April 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Download SLJ’s Sneak Peek Guide to Spring/Summer 2017 Titles

Over 150 of the most hotly anticipated spring and summer titles, hand-picked by the SLJ editors. With info on ALA author signings and galley giveaways.

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton | SLJ Review

CLANTON, Ben. Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea. illus. by Ben Clanton. 64p. (A Narwhal and Jelly Book: Bk. 1). Tundra. Oct. 2016. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781101918265; pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781101918715. POP

Gr 1-3 –Readers new to graphic novels will be richly rewarded with this series opener about a delightfully quirky duo. Earnest and down-to-earth Jelly the jellyfish is the perfect foil for endearingly airheaded Narwhal. Divided into three tales, the book is light on plot but brimming with a […]

Chapter Book Xpress Reviews | November 2016

A funny follow-up for fans of My Pet Human, a new chapter book heroine, and more.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Captain Pug by Laura James | SLJ Review

JAMES, Laura. Captain Pug. illus. by Églantine Ceulemans. 128p. Bloomsbury. Mar. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781681193809; pap. $16.99. ISBN 9781681193816.

Gr 1-3 –Meet Pug. He lives with his best friend, Lady Miranda; her housekeeper; and two running footmen. Today, the two friends have been invited to go pedal boating. Lady Miranda dubs her canine pal Captain Pug. Being terrified of water, the dog isn’t so thrilled. Soon Pug gets separated from Lady Miranda before he can become a real […]

Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami | SLJ Review

KRISHNASWAMI, Uma. Book Uncle and Me. illus. by Julianna Swaney. 152p. Groundwood. Sept. 2016. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781554988082; ebk. $12.95. ISBN 9781554988105.

Gr 2-4 –Nine-year-old Yasmin is a self described book-a-day reader. Every day after school she likes to stop by Book Uncle’s lending library on the corner by her apartment complex. Book Uncle has been on the corner as long as Yasmin can remember, and his motto of Right book for the right person for the right day” […]

Chapter Books Xpress Reviews | October 2016

Check out our online-only chapter book reviews for October, including Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami and Julianna Swaney.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Frightfully Good Reads | Chapter Book Chat

Librarian Abby Johnson suggests several chapter book series—paired with activities or lesson extenders—that deliver chills and thrills.

Gold Medal Reads | Chapter Book Chat

Just in time for the Olympics, librarian Abby Johnson spotlights several sports series for chapter book readers and suggests accompanying activities, including fun ways to stay active this summer.

Skunked! by Jacqueline Kelly | SLJ Review

Kelly, Jacqueline. Skunked! illus. by Teagan White & Jennifer Meyer. 112p. (Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet). Holt. Oct. 2016. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781627798686.

Gr 2-4 –Award-winning author Kelly introduces the “Calpurnia Tate” series to a younger audience. The year is 1901, and Calpurnia lives in a big white house in Texas with her mother, father, grandfather, and six brothers. Living with so many brothers can bring excitement and, at times, trouble. High jinks ensue when Cal’s younger […]

Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina | SLJ Review

Medina, Juana. Juana and Lucas. illus. by Juana Medina. 96p. Candlewick. Sept. 2016. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763672089.

Gr 2-4 –Juana lives in Bogotá, Colombia, with her dog Lucas. She loves brussels sprouts, drawing, and especially the comic book superhero Astroman. She most definitely does not like learning “the English.” When her teacher says learning English is going to be a “ton of fun,” Juana knows that it will really be “nada de fun.” Her abuelo, or […]

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey | SLJ Review

Pilkey, Dav. Dog Man. illus. by Dav Pilkey. 240p. (Dog Man: Bk. 1). Scholastic/Graphix. Sept. 2016. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9780545581608. POP 

Gr 1-4 –Part canine, part human, Dog Man is a crime-fighting sensation. He fights crime, sniffs out wrongdoing, and battles his doglike tendencies. His nemesis is Petey, a cat who cooks up devilish plans in his secret lab. The pages are filled with bold lines and colorful artwork that has a childlike feel and will […]

Chapter Books Xpress Reviews | July 2016

Wrestling, fantasy, and princesses all take center stage in this new chapter book series.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Goofy Pets, Daring Detectives, and a Drama Queen| Chapter Books Series Update

Just in time for summer reading, a roundup of new and forthcoming series continuations for independent chapter book readers.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Making the Transition: Spanish-Language and Latin@-Focused Beginning Readers and Chapter Books

Libro por libro columnist Tim Wadham presents some classic and new works for emerging readers that either feature Latin@ characters or have been translated into Spanish.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Chapter Books Xpress Reviews | May 2016

Two chapter books, recently reviewed.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Detective Gordon: A Complicated Case by Ulf Nilsson | SLJ Review

Nilsson, Ulf. Detective Gordon: A Complicated Case. tr. from Swedish by Julia Marshall. illus. by Gitte Spee. 96p. (Detective Gordon). Gecko. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781776570591. 

Gr 1-4 –Detective Gordon is a pudgy toad with a strong penchant for cakes and a predilection for naps. Luckily for all involved, his assistant Buffy, an energetic and kind-hearted mouse, is always by his side and ready to work. When Buffy discovers that not everyone in the forest […]

Animal Antics: Books & Activities for Independent Readers | Chapter Book Chat

Librarian Abby Johnson kicks off the new Chapter Book Chat column by recommending three animal tales, with accompanying activity ideas.

My Life in Pictures by Deborah Zemke | SLJ Review

Zemke, Deborah. My Life in Pictures. illus. by Deborah Zemke. 144p. (Bea Garcia). Dial. Mar. 2016. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780803741546. 

Gr 1-3 –Bea Garcia is an artist. As far as she’s concerned, the world is her canvas; however, her family insists that she confine her drawings to her own book, titled My Life. It’s all there: things she likes, things she doesn’t, places to go, and things she’d like to happen. Readers meet Bea just as […]

Waylon! One Awesome Thing by Sara Pennypacker | SLJ Review

Pennypacker, Sara. Waylon! One Awesome Thing. illus. by Marla Frazee. 208p. (Waylon!). Disney-Hyperion. Apr. 2016. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781484701522.

Gr 2-5 –The creative team behind the “Clementine” books (Hyperion) launch a new series starring Waylon, Clementine’s science-obsessed classmate. His universe is exploding in a very personal “Big Bang.” Popular kid Arlo has divided all the fourth-grade boys into rival teams, which bums out Waylon, who prefers collaboration over competition. And his older sister Charlotte, aka Neon, […]

The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels | SLJ Review

Michaels, Anne. The Adventures of Miss Petitfour. illus. by Emma Block. 144p. ebook available. Tundra. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781770495005.

Gr 1-4 –Meet Miss Petitfour—baker, adventurer, cat-lover, reader, stamp-collector, and storyteller—and her multitudinous cats in this episodic, begging-to-be-read-aloud illustrated chapter book. Its comedic irreverence and spirited play with words, names, and pirate lore will remind readers of Mary Poppins and Pippi Longstocking. Children will savor the whimsical language and conversational tone as well as the nameless […]