Best Picture Book of the Year? I say so. A wonderful and honest story about patience, anxiety and comfort with exceptional illustrations. As a young boy waits for his mother to get ready to run errands, he imagines what it might be like to go outside alone. Feeling grown-up, his mind lures him into an urban den of wolves. When accompanied by his mother, on the other hand, those wolves seem more like smoke in mirrors. Best for ages 3-5.
What a beautiful and extraordinary book. I would have loved to have this read to me when I was 4 or 5 years old. The ultimate bedtime adventure book. Surely this one will be read over and over again as parents and their little ones get lost in the lore and magical illustrations. Best for ages 3-6.
Here's what one of our "Kid Critic" families had to say: Our whole family already has this fantastic book memorized. We thought it was worth a group review -- each kid has an attribution for their bit: It was funny because it showed what the baby thought was real -- babies really do think they're the boss! - David, 10. I loved the part where he picked up the thingy that's like a phone and called a meeting. - Zoe, 5. I loved how he thought he looked like a boss, carrying a briefcase half as big as him - Lizzie, 8. Mine! -Ben, 2
Surely a Caldecott contender, this lovely picture book is a retelling of a classic tale with the special touch of two outstanding children*s book creators. The layered story of the friendship between a city dog and a country frog is heartbreaking, heartwarming and memorable. You*ll want to share this one. Best for ages 2-6.
Anthony Browne is clearly a genius. His picture book talents seem limitless. This is Goldilocks like you've never seen her before. Browne's new perspectives on the story are layered and enchanted. The lore and urban setting will change you're imaginings forever. Best for ages 2-6
This has to be Blue Balliett's most exciting book yet. If you open the Danger Box you won't be able to put it down! Balliett's combination of mystery and science is a middle-grade treat and her compassionate characters help us understand different perspectives. This book is sure to delight fans new and old. Perfect for family reading or curious young readers in search of a smart adventure story. Best for ages 9-11.
This fictional account of Carrie and her friend Zora (Neale Hurston) is a wonderful romp through the childhood of a literary great. The novel does immense justice to the complexities of race, community, family ties, and local legend. Zora's imagination shines and this book is sure to be a fall favorite, award winner and educational tool.
Best for ages 9 *11, and adult.
This story will grab you and shake your bones. When a medicine show with a dark cast of characters comes to town, there is more at stake than the aftermath of your average snake oil salesman and hucksters. Young Natalie unravels the history of her town and her family as she discovers her role in the continual balance between good and evil. Best for independent readers ages 9-12.
Rhodes pays tribute to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the breaking of the levees, and the New Orleans spirit in this upcoming novel. She doesn't talk down to young readers, as she describes the harrowing experience of a fictionalized, yet strikingly accurate account of a young girl and her fortitude during our country's most recent natural and shameful disaster. Heavy with humidity and southern lore, we recommend this book for readers age 9 & up, and all educators.
Model trains and time travel, who could ask for more? A story both endearing and adventurous that your young man (or lady!) won't want to miss out on. On The Blue Comet is undoubtedly one of the best reads of 2010.
One of our teen critics, Jen (age 17), had this review of The Mockingbirds:
"In My Own Words: The Mockingbirds chronicles the decisions Alex, a student at a prestigious boarding school, takes after she is date raped. Since the school frowns upon indications that the students are even slightly unpleasant, Alex takes her plight to the mockingbirds, a secret student-run justice group. As Alex slowly begins to remember more of the circumstances surrounding her rape, she becomes more certain that the path she has chosen is right. This story is entrancingly told, and it was impossible for me to put this book down. I highly recommend this book to older teen readers."
Andi finds Alexandrine's diary which allows her to learn more about the French Revolution period. She begins to understand the depth and breadth of the violence and becomes engaged in Alexandrine's own heartbreaking story. As the novel progresses, the lives of Andi and Alex become nearly seamless. Through this dramatic conflation of identities, Andi is able to bring her personal terrors into a healthy, life-saving framework.
This is a wonderful book for teens, especially those hesitant to dive into historical fiction.
An excellent treatment of "coming home" after military service in the Middle East, from the perspective of a younger, teenage brother. Reinhardt explores the world of contemporary young men and brotherhood, in this original, yet increasingly familiar story. Important ideas about family, country, duty, generational expectations, and how our experiences can change us are among the many important topics that are made accessible through the engaging teen characters. Best for ages 12 & up.
Surely a contender for the Cuffie Award--Best Jacket Art. Very scary! Great new horror fiction for teens looking for human monster adventures. A nice change of pace for paranormal characters. A male lead, but with heroines galore. Best for ages 12 & up.
Teen steam-punk by a YA great. Excellent Darwin-based discussions of organic vs. mechanic and a fun fast-paced plot. Best for ages 12 & up.
Absolutely wonderful. No scimping on vocabulary or character development. A fun new story of an everyday friendship between two average AND exceptional girls. Bink & Gollie's voices and imaginations are unique and unforgettable. Exceptional stand-alones for those not quite ready for chapter books are rare, and this one definitely stands out. Best for ages 5-7.
Another stand-out early reader. This collection of stories about the antics and experiences of mischievous and adorable Anna, her twin baby brothers Double and Trouble, and her whole great big loving family with whimsical illustrations make it perfect for those just getting ready for chapter books. Best for ages 6-8.
A fantastical graphic novel adventure that kids will love. Fans of Rapunzel's Revenge & Calamity Jack will take to this story immediately. Undersea creatures, pirates, magical elements, mechanical devices and loads of action will have them turning the colorful pages with swift young hands. This installment ends in a cliffhanger that will leave kids craving the next volume. Best for ages 7-11.
Somewhere between graphic novel and illustrated book, this book is one of the most unique and imaginative I've seen this year. The basic story is simple: a boy learns of his father*s death, but Harvey*s world is rich and delicate. It feels a bit like reading straight into a dream and definitely warrants more than one read. Best for ages 11 & up.
A brilliant hybrid of poetry, science, and illustration. This book describes and celebrates those pervasive things that *seem to be everywhere at the same time, *from bacteria to grass to coyotes. The poems are in a variety of styles and are a great complement to the straight-ahead factual information also in the book. With its stellar design, it*s bound to appeal to everyone from young children to adults, from poetry and art lovers to those curious about science.