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Showing posts from March, 2019

The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol

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The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol Review Copy from MacmillanKids The Little Guys begins with a bit of braggadocio from the strongest guys in the forest, "We are the Little Guys. Yes, we are small. But there are a lot of us. Together we are strong, and we can get all we need." As they head off their tiny island to get food for all of them, "a piece of cake for the Little Guys," listing their many skills, the illustrations show them shaking things up as they take food from their neighbors, shouting, "Nothing stops the Little Guys!" They even boast about being able to take on a bear! A fantastic centerfold that calls for a 90 degree turn shows the Little Guys back on their island, triumphant atop a pile of pilfered food. A final grab for the berry in the beak of a baby bird proves catastrophic, sending the Little Guys - and their ill-gotten gains, adrift. As the story comes to a close, the creatures of the forest rescuing the Little Guys, their opening salvo becom…

Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, adapted by Ari Folman, illustrations by Daniel Polonsky, 160 pp, RL: Middle Grade

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Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaptation Adapted by Ari Folman, illustrations by David Polonsky Published by Pantheon Books Purchased from Barnes & Noble I read several reviews from reputable (The New York Times, The Atlantic) resources before writing my this review. It's impossible not to recognize the import of adapting this iconic work, and I knew that I would be immediately drawn in by Anne's words and the accompanying images and lose my ability to be critical of the choices made by Folman and Polonsky, who were commissioned by the Anne Frank Fonds, inheritor of the estate of Anne Frank, to "write and direct an animated film for children based on Anne's diary, as well as edit the diary into a graphic adaptation." And, having the perspective of others more knowledgeable and informed than me, I have decided to focus my review of the graphic novel adaptation of Anne Frank's Diary on its value in an educational setting, specifically an elementary school…

Apocalypse Taco by Nathan Hale, 128 pp, RL 3

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Apocalypse Taco by Nathan Hale Review Copy from AbramsKids TOP 4 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT THIS BOOK 1) Unforgettable title 2) Girls Save the Day 3) Cargo Kilt
4) Most Creative Portal Between Worlds EVER
Hopefully you are well familiar with Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales (link to my reviews below) by now and ready to be comforted by Hale's familiar style of illustration (sturdy jaws, expressive eyes) and cheerfully amazed by his creepy creatures and even creepier sci-fi plot. In fact, with its mix of gruesome, hilarious and science gone wrong, Apocalypse Taco may be ushering in a new genre of for kidlit: horror comics! Eleven-year-old twins Ivan and Axl are at the high school where their mother is leading the tech crew as they work into the night building sets for the dress rehearsal of Brigadoon. With everyone getting hangry, Sid agrees to put her new driver's license to work and heads out with the twins to get food for the crew. As they pull out of the drive-thru at Taco Bear with thei…

YOU ARE LIGHT by Aaron Becker

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YOU ARE LIGHT by Aaron Becker Review Copy from Candlewick Studio Hopefully you know Aaron Becker from his entrancing, wordless trilogy of picture books, Journey, Quest and Return. Now, from this creative mind comes a board book that is not just for babies. YOU ARE LIGHT is a marvel. Impossible to put down, the book itself draws readers to the light, curious to see how it shines through the pages.

When the light has faded and you are ready to read, Becker's poetic text will once again connect readers to the natural world. A few words on each page, partnered with stylized symbols floating in the center of the twelve die-cut holes filled with translucent, colored panes, walk readers through the world. From the "light that brings the dawn to warm the sky and hug the land," to the light that sips the sea to make the rain, "which waters the wheat and grows the grain," Becker's words are lyrically gentle. Becker ends, most beautifully, with, "This is you. And yo…

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, written by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Paola Escobar

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Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian  and Storyteller Pura Belpré written by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Paola Escobar Purchased from Bound to Stay Bound with Library Funding With the poetic flair of a storyteller, Denise tells the life story of Pura Belpré in way that makes her relevant to young readers (or even better, listeners). Her words pair perfectly with Escobar's detail filled illustrations. The title and theme of planting and growing, seeds and stories, works perfectly with Belpré's life - both professionally and personally. Turning the last page of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, readers will understand exactly why the American Library Association created an award for authors and illustrators of children's books in her name. Arriving in New York City from San Juan, Puerto Rico for her sister's wedding in 1921, Pura ended up staying, the seeds of cuentos she carried with her ripe for planting. Plans to attend univers…