Monday, January 25, 2021

MONSTER AND BOY by Hannah Barnaby. Illus. by Anoosha Syed.  New York: First Second Books, 2020. 132p.  ISBN 978-125021783-7 hc. $13.99   Gr. 1-3   JFIC

What happens when a monster is marginalized because parents tell their children that monsters are not real?  From the monster's point of view, he surprised himself by swallowing the boy who was going to scream for his parents.  He finally burped up the boy, who was a fraction of his original size and needed looking after.  Thus began the adventure of a monster and a boy, trying all kinds of ideas to make the boy large again.  They have escapades throughout the house and run-in with the little sister, before falling asleep and affirming that monsters are real after all.  Syed sprinkles imaginative, half-page illustrations throughout this short chapter book.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Monday, January 18, 2021

I AM EVERY GOOD THING by Derrick Barnes, Illus. by Gordon C. James. New York:
Nancy Paulsen Books, 
2020. 32p. ISBN 978-0525518778 hc. $17.99     Gr. K-2     E PIC

Barnes is a master of creative adjectives, similes, and metaphors that can be used to describe 
a person.  How many ways can you describe yourself?  Readers can answer this question by 
thinking about all the interests they have and their aspirations for the future.  Barnes lyrically 
describes his character in sports terms, musical terms, and genealogical terms for starters.  
The verse is accompanied by striking oil paintings of people in action, doing all the things
mentioned in the book.  Both the author and illustrator have won several awards for their 
outstanding work in children's literature.  It's outstanding!
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Monday, January 11, 2021

JONAS HANWAY'S SCURRILOUS, SCANDALOUS, SHOCKINGLY SENSATIONAL UMBRELLA by Josh Crute.  Illus by Eileen Ryan Ewen.  Salem, MA:  Page Street Publishing, 2020. 42p. ISBN 978-1624148859 hc. $18.99     Gr. 1-3     J 609.2

Learn the history of the umbrella through the personal story of its English promoter, Jonas Hanway.  In 1750, covered coaches were used by the English gentry to keep dry when it rained, while poor people used umbrellas, because they could afford little more.  Jonas was tired of getting wet in the rainy climate and embarked on extensive travel, discovering that people all over the world used umbrellas to shield themselves from rain and bright sun.  He boldly began a trend of taking the umbrella with him around London, and actually using it, even though the act was below his social status. A Brief History of Umbrellas follows a paragraph about Jonas Hanway.  The alliterative text rolls off the reader’s tongue, and the rhyming vocabulary is charming.  The text is witty and sparse to make room for the glorious ink and watercolor illustrations that transport readers back in time to merry old England.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Monday, January 4, 2021

NOTHING IN COMMON by Kate Hoefler. Illus by Corinna Luyken.  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020.  34p.  ISBN# 9780544774780  hc. $17.99  PreS - Gr. 2  E PIC

Review:  Story of two neighbors who don’t have anything in common on the surface.  But they join forces to search for a missing dog (who is amazing!) Illustrations are city oriented but they have a nice timeless quality.  This is a good read aloud book both for the story and for the values.  It shows that even people that seem very different on the surface can find that they often have something in common.
Amanda Winnicki Menominee County Library