IN SEARCH OF THE GIANT by Jeanne Willis
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: May 1, 1994

"The beautiful art tantalizes the imagination, yielding intriguing new images with each rereading. (Picture book. 4-10)"
A little boy and his older sister explore a dark forest ``looking for a creature of enormous size, with a backbone as strong as a beech tree...and thighs as round as oaks.'' While the text mentions such pleasurably shivery possibilities as the scent of a moist bank being ``the giant's mossy breath'' or wind-blown brambles his snare, the illustrator's marvelous watercolors offer more evidence of an elusive giant, and perhaps other weird creatures, in the forest's shadowed recesses, the twisted, muscular shapes of trees, and some startling juxtapositions of fungi and knotholes. Read full book review >
THE WONDERFUL TOWERS OF WATTS by Patricia Zelver
NONFICTION
Released: May 1, 1994

"The book is sure to engender interest in his achievement. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 5-10)"
How the Italian immigrant Simon Rodia spent decades building the renowned towers next to his bungalow in ``a poor neighborhood that was half town, half country, outside the city limits of Los Angeles.'' The employee of a tile company, ``Old Sam'' used broken tile and bottles, mirrors, shells, and a miscellany of found objects to surface fantastical shapes, ``a lacy web of steel, covered with a skin of concrete.'' Though her simple narrative is short on such specifics as dates, Zelver conveys the wonder and mystery of his long labors, concluded at the age of 80. Read full book review >

LITTLE INCHKIN by Fiona French
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: May 1, 1994

"Gorgeous. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-9)"
An old tale in sumptuous new clothing. Read full book review >
MR. BEAR BABYSITS by Debi Gliori
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 1994

"But the message is out of date. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Mrs. Bear is to baby-sit for the little Grizzly-Bears, but since her own baby is wakeful she sends Mr. Bear instead. Read full book review >
LUKA'S QUILT by Georgia Guback
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1994

"Attractively realized setting; disarming model of conflict resolution; unusually appealing story. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Delighted that ``Tutu'' (``that's Hawaiian for grandmother'') is making her a quilt, Luka imagines the splendid colors of the flowers Tutu describes. Read full book review >

JENNIFER, TOO by Juanita Havill
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1994

"The perky, realistic dialogue, lively b&w art, and assertive protagonist will all appeal to other young feminists, and to boys with older sibs, too. (Fiction. 7-10)"
The author of the popular Jamaica books offers three easy chapters about a cheerful child edging her way into her big brother's games with his friends. Read full book review >
THE PAPER PRINCESS by Elisa Kleven
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1994

"Fine for reading aloud or alone. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The illustrator of Dorros's Abuela (1991, ALA Notable) again depicts an aerial journey. Read full book review >
THE IRON DRAGON NEVER SLEEPS by Stephen Krensky
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1994

"Impressionistic crosshatched drawings; afterword. (Fiction. 8-11)"
The abortive strike staged in 1867 by Chinese workers on the Sierra Nevada portion of the transcontinental railroad, as perceived by 10-year-old Winnie Tucker, daughter of a Central Pacific mining engineer who is superintending the blasting of the Summit Tunnel. Read full book review >
DON'T FORGET by Patricia Lakin
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1994

"Recipe for orange sponge cake included; it's a good thing Sarah had adult help. (Picture book. 6-10)"
Shopping for ingredients to bake her mother a birthday cake, Sarah stops at the greengrocer's for an orange and the bakery for advice but is reluctant to go to Singer's; though they have the flour and eggs she needs, she's fascinated and horrified by the blue numbers the nice old couple have tattooed on their arms. Read full book review >
MY REAL FAMILY by Emily Arnold McCully
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 1994

"Predictable but satisfying; the Caldecott winner's endearing bears continue to express human feelings with amiable wit. (Picture book. 5-8)"
After the bear family's latest theatrical triumph, little Sarah's nose is out of joint. Read full book review >
CHINYE by Obi Onyefulu
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: May 1, 1994

"The tale gets richer treatment in San Souci's Talking Eggs (1989). (Folklore/Picture book. 6-8)"
A thin version of a relatively familiar tale. Read full book review >
B.J.'S BILLION-DOLLAR BET by Julie Anne Peters
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1994

"Entertaining light fare. (Fiction/Young reader. 7-10)"
From the author of The Stinky Sneakers Contest (1992), another Springboard Book featuring ordinary kids and their extraordinary mishaps. B.J.'s Mom has won the lottery but can't find the ticket. 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 >