Showing posts from April, 2021

FOX & RABBIT: Make Believe by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Gergely Dudàs, 87 pp, RL 2

  Fox & Rabbit: Make Believe by Beth Ferry , illustrated by Gergely Dudàs Review copy from Abrams Books Opposite buddies are the perfect pair for books for emerging readers, and Fox and Rabbit do not disappoint over the course of the five stories (all of which have alliterative and/or rhyming titles) in the second book in what will soon be a trilogy,  Fox  &  Rabbit:   Make Believe . Their disparate personalities are on display in the first pages of the Story One, "Money, Marshmallows, & MMMMMM," where the friends find they have 20 quarters, 23 dimes and 143 pennies (math! Yay!) Fox suggests they buy an ice cream store, a roller coaster or possibly a submarine, Rabbit's frustration growing with each outlandish idea. The friends, along with constant companion, stuffed lion Fred, decide to head to the ice cream store. Rabbit knows exactly what to order and consumes it slowly, while Fox orders a little bit of everything, chomps it in one bite. Fox, staring long

We Became Jaguars by Dave Eggers, illustrated by Woodrow White

We Became Jaguars  by Dave Eggers , illustrated by Woodrow White Review Copy from Chronicle Books **This book was aided by the input of the Young Editors Project . More details about this superlative program (and others) at the end of this review. With his new picture book, Eggers captures that beautiful moment with little kids where fear of a stranger is transformed and common social practices are bypassed entirely. It's the moment when imaginations connect and play begins.  We Became Jaguars , narrated by a young child, begins, "My grandmother came to visit. I had met her once before. She lived far away." Left alone together and clearly anxious, the narrator hides behind a plant as grandmother gets down on all fours and growls. "Let's be jaguars," she says. It takes two pages and some notes from grandmother, but the narrator finally becomes a lean, fast, fierce jaguar and, in the coolest two page, gatefold spread I have ever seen, the pair head out into

The Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen, 96 pp, RL 2

The Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen Review Copy from Candlewick Press Reading The Rock from the Sky  by myself early this morning, I laughed out loud. I heard the voices of Klassen's characters in my head and thought about running across the alley to see if I could read it out loud to the neighbor kids, already playing in their backyard. As it will for many readers,  The Rock from the Sky , reminded me of Klassen's first picture book published as author and illustrator,  I Want My Hat Back , which (surprisingly!) is ten years old. Realizing this sent me on a reverie and a look back at what was going on in the world of picture books when one of (I would never make a specific, exact list, but I do always have a nebulous cloud of five or so treasured titles floating around in my head just in case I am pressed to provide a short list of) my all-time favorite picture books was published. You can find this appreciation and reminiscence at the end of this review. I wanted to write a

A Picture Walk with Marla Frazee & The Farmer Trilogy

Have you ever crossed a stream by hopping from rock to rock? Have you ever taken a secret path all by yourself?  Have you ever sat quietly in a tree to just look carefully at everything? This is how Marla Frazee describes memories of what it felt like to read pictures when she was a kid in   A Picture Walk , her magnificent three-panel comic that appeared in the New York Times Book Review on April 18, 2021.  A Picture Walk shows Frazee's thoughtful path to becoming a children's book author and illustrator, simultaneously giving readers a taste of the insight, exuberance and immersive experience of reading one of Frazee's picture books - especially since characters from her books show up. I first discovered Frazee's books shortly after I became a mother and a children's bookseller and felt an immediate, deep love for her work. Seven Silly Eaters , written by Mary Ann Hoberman (1997), Everywhere Babies (2000), written by Susan Meyer and Harriet, You'll Drive Me