June 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Review of the Day: Beavers – The Superpower Field Guide by Rachel Poliquin and Nicholas John Frith

Beavers: The Superpower Field Guide By Rachel Poliquin Illustrated by Nicholas John Frith $18.99 ISBN: 9780544949874 Ages 9-12 On shelves December 4th Here, sit down a sec. I wanna tell you a story about this beaver I once knew. So I’m at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, which, if anyone asks, is my favorite […]

Review of the Day: The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge By M.T. Anderson Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin Candlewick Press $24.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-9822-5 Ages 10 and up On shelves September 25th In my job I read a lot of books written for kids and middle schoolers. To guide this reading I take into account a lot of professional reviews from sources […]

Review of the Day: The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld

The Rabbit Listened By Cori Doerrfeld Dial (an imprint of Penguin Random House) $17.99 ISBN: 978-0-7352-2935-8 Ages 4 and up On shelves now Lest we forget, the only reason that children’s books were invented in the first place was to teach small human lessons. That is, in fact, the very backbone of the book business […]

Review of the Day: Seeing Into Tomorrow by Richard Wright and Nina Crews

Seeing Into Tomorrow Haiku by Richard Wright Biography and illustrations by Nina Crews Millbrook Press (a division of Lerner) $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-5124-1865-1 Ages 6-10 On shelves now I hate that phrase, “A picture’s worth a thousand words”. It’s trite. Simplistic. And horrendously true. Pictures have power. Take the story that’s been handed to us about […]

Review of the Day: The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl By Stacy McAnulty Random House Books for Young Readers $16.99 ISBN: 9781524767570 Ages 9-12 On shelves now The world would have us believe that the left brained and right brained amongst us can never see eye-to-eye. Think about it. How many times have you heard a perfectly intelligent person say […]

Board Books 2018: What We’ve Got Here Is an Oddly Strong Year

As you may recall I put out the announcement in March that during April I’d be asking people to send in Top 10 Board Book lists, ranked in order of preference (#1 being your favorite and #10 being your least favorite). I was gratified to see a nice long list of submissions. The poll officially […]

Review of the Day: My Hair Is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera

My Hair Is a Garden By Cozbi A. Cabrera Albert Whitman & Co. $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-8075-0923-4 Ages 4-7 On shelves now It is very limiting to get your supplemental education solely through children’s books when you’re an adult. Continuing education, in whatever form it takes, should be pursued through a variety of sources. Yet for […]

Review of the Day – The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoefer and the Plot to Kill Hitler By John Hendrix Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams) $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-4197-2838-9 Ages 10 and up On shelves September 4th In this life, it can be difficult to find absolutes. Absolute good. Absolute evil. Absolute good in the face of absolute evil. For many […]

Review of the Day: The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

The Parker Inheritance By Varian Johnson Arthur A. Levine Books (an imprint of Scholastic) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-545-94617-9 Ages 9-12 On shelves now. The other day I was asked to come up with ten children’s book equivalents to Claudia Rankine’s book Citizen (which, should anybody ask you, is not for kids). To do this, I wanted […]

Review of the Day: A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano, ill. Lane Smith

A House That Once Was By Julie Fogliano Illustrated by Lane Smith Roaring Brook Press (an imprint of Macmillan) $18.99 ISBN: 978-1-62672-314-6 Ages 4-7 On shelves May 1st When I was growing up there was an empty house across the street. A melancholy, haunted structure that seemed to wear its sadness like a badge. No […]

Review of the Day: The Cardboard Kingdom, edited and illustrated by Chad Sell

The Cardboard Kingdom Edited and Illustrated by Chad Sell Written by Jay Fuller, David DeMeo, Katie Schenkel, Kris Moore, Molly Muldoon, Vid Alliger, Manuel Betancourt, Michael Cole, Cloud Jacobs, and Barbara Perez Marquez Knopf (an imprint of Random House Children’s Books) $12.99 ISBN: 978-1-5247-1937-1 Ages 9-12 On shelves June 5th The other day I listened […]

Review of the Day: The Cardboard Kingdom, edited and illustrated by Chad Sell

The Cardboard Kingdom Edited and Illustrated by Chad Sell Written by Jay Fuller, David DeMeo, Katie Schenkel, Kris Moore, Molly Muldoon, Vid Alliger, Manuel Betancourt, Michael Cole, Cloud Jacobs, and Barbara Perez Marquez Knopf (an imprint of Random House Children’s Books) $12.99 ISBN: 978-1-5247-1937-1 Ages 9-12 On shelves June 5th The other day I listened […]

The Art of the Book Title: Picture Book Edition

When you think of the truly great picture books of all time, you realize pretty quickly that like all things famous, in order to achieve greatness the right parts had to be the right place at the right time. You have to have great art, marvelous writing (if, indeed, you have any writing at all), […]

Review of the Day: The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

The Book of Boy By Catherine Gilbert Murdock Illustrated by Ian Schoenherr Greenwillow (an imprint of Harper Collins) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-06-268620-6 Ages 9-12 On shelves now When you think about it, many authors of children must have something they’re afraid to write. Some book or idea or concept that tempts them but that they wouldn’t […]

Review of the Day: It’s Springtime, Mr. Squirrel! by Sebastian Meschenmoser

It’s Springtime, Mr. Squirrel! By Sebastian Meschenmoser Translated by David Henry Wilson NorthSouth Books ISBN: 978-0-7358-4310-3 $18.95 Ages 4-7 On shelves now. There is an old joke here in America regarding the Germans and their sense of humor. Mainly, that they haven’t got one. I’ve heard everything from Patton Oswalt routines to old commercials that […]

Newbery / Caldecott 2019: Spring Prediction Edition

Happy decade-of-me-doing-this-weird-thing-I-do! That’s right, folks! I’m pleased as punch to announce that as of right now I’ve been making grossly incorrect predictions of the Newberys, Caldecotts, and other ALA Youth Media Awards for a good solid decade. That’s a decade I’ll never get back, by the way. Worth it. As per usual, let’s round-up how […]

Review of the Day – Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing by Nancy Churnin

Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing By Nancy Churnin Illustrated by James Rey Sanchez Creston Books $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-939547-44-6 Ages 4-9 On shelves May 1st Patriotism is subjective. Until recently I might have thought myself somewhat immune to its charms. I like my country quite a lot, but I’ve a low-tolerance for […]

Review of the Day: The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Journey of Little Charlie By Christopher Paul Curtis Scholastic Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-545-15666-0 For ages 9 and up On shelves now I don’t know Christopher Paul Curtis personally, but if I had to harbor a guess I’d say he’s the type of author that doesn’t like to make things too easy for himself. That’s […]

Review of the Day: Can I Touch Your Hair? by Irene Latham & Charles Waters

Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship By Irene Latham & Charles Waters Illustrated by Sean Qualls & Selina Alko Carolrhoda Books (a division of Lerner) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-5124-0442-5 Ages 6 and up On shelves now For a long time, maybe as long as children’s books have been published in America, […]

Review of the Day: The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

The Mad Wolf’s Daughter By Diane Magras Kathy Dawson Books (an imprint of Penguin) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-525-53134-0 Ages 9-12 On shelves March 6th Sometimes you just want to read a book that knows how to run. There are many way to define the term “great writing” as it applies to children’s literature. Eloquent. Ennobling. Distinguished. […]