ALEJANDRO'S GIFT by Richard E. Albert
Released: March 1, 1994

"A likable, beautifully presented picture of a human being responding to his natural surroundings with sensitivity and imagination. (Picture book. 4-8)"
In his first children's book, an 84-year-old depicts a homely desert sage: white-bearded Alejandro, who welcomes visitors who stop for water from his well. Read full book review >
WHEN SPRING COMES by Robert Maass
TIME & SEASONS
Released: March 1, 1994

"A fine conclusion to an excellent series. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 3-8)"
A gifted photographer completes his cycle of the seasons with a fourth group of lyrically captioned color photos. Read full book review >

PAPA'S STORIES by Dolores Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 1994

"A sensitive, creatively plotted story, enhanced by the author's watercolors of middle- class African Americans; a natural pairing with Bunting's The Wednesday Surprise (1989). (Picture book. 4-8)"
Every evening, after Papa comes home from work and washes off ``a day's worth of soil,'' he ``reads'' Kari a book, perhaps the one he calls ``Little Miss Too-Big-for-Her-Red-Britches'' (while the illustration depicts Little Red Riding Hood). Read full book review >
THE LITTLE HOUSE BY THE SEA by Benedict Blathwayt
Released: March 1, 1994

"The two books make a nice pair. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Much as their details differ, this might be described as the British version of Albert's Alejandro's Gift (above). Read full book review >
BENJAMIN'S BUGS by Mary Morgan
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1994

"With its delicate grounding in the real behavior of its humanized animals, this is a charming Beatrix Potter descendant, a perfect stepping stone to Potter's more demanding texts. (Picture book. 1-6)"
A small, sweet book that describes, with disarming simplicity, a little porcupine's adventures on a walk with his mama, a motherly animal person who much resembles Mrs. Tiggy Winkle. Read full book review >

WORSE THAN THE WORST by James Stevenson
FICTION
Released: March 1, 1994

"A reliable premise, developed with Stevenson's usual wit and skill as a cartoonist and raconteur. (Picture book. 5-10)"
Could anyone be worse than ``the worst person in the world,'' now so familiar a curmudgeon that's he's called simply ``the worst''? Read full book review >
BUB by Natalie Babbitt
Released: Feb. 14, 1994

"Not to mention the dog,' says Babbitt in dedicating the book to her human models, and she doesn't; all the same, it's a delight and steals the show, as she doubtless intended. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The King and Queen are at odds: he says "too many toys" will make the Prince "soft and silly"; she says the many lessons with the King will leave him "dry and dusty." Read full book review >
MARTIN THE WARRIOR by Brian Jacques
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 9, 1994

"Enjoy. (Fiction. 8-12)"
The generic Jacques yarn features an intrepid mouse aided by a stalwart squirrel, a bumbling, country-accented but doughty mole or hedgehog, and a seemingly foppish but actually steely hare; these precious few face a monstrous warlord (here, a weasel) and his motley crew. Read full book review >
PUG, SLUG, AND DOUG THE THUG by Carol Saller
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 4, 1994

"Still, a satisfying tall tale, and great fun to read aloud. (Picture book. 4-10)"
The eponymous characters here are villains; the heroes are ``A lone boy. Read full book review >
AMERICA'S PRAIRIES by Frank Staub
NATURE
Released: Feb. 4, 1994

"Glossary; index. (Nonfiction. 8- 12)"
Beginning with a survey of grasslands worldwide, a map showing the extent of the three types (tallgrass, mixed, and shortgrass) that make up the North American prairie, and a clear explanation of their differing characteristics, Staub answers precisely the questions raised by Dvorak's beautiful photo introduction (above). Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Partly because the humor here depends mostly on taking the easy way out at every turn, this isn't quite as clever or as funny as the first book; still, the characters are well defined and appealing, while their perky dialogue makes for better-than-average early reading. (Easy reader. 5-8)"
Five more mini-chapters about the marshmallow-soft, flop- earred bunny and the black cat who insinuated herself into her home in Chicago and the Cat (1993). Read full book review >
THE MARKET LADY AND THE MANGO TREE by Pete Watson
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"For both, a strong debut. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Sitting solid and capable amid her produce, ``Market Lady'' schemes: she'll capture the mangoes on the tree above her before they fall to the ground—where by custom they would be fair prey for the eager children flocking around her stall. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >