ALLEN JAY AND THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Marlene Targ Brill
HISTORY
Released: June 30, 1993

"Note; afterword. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 5-10)"
In the ``On My Own'' series, a straightforward story based on a childhood incident recorded in Jay's autobiography. Read full book review >
ADDIE'S BAD DAY by Joan Robins
FICTION
Released: June 30, 1993

"A particularly amiable take on a lively friendship. (Easy reader. 4-8)"
In her third appearance, a tight-capped Addie delivers Max's present but explains that she can't come to his party. Read full book review >

WHEN SUMMER COMES by Robert Maass
TIME & SEASONS
Released: June 21, 1993

"Splendid. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 3-9)"
In a companion to When Autumn Comes (1990), Maass captures another season's essence in outstanding photos. Read full book review >
IN THE BACK SEAT by Deborah Durland DeSaix
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 16, 1993

"A charming, nostalgic reminder of a time when cars moved slowly enough along back roads for kids to spot cows, or even cobwebs. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The family's no sooner settled in its 50's sedan for the trip to Aunt Penelope's farm than Jeffrey asks, ``Are we there yet?'' Luckily for him (and his parents), big sister Ariel rises splendidly to the occasion with a fantastical tale about a girl and ``her pesky little brother,'' with each event in her story (pictured in full-bleed art) suggested by things Ariel spies on the way (seen in vignettes on the facing text pages). Read full book review >
THE BOY AND THE GIANT by Fiona Moodie
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: June 16, 1993

"An attractive new setting for a proven story formula. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8)"
``Based on a little-known folktale from the Scottish Hebrides,'' a tale of a boy whose kindness to animals is rewarded when they help him rescue a friend. Read full book review >

CALEB'S FRIEND by Eric Jon Nones
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: June 16, 1993

"Handsomely wrought, but a bit ponderous with significance. (Picture book. 5-10)"
When Caleb drops his beloved harmonica overboard, it's returned by a pale, lank-haired, monochromatic boy—a sea creature whose elegant fish tail can be seen when he turns a joyous somersault, and who reappears when Caleb plays the harmonica again. Read full book review >
STORY OF A DOLPHIN by Katherine Orr
ANIMALS
Released: June 11, 1993

"A charming account, illustrated with stylized, decorative paintings that beautifully evoke the luminous colors of the Caribbean and the joy of this unusual friendship. (Picture book/Young reader. 5-9)"
Based on actual events, an appealing story about a dolphin and the owner of a ``dive boat.'' Laura tells how her father earns a friendly dolphin's trust by waiting for him to make first contact. Read full book review >
POWER MACHINES by Ken Robbins
Released: June 1, 1993

"An unusually intelligent, well-designed presentation of a perennially fascinating topic. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4-9)"
Pointing out that ``Power machines do what we do, but on a much bigger scale,'' Robbins uses his technique of judicious hand-tinting to clarify b&w photos of 13 ``awesome'' contrivances, each headed with a pair of vivid verbs (``Scoop and Dump''—payloader; ``Smash and Crack''—jackhammer; ``Hum and Spin''—steam-turbine generator) and a brief, lucid description (in using a tree spade, ``The plug of earth goes back in the hole where the tree originally was, and the landscape is hardly disturbed at all''). Read full book review >
DINOSAURS by Claude Delafosse
DINOSAURS
Released: June 1, 1993

"Also new in the same innovative format: Castles (ISBN: 0-590-46377-2). (Nonfiction/Picture book. 3-9)"
A sturdy, spiral-bound ``First Discovery'' book (first published in France) that makes ingenious use of an intriguing gimmick—transparent plastic pages that flip to transform images and add text on opaque spreads: a giant brachiosaurus, seen from the front and compared to a turkey-sized contemporary cousin becomes the same giant from the rear, contrasted with a herd of elephants; a painting of a pterodactyl lifts to reveal its fossilized remains; a huge foot conceals its fossilized track, large enough for a wading pool where a toddler can ``go for a dip''; or scattered bones are assembled with the turn of another page. Read full book review >
HANDSIGNS by Kathleen Fain
ABC BOOKS
Released: June 1, 1993

"Not as imaginative as Laura Rankin's The Handmade Alphabet (1991), but a useful addition to a small field and a fine illustration debut for Fain. (Picture book. 3-9)"
To introduce American Sign, ``the fourth most-used language in the United States,'' a simple alphabet, from anteater to zebra, in a generous square format that nicely accommodates appealing, handsomely designed color portraits of the animals- -quietly escaping their boundaries into the surrounding white space—plus, on each page, the appropriate letter (cap and l.c.) and a clear depiction of its handsign. Read full book review >
THE ALLEY CAT by Brian J. Heinz
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 1993

"Big Red'' and his feral pals. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Christiana, the gifted author-illustrator of Drawer in a Drawer (1990), does his best, but it's still not quite enough to retrieve this doggerel account of a cat scrapping with another tom to win a chop flung out by the butcher's wife (``A monstrous woman thick of brow/With shoulders broader than a cow,/She squints through cold, unfeeling eyes./Her thick hands heave the tasty prize...'') and then, quite unrealistically, taking it home to his mate and little ones. Read full book review >
THE FIRE CHILDREN by Eric Maddern
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: June 1, 1993

A warmhearted Akan pourquoi tale that explains why people come in so many different colors: When the first man and woman become lonely, they make children out of clay. 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 >