KIRKUS STARS & RECOMMENDATIONS

THE RACE by Édouard Manceau
Released: April 15, 2014

"Add this winsome fable to the shelves of slightly odd picture books. (Picture book. 4-7)"
It's not about running. It's not exactly about winning. But it is about a race—sort of. Read full book review >
QUEEN VICTORIA'S BATHING MACHINE by Gloria Whelan
Released: April 15, 2014

"A funny and intimate behind-the-scenes look at royal family life by the National Book Award–winning Whelan (Homeless Bird, 2000). (author's note, photo of actual bathing machine, bibliography, websites) (Picture book. 4-8)"
The Victorian era is often caricatured as a time of excessive modesty, and this buoyant, rhyming picture book highlights a royal example with affection and good humor. Read full book review >

FLIGHT SCHOOL by Lita Judge
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 15, 2014

"Though Penguin doesn't discover any of his own true talents, young listeners will probably empathize with wanting something so far out of reach. (Picture book. 3-5)"
A small round penguin with lofty aspirations finds success of a sort in a sweet, if slight, appreciation of the resourcefulness of teachers. Read full book review >
CENSORING QUEEN VICTORIA by Yvonne Ward
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"Rich in intrigue, Ward's book offers not only an enlightening look at the two men who defined Queen Victoria to the future, but also the ways that notions about gender influenced early-20th-century biographical portraiture."
An Australian historian's study of the two men who edited Queen Victoria's letters and how their methods and choices affected posterity's view of her. Read full book review >
UP AT BUTTERNUT LAKE by Mary McNear
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 2014

"Plot really isn't the point of books like these; it's about the characters, and McNear has admirably crafted people worth following."
The first in a homey, feel-good series, McNear's small-town tale offers lakeside views and likable characters. Read full book review >

HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: April 15, 2014

"Compelling childbirth narratives told from fresh perspectives."
Thirty-one female writers (including the editors) narrate their highly personal experiences of giving birth, beginning with the choices they made in advance, and how the reality compared with their expectations. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 15, 2014

"A disturbing, transformative text that veers toward essential reading."
A profoundly uncomfortable but provocative argument that "productive war" promotes greater safety, a decrease in violence and economic growth. Read full book review >
AMERICAN SMOKE by Iain  Sinclair
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"Melding reportage and memoir, this gossipy, idiosyncratic cultural history offers a fresh, unvarnished look at an eccentric, brash and dynamic cast of literary rebels."
An intrepid British writer takes to the road in search of the Beats. Read full book review >
STILWATER by Rafael de Grenade
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"A vivid, sweeping chronicle of the Australian Outback, as told by a lover of the land and its native fauna."
Rhapsodic meditation on country life by an American rancher in Australia. Read full book review >
POSTCARDS FROM COOKIE by Caroline Clarke
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"A captivating memoir about a daughter's reunion with her birth mother and the intricate consequences it had on both their lives."
Journalist Clarke's story of her discovery that her biological mother was Carol "Cookie" Cole, the daughter of Nat King Cole, a revelation that caused her to build a life-altering relationship with her through the exchange of letters, phone calls and postcards. Read full book review >
JOSEPH FIPPS by Nadine Robert
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 14, 2014

"A stormy clash between parent and child ends with sunshine and bird song. (Picture book. 4-6)"
A 5-year-old "all filled up with feelings" dreams of wings and walruses in this ruminative import. Read full book review >
THE LITTLE GIRL WHO FOUGHT THE GREAT DEPRESSION by John F. Kasson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2014

"Informative and well-researched, Kasson's work offers insight into one of Hollywood's most beloved entertainers, as well as the fascinating connection between politics and entertainment."
A cultural historian examines how the films of Shirley Temple (1928–2014) worked in tandem with New Deal politics to help Americans overcome the Great Depression. Read full book review >