BUDDHA by Susan L. Roth
RELIGION
Released: May 1, 1994

"A handsome book, apparently the only one on Buddha at this level. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4-10)"
Buddha's early life as Prince Siddhartha—the prophecy that caused his father to protect him from the world's woes lest he become a holy man; his discovery, nonetheless, of old age, disease, and death. Read full book review >
CHASKA AND THE GOLDEN DOLL by Ellen Alexander
HISTORY
Released: May 1, 1994

"A likable, useful contribution. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4-8)"
The true story of how one Andean village was able to fund a school. Read full book review >

SLEEPY KITTENS by Jill Leman
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 1994

"Just right for a toddler's bedtime. (Picture book. 1-4)"
While a neatly phrased rhyme enumerates the places three differently colored kittens can be found napping (``Under Mommy's sewing,/All over Granny's hat,/Snuggling next to Fido,/Or across a cuddly lap''), boldly stylized illustrations depict them snoozing, ``but never in their special box,/They're always where they shouldn't be,/Even in my bed with me. Read full book review >
THE HUMMINGBIRD'S GIFT by Stefan Czernecki
ANIMALS
Released: April 28, 1994

"Note. (Picture book. 4-9)"
Inspired by the Tarascan Indian custom of weaving delicate straw figures for holidays, this tale explains how the people of Tzintzuntzan, Mexico, learned to make them. Read full book review >
GILLY MARTIN THE FOX by Mollie Hunter
ANIMALS
Released: April 28, 1994

"A lively and attractive offering. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-10)"
As Hunter notes, this is ``a much-condensed but nevertheless faithful retelling'' of a Scottish Highland tale, recorded in Gaelic and published in English in 1860. Read full book review >

GRANDPA'S HOUSE by Harvey Stevenson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 28, 1994

"The author's pen-and-watercolor illustrations nicely capture the warmth of this special relationship and its shared pleasures. (Picture book. 3-8)"
A realistic account of a little boy's visit to his grandpa's home, distinguished by some imaginative touches (Grandpa names a sandbar ``Woody's island'' because it ``goes away and then always comes back again, just like you do'') and the fact that this Grandpa is modeled on the author's father, author-illustrator James Stevenson. Read full book review >
LISTEN TO THE DESERT/OYE AL DESIERTO by Pat Mora
ANIMALS
Released: April 18, 1994

"An attractive book for introducing the desert- -and a second language—to young children. (Picture book. 2-7)"
A very simple text, with each line (``Listen to coyote call, ar-ar-aooo, ar-ar-aooo/El coyote canta, ah£££, ah£££, ah£££''; ``Listen to the wind spin, zoom, zoom, zoom...'') repeated twice in English plus twice in Spanish, becomes a rhythmic, lyrical bilingual chant suggesting the onomatopoeic powers of both tongues. Read full book review >
I'M THE BOSS! by Elizabeth Winthrop
ANIMALS
Released: April 15, 1994

"Delightful. (Picture book. 2-6)"
The subject is clout, and how it's acquired. ``Julia [of Asleep in a Heap, 1993] was not the boss of anything or anybody and she didn't like it.'' Her parents tell her what to eat; her big sister orders her to scram; even her toddler sib hollers when she feels imposed on. Read full book review >
ASHPET by Joanne Compton
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: April 15, 1994

"Good source note. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-9)"
The Comptons' ``Ashpet'' differs less from Richard Chase's version of this Cinderella variant than their Jack the Giant Chaser (1993) diverged from Chase's parallel tale; here, they simply change the ``witch-woman'' to an old neighbor called ``Granny'' and the king's son (a standard character in these mountain tales) to a doctor's son and omit Ashpet's further persecution and the punishment of the perpetrators, after her wedding. Read full book review >
THE GYPSIES' TALE by Ethel Pochocki
ANIMALS
Released: April 15, 1994

"A perfect antidote to the abusive relationship in Silverstein's The Giving Tree. (Picture book. 5-10)"
In their youth, the gypsy couple settles in a cottage by a cherry tree (``when they sat beneath it and the petals fell like April snow...they could hardly speak for the sudden beauty of it''). Read full book review >
ON CAT MOUNTAIN by Françoise Richard
ANIMALS
Released: April 13, 1994

"A handsome presentation of a satisfying tale. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-9)"
Sho, servant in the house of a ``nasty'' woman with a face ``as sour as spoiled milk,'' has but one friend: a black cat she calls Secret. Read full book review >
GOOD NIGHT, GORILLA by Peggy Rathmann
ANIMALS
Released: April 13, 1994

"Delightful. (Picture book. 3-7)"
As the sleepy keeper bids him good night, Gorilla snitches his keys; then he creeps after him, letting the other animals out. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >