Children’s Literature

RENATO AND THE LION: A Picture Book of Art and War

RENATO AND THE LION: A Picture Book of Art and War

Lynn: It was the gorgeous cover depicting Il Duomo on Barbara DiLorenzo’s picture book, Renato and the Lion (2017), that first captured my attention. Although no one who has visited Florence will be able to resist grabbing this book, the boy perched on the ghostly lion on the cover was what attracted the six-year-old member of our focus […]

STAR SCOUTS: Summer Camp, Science-Fiction Style

STAR SCOUTS: Summer Camp, Science-Fiction Style

Lynn: When you’re the new kid in town, finding friends can be tough. Mike Lawrence takes an out-of-this-world look at the issue in his recent graphic novel, Star Scouts (2017).  Barrel-racing, rodeo loving Avani Patel is having an especially hard time fitting into her new school, so her well-meaning dad signs her up for Flower […]

To Err is Divine: THE BOOK OF MISTAKES by Corinna Luyken

To Err is Divine: THE BOOK OF MISTAKES by Corinna Luyken

Lynn: “It started with one mistake.” For many kids, a mistake means crumpling a piece of paper and starting over, but in The Book of Mistakes (2017), Corinna Luyken’s debut picture book about the creative process, a mistake leads to something truly brilliant. From an ink blot on the front endpaper to a splotch on the title […]

Full of Mysteries: BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA by Lauren Wolk

Full of Mysteries: BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA by Lauren Wolk

Cindy: Beyond the Bright Sea (2017), Lauren Wolk’s fine follow-up to her 2017 Newbery Honor book, Wolf Hollow, features a young orphan with a mysterious past, a hunt for treasure, and a search for belonging. Said orphan, the twelve-year-old Crow, is named for the rasping cry she emitted when Osh, a reclusive fisherman, found her as […]

THE ADVENTURES OF JOHN BLAKE, a Graphic Novel Mystery

THE ADVENTURES OF JOHN BLAKE, a Graphic Novel Mystery

Lynn: The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship (2017), comes courtesy of Philip Pullman and represents his first foray into graphic novels. Written originally as a comic and then as a film script, Blake has just now been published in the United States. After a storm knocks her overboard her family’s sailboat, teenager Serena Henderson […]

7 Ate 9: a Mathematical Detective Tale

7 Ate 9: a Mathematical Detective Tale

Cindy: 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story (2017) by Tara Lazar will have young readers adding up clues in order to understand 9’s mysterious disappearance. A panicked 6 awakens Detective Al F. Bet, snoozing at his desk, to tell him 9 is missing. Rumor has it that 7 ate 9—and 6 is sure that 7 is coming for him […]

Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge

Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge

  Last fall, to commemorate Roald Dahl’s hundredth birthday, the late author’s estate and publisher launched a year-long celebration of all things Dahl. (We celebrated by eating crow—to read all about how Booklist has slagged off Dahl’s writing over the years, click here.) In March, the Roald Dahl Literary Estate and others kicked off Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge—a contest that closes […]

Hold the Bulldozers: Middle-Grade Books Take on Developers

Hold the Bulldozers: Middle-Grade Books Take on Developers

Lynn: The theme of kids taking on greedy developers is not new or uncommon in books for kids—remember, Carl Hiaasen’s Hoot (2002) won a Newbery Honor. But this year alone, I’ve already read three books with this central issue. Is this a movement? See for yourself. (And readers, if I’m missing any titles, let me know!)   The […]

Book Trailer Thursday: CINNAMON by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is known for his ability to weave myths and fairy tales, and his latest picture book continues with this trend. In this week’s Book Trailer Thursday, we get a peek at Gaiman’s latest tale Cinnamon, which is beautifully illustrated by Divya Srinivasan. A talking, man-eating tiger is the only one who is able […]

True Crime for Middle-Graders: KATE WARNE PINKERTON DETECTIVE

True Crime for Middle-Graders: KATE WARNE PINKERTON DETECTIVE

Lynn: We love finding picture books for Mystery Month! Kate Warne: Pinkerton Detective (2017) by Marissa Moss is not only a picture book biography of the first woman detective, but tells the story of Warne’s role in a pivotal case that helped establish the reputation of the Pinkerton Agency. It’s true crime for the middle-grade […]