Books by Lynne Avril Cravath

Released: Oct. 24, 2007

In this informative and entertaining offering, Cassels and Cravath give the traditional Christmas song a Louisiana twist. When Paul visits his cousin Rosalie in the bayou state, she gives him a "pelican in a cypress tree" and 11 other gifts with Louisiana flair, including hot sauce, marsh ducks, crawfish and riverboats. Each spread contains a letter from Paul to his parents in which he elaborates on the gift that Rosalie has given him that day. For example, on the tenth day of Christmas, when Rosalie gives Paul "10 frogs a-leaping," Paul writes to his Mom and Dad about the Rayne Frog Festival, detailing the rules of the frog-jumping contest held there each September. Cravath's bold and engaging illustrations combined with the format of this offering—the repetitive song on the right and the letter from Paul with its additional information on the left—make it a good choice for read-alouds as well as for individual enjoyment. (state facts and famous figures, author's note) (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-9)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

In the note to parents that precedes this chatty offering, Saltz says, "By [ages seven to ten, children] know that the sperm is in Daddy and the egg is in Mommy, so naturally they are wondering, ‘How does one get to the other?' " The answer is here, in nicely anatomically cross-sectioned detail, along with an introduction to the changes that come with puberty leading up to the egg-and-sperm moment, and a brief discussion of the pregnancy that may well follow. In both its address to parents and children, the text is appropriately reassuring and matter-of-fact (much care is taken to use medical vocabulary for genitalia), although much is missing. There is no discussion of birth control or STDs, and it assumes a values system in which sexual intercourse and having babies are linked, without marriage as a prerequisite. Cravath's cartoon illustrations are accurate and amusing, and take some care to depict a multiethnic cast. In comprehensiveness, frankness and warmth, however, the whole cannot hold a candle to the Robie H. Harris/Michael Emberley trio of sex-ed books and must therefore be considered an additional purchase. (Nonfiction. 6-12)Read full book review >
LOVE, RUBY VALENTINE by Laurie Friedman
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

With a name like Ruby Valentine, how could a girl not love Valentine's Day? To prepare, Ruby and her pet bird embark on a mission. They make glittery cards and heart-shaped cookies. They create goody bags, curl ribbons, wrap gifts and load up the wagon. Ruby decides on an outfit, fixes her hair and falls asleep, exhausted. Unfortunately, she snoozes for 24 hours straight, and when she awakes, she is bereft—it's a day too late to tell everyone that she loves them. Her bird convinces her that the townspeople won't mind that she's behind schedule, so Ruby valiantly sets out, full of apologies, to distribute her cards and gifts. When she realizes that no one is upset in the least, Ruby vows to express her love throughout the year and make good on her promise. Engaging watercolors depict Ruby on her quest, and though the sugary rhymed text is at times a bit cloying, Ruby herself is a charming heroine. A Valentine's offering as sweet as candy. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >