Tuesday, May 31, 2022

DAYS LIKE THIS by Oriane Smith. Illus by Alice Gravier.  Varennes, Quebec, Canada: Milky Way Picture Books, 2022.  40p.  ISBN: 978-199025209-9 hc. $18.99     PreS- Gr. 3      E PIC

Smith phrases a beautiful nature poem to fit each line on a page of its own.  The illustrator steps in with large portraits framed by the pages to give opposing perspectives from a human point of view and a squirrel's point of view, often from high in the treetop.  The poem gently takes readers through days and seasons in a woodsy backyard that has peaceful moments, but also shows what can happen when a storm passes through the area.  This book would be a great read-aloud, leading to questions and discussion on a personal or classroom level.  The cover art is eye-popping.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

ME, MOTH by Amber McBride. New York: Feiwel & Friends, 2021.  256p.  ISBN 9781250780379 hc. $14.99    Gr. 6-12     JUV FIC

Readers will find themselves immersed in this "book in verse" that uses metaphors and similes so effectively, the phrases create visuals as they are read.  Moth is a loner of sorts, living with her aunt and keeping to herself as she grives her family who was killed in a car crash.  Everything changes when she meets Sani on the bus ride home from school.  Sani is half Navajo and has a spirituality that attracts Moth from the start.  He also adheres to a schedule of prescription pills that give him focus and grounds him in reality.  When Sani decides to drive cross country to visit his father in New Mexico, Moth takes the opportunity to travel with him.  On the reservation, Sani and Moth share their visions and try to figure out why they feel they have met before.  Readers will do a double take when Sani's father provides the answers they seek. It's easy to see why MOTH was a finalist for the 2021 National Book Awad for Young People's Literature.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

IF YOU MISS ME by Jocelyn Li Langrand.  New York:  Orchard Books, 2021.  32p.  ISBN 978-133868069-0 hb. $18.99      Gr. K-3      JUV

Charlie and her grandma both loved to dance.  Charlie took dance lessons because it was her passion, and Grandma watched from the sidelines, full of encouragement for the young dancer.  They spent summers together, but Charlie had to return to home each year for school.  They hated separating, so Grandma always said, "If you miss me, look at the moon. I will do the same."  When Grandma passed away, Charlie was full of sadness, even with the prospect of a big performance around the corner.  Lucky for her, the moon was visible from the performance hall window, reminding Charlie that her grandma was always with her.  This book provides a gentle way for children to deal with grief from the loss of a family member or friend.  Langrand enriches her story with expressive illustrations created digitally.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

LITTLE PEA'S DRAWING SCHOOL by Davide Cali. Illus. by Sebastien Mourrain.   Varennes, Quebec, Canada: Milky Way Picture Books, 2022.  32p.  ISBN 978-199025207-5 hc. $15.99    Gr. K-2     E PIC

Everyone recognized Little Pea's artistic abilities.  He drew flowers, trees, mountains, and bugs.  Since he already encouraged his friends to draw, they suggested that he open a drawing school.  His friends all signed up for classes.  Each had a talent for their own brand of art, except for Tarantula, who filled his paper with dots.  Little Pea took the group to an art museum to inspire his students to hold their own art exhibit back home.  The students did well, but guess who stole the show?  Readers could learn a new art technique, resulting in some home or classroom dot drawings.  
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

SLOW DOWN...IN THE PARK by Freya Hartas.  New York: Magic Cat Publishing, 2021. 12p.  ISBN 978-141976146-1 bb. $9.99     PreS-K   Board Book

Part of the series of Calming Nature Stories for Little Ones, Hartas features six parts of the natural world to read about.  She places a paragraph of basic information on the left page, while telling the same story in graphic panels on the right.  It's easy to follow and could be used to prepare young readers for graphic novels that will come their way later on.  The first page features ducks, with illustrations reminiscent of Robert McCloskey's art in MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS.  The heavy duty board book format is great for toddlers to pick up and read independently.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI