February 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox
Luann Toth

About Luann Toth

Luann Toth (ltoth@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor of SLJ Reviews. A public librarian by training, she has been reviewing books for a quarter of a century and continues to be fascinated by the constantly evolving, ever-expanding world of publishing.

All We Need Is Love: Matt de la Peña sends a Valentine to the world | Up Close

A Q & A with the Newbery Award-winning author Matt de la Peña about his empowering poem about love.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2018 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Love by Matt de la Peña | SLJ Review

Gr 2-5 –How do we love and care for one another? Award-winning author de la Peña sets out not only to count the ways but also to help young people recognize and take these tender mercies to heart, especially when times are tough and beyond the control of the adults around them.

Thinking BIG with Picture Books | SLJ Spotlight

Five new picture books explore “big” characters; what the small ones lack in size, they make up for in heart!

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

3 Rehashed and Reframed Fairy Tales | SLJ Spotlight

Three tales that put a fresh spin on traditional fairy tales.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

7 Snowy Picture Books | SLJ Spotlight

Seven delightful picture books about winter wonderlands.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy by Laurel Snyder | SLJ Review

K-Gr 2 –Those adorable moptop siblings Charlie and Mouse are back, this time spending quality time with their visiting grandfather, Grumpy.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green | SLJ Review

A deeply resonant and powerful novel that will inform and enlighten readers even as it breaks their hearts.

It Takes One Brilliant Artist… | A Q & A with Marla Frazee

Artist Marla Frazee talks about the inspiration for and the concepts behind the picture bookIt Takes a Village.

We Love Books about Books! | SLJ Spotlight

Seven picture book titles perfect for young bookworms.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

A Birthday Treat: A Conversation with Julie Fogliano

A talk with Julie Fogliano about the creation of the picture book When’s My Birthday?

Perfect Picnic Picture Books | SLJ Spotlight

Six perfect picture books for a family outing.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Katherine Roy on a Pachyderm’s Baby Steps | Up Close

An expansive illustrated interview about the genesis and development of nonfiction book How to Be an Elephant.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Perfect Summertime Picture Books | SLJ Spotlight

Five titles perfect for celebrating—or reliving—the long, lazy days of summer.

Frances Hardinge on “A Face Like Glass” | Up Close

The storyteller extraordinaire tells how the creepy world of Caverna came about.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Round by Joyce Sidman | SLJ Review

SIDMAN, Joyce. Round. illus. by Taeeun Yoo. 32p. HMH. Mar. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544387614.

PreS-K –Sidman delivers a captivating homage to the many round things found in nature and in the world around us. Told in the voice and sensibility of a young child, the simple text follows a girl as she comes across round objects, feels their smoothness, and wraps her fingers around their curves. Some she appreciates from afar (turtle eggs and sunflowers), watching how they […]

Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children’s Books by Michelle Markel | SLJ Review

MARKEL, Michelle. Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children’s Books. illus. by Nancy Carpenter. 44p. bibliog. further reading. Chronicle. Apr. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780811879224.

K-Gr 2 –This winning picture book takes on a subject that one wouldn’t think, at first glance, would be of interest to modern-day audiences—a look at the life of an 18th-century publisher and shopkeeper. But said publisher is none other than John Newbery, who embraced the teachings of John Locke and is […]

4 Picture Books Celebrating the Importance of Family

A wide array of titles that show the warm and sometimes wacky world of familial interactions.

Poor Louie by Tony Fucile | SLJ Review

FUCILE, Tony. Poor Louie. illus. by Tony Fucile. 40p. Candlewick. Apr. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763658281.

PreS-Gr 1 –Louie is a cute and cuddly Chihuahua in crisis. He speaks directly to readers and tries to solicit their sympathy. The pup recounts his idyllic life as the apple of his human parents’ eye. Walks in the park, eating ice cream, and shopping excursions are all part of their normal family routine, along with dinner, movies, and plenty of snuggle time. […]

5 Picture Books Celebrating Dads (and Granddads)

5 warm and tender titles with male-focused parent-and-child interactions that celebrate the special bonds between father (or grandfather) and child

Answering the Call: Meg Rosoff on Finishing Mal Peet’s “Beck”

The award-winning author talks to SLJ about what is perhaps the biggest and most challenging project of her career: completing a novel begun by Mal Peet.