Showing posts from June, 2021

Wildflowers by Liniers, 40 pp, RL 1.5

  Wildflowers by Liniers published by  TOON Books   Telescoping in over the course of a few panels, a plane crash and its survivors are revealed. Three young girls sit on the beach, deciding to explore this mysterious island they are now stranded on. With sisterly banter, they head into the jungle where they find talking flowers and a sign that says, "Only Reality Can Kill a Dragon." Pondering its meaning, they head deeper into the jungle where they find a "pocket gorilla," are chased by a wildflower-eating dragon, are covered in popcorn-tasting-snow and come upon an ancient temple with something dangerous inside. When reality (a voice that calls, "G-I-I-I-R-L-S . . . G-I-I-I-R-L-S . . .") kills the dragon, a page turn reveals toys strewn about a garden, toys that informed the story/adventure that just played out, the final pages showing the sisters running across the yard and into a house together. Liniers's skill with how the story unfolds across th

Memory Jars by Vera Brosgol

  Memory Jars by Vera Brosgol Review Copy from Macmillan Books Memory Jars is an exploration of living in the moment, even when you find you have the ability to bottle the moment and save it forever. Freda and Gran spend a "hot, sweet, sticky July day" picking (and eating) blueberries. Freda is so enraptured with the experience of eating the delicious berries that "taste like sweet sunshine" that she tries to eat them all, keeping the good times going forever. When she falls to the floor in tears when she can't, Gran tells Freda not to get upset. They can put the berries in a jar and save them by making jam that they can enjoy all year. After all, blueberry jam was Freda's grandfather's favorite. Taking the jam jar her Gran gives her, Freda has an idea. Over the next several pages, readers see her collecting all the marvelous things she wants to save and remember forever. Somehow, whatever goes in the jar is, literally, preserved. Gran's freshly ba

The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag, 208 pp, RL MIDDLE GRADE

The Girl from the Sea   by Molly Knox Ostertag Review Copy from Graphix The Girl from the Sea is the perfect wish-fulfillment, summer romance with just the right amount of magic. When fifteen-year-old Morgan Kwon slips on the rocky shore one night, her life flashes before her as she sinks under the waves. Or, as Morgan describes it, the boxes she likes to keep the different parts of her life tucked neatly into burst open. Small town life on Wilneff Island in Canada and memories of chasing seagulls with her younger brother when they were little come pouring out of one box. School life and hanging with her friends spill out of another box. Her parents fighting, her father leaving and her brother's anger in the aftermath of divorce flow out another box. And then there is the box that Morgan wants to keep private until she can leave the island for college in any big city where she can "be gay, far away from this tiny town and everyone who's known me since forever." When