Tuesday, December 25, 2018

THE NIGHT BOX by Louise Greig. Illus. by Ashling Lindsay. New York: Clarion Books, 2018. 32p. ISBN 978-132885093-5 hc. $17.99     PreS-Gr.1     E PIC

The golden glow and deep shadows from the setting sun turn to orange as Max is called into the house for the night.  It's getting dark, but Max completes the process by opening the Night Box to let darkness out and the light in before locking it up again and going to bed.  The illustrations become even more breathtaking (if that's possible) as stars come out and animals from the woods nearby carry on their nocturnal activities.  When morning comes, Max's Night Box lets the light out and stores darkness for another day.  This simplistic explanation for day and night may be perfect for youngsters who like to imagine control over the routines in their lives.  Others will want to know about the sun in relation to the earth's daily rotation.  It's a gentle story that could lead to educational discussion.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

I GOT THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT by Connie Schofield-Morrison.  Illus. by Frank Morrison.  New York:  Bloomsbury, 2018.  32p. ISBN 978-168119-528-5 hc. $16.99    PreS-Gr.2    E PIC

Connie and Frank Morrison, who wrote I GOT THE RHYTHM in 2014, have teamed up once again to ring in the Christmas season with the sights and sounds of a walk downtown to shop.  The young protagonist with pom-pom pigtails is the same and the journey similar, as she and her mom contribute to the Salvation Army bucket and sing with carolers nearby.  They take a spin around the ice rink and window shop before visiting Santa and buying the perfect gift.  As in the first book, the illustrations are large and lifelike, while the text is short and rhythmic.  Both books are great for reading aloud to one child or a group.  Enjoy!
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

THE SLOTH WHO SLOWED US DOWN by Margaret Wild.  Illus. by
Vivienne To. New York: Abrams, 2018  32p. ISBN 978-141973195-2 hc.
$16.99   Gr. K-3   E PIC

Amy's family rushed through life, cramming as many activities as possible
into each day.  Things began to change when she brought a sloth home
from the park.  Amy's parents encouraged the sloth to move a little faster,
but he took lots of time to clean up before dinner, even longer to eat, and
continued his slow pace while helping with the dishes.  Amy, being a
considerate person, immediately slowed down her level of activity to
accomodate the sloth, and soon her parents did too.  They seemed to enjoy
spending time together and decided to make some changes in their daily
schedule to slow down, following the example of sloth.  The illustrations
are vivid, expressing the slowness of the sloth against the flurry of activity
produced by Amy and her family.  The last page humorously portrays
sloth, who has moved next door to where he's needed most - with the new
"speediest family in the world."
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

THIRTY MINUTES OVER OREGON: A Japanese Pilot's World War II Story by Marc Tyler Nobleman.  Illus. by Melissa Iwai.  New York:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, 2018. 42p.  ISBN 978-0544430761 hc. $17.99    Gr.2-5   J940.54
After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, drawing the United States into World War II, the U.S. retaliated by bombing Tokyo, Japan’s largest city.  That led to another attack on the U.S. - this time a mission to start fires with bombs near the town of Brookings, Oregon.  This true story focuses on Nobuo Fujita, the pilot of that plane who catapulted his plane from a Japanese submarine and flew to the Oregon coast.  Although Fujita completed his bombing mission, only one bomb detonated and didn't burn very long in the wet forest.  The war ended in 1945, and Nobuo Fujita became a regular civilian, although he harbored some guilt about his part in wartime destruction.  The town of Brookings, however, invited him to a Memorial Day Festival to put old World War II resentment to rest.  He accepted the invitation, and began a 35 year journey of forgiveness and acceptance between the people of his home in Japan and his new friends in Oregon.  Over time, he donated money to the Brookings library for "children's books that celebrate other cultures" with the hope that understanding other people would prevent future conflict between cultures. Nobuo Fujita died in 1997 at the age of 85.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI