Wednesday, October 27, 2021

A TRUE WONDER: The Comic Book Hero Who Changed Everything by Kirsten W. Larson. Illus. by Katy Wu.  Hew York: Clarion Books, 2021.  40p.  ISBN 978-035823842-3 hc. $17.99     Gr. 2-5     J741.5973 LA

When comics books began to sell in 1941, the artists were all men and the superheros were also men.  When All-American Comics heard the idea for Wonder Woman, the boss decided to give it a try.  The children who read about Wonder Woman loved the stories, now written by a woman, and asked for more.  After all, women stepped up to do non-traditional jobs during World War II when most men became soldiers. However, men wanted their jobs back after the war, women were demoted, and job opportunities disappeared.  The 1960's brought women's rights issues to the forefront of politics, paving the way for smart, strong women to enter the workforce once more.  Wonder Woman followed suit over the years and remained a superhero for all, but especially young girls and women.  By researching the history of a comic book character, the politics of equality and opportunity get a closer look, as well.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

MORE THAN SUNNY by Shelley Johannes. New York: Abrams Books, 2021. 48p. ISBN 978-141974181-4 hc. $18.99     PreS - Gr.2     E PIC

When big sister knocks on little brother's door to wake him up, readers know it will lead to a day of adventure....and wordplay.  Visit a pond full of ducks to change the day from "sunny and mucky" to "sunny and ducky."  The siblings lead their readers through summer sunshine and rain to a "windy and squirrely" fall; then a "snowy and swirly" winter.  Young writers will expand their vocabulary, while enjoying the freedom to transform words into rhyming phrases.  If the text isn't already wonderful enough for the perfect read-aloud book, the illustrations are eye-popping, with the siblings' bold stroke hairstyles and huge smiles.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

BIRD HOUSE by Blanca Gomez.  New York: Abrams Books, 2021.  32p. ISBN 978-141974408-2 hc. $17.99     PreS - Gr. 1     E PIC

Solid geometric figures and patterned backgrounds enhance the sparse text of a thoughtful story about a young girl and her abuela.  On a winter's day walk in the park, they found an injured bird and took it home to heal.  The young girl, who adored her grandmother anyway, loved the adventure of restoring the bird to good health.  They set the bird free and life went back to normal.  Months later, the bird returned and the girl asked to keep it, but her abuela said, "No darling, the bird doesn't belong to us."  Readers will experience a tug to their heartstrings and a reminder that wildlife needs to be wild.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

THE GIRL FROM THE SEA by Molly Knox Ostertag. New York: Graphix, 2021.  245p.  ISBN 978-133854057-4 hc. $14.99    Gr. 8-12    Y.A. Graphic

Typical of teens raised on an island or small town, Morgan wanted to finish high school and leave her life behind.  Why was she so desperate to put space between herself and her loved ones?  Because she had a secret - she was gay.  Then she met a special girl who saved her from drowning and also had a secret - she was a selkie from the sea and Morgan's kiss allowed her to leave the sea in human form.  As Morgan helps Keltie navigate dry land and learn human ways, there are some comedic moments.  The girls devise a plan to re-route an excursion boat away from its usual course near a seal rookery where Keltie lived previously.  An act of heroism sends Keltie back to the sea for seven years, but the girls both know that destiny will reunite them.  The graphic interpretation of this story is laid out well for a large range of readers.  
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI  49855