Monday, April 26, 2021

GET UP, ELIZABETH!: Even a Queen Must Get Out of Bed by Shirin Yim Bridges. Illus. by Alea Marley. Petaluma, CA: Cameron Books, 2020. 32p. ISBN 978-194490394-7 hc. $16.95    Gr. K-2   E PIC

A mass of curls on a fluffy pillow greets readers, as rays of sun beam through the window. It's time for Elizabeth to get up, put on her stockings, wash her face and brush her teeth in most unusual ways, add a stiff petticoat, and sew on a collar.  Now she's ready to make an appearance at the royal court, because she's really Queen Elizabeth of England, as a child. Getting dressed in fashionable clothing of the 1500s was quite a chore, as explained at the end of the book.  Marley's boldly colored illustrations charmingly document the process.  Another notable book about period dress is SARAH MORTON'S DAY: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl by Kate Waters (1989).
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

BLADES OF FREEDOM by Nathan Hale. New York: Amulet Books, Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series, 2020. 127p. ISBN 978-141974691-8 hc. $13.99    Gr. 4-6   JFIC

In this witty jaunt through history, Nathan Hale and a Ninja Turtle look-alike spin the Louisiana Purchase Wheel of History to cover each piece of the the complicated events and people who played a part in the largest land deal of all time.  Two major players were Napolean Bonaparte of France and a legendary leader of a slave uprising in the French colony of Haiti.  The book's end papers show a map of North America in 1802, depicting the United States occupying land east of the Mississippi, Louisiana Territory (owned by France) stretching to the Rocky Mountains, and Spain owning everything else, including Mexico.  Present day Canada belonged to England, showing the dominance of England, Spain, and France in the 1700's.  Historic events come to life through the comic book style of storytelling, impressive in shades of teal and gray.  As with all Hazardous Tales, the author infuses a generous amount of silly humor to make the stories memorable for young readers.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Monday, April 12, 2021

HERE AND NOW by Julia Denos. Illus. by E.B. Goodale. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019. 32p. ISBN 978-132846564-1 hc. $17.99    PreS – Gr. 2    E PIC

Starting with the author’s note at the end of the book, readers will learn that the words are brief and meditative in nature.  Don’t rush.  Just read, turn the pages, and breathe in and out to experience the moment.  To accompany the relaxing verbiage, the illustrator has cleverly incorporated a repeating image of a book within a book, book covers from this author/illustrator team, an impressive cutaway of above and below ground level, and ripples in a reflecting pool.  Readers will want to  enjoy the perfect combination of text and illustration by reading it over and over again.  
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 

Monday, April 5, 2021

SYDNEY & TAYLOR EXPLORE THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD by Jacqueline Davies. Illus. by Deborah Hocking. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021. 79p. ISBN 978-0358106319 hc. $14.99 Gr. 2-3 JUV

What do you say to your best friend who wants to "see more of the whole wide world?" 
 Sydney, who was used to creature comforts such as a reliable food source and a cozy
home, pushed his limits aside and said, "Then we will."  Thus began the journey from the 
burrow, into the sunlight, past Miss Nancy's House, and beyond.  The delightful pair didn't 
pack lunch, due to miscommunication, and decided to hunt frogs - a first-time experience
for them both.  As they were negotiating with their prey, a bouncy dog scared them. 
Taylor rolled into a ball, as hedgehogs do, while Sydney had to bring on the skunk spray.  
Bigger danger awaited them as a truck came down the road, stopping only when
Miss Nancy waved the truck down.  The duo returned home to reminisce about the
adventure.  Maybe, someday, they'll write a book.  In fact, SYDNEY & TAYLOR TAKE 
A FLYING LEAP will be published in August 2021.  Happy reading!
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI