A GAGGLE OF GEESE by Philippa-Alys Browne
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
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
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 >
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 >

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 >
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
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 >
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
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
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 >
COMPOST! by Linda Glaser
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"Framing borders display seasonal motifs; wildlife abounds in this celebration of decomposition and renewal. (Nonfiction. 5-8)"
Continuing her contribution to ecology for the very young, Glaser (Tanya's Big Green Dream, 1994, etc.) discusses composting in so inviting a manner than not only readers, but their entire families, might foreswear the expensive garden center and turn the recycling of household wastes into a group endeavor. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Morgan Matson
July 25, 2016

The Unexpected Everything is a YA feel-good story of friendship, finding yourself, and all the joys in life that happen while you’re busy making other plans. Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan. Future? A top-tier medical school. Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around). Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else? Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks. So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too. Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all. “Romance fans will find plenty to enjoy, as Andie gradually lets down her guard and risks the messy and unpredictable wonder of first love,” our reviewer writes. “A novel best read on a lazy summer day with sand between the toes.” View video >