The Latest In Progress
The making of Art Kane's famous Esquire photograph of jazz musicians in Harlem in 1958 is both reimagined and celebrated with 21 poems about the day, the child onlookers, and some of the musicians who appeared. Solidly grounded in fact, and with helpful supporting explanations as well as resources, both text and vibrant illustrations will appeal to child readers and jazz lovers of all ages.(K. Isaacs. 7-10)
In this heartrending debut novel, three high school senior outcasts connect in a rural Tennessee town: Dill, a musically-talented son of an incarcerated Pentecostal preacher; Lydia, a snarky fashionista with a ticket out; and Travis, a reader of fantasy novels and lumberyard worker. Depictions of small-town life are spot on, and the sentence-level writing is by turns beautiful and exhilarating. Fourteen and Up. -Todd Krueger
Considering all the current news stories we hear about bullying, it's humbling to think that even Vincent Van Gogh was a victim. His contemporaries didn't view him as an artistic genius, rather he was the crazy fool with wild red hair who used incongruent colors and couldn't even sell his paintings. It's only decades later that the narrator, a boy who knew Van Gogh, realizes the artist's genius. With brightly-hued illustrations, Casson delivers a work reminiscent of Van Gogh's famous paintings (Bedroom in Arles). Seven to Ten. Anne Womack
The desert canyon setting and lovely illustrations set this apart from similar titles in the "everyone has her own talent" genre. A repeating verse follows Baby Wren's encounters with other inhabitants of the area who encourage her along in her quest to find what she can do best. The watercolor and pencil depictions of the beautiful setting match the poetic text. Up to Seven. -Todd Krueger
The perfect marriage of author/illustrator and subject in this book written with affection and thoroughness. Sweet combines materials from White's life with her own visual interpretations to support a biography that is respectful, complete and highly informative. We learn what inspired Charlotte's Web, the "adult" criticism of Stewart Little and the influences and loves of a very special man. This is a book that could fall into that category we've discussed as for "all readers" Edie Ching (7-10) This title will appear on the November agenda.
Benny Barrows is having a difficult time in fourth grade. His best friend moved to Florida. Benny can’t seem to conquer spelling or the multiplication tables. He’s no good at sports. His autistic older brother can be a challenge. Worst of all, his family is barely coping with his father’s recent aneurysm, which Benny’s mom insists was NOT Benny’s fault. Benny tries to apply his mom’s advice that “when bad things happen, you should think about someone else’s problems and try to help them.” But does anyone have bigger problems than Benny? Luckily, Benny has a kind heart and a loving family, and they help him navigate the challenges of his unlucky year. Although Benny is nine, this book would work for 9-12 year olds. (7-10) Lisa Cosgrove-Davies
An enumeration of sensory impressions, things to hear, smell, see, touch, and taste, culminating in using all five senses to appreciate a pickle. The sentences are simple and would be good for beginning readers. Happily, the text includes negatives, too. Accompanying ink and watercolor vignettes show children sensing things, from hearing a birdie to tasting ice cream. The children have a variety of skin and hair colors, eye shapes, and hair styles, but are all young and actively exploring their world. (K. Isaacs. Up to seven)