Tuesday, October 27, 2020

NOTHING IN COMMON by Kate Hoefler. Illus. by Corinna Luyken. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020.  ISBN 978-054477478-0 hc. $17.99     Gr. K-2     E PIC

Two neighbors had nothing in common, so they never greeted each other.  But they both liked to watch the old man and his dog.  One day the dog was lost and they each noticed how sad the old man was.  They searched high and low for the dog, first separately, then together.   Together, they found the dog and returned him to the old man, who was so happy to see him.  The neighbors were happy too, because they discovered they had a lot in common.  Luyken also wrote and illustrated MY HEART, which is a similar story of character accompanied by gentle images.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Monday, October 19, 2020

MAD ABOUT PLAID by Jill McElmurry. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020.  32p.  ISBN 978-035817244-4 hc. $17.99     PreS - Gr. 2     E PIC

If you find a small plaid purse in the park, don't pick it up or sing "Piddly-Diddly-Doo!"  Madison did, and soon noticed that her clothing became plaid - even her hat and shoes.  Her mother, a nurse, soon determined that the problem was the very contagious plaid curse, which spread throughout the house and slipped outside to infect the whole town.  Madison, determined to reverse the curse, used the purse and her silly song to finish the job. If the colors and drawing style of this rollicking story remind you of THE LITTLE BLUE TRUCK, it's because McElmurry, who died in 2017, was also the illustrator of that series. 
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Monday, October 12, 2020

 SWASHBY AND THE SEA by Beth Ferry. Illus. by Juana Martinez-Neal.  New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020 32p. ISBN 978-0-544707375 hc. $17.99     Gr. K-2     E PIC

Captain Swashby finally retired to the beach, after spending a lifetime at sea.  He planned a peaceful retirement there - just him and the ocean.  That plan was interrupted by new neighbors who set up their beach umbrellas and toys on the beach next to his dock.  He wrote unwelcoming messages in the sand to scare them off, but the waves washed away some of the letters and transformed the unkind words into fun phrases.  The neighbors were convinced that Swashby was a great guy.  It took an emergency to make Swashby realize that it might not be so bad to have friends.  Although the book is smaller than a normal picture book, the illustrations have soft and textured backgrounds with distinctive, expressive main characters that let readers know exactly what they're thinking.

Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Monday, October 5, 2020

THE FARM THAT MAC BUILT by Tammi Sauer. Illus by Jackie Urbanovic. New York: Clarion Books, 2020. ISBN 978-0544113138 hc. $17.99.     PreS - Gr. 1      E PIC

This combination of "Old MacDonald" and "The House that Jack Built" is a blockbuster!  Welcome to Animal Theater, a spectacular line-up of farm animals who are performers at heart.  Soon the performances by pigs, cows, horses, sheep, and chickens are interrupted by circus and zoo animals who definitely do not belong on the farm.  Hilarity reigns at this farm theater production, and doesn't stop until the last page.  The watercolor illustrations are vibrant and stretch to full-page spreads.  There's a lot of detail to see on every fun-filled page. 

Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI