CONNIE CAME TO PLAY by Jill Paton Walsh
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"From the author of Pepi and the Secret (p. 560), it's grand to see such a typical preschool scenario handled without preachiness. (Picture book. 2-6)"
Connie came to play and Robert doesn't want to share his toys. ``This is my train!'' he tells her. ``All right,'' says Connie. ``You play with that one. Read full book review >
A GAGGLE OF GEESE by Philippa-Alys Browne
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"There is also a troubling inconsistency in the use of anthropomorphization and fancy: Badgers blather, squirrels snicker, and finches flirt while the rest of the animal kingdom behave pretty much according to the norm. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Other books have used the theme of collective nouns for animals; this one features a rhyming text—``A leap of leopards jumping/A colony of ants following/A crash of rhinos thumping/A pod of hippos wallowing''—and vividly colored (nearly neon) paintings by Browne (African Animals ABC, p. 1277). Read full book review >

JACK TRACTOR by Willy Smax
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Strictly for collections or households where demand for books about talking vehicles can never be sated. (Picture book. 4-7)"
A sequel to Benny the Breakdown Truck (1994), this collection of stories about anthropomorphized cars, trucks, and motorcycles will remind readers and listeners of Virginia Lee Burton's stories in their illustrative style and of the Thomas the Tank Engine books in their getting-along-nicely-with-others theme. Read full book review >
BUSTER'S ECHO by Ragnhild Scamell
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 31, 1996

"Newcomer Webster illustrates with black lines so bold they can be measured with a ruler and colors so intense that even preschoolers who have figured out the source of the confusion will linger over each page. (Picture book. 3-7)"
The story of a group of animals that, upon hearing their echoes across the valley, believe that other animals—larger animals—are answering their calls. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 19, 1996

"However, for those with the patience to reorganize the pages on their own, there is a great deal of information here, much of it surprising. (chronology) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-11)"
The host of a long-running Philadelphia children's show and a journalist have teamed up to write a breezy, informative book describing how television shows are produced and broadcast. Read full book review >

WHERE'S THE BIG DIPPER? by Sidney Rosen
NATURE
Released: Jan. 12, 1996

"Full- color photographs and playful illustrations add to the sense of fun and exploration that permeates the book, with its often delightful, always accessible explanations of the night sky. (glossary) (Picture book. 5-8)"
Readers begin their journey through the galaxy first by identifying the Big Dipper, then by finding other constellations in the sky. Read full book review >
ORNITHOMIMIDS by Don Lessem
DINOSAURS
Released: Jan. 2, 1996

"Despite such lack of precision, children will be drawn to the vivid full-color photographs and appealing illustrations of familiar creatures. (glossary, index) (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-12)"
This entry in the Special Dinosaurs series discusses a type of dinosaur thought to be the fastest. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"The writing here is occasionally awkward- -readers may have difficulty distinguishing among facts, opinions, and rationalization—but these are gripping tales, in a solid volume about the slavery era. (b&w photos, not seen, chronology, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 8-14)"
Stories of African-Americans, some slaves and some free, who fought against slavery both in the US and the Caribbean, including Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Toussaint Louverture, and Denmark Vesey. Read full book review >
A THOUSAND COUSINS by David L. Harrison
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"The collaborators from Somebody Catch My Homework (1993) haven't come up with an original work, but readers awaiting the next Prelutsky or Silverstein can bide their time with this one. (Picture book/poetry. 6-10)"
Poems about family life—``A Thousand Cousins,'' ``Daddy's Snore,'' ``My Baby Uncle,'' etc. Most have punchy endings; each revolves around some gimmick. Read full book review >
DON'T LEAVE AN ELEPHANT TO GO AND CHASE A BIRD by James Berry
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"A vivid tale and a welcome, polished pairing of author and illustrator. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Anancy Spiderman leaves his house one day and through simple acts of kindness increases his wealth before abruptly losing it again. Read full book review >
PIGNIC by Anne Miranda
ABC BOOKS
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

The pig family is gathering for its annual picnic, to which each member brings a different food: ``Auntie Anne made apple pie./Ben brought beans from Boston./Cousin Cabe baked carrot cake./Some dates arrived with Dustin.'' The uppercase and lowercase forms of each letter appear in the top outer corner of its page; the challenge is to find all the letter's uses in the alliterative text. Read full book review >
WHEN I LEFT MY VILLAGE by Maxine Rose Schur
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"A handsome work. (Picture book. 6-10)"
From the team behind Day of Delight (1994), a fictionalized account of the 198491 Falasha exodus from Ethiopia to Israel, narrated in an elevated, almost epic style by 12-year-old Menelik. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >