Monthly Archives: March 2012

Waiting for the Magic

Okay, here’s a book recommended to me by my nine-year-old. I admit, I didn’t expect to like it. The cover didn’t draw me in, but the first paragraph, and then the first chapter and then the next chapter filled me … Continue reading

Posted in Chapter Books, Character-driven, Love that prose, Power of pets | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Color Me a Rhyme: Nature Poems for Young People

With vivid photography by her son, Jane Yolen captures the mood of each color with poems, synonyms and quotes. For example, Orange:  I want to take a bite/out of that sunset sky/letting the orange juices/run down my chin/spitting out the … Continue reading

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Beneath a Meth Moon: An Elegy

elegy n. 1. mournful poem  2. poem in elegiac couplets or stanzas 3. music, musical or lament for dead person Written in prose, Jacqueline Woodson‘s Beneath a Meth Moon reads as smoothly as a poem and manages to work in Hurricane Katrina, loss … Continue reading


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An Annoying ABC

It only took Adelaide to set off a domino effect involving annoyance, fuming, irritation and upending. Barbara Bottner‘s text is tight, the words are expressive and perfect for story-time in preschool or word study in kindergarten and up. Michael Emberley‘s … Continue reading

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Artist to Artist

“Dear young artist,” this book begins. Twenty-three illustrators complete the salutation with self-portraits and letters about their life, work and art. The process of picture book art and children’s literature illustration is discussed in each artist’s own way, and sometimes … Continue reading

Posted in Love that art, Love that prose, Nonfiction | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Grandpa Green

Illustrated almost entirely in green, Lane Smith’s Grandpa Green is an ode to a man who grew up on a farm and went to war. Narrated by a great-grandkid, this lovely story is about respect, artistry and memories. Find some hidden story … Continue reading

Posted in Books with science links, Love that art, Love that prose, Picture books | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments


The first impression of Lissa Price‘s Starters is the cover: A surreal, almost glowing teen girl waits with an unwavering gaze and pristine skin. This perfection is a scheme. Wealthy Enders (the elderly) laser away the flaws of teenagers and then rent their … Continue reading

Posted in Teen/Young Adult | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Mama Miti

A biography that reads like a legend, Mama Miti is a superb literature choice to study Kenya, wisdom and environmental renewal. Wangari Muta Maathai, a.k.a. Mama Miti, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, a first for an African woman. One … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Books with social studies links, Love that art, Love that prose, Nonfiction, Picture books | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What’s the Weather Inside?

Whimsical poems in the spirit of Shel Silverstein cover topics from a dentist who bites toonomatopoeia. Karma Wilson even doles out advice to Rapunzel (“cut off your hair”) and to those who might eat yellow snow. Accompanied by Barry Blitt‘s … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

American Born Chinese

American Born Chinese, a graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang, comprises three stories featuring Jin, the only Chinese-American at his school, the fabled Monkey King, and Chin-kee, the horrible Chinese cousin. The three threads are woven together near the end … Continue reading

Posted in Graphic novels, Teen/Young Adult | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments