books such as The Eyes Game (Phaidon) and Help! We Need a Title (both 2014, Candlewick), and this imaginative new work is no exception. Rivaling an iPad for its sheer fun and interactive elements, this engaging and inventive title will easily find fans.–Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

redstarWillems, Mo. My New Friend Is So Fun! illus. by Mo Willems. 64p. (Elephant & Piggie). Hyperion/Disney Book Group. 2014. Tr $8.99. ISBN 9781423179580. LC 2012022223.

PreS-Gr 1 –What is friendship? Gerald reveals his pessimistic thoughts when he explores the “what ifs” as Snake tells him about their best friends’ blissful discovery of each other. All is joy at first—Piggie and Brian Bat are perfect playmates, and the really fun time becomes a super-fun time. Unfortunately, Gerald becomes convinced that he and Snake are losing their best friends, and the resulting insecurities crowd out all positive thoughts: “‘We must do something! We must tell them to stop having fun!’” Piggie and Brian are even playing BEST FRIEND GAMES! Speech bubbles; clearly drawn, simple line drawings; and easily visible facial expressions all provide clues to the inner thoughts of these pals. Gerald worries, while Piggie channels his adventurous side and forges ahead. Another forte for the unlikely pair—text repetition and diversity of font emphasize an overblown situation with a simple solution that demonstrates trusted friendships are not easily erased. A must-buy for “Elephant & Piggie” fans.–Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX

Graphic novels are now reviewed in every issue.
Where applicable, they appear at the bottom of the grade level section.

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

Allan, Nicholas. Android in the Attic. illus by Nicholas Allan. 192p. Hodder. Jul. 2014. Tr $7.99. ISBN 9780340997062; ebk. $5.99. ISBN 9781444905465.

Bardos, Magali. 100 Bears. illus. by Magali Bardos. 104p. Flying Eye Bks. 2014. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781909263154.

Base, Graeme. The Last King of Angkor Wat. illus. by Graeme Base. 36p. Abrams. Sept. 2014. RTE $17.95. ISBN 9781419713545.

Bijsterbosch, Anita. Whose Hat Is That? illus. by Anita Bijsterbosch. 32p. Clavis. 2014. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781605371856.

Bingham, Kelly. Circle, Square, Moose. illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky. 48p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062290038. LC 2013019534.

Blackford, Andy. The Three Little Pigs and the New Neighbor. illus. by Tomislav Zlatic. 32p. (Tadpoles: Fairytale Twists). Crabtree. 2014. lib. ed. $26.60. ISBN 9780778704478; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9780778704829.

Blatt, Jane. Books Always Everywhere. illus. by Sarah Massini. 32p. Random. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385375061; pap. $11.99. ISBN 9780857630902; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780375982057.

Boldt, Mike. Colors Versus Shapes. illus. by Mike Boldt. 40p. HarperCollins/Harper. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062103031.

Brisson, Pat. Before We Eat: From Farm to Table. illus. by Mary Azarian. 32p. Tilbury House. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780884483526. LC 2013040076.

Bunting, Eve. Frog’s Lucky Day. illus. by Josée Masse. 40p. (Frog and Friends). bibliog. Sleeping Bear. 2014. Tr $9.95. ISBN 9781585368921; pap. $3.99. ISBN 9781585368938. LC 2013029265.

Cabatingan, Erin. The World According to Musk Ox. illus. by Matthew Myers. 40p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Bks. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781596437999.

Castillo, Lauren. Nana in the City. illus. by Lauren Castillo. 40p. Clarion. Sept. 2014. Tr ISBN 9780544104433. LC 2013043953.

Curato, Mike. Little Elliot, Big City. illus. by Mike Curato. 40p. Holt. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780805098259.

D’souza, Nadine. Revenge of the Puppets. illus. by Ayush Rajvanshi. 32p. Karadi Tales. Jul. 2014. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9788181901972.

Dahl, Michael. Goodnight Football. illus. by Christina Forshay. 32p. Capstone. Aug. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781623701062.

Demi. The Pandas and Their Chopsticks: And Other Animal Stories. illus. by Demi. 28p. WisdomTales. Aug. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781937786168.

dePaola, Tomie. Jack. illus. by Tomie dePaola. 40p. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399161544; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780698171282. LC 2013036653.

Dillard, Sarah. Extraordinary Warren Saves the Day. illus. by Sarah Dillard. 64p. S. & S./Aladdin. Oct. 2014. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781481403528; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781481403535.

Dillon, Leo & Diane Dillon. If Kids Ran the World. illus. by Leo & Diane Dillon. 32p. Scholastic/Blue Sky Pr. Aug. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545441964. LC 2013041817.

Elliott, David. This Orq.: (He Cave Boy.). illus. by Lori Nichols. 40p. Boyds Mills. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781620915219. LC 2014931588.

Follett, Ross C. BeeBear 2. illus. by Lee Seivers. 52p. OddInt Media. 2014. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9780988174801.

Gibson, Amy. By Day, by Night. illus. by Meilo So. 32p. Boyds Mills. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781590789919.

Gliori, Debi. Dragon’s Extraordinary Egg. illus. by Debi Gliori. 32p. ebook available. Walker. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780802737595.

Hayes, Joe. My Pet Rattlesnake. illus. by Antonio Castro L. 32p. Cinco Puntos. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781935955610; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781935955627. LC 2013010569.

Heapy, Teresa. Very Little Red Riding Hood. illus. by Sue Heap. 32p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544280007.

Himmelman, John. Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny. illus. by John Himmelman. 128p. Holt. Oct. 2014. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9780805099706; ebk. $9.49. ISBN 9780805099720.

Hiranandani, Veera. Lunch Will Never Be the Same! illus. by Joelle Dreidemy. 96p. (Phoebe G. Green: Bk. 1). Grosset & Dunlap. Oct. 2014. pap. $4.99. ISBN 9780448466958.

Houran, Lori Haskins. Diary of a Worm: Nat the Gnat. illus. by John Nez. 32p. (I Can Read). HarperCollins/Harper. 2014. Tr $3.99. ISBN 9780062087072. LC 2013950294.

Houran, Lori Haskins. Flat Stanley: Show-and-Tell, Flat Stanley! illus. by Macky Pamintuan. 32p. (I Can Read). HarperCollins/Harper. 2014. Tr $3.99. ISBN 9780062189752. LC 2013956397.

Hyde, Heidi Smith. Elan, Son of Two Peoples. illus. by Mikela Prevost. 32p. Kar-Ben. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780761390510; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9780761390527; ebk. $6.95. ISBN 9781467724302. LC 2013002190.

Jeffers, Oliver. The Hueys in None the Number: A Counting Adventure. illus. by Oliver Jeffers. 32p. (The Hueys: Bk. 3). Philomel. Jul. 2014. Tr ISBN 9780399257698. LC 2013046675.

Keselman, Gabriela. It’s a Gift! tr. from Spanish by Jon Brokenbow. illus. by Nora Hilb. 32p. Cuento de Luz. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9788415784920.

LATIMER, Alex. Pig and Small. illus. by Alex Latimer. 32p. Peachtree. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781561457977.

Lehman-Wilzig, Tami. Stork’s Landing. illus. by Anna Shuttlewood. 32p. Kar-Ben. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781467713955; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781467713962; ebk. $6.95. ISBN 9781467746731. LC 2013021756.

Lickens, Alice V. Can You Dance to the Boogaloo. illus. by Alice V. Lickens. 32p. Pavilion. 2014. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9781843652298.

Light, Kelly. Louise Loves Art. illus. by Kelly Light. 40p. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062248176.

Long, Loren. Otis and the Scarecrow. illus. by Loren Long. 40p. Philomel. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399163968.

Lord, Cynthia. Hot Rod Hamster and the Wacky Whatever Race! illus. by Derek Anderson & Greg Paprocki. 32p. Scholastic. Aug. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545694421; pap. $3.99. ISBN 9780545626781; ebk. $3.99. ISBN 9780545626798. LC 2013046940.

Luxbacher, Irene. Mr. Frank. illus. by Irene Luxbacher. 32p. House of Anansi/Groundwood. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781554984350.

McMullan, Kate. I’m Brave! illus. by Jim McMullan. 40p. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062203182.

Mathers, Petra. When Aunt Mattie Got Her Wings. 32p.(Lottie). S. & S./Beach Lane. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481410441; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781481410458. LC 2013037476.

North, Laura. The Princess and the Frozen Peas. illus. by Joelle Dreidemy. 32p. (Tadpoles: Fairytale Twists). Crabtree. 2014. Tr $26.60. ISBN 9780778704461; ebk. $7.95. ISBN 9780778704812.

Orloff, Karen Kaufman. I Wanna Go Home. illus. by David Catrow. 32p. Putnam. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399254079.

Pakkala, Christine. Last-But-Not-Least Lola and the Wild Chicken. illus. by Paul Hoppe. 208p. Boyds Mills. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781590789834.

Pinson, Isabel. Bubbe’s Belated Bat Mitzvah. illus. by Valeria Cis. 32p. Kar-Ben. Sept. 2014. lib. ed. $17.95. ISBN 9781467719490; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781467719506; ebk. ISBN 9781467746687. LC 2013022209.

Polacco, Patricia. Mr. Wayne’s Masterpiece. illus. by Patricia Polacco. 40p. Putnam. Aug. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399160950; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780698164208. LC 201304628.

Prap, Lila. Cat Whys. tr. from Slovenian. illus. by Lila Prap. 32p. NorthSouth. Jul. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780735841253.

Rabe, Tish. Huff and Puff and the New Train. illus. by Gill Guile. 24p. (I Can Read: My First). HarperCollins/Harper. 2014. pap. $3.99. ISBN 9780062305039; Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062305046; ebk. $4.99. ISBN 9780062111074. LC 2013947669.

Ray, Mary Lyn. Go to Sleep, Little Farm. illus. by Christopher Silas Neal. 40p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544150140.

Rey, H.A. A Home for Honeybees. adapted by Julie Tibbott. 24p. (Curious George). illus. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780544237773; pap. $3.99. ISBN 9780544237919; ebk. $3.99. ISBN 9780544302693.

Robaard, Jedda. Milo and Millie. illus. by Jedda Robaard. 32p. Candlewick. 2014. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763667832. LC 2013944028.

Rodgers, Greg. Chukfi Rabbit’s Big Bad Bellyache: A Trickster Tale. illus. by Leslie Widener. 40p. Cinco Puntos. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781935955269; pap. $8.95. ISBN 9781935955276; ebk. $8.95. ISBN 9781935955603. LC 2013010568.

Rooney, Rachel. A Patch of Black. illus. by Deborah Allwright. 32p. Macmillan. 2014. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9780230714434.

Rudy, Maggie. I Wish I Had a Pet. illus. by Maggie Rudy. 40p. S. & S./Beach Lane. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442453326; ebk. ISBN 9781442453333. LC 2013019359.

Ruiz Johnson, Mariana. I Know a Bear. illus. by Mariana Ruiz Johnson. 32p. Random/Schwartz & Wade Bks. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385386142.

Scotton, Rob. Splat the Cat Makes Dad Glad. illus. by Rob Scotton. 32p. (I Can Read). HarperCollins/Harper. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062115997; pap. $3.99. ISBN 9780062115973. LC 2013956398.

Seuss, Dr. Horton and the Kwuggerbug: And More Lost Stories. 56p. Random. Sept. 2014. Tr $15. ISBN 9780385382984; lib. ed. $18. ISBN 9780375973420. LC 2014003038.

Singer, Marilyn. I’m Gonna Climb a Mountain in My Patent Leather Shoes. illus. by Lynne Avril. 40p. Abrams. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781419703362.

Skye, Ione. My Yiddish Vacation. illus. by Scott Menchin. 32p. photos. Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780805095128.

Slack, Michael. Wazdot? illus. by Michael Slack. 48p. Disney-Hyperion. Jul. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781423183471. LC 2013020073.

Smith, Alexander McCall. The Mystery of the Missing Lion. illus. by Iain McIntosh. 96p. (A Precious Ramotswe Mystery for Young Readers: Bk. 3). Anchor. Oct. 2014. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781101872024; lib. ed. $13.99. ISBN 9781101872031; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780804173278.

Soffer, Allison Sarnoff. Apple Days: A Rosh Hashana Story. illus. by Bob McMahon. 32p. Kar-Ben. Aug. 2014. lib. ed. $17.95. ISBN 9781467712033; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781467712040; ebk. ISBN 9781467712057. LC 2013022208.

Srinivasan, Divya. Little Owl’s Day. illus. by Divya Srinivasan. 32p. Viking. Sept. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780670016501; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780698139879. LC 2013047053.

Stein, Garth. Enzo Races in the Rain! illus. by R. W. Alley. 40p. HarperCollins. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062295330.

Viswanath, Shobha. The Lizard’s Tail. illus. by Christine Kastl. 28p. Karadi Tales. 2014. Tr $9.95. ISBN 9788181901507.

Watkins, Adam F. R Is for Robot: A Noisy Alphabet. illus. by Adam F. Watkins. 32p. Price Stern Sloan. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780843172379.

Wells, Rosemary. Max & Ruby at the Warthogs’ Wedding. illus. by Rosemary Wells. 40p. Viking. Sept. 2014. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780670784615; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780698161566. LC 2014001450.

Wells, Rosemary. A Visit to Dr. Duck. illus. by Rosemary Wells. 30p. Candlewick. Aug. 2014. Board $7.99. ISBN 9780763672294.

Wheeler, Lisa. Dino-Boarding. illus. by Barry Gott. 32p. ebook available. Carolrhoda. Sept. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9781467702133. LC 2013030724.

Wilson, Karma. Bear Sees Colors. illus. by Jane Chapman. 32p. S. & S./Margaret K. McElderry Bks. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442465367; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442465398. LC 2012040992.

Wissinger, Tamera Will. This Old Band. illus. by Matt Loveridge. 32p. Sky Pony. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781628735956.

Wright, Johanna. The Orchestra Pit. illus. by Johanna Wright. 32p. Roaring Brook. Aug. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781596437692. LC 2013016729.

Graphic Novels

Alexander, Jed. (Mostly) Wordless. illus. by Jed Alexander. 48p. ebook available. Alternative Comics. 2014. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781934460337.

Henderson, Sam. Scene but Not Heard. illus. by Sam Henderson. 128p. Top Shelf Comics. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781603090896.

Plumeri, Arnaud. Bite of the Albertosaurus. illus. by Bloz Maëla Cosson. 56p. (Dinosaurs: Bk. 2). ebook available. Papercutz. 2014. lib. ed. $10.99. ISBN 9781597075152.

Richard, Laurent. The Championship! Bk. 4. ISBN 9781467720977; ISBN 9781467744591. LC 2013038066.

––––. Wild Animals! Bk. 5. ISBN 9781467720984; ISBN 9781467744607. LC 2013038070.

ea vol: illus. by Nicolas Ryser. 64p. (Tao, the Little Samurai). Graphic Universe. Sept. 2014. lib. ed. $29.27. Tr. $6.95.

STILTON, Thea. The Treasure of the Viking Ship. 56p. (Thea Stilton). Papercutz. 2014. lib. ed. $9.99. ISBN 9781597075145.

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

Diversity and Cultural Competency Training: Collections & RA

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