Monday, September 28, 2020

PLAYING POSSUM by Jennifer Black Reinhardt. New York: Clarion Books, 2020.  32p.  ISBN 978-1328782700 hc. $17.99     Gr. K-2     E PIC

If you know an anxious child or adult, give them this book.  It's about Alfred, a possum afraid of everything.  Since he froze in place when confronted with every new situation , as opossums do, he was too afraid to make friends.  One day Alfred met Sofia, an anxious armadillo who curled up into a ball upon meeting him, as armadillos do.  Once they realized they both had nervous personalities, they relaxed with each other.  They also reached out to the turtle, skunk, and porcupine, who also used protective behaviors to keep others at a distance.  With patience and kindness, Alfred and Sofia made a lot of new friends.  The Author's Note and Glossary of interesting animals at the back of the book give readers insight about why the author chose these animals to write a story about compassion.  Reinhardt also did the vivid watercolor and ink illustrations that add beauty and humor to the story.

Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Monday, September 21, 2020

 LOUIS by Tom Lichtenheld. Illus. by Julie Rowan-Zoch.  New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020.  32p.  ISBN 978-1328498069 hc. $17.99      PreS-Gr. 2   E PIC

Think back on all the things a teddy bear does with its owner.  It's carried around the house and yard, gets dirty, has to be washed and dried, and needs to be patched up when life gets tough.  Louis has had enough!  There are plans for a getaway, but those plans are ruined every time one of the children appreciates their much-loved teddy bear.  What will Louis decide to do?  The colorful, creative illustrations look hand-drawn, but were done on an iPad.  They're large enough for a reading aloud in front of a group, and add an element of humor to the story.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Monday, September 14, 2020


I DREAM OF A JOURNEY by Akiko Miyakoshi. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2020.  32p.  ISBN 978-1525304781 hc. $16.99     Gr. K-3     E PIC

The hotelkeeper welcomes guests from all over the world.  They tell him stories of their adventures and send postcards from international travel destinations.  Each night he dreams of what it would be like to “get on a plane and travel from one new place to another.”  In the morning, he awakes and resumes his job at the hotel.  What would people think if he left in the night and didn’t show up for work?  Could he do it?  There are lots of questions at the end of the story that may serve as jumping-off points for writing a new ending.  Although readers may be able to change the course of the story, they’ll hardly be able to match the soft colors and hazy images that make the illustrations so beautiful.  This book is perfect for a read-aloud and discussion.

Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI  

Monday, September 7, 2020

 THE GIRL AND THE DINOSAUR by Hollie Hughes.  Illus. by Sarah Massini.  New York:  Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2020. 32p.  ISBN 978-154760322-0 hc. $17.99     PreS-Gr. 2     E PIC

Zoom in on a small girl on the beach of a fishing village, digging for dinosaur bones and piecing them together on the sand.  When assembly is complete, she names him “Bony,” and promises to return the next day.  Before bedtime, she submits a wish to the night sky that Bony would come to life.  He does, and arrives at her window to take her to a” magical moonlit island” in the clouds where they meet other children and their magical dinosaurs.  As the adventure ends, and the children return to their beds, their dreams are filled with magic.  The beautiful watercolor illustrations are enhanced by collage prints that create texture, adding to the dreamlike quality of each image.  This book is perfect for lovers of dinosaurs and fantasy.

Lynette Suckow, Superioland Preview Center, Marquette, MI