KITTEN'S NAP by Kate Spohn
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 1998

"Spohn's illustrations are an intentionally naive set of images; she uses the thickness and opacity of the paint to convey the cuddly awkwardness of these young animals. (Board book. 1-3)"
A kitten tries and tries to take a cat nap but there are too many noisy interruptions; first a bee, then a chickadee. Read full book review >
BASHI, ELEPHANT BABY by Theresa Radcliffe
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 1998

"Butler's highly delineated wildlife studies lend a realism to each scene leading up to the rescue of Bashi, who is soon enveloped again in the comforting protection of the herd. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Characteristic of this British team's earlier collaborations (The Snow Leopard, 1994, not reviewed, etc.), danger in the wild lurks in the form of predators until safety can be restored, but this time a slight story takes a backseat to lifelike, illustrated, natural-history dioramas about an endangered baby elephant. Read full book review >

JEWELS by Belinda Rochelle
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 1, 1998

"This rosy memory piece paints a fond picture of intergenerational affection, cozily augmented with dappled watercolors; it's a sustaining, family-centered milieu, lovingly reflected in the misty-eyed, dreamy expressions on Lea Mae's and her relatives' faces. (Picture book. 5-8)"
African-American heritage and history is personally lauded in a summer of stories told to Lea Mae by her great-grandmother Lea Mae, or 'Ma dear, for whom she is named. Read full book review >
THE SINGING GEESE by Jan Wahl
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 1998

"The goose never looks cooked, or dead for that matter, with its head and neck rising above the pot of tomatoes and carrots; that suits this slightly surreal tale just fine. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Wahl (I Met a Dinosaur, p. 1396, etc.) retells a weird but funny story told, he says, by an old black man on a porch in West Virginia. Read full book review >
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

"An unfortunate effort in almost every respect. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A lilting Spanish text and its weak English counterpart relate a cumulative tale about the decorating of a tree, and provide a good argument against the use of bilingual texts. ``Look at the beautiful Christmas tree/with the bright candle/Grandma lit,/the candy cane/Grandpa hung,/and the sleigh/Uncle Irineo painted!'' cannot compare to ``¤QuÇ lindo el †rbol de Navidad/adornado con la vela/que encendi¢ Abuela,/con el caramelo/que le colg¢ Abuelo/y con el trineo/de t°o Irineo!'' These events are illustrated over several pages. Read full book review >

NONFICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

"The book is a sprightly, upbeat celebration. (Anthology. 2-6)"
A nifty compilation of Latin American songs and finger rhymes, some of them original, some recalled from Orozco's Mexican childhood, and some collected during tours in Latin America and Spain. Read full book review >
POETRY
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

"It's an odd production; Sandburg's sentiments and Lobel's heart and color sense are certainly all in the right place, but the result (with the book's title appearing on the back of the jacket) is fussy and bewildering. (Picture book/poetry. 3-6)"
In this poem, a near-abstract thing is given, the aurora borealis, to the writer's love, ``stretching high into the sky, that fine big stack of shimmering swimmering lights, that good old reliable aurora borealis.'' Lobel's interpretation owes something to Cooper Edens's If You're Afraid of the Dark, Remember the Night Rainbow, portraying the poetic lines literally so that the light show is depicted as a pile of bladders of color delivered to a woman's doorstep. Read full book review >
FIRST PALM TREES by James Berry
ANIMALS
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

"A rollicking, original read-aloud. (Picture book/folklore. 5-9)"
A prophet sees a vision of palm trees in a dream, and the king offers a great reward to anyone who can make them appear. Read full book review >
NOBODY LIKES ME! by Fay Weldon
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

"The happy ending, with overdue warmth between mother and child, rings true, despite the confusing set up, and Mu§oz provides raucous illustrations of parties to which every child would want to be invited. (Picture book. 5-9)"
In her first book for children, Weldon (Wicked Women, p. 417, etc.) tells the story of an angry young fellow: Rex tears up a party invitation, snarls at his mother, and splashes his sister before taking refuge under his bed. Read full book review >
ELF HELP by Margie Palatini
FANTASY
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

"It's unfortunate for children's sharp eyes that the computer mouse is missing from three of the four scenes in which a computer is shown, even in the spread that refers to it, and hard on young techies that the Web address boasted in the subtitle fails to lead to an actual site. (Picture book. 4-7)"
From Palatini (The Wonder Worm Wars, p. 1310, etc.), a tongue-twisting tangle of cyberspeak that mars an otherwise merry tale of a mailroom elf who wants Santa's workshop to upgrade, download, and become high tech. Read full book review >
PARKS ARE TO SHARE by Lee Sullivan Hill
NATURE
Released: Nov. 19, 1997

"A gallery of small photos of the parks featured provide extra information and some follow-up questions. (Nonfiction. 5-8)"
This handsome addition to the Building Blocks series introduces parks through a brief text and accompanying full-color photographs. Read full book review >
FOLLOWING THE SUN by Jenny Stow
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 12, 1997

"Furthering the appeal of the book is the personality demonstrated in the postures and expressions of the animals. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Stow, in counting-book form, depicts a notably peaceable kingdom, African animals in a gathering parade that follows the sun's course through the day. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Melissa Sweet
author of SOME WRITER!
September 26, 2016

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, two-time Caldecott Honor winner and 2014 Kirkus Prize finalist Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. “Like Charlotte, Sweet spins a terrific story,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A masterful biography that will enchant young readers.” View video >