Tuesday, July 28, 2015

BUCK'S TOOTH by Diane Kredensor. New York:  Aladdin PIX, 2015. 60p. ISBN 978-148142382-3 hc. $12.99    Gr. K-3    E PIC

Buck Beaver was typical in every way except one.  He had a big front tooth that made it difficult to smile, speak, and eat.  On top of dealing with that, he and his friends were planning to compete in the local talent show soon, and Buck couldn't figure out what his talent could be.  After trying to learn new skills like walking on stilts, he had a long conversation with his friend Pearl, Buck finally found his talent by accident.  It turns out that Buck was talented at sculpting wood with his big tooth.  In the words of his friend Pearl, "Buck's talent was right under his nose the whole time."  This story is packed with illustration and word bubbles, similar to a graphic novel for beginning readers.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
THE TEA PARTY IN THE WOODS by Akiko Miyakoshi.  Originally published in Japan, 2010.  English translation, 2015. Kids Can Press: Tonawanda, NY.  32p. ISBN 978-177138-1079 hc. $16.95  Gr. K-2   E PIC

Kikko sets off in her father's snowy footsteps to catch up with him because he forgot the pie to be delivered to Grandmother.  Don't be lulled into thinking this is a rendition of "Little Red Riding Hood" even though readers will see some similarities.  Kikko trips in the snow, dropping the pie, and then hurries up to keep sight of her father in the distance.  As he approaches a house she's never seen before, she realizes she's been following a bear in clothing and is invited by a lamb (also in clothing) to a fabulous tea party inside.  When the guests, all forest animals, find out that Kikko's pie is ruined, they each provide a piece of the pies they brought to make a brand new multi-flavored pie.  Charcoal drawings on textured paper are enhanced by Kikko's yellow hair and red skirt. The author/illustrator provides a storytelling masterpiece on each page, especially the last page showing Grandmother and Father looking down at the pie which is hidden from the reader's view.  Was the tea party real or an imaginative tale about a walk through the woods?  The proof's in the pie...what do you think?
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

WOMEN WHO BROKE THE RULES series by Kathleen Krull, New York: Bloomsbury Publishing Inc., 2015. 48p. hc. $16.99 each    Gr.3-5   JUV

Krull, an acclaimed biographer, just rolled out a fantastic series of nonfiction books about notable women who defined their own roles in history.  The books are published as a classroom set with similar covers, six chapters apiece, and the same number of pages, but each one has a different illustrator to lend individuality to the books.  The text is easy to comprehend and includes personal stories that make the information more memorable for readers.  Dolley Madison, Judy Blume, Sacajawea, and Sonia Sotomayor are the subjects of the first four books in the series, soon to be followed by Corretta Scott King and Mary Todd Lincoln.  These books make it fun to learn history!
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI  49855