KIRKUS STARS & RECOMMENDATIONS

THE BIG BOOK OF SLUMBER by Giovanna Zoboli
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 18, 2014

"Mary Logue's Sleep Like a Tiger, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski (2013), and Mem Fox's classic Time for Bed, illustrated by Jane Dyer (1993), explore the same territory with greater success. (Picture book. 3-6)"
In the crowded field of won't-you-please-go-to-sleep books, this visually pleasing but awkwardly rhymed story fails to forge any new paths into dreamland. Read full book review >
BIG FAT DISASTER by Beth Fehlbaum
Released: April 18, 2014

"Colby's experiences, while extreme, ring true, and the fast pace, lively and profane dialogue, and timely topic make it a quick and enjoyable read. (Fiction. 12-16)"
Colby's life as the heavy daughter of a disapproving former Miss Texas beauty queen is difficult enough, but it gets worse very quickly once she discovers a photo of her politician father kissing another woman. Read full book review >

BOOM, SNOT, TWITTY by Doreen Cronin
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 17, 2014

"Serene, quietly joyous and utterly life-affirming. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Three friends with different philosophies spend a companionable day together, crocheting and weathering storms. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: April 16, 2014

"Part true crime, part neuroscience and a page-turner from start to finish."
Can the tendency for criminally psychopathic behaviors be identified by analyzing neurological images? If so, what consequence does this have for science and society? Read full book review >
GAIJIN by Matt Faulkner
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 15, 2014

"An accessible account about a dark—and still too-little-known—moment in American history. (author's note, resources) (Graphic historical fiction. 9-12)"
After the United States enters World War II, a half-Japanese teen and his white mother find themselves interned at the Alameda Downs Assembly Center. Read full book review >

POPULAR by Maya Van Wagenen
Released: April 15, 2014

"A fascinating and unusual slice-of-life work whose humor will best be appreciated by younger teens. (Memoir. 12-16)"
An interesting and earnest memoir of a social experiment conducted by a contemporary eighth-grader who follows the advice in a popularity guide written for 1950s-era teens and blogged the experience for one school year. Read full book review >
BRAVO, CHICO CANTA! BRAVO! by Pat Mora
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 15, 2014

"Food for thought for monolingual mouselings—not to mention their parents and teachers. (afterword) (Picture book/folk tale. 5-8)"
A little mouse's foreign-language skills save his family from a cat in this mother-daughter debut. Read full book review >
JUST SO STORIES by Rudyard Kipling
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 15, 2014

"A triumph. (Short stories. 5 & up)"
Wallace follows up his first volume of reillustrated Kipling pourquois tales (2013) with its companion. Read full book review >
THE AXE FACTOR by Colin Cotterill
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 15, 2014

"Jimm's third case (Granddad, There's a Head on the Beach, 2012, etc.) continues her evolution from inveterate wisecracker to believably flawed and funny heroine. The result is a perfect balance between droll comedy and serious plotting."
Restless reporter teams up with veteran crime writer of questionable character to solve a series of disappearances. Can it possibly turn out well? Read full book review >
DEAD PEOPLE by Ewart Hutton
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 15, 2014

"This second outing for Hutton's half-Welsh, half-Italian detective (Good People, 2013) is a disgraced-cop procedural that provides plenty of local color and plot twists."
A surfeit of skeletons versus a cop with a mind of his own. Read full book review >
THE VOODOO BREAST by Eve Wallinga
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 2014

"The Big Easy stars in this affecting novel about a couple's unusual route to redemption."
A paranormal novel set in jazz-filled New Orleans. Read full book review >
THE FOUNDLING BOY by Michel Déon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 2014

"Mature, relaxed storytelling, balancing human nature with historical inevitability; a pleasure for traditionalists generally and Francophiles in particular."
Only the second novel by this distinguished French writer to be translated into English: An affectionate slice of provincial life captures the coming of age of a 20th-century soul. Read full book review >