THE BOBBIN GIRL by Emily Arnold McCully
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1996

"Some will say McCully (The Pirate Queen, 1995, etc.) has surpassed herself. (Picture book. 6-9)"
Rebecca Putney, ``Bobbin Girl,'' gazes out from the cover of this exceptional work and draws readers into the fascinating lives of the young women who were part of the unique social and industrial milieu of the mills in 19th-century Lowell, Massachusetts. Read full book review >
LA BODA by Nancy van Laan
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1996

"A delightful, lyrical look at a special occasion. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The wedding rituals of Alfonso and Luisa, a young Mexican couple, are observed through the wondering eyes of a young Oaxacan village girl. Read full book review >

MRS. ROSE'S GARDEN by Elaine Greenstein
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1996

"(Picture book. 3-6)"
Mrs. Rose's Garden ($15.00; May 1, 1996; 32 pp.; 0-689-80215-3): A gentle tale of homegrown generosity. Mrs. Rose has always wanted to win blue ribbons, until her unusual mix of fertilizers produces a whole garden full of prize-winning vegetables. ``Somehow it didn't feel like fun anymore,'' so Mrs. Rose hits on a plan to neatly redistribute the bounty and turn all her neighbors into winners, too. Mrs. Rose gets a special ribbon from Mr. Rose for having ``the biggest heart''—a nice touch in a winning and warming story accompanied by paintings that have a flattened perspective and a sweet, quirky magic. Read full book review >
WAKING UPSIDE DOWN by Philip Heckman
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1996

"Been's illustrations capture the slightly spooky, sneaky tone of the text, with elongated, shadowy shapes and wondrous overhead perspectives. (Picture book. 6-9)"
In pursuit of Sendak's theme of disenchanted boys who go on fantasy adventures in the middle of the night, and Van Allsburg's style of grainy dark colors, Heckman and Been tell of a boy who finds himself exploring his own house upside down. Read full book review >
NATURE
Released: April 30, 1996

"Readers will delight in locating dozens of creatures hiding and hunting in the landscapes; the realistic drawings are a trove of information to observe and digest. (map, glossary) (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-12)"
This book will make children feel as if they have access to their own nature museum, with seven different US habitats on display: desert, grassland, alpine tundra, arctic, salt marsh, kelp forest, and swamp. Read full book review >

ECHOES FOR THE EYE by Barbara Juster Esbensen
POETRY
Released: April 30, 1996

"A welcome collaboration. (Picture book/poetry. 8-12)"
This charming book, bearing the subtitle ``Poems to Celebrate Patterns in Nature,'' introduces many geometric patterns from the natural world and establishes an agreeable link between aesthetic enjoyment and natural history. Read full book review >
THE IRISH CINDERLAD by Shirley Climo
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: April 30, 1996

"With an author's note on sources, this is a good addition to folklore collections and a must for collectors of Cinderella variants. (Picture book/folklore. 5-10)"
To her series of retellings (The Egyptian Cinderella, 1989; The Korean Cinderella, 1993) Climo adds this Irish version featuring a large-footed male character sometimes called Billy Beg and here named Becan. Read full book review >
SOME SMUG SLUG by Pamela Duncan Edwards
ANIMALS
Released: April 30, 1996

This duo collaborated on the alliterative Four Famished Foxes and Fosdyke (1995, not reviewed); here, a supercilious little slug struggles up a bumpy slope blocking the path through its woodland domain. Read full book review >
ELêNA by Diane Stanley
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 29, 1996

"In her first novel, Stanley (The True Adventure of Daniel Hall, 1995, etc.) makes ElÇna a one- dimensional figure, but she's such a heroic proponent of following your own heart that she stands above the sentimental story and keeps it involving. (glossary) (Fiction. 8-12)"
Growing up in Mexico before the Revolution, strong-willed ElÇna goes against Pap†'s orders and the custom of the time to learn to read (``ElÇna took to education like a bird to the air'') and to marry Pablo, a poor Indian with no inheritance (``There was a peacefulness about him that felt like ancient wisdom''). Read full book review >
ROCKY BOBOCKY, THE PIZZA MAN by Emily Ellison
FICTION
Released: April 26, 1996

"Bolling, in a style that recalls some of Julie Vivas's work, injects pizzazz into every scene, often with a profusion of pink pomodoro. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Some appetizing ingredients have been whipped up into a familiar plot that starts out hot and cools in the delivery. Read full book review >
THE TOPSY-TURVY EMPEROR OF CHINA by Isaac Bashevis Singer
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: April 26, 1996

"There is a heroic dimension to this tale and some savage buffoonery, but nothing unruly finds its way into the meticulous, paneled Asian art, which remains coolly distant and stylized. (Picture book. 7-9)"
A dark tale of the eternal "struggle between good and evil, beauty and ugliness," from a master, given pristine treatment in the illustrations that appear in this edition. Read full book review >
FIRST, SECOND by Daniil Kharms
by Daniil Kharms, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal, translated by Richard Pevear
ADVENTURE
Released: April 25, 1996

"Rosenthal's superb illustrations are an irresistible cross- pollination of the Katzenjammer Kids with the daft tricksters found in Zap comics, situated in flat, graphically sophisticated landscapes. (Picture book/folklore. 4-8)"
Every journey has its logistical problems, but they come peck by drove in this absurdist's delight, penned in the 1930s by the Russian Kharms. 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 >