SNAPPSY THE ALLIGATOR (DID NOT ASK TO BE IN THIS BOOK) by Julie Falatko
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"More than merely meta, Snappsy is clearly a book, if not a protagonist, with bite. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Picture Rita Skeeter as a chicken for a general sense of this book's goofy take on intrusive narration and one-sided reporting. Read full book review >
BEATRIX POTTER AND THE UNFORTUNATE TALE OF A BORROWED GUINEA PIG by Deborah Hopkinson
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The use of invented dialogue makes this problematic as straight biography, but it is nevertheless a charming, delightful homage. (author's note, photographs, notes) (Picture book. 4-9)"
Beatrix Potter was an artist and writer whose tales of the small animals she loved have entertained generations of children; here, Hopkinson and Voake offer a story of her childhood. Read full book review >

CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Poetic and informative, a breath of fresh air in the too-often-contrived world of bilingual books. (author notes, glossaries, author's sources) (Bilingual informational picture book. 5-9)"
By means of the alphabet, this bilingual book introduces the cloud forest habitat of the olinguito, a recently discovered mammalian species from the Ecuadorean Andes. Read full book review >
SURF'S UP by Kwame Alexander
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"A warmhearted tribute to reading. (Picture book. 4-7)"
A sunny day near the ocean means different kinds of excitement for frog friends Bro and Dude. Read full book review >
MOM, THERE'S A BEAR AT THE DOOR by Sabine Lipan
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Verbal and visual humor abound. (Picture book. 4-7)"
A bear, a mother, and her child have lively two-way conversations. Read full book review >

SPIRIT WEEK SHOWDOWN by Crystal Allen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Nuanced depictions of friendship coupled with larger-than-life and fully three-dimensional characters make this delightful book at once thoughtful and a riot to read. (Fiction. 8-10)"
Allen deftly explores the evolving friendships of Mya Tibbs as she and her Spirit Week partner compete for VIP tickets to the Fall Festival. Read full book review >
PUGS OF THE FROZEN NORTH by Philip Reeve
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"A madcap, magical blend of fluff and other good stuff. (Fantasy. 7-10)"
Two kids and their 66 pugs enter a magical dog-sled race. Read full book review >
SOME KIND OF COURAGE by Dan Gemeinhart
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Poignant and real. (Historical fiction. 8-12)"
Twelve-year-old Joseph Johnson searches the Northwest frontier for his missing horse and a new family. Read full book review >
NANUK THE ICE BEAR by Jeanette Winter
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"As in other books by the author, big issues are presented in an accessible manner and subtly enough that adults can guide children to an age-appropriate understanding of them. (Picture book. 5-8)"
The story of a female polar bear provides an overview of the species' life cycle and includes the mention of environmental changes that threaten their existence. Read full book review >
THE CAT WHO CAME IN OFF THE ROOF by Annie M.G. Schmidt
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A charming, refreshing, and funny treat. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
A shy newspaper reporter gets a helping paw from local felines through a mysterious and "cattish" young lady. Read full book review >
SHAPE SHIFT by Joyce Hesselberth
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Most shape books ask readers to find shapes in the everyday world; Hesselberth does the opposite and sparks children's imaginations. (Concept book. 2-6)"
Hesselberth's is an unusual sort of shape concept book, encouraging readers to create pictures from simple shapes. Read full book review >
I HEAR A PICKLE by Rachel Isadora
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Teachers, make sure this is on your shelves—it's a great read-aloud, an easy read for beginning readers, and a model for student books. (Picture/concept book. 3-6)"
Only the last page features the titular pickle—the rest of the book is a tribute to the five senses that will resonate with young readers. 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 >