April 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

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. […]

Review of the Day: Hazelnut Days by Emmanuel Bourdier, ill. ZAÜ

Hazelnut Days By Emmanuel Bourdier Illustrated by ZAÜ minedition (an imprint of Michael Neugebauer Publishing Ltd.) $17.99 ISBN: 978-988-8341-54-2 For ages 6 and up On shelves May 1st I’m on a children’s book committee right now with an interesting mix of members. Some folks are old hands that have read more picture books in their […]

Review of the Day: Nothing Stopped Sophie by Cheryl Bardoe and Barbara McClintock

Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain By Cheryl Bardoe Illustrated by Barbara McClintock Little, Brown and Co. $17.99 ISBN: 978-0316278201 On shelves June 12th I think we’ve done it. I think we’ve finally moved completely into a new era of biographical picture books. High time, says I! Gone are the days […]

Newbery / Caldecott 2018: Final Prediction Edition

I was all prepped to begin today by saying that the entire reason I’m doing this post in January is because the ALA Youth Media Awards are slated to go live in February this year . . . but then I looked at last year’s Final Prediction Edition and saw that it was posted on […]

Review of the Day: Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin

Baby Monkey, Private Eye By Brian Selznick and David Serlin Illustrated by Brian Selznick Scholastic Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-338-18061-9 Ages 3 and up On shelves February 27th Brian Selznick. Honey. We’ve got to talk. Now look, it was all well and good when you started getting a little crazy and shaking up notions of what […]

Review of the Day: Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Julián Is a Mermaid By Jessica Love Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-9045-8 Ages 4 and up On shelves May 22nd When you walk into another person’s home, there’s always a distinct smell to the place. Homes absorb the lives of their occupants, and the end result is as much an olfactory experience a visual one. […]

The Lost Reviews 2017: Books and Their Hooks

Julie Danielson calls it her Ghost File, and that’s as good a name as any for the books a blogger fails to talk up sufficiently in the previous year. 2017 was a pretty nice year for me personally, all things considered, so I’d like to pay it forward a bit and offer an homage to […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day Thirty-One – 2017 Picture Books

And just like that . . . *poof!* It’s gone! Not gone, exactly. The 31 Days, 31 Lists series may indeed continue next year. Just so long as the books or my eyesight holds out. In the meantime, it’s been a blast, guys. I appreciate that not a single one of you pointed out to […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day Thirty – 2017 Middle Grade Novels

Not a particularly complete list, or a very long one. Yet for 2017 these were the books that left a lasting impression on my little noggin. I read ’em. I liked ’em, every last one. I think they’re the bee’s knees. And I hope you like them too. Fiction for the masses! 2017 Middle Grade […]