Tuesday, March 29, 2022

 HUSH, LITTLE TRUCKER by Kim Norman. Illus. by Toshiki Nakamura.  New York: Abrams Appleseed, 2021.  32p.    PreS - Gr. 1     E PIC

Young readers will learn about trucks and service vehicles to the words of the classic lullaby, "Hush, Little Baby."  When a favorite toy truck becomes buried in the snow, Mama steps in and visualizes the various vehicles they could use to rescue the toy truck.  They start out in a jeep and work their was through a forklift, a dump truck, a backhoe, and more, until they decide on the best way to get their toy truck out of the deep snow.  The illustrations are composed of wintry colors that beautifully show the sparse landscape amid falling snow.  
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

ALSO by E.B. Goodale. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2022. 32p. ISBN 978-035815394-8 hc. $17.99     Gr. 1-4    E PIC

The narrator begins with drawing herself standing in the blueberry bushes near her grandmother's house, which triggers childhood memories of camping nearby.  From the blueberry bushes she looks through the window at her grandmother, who is also remembering her days as a little girl in that same yard.  Those blueberry bushes also initiate her mother's memories of picking blueberries with her sister.  Even the cat has memories of being a kitten in that same place.  The idea of the book is to treasure the present while remembering the past.  This is an abstract idea aimed at a young audience, but could lead to discussion in a classroom or at home.  The illustrations are helpful at cuing readers to memories by using shades of purple to denote the past.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

THE NEW FRIEND by Charlotte Zolotow. Illus. by Benjamin Chaud. Canada: Milky Way Picture Books, 2021.  ISBN 978-1-99025201-3 hc. $17.99     PreS - Gr.3    E PIC

Readers are introduced to the main character and her best friend, "a dear friend with long brown hair."  They have a wonderful day together, hiking in the woods, reading books, and snacking on apples from the branches of a tree.  The next day, our girl is in disbelief as she spots her friend doing all their favorite activities with a new friend.  She grieves by crying all day and night, but has a dream that she moves on and also finds a new friend.  The pain of losing a friend, at any age, is verified by the author, making this story perfect for reading at home and in the classroom. Chaud's watercolor and gouache illustrations freshen up the story with vibrant, colorful full page spreads of the friends interacting with each other and nature.  The text was originally published in 1968 and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully.  It's a book that meets the test of time.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

HURRICANE SUMMER by Asha Bromfield.  New York: St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2021. 375p. ISBN 978-125-62223-5 hc. $18.99    Gr. 9-12     YA FIC

Tilla is visiting Jamaica, her father's homeland, for the first time in ten years.  She is longing for her father's approval and goes down all the wrong paths to find it.  Upon arrival, Tilla and Mia's father greets them and leaves them in the care of his extended family, who live in the countryside.  Nine year-old Mia has no problem connecting with the family, but Tilla is the object of jealousy by her cousin Diana, who resents her Canadian middle-class upbringing, tells lies about her and plays dangerous tricks on her.  Driven to find friendship with some of her male cousins and friends, she makes typical teen bad choices while rumors of promiscuity begin to circulate.  As Tilla unwittingly finds out the truth behind her father's behavior, as well as Diana, Aunt Herma and Aunt Adele, she puts the pieces together, taking into account the culture and poverty of her Jamaican family.  At the same time, a hurricane hits the island and causes destruction everywhere.  Tilla also feels that she's experienced a personal hurricane destroying the beliefs she grew up with, prompting her to cut off the toxic relationships she experienced over the summer.  The physical and emotional events of the summer will allow her to build a new resilience within herself.  This book begins with a Patois Word Bank to help American readers connect with the dialect used by native Jamaican speakers.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

MR. FILKINS IN THE DESERT by Quentin Blake.  New York, TATE Publishing / Abrams Books, 2021.  32p.  ISBN 978-1-84976750-7 lib. $17.99      Gr. K-2      E PIC

Emphasizing the importance of water, Blake sets this story in the desert where water is scarce.  Mr. Filkins sets off through the desert on a journey to his 90th birthday party.  On the way, he avoids two terrifying creatures, the snerg and the clutterbunk, but comes face to face with the "fearsome zagobert."  However, this ominous beast was laid out flat on the ground from dehydration.  The old man shared his water, reviving the zagobert, who grabbed him and flew him the rest of the way to his destination.  The party welcomed everyone by serving lots of cake, accompanied by lots of water.  The final illustration shows Mr. Filkins and the zagobert celebrating with several glasses of this precious resource.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI