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Recent Book Reviews

Board Book and Picture Book

May 15, 2019

Nonfiction picture book When Sue Found Sue: Sue Hendrickson Discovers Her T. Rex written by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by Diana Sudyka


April 25, 2019

Die-cut, translucent rhyming board book You Are Light written and illustrated by Aaron Becker


April 22, 2019

Nonfiction picture book Don’t Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe written by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Gianna Marino


April 10, 2019

Nonfiction picture book The Night Flower: The Blooming of the Saguaro Cactus written and illustrated by Lara Hawthorne


March 19, 2019

Nonfiction picture book Power Up: Your Incredible, Spectacular, Supercharged Body written by Seth Fishman and illustrated by Isabel Greenberg


February 4, 2019

Nonfiction picture book Out of This World: The Surreal Art of Leonora Carrington written by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Amanda Hall


December 21, 2018

Lift-the-flaps board book Little Christmas Tree written and illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle


December 21, 2018

A Unicorn Named Sparkle’s First Christmas written and illustrated by Amy Young


December 21, 2018

Merry Christmas, Little Elliot written and illustrated by Mike Curato 


December 10, 2018

Drawn Together written by Minh Lê and illustrated by Dan Santat


December 10, 2018

The Day You Begin written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael López


November 2, 2018

Horse Meets Dog written by Elliott Kalan and illustrated by Tim Miller


September 11, 2018

The Lying King (book four in A Tale from the Watering Hole series) written and illustrated by Alex Beard


May 30, 2018

The Funeral written and illustrated by Matt James


May 22, 2018

Bilingual folktale El Chupacabras written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Crash McCreery


May 17, 2018

Julián is a Mermaid written and illustrated by Jessica Love


May 8, 2018

Dude! written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Dan Santat


March 12, 2018

The Word Collector written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds


February 27, 2018

The Digger and the Flower written and illustrated by Joseph Kuefler


February 15, 2018

The Great Race: Story of the Chinese Zodiac written and illustrated by Christopher Corr


October 23, 2017

Halloween roundup:

- Creepy Pair of Underwear! written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown

One of 2017's best picture books (Kirkus)


- Counting picture book in rhyme, Halloween Good Night, written by Rebecca Grabill and illustrated by Ella Okstad 


- For young children Duck & Goose, Honk! Quack! Boo! written and illustrated by Tad Hills


October 9, 2017

Rhyming Twinderella: A Fractioned Fairy Tale written by Corey Rosen Schwartz and illustrated by Deborah Marcero

One of the Top Ten Rhyming Books of 2017


July 6, 2017

Historical fiction She Persisted written by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger


June 20, 2017

Historical fiction Renato and the Lion written and illustrated by Barbara DiLorenzo


May 1, 2017

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Adam Rex


March 24, 2017

Wordless board book Brick by Brick written and illustrated by Giuliano Ferri


January 24, 2017

(Mostly) wordless picture book Wolf in the Snow written and illustrated by Matthew Cordell

One of 2017's best picture books (Kirkus)

2018 Caldecott Award winner


January 9, 2017

Rhyming Ada Twist, Scientist written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts


December 19, 2016

Christmas tree-themed roundup:

- The Christmas Eve Tree written by Delia Huddy and illustrated by Emily Sutton


- The Great Spruce written by John Duvall and illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon


- Maple & Willow’s Christmas Tree written and illustrated by Lori Nichols


December 13, 2016

Advent-calendar-style Walk This World at Christmastime written by Big Picture Press and illustrated by Debbie Powell


December 6, 2016

Nonfiction The Darkest Dark written by Chris Hadfield and illustrated by The Fan Brothers


October 25, 2016

Witch-themed Halloween roundup:


- Goblin Hood written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Piper Thibodeau


- Grimelda, the Very Messy Witch written by Diana Murray and illustrated by Heather Ross


October 17, 2016

We Found a Hat written and illustrated by Jon Klassen


August 22, 2016

Pete the Cat's Got Class written and illustrated by James Dean


July 13, 2016 

A Unicorn Named Sparkle written and illustrated by Amy Young


June 22, 2016

Magic realism The Girl Who Saved Yesterday written by Julius Lester and illustrated by Carl Angel


June 13, 2016

Historical fiction Diana's White House Garden written by Elisa Carbone and illustrated by Jen Hill


June 2, 2016

Historical fiction Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn't Sit Still written by Karlin Gray and illustrated by Christine Davenier


May 24, 2016

Nonfiction The Whole Story of the Doughnut written by Pat Miller and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch


May 3, 2016

Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color written and illustrated by Julia Denos


April 6, 2016

Myth of origin From Wolf of Woof: The Story of Dogs written and illustrated by Hudson Talbott


January 19, 2016

Historical fiction Thérèse Makes a Tapestry written by Alexandra S. D. Hinrichs and illustrated by Renee Graef


October 2015

Nonfiction The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind written by William Kamkwamba, co-authored by Bryan Mealer, and illustrated by Elizabeth Z

Chapter Book and Middle Grade

May 13, 2019

Middle-grade fiction Inkling by Kenneth Oppel with illustrations by Sydney Smith


February 14, 2019

Middle-grade nonfiction China: A History by Cheryl Bardoe


January 28, 2019

Middle-grade novel Henry & Eva and the Castle on the Cliff  by Andrea Portes


January 22, 2019

Middle-grade novel Where the Woods End by Charlotte Salter


January 14, 2019

Middle-grade cookbook The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen


January 3, 2019

Middle-grade novel The Haunting of Hounds Hollow by Jeffrey Salane


December 17, 2018

Middle-grade novel The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher with illustrations by Shane Devries


December 10, 2018

Middle-grade nonfiction The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid written by Dylan Thuras and Rosemary Mosco with illustrations by Joy Ang


November 19, 2018

Middle-grade nonfiction Food Fight! A Mouthwatering History of Who Ate What and Why Through the Ages by Tanya Steel


October 31, 2018

Middle-grade novel City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab


October 31, 2018

Chapter book Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of Ghosts written by Katie and Kevin Tsang with illustrations by Nathan Reed


September 21, 2018

Chapter book Ivy + Bean: One Big Happy Family (book 11 in the series) written by Annie Barrows with illustrations by Sophie Blackall


August 29, 2018

Middle-grade fantasy novel The Language of Spells written by Garret Weyr with illustrations by Katie Harnett


August 14, 2018

Middle-grade mystery novel Willa of the Wood written by Robert Beatty


June 14, 2018

Middle-grade novel Tiny Infinities written by J. H. Diehl


June 4, 2018

Middle-grade graphic novel The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America written and illustrated by Jaime Hernandez with an introduction by F. Isabel Campoy


May 4, 2018

Middle-grade novel The Care and Feeding of a Black Hole written and illustrated by Michelle Cuevas


November 3, 2017

Chapter book Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz written by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark


October 19, 2017

Middle-grade graphic novel All's Faire in Middle School written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson

Best Books of 2017 by Publisher's Weekly


October 16, 2017

Middle-grade novel The Stars Beneath Our Feet written by David Barclay Moore

On Publisher's Weekly Best of 2017 List

John Steptoe Author Award winner


September 12, 2017

Illustrated early chapter book Princess Cora and the Crocodile written by Laura Amy Schlitz and illustrated by Brian Floca

A "Best of 2017" book, Publisher's Weekly


June 30, 2017

Middle-grade nonfiction The Book of Chocolate written by HP Newquist


March 21, 2017

Middle-grade novel Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd) written by Julie Bowe

One of 2017's Best Books by Publisher's Weekly


October 25, 2016

New middle-grade series Hubble Bubble: The Super Spooky Fright Night written by Tracey Corderoy and illustrated by Joe Berger


February 16, 2016

Chapter book The Princess in Black and the Angry Bunny Horde, (book three in the Princess in Black series) written by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham


Young Adult and Adult

May 6, 2019

Young adult/ older middle-grade fantasy about two sisters coping with domestic violence Riverland by Fran Wilde


March 15, 2019

Adult reference book Wild LA: Explore the Amazing Nature In and Around Los Angeles by Lila Higgins & Gregory B. Pauly with Jason G. Goldman & Charles Hood, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County


February 21, 2019

YA fiction The Curses: A Graces Novel by Laure Eve


October 11, 2018

YA fiction A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs is the much-awaiting fourth book in Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series. The first three books have over ten million copies in print and were made into a feature film adaptation by Tim Burton in 2016.


February 22, 2018

YA short-story anthology, Three Sides of a Heart: Stories About Love Triangles, edited by Natalie C. Parker. Stories by sixteen authors: Renée Ahdieh, Rae Carson, Brandy Colbert, Katie Cotugno, Lamar Giles, Tessa Gratton, Bethany Hagen, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, E. K. Johnston, Julie Murphy, Garth Nix, Natalie C. Parker, Veronica Roth, Sabaa Tahir, and Brenna Yovanoff.


January 30, 2018

YA romance Love & Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen


February 1, 2017

YA girl spy thriller The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom