Released: Feb. 1, 1993

"Garland's narration is lively and clear; the Tsengs (The Seven Chinese Brothers, 1990, ALA Notable) provide vibrant watercolor double spreads in saturated purple and green, red and gold, outlined in broad, boldly telling black. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-9)"
A long, somewhat convoluted Vietnamese pourquoi tale that begins, oddly enough, with three ducks with just one leg each. Read full book review >
THE PICNIC by Ruth Brown
by Ruth Brown, illustrated by Ruth Brown
Released: Feb. 1, 1993

"A charming book. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A gifted illustrator (Our Puppy's Vacation, 1987) who is especially adept at depicting the English countryside takes the point of view of the animals living just under some sudden human activity. Read full book review >

Released: Feb. 1, 1993

"More a lullaby than a story; slight, but attractive. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Two themes—a ride on a steam train beneath a full moon, and the wild animals that might be ranging through the snow-covered mountains beyond the train's windows—are linked in a simple, poetically evocative text in which the owl rather enigmatically ``sits on a limb/and winks and whoos/and becomes the moon''; several of the animals curl up in their burrows and fall asleep; and the train goes on its way, its sounds contrasting with the otherwise prevailing silence. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1993

"Published simultaneously: Kite's similar Down in the Sea: The Octopus. (Nonfiction. 3-8)"
Adults sharing these handsome color photos with preschoolers or new readers will want to begin with the informative note at the end, which substantially amplifies the elementary, determinedly spritely text, prone to condescending asides (``Do not poke it. Read full book review >
ZOO by Anthony Browne
by Anthony Browne, illustrated by Anthony Browne
Released: Feb. 1, 1993

"A provocative look at the darker side of family dynamics. (Picture book. 4-10)"
From the author of Piggybook (1986), another powerful exploration of the family scene with a similar family of four: massive, boorish Dad, riding roughshod over everyone; quiet little Mum, a pained but helpless observer; the narrator and his younger brother, endlessly squabbling instead of looking at the caged animals they've come to see. Read full book review >

WHEN I'M ALONE by Carol Partridge Ochs
Released: Jan. 22, 1993

"In Redenbaugh's color-pencil art, too, the child is full of wholesome vigor, while the nicely characterized animals add to the humor, and Mom's indulgent skepticism helps bring the story to a satisfying close. (Picture book. 4-8)"
In descending numerical order, a little African-American girl describes the animals that make a mess while Mom's occupied in her study: ten rowdy aardvarks climbing into kitchen cupboards, nine sleepy lions in her bed, etc. It's all a bit predictable, with Ochs's verse rather obviously contrived to fill out the meter (not always successfully). Read full book review >
HONEST ABE by Edith Kunhardt
Released: Jan. 16, 1993

"An acceptable first biography, and interesting for the art, where funds permit. (Biography/Picture book. 5-8)"
From an ``internationally known folk artist,'' a series of carefully composed images representing the most significant and/or best-known points in Lincoln's life. Read full book review >
FATHER AND SON by Denizé Lauture
Released: Jan. 13, 1993

"A lovely evocation of a companionable and spiritual relationship at its best. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A Haitian poet who's lived in the US since 1968 and an artist whose ``strong family traditions of his Gullah heritage have always been a major influence on his work'' debut in children's books with this paean to the unity between a father and son. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 13, 1993

"A winner- -to read aloud, pass around, and chortle over again. (Poetry. 6- 11)"
In his first collection of verse, the author of Little Boy Soup (1990) catches the school scene, from missing the bus on Monday morning to snuggling in with ``This book in bed,/This first FIRST book/I've ever read!'' In the meantime, there are not only challenges (``Does a capital q/That looks like a 2/Make sense to you?'') but emergencies (``I've gottogotothebathroom/The bathroom the bathroom'' has a comically urgent rhythm), rivalries, romances, and a quintessential ``worst boy in the whole class''—``wilder than a billygoat/And meaner than a pig''; school food; an impossible assignment (``But I'm half wild with fright!/You said to write two pages/And get them done tonight!''); there's also the title poem, an amusing tall tale of an excuse. Read full book review >
RED DANCING SHOES by Denise Lewis Patrick
Released: Jan. 8, 1993

"A likable vignette. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A child is so delighted with her new shoes that she dances around the neighborhood showing them off until she trips and gets them muddy, a calamity easily remedied with polish—a simple incident that makes a good showcase for a warmhearted African- American family depicted living in a comfortable suburb. Read full book review >
MAYFIELD CROSSING by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Released: Jan. 4, 1993

"Characters aren't well individualized, but the Turner family dynamics are wholesome, and the playground interaction and the ultimate resolution believable. (Fiction. 8-11)"
The eight kids at Mayfield Crossing are a tightknit group who enjoy playing baseball together; but now, in 1960, their little school is closed and they're bused to larger Parkview Elementary, where they don't get much of a welcome—they're not even chosen for the lunch-time ballgame. Read full book review >
THE REAL McCOY by Wendy Towle
Released: Jan. 1, 1993

"With nothing else available on McCoy at this level, this will be useful indeed. (Biography/Picture book. 5-9)"
Concluding a commendable introduction explaining the possibly legendary origins of the eponymous expression in the prolific inventor's most successful device—an ``automatic oil cup, which eventually became standard equipment on most locomotives''—Towle states ``The story of Elijah McCoy's life presented here reflects a composite of existing information we have been able to authenticate.'' Son of former slaves, McCoy was raised in Canada, studied engineering in Scotland, then settled in Michigan, where he invented the oil cup while working as a railroad fireman (discrimination prevented employment more appropriate to his talents); he went on to patent many other inventions, including homely devices like the first portable ironing board and a lawn sprinkler, and to start his own company. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Beatriz Williams
June 23, 2015

In Beatriz Williams’ latest novel Tiny Little Thing, it’s the summer of 1966 and Christina Hardcastle—“Tiny” to her illustrious family—stands on the brink of a breathtaking future. Of the three Schuyler sisters, she’s the one raised to marry a man destined for leadership, and with her elegance and impeccable style, she presents a perfect camera-ready image in the dawning age of television politics. Together she and her husband, Frank, make the ultimate power couple: intelligent, rich, and impossibly attractive. It seems nothing can stop Frank from rising to national office, and he’s got his sights set on a senate seat in November. But as the season gets underway at the family estate on Cape Cod, three unwelcome visitors appear in Tiny’s perfect life. “A fascinating look at wealth, love, ambition, secrets, and what family members will and won’t do to protect each other,” our reviewer writes. View video >