THE MERMAID'S TWIN SISTER by Lynn Joseph
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: April 18, 1994

"Inviting, neon-bright pastels vibrate in the jacket art; each chapter has its own full-page b&w illustration. (Folklore. 8-12)"
A sequel to A Wave in Her Pocket (1991, ALA Notable) with six more tales featuring such characters from superstition and folklore as ``de duennes,'' the mischievous spirits of babies who died unbaptized, and ``La Diablesse,'' ghost of the last Arawak on Trinidad: a siren with one cloven hoof who dances men to their deaths. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 18, 1994

"Excellent as a supplement to instructional units and as an introduction to Aztec art. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 6-9)"
Mathews's first is a capsule history of the rise and fall of the Aztec Empire, focusing on La Noche Triste—June 30, 1520—when CortÇs, retreating from its capital Tenochtitlan, lost two-thirds of his men, most of his weaponry, and the Aztec treasure in the waters of Lake Texcoco. Read full book review >

I'M THE BOSS! by Elizabeth Winthrop
ANIMALS
Released: April 15, 1994

"Delightful. (Picture book. 2-6)"
The subject is clout, and how it's acquired. ``Julia [of Asleep in a Heap, 1993] was not the boss of anything or anybody and she didn't like it.'' Her parents tell her what to eat; her big sister orders her to scram; even her toddler sib hollers when she feels imposed on. Read full book review >
ASHPET by Joanne Compton
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: April 15, 1994

"Good source note. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-9)"
The Comptons' ``Ashpet'' differs less from Richard Chase's version of this Cinderella variant than their Jack the Giant Chaser (1993) diverged from Chase's parallel tale; here, they simply change the ``witch-woman'' to an old neighbor called ``Granny'' and the king's son (a standard character in these mountain tales) to a doctor's son and omit Ashpet's further persecution and the punishment of the perpetrators, after her wedding. Read full book review >
THE GYPSIES' TALE by Ethel Pochocki
ANIMALS
Released: April 15, 1994

"A perfect antidote to the abusive relationship in Silverstein's The Giving Tree. (Picture book. 5-10)"
In their youth, the gypsy couple settles in a cottage by a cherry tree (``when they sat beneath it and the petals fell like April snow...they could hardly speak for the sudden beauty of it''). Read full book review >

THE TREE HOUSE CHILDREN by Carolyn White
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: April 15, 1994

"No source or comments on the adaption are given. (Folklore/Picture book. 6-8)"
Folklorist White's first picture book—a simply told, deliciously gruesome tale of a witch stalking two succulent children—will rivet young readers. Read full book review >
AMBER BROWN IS NOT A CRAYON by Paula Danziger
Released: April 13, 1994

"The familiar story is nicely individualized in Amber's buoyant, authentically childlike narration; it's grand to have Danziger add books for younger readers to her many popular titles for the older crowd. (Fiction. 6-9)"
As Amber tells he, teasing third-grade classmates, she's not a crayon color but a girl — messy but well adjusted, lucky in a teacher who makes a game of studying other countries, trying to forget that best-friend Justin is moving to Alabama as soon as his parents can sell their house. Read full book review >
ON CAT MOUNTAIN by Françoise Richard
ANIMALS
Released: April 13, 1994

"A handsome presentation of a satisfying tale. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-9)"
Sho, servant in the house of a ``nasty'' woman with a face ``as sour as spoiled milk,'' has but one friend: a black cat she calls Secret. Read full book review >
GOOD NIGHT, GORILLA by Peggy Rathmann
ANIMALS
Released: April 13, 1994

"Delightful. (Picture book. 3-7)"
As the sleepy keeper bids him good night, Gorilla snitches his keys; then he creeps after him, letting the other animals out. Read full book review >
CLOUDS OF TERROR by Catherine A. Welch
ANIMALS
Released: April 12, 1994

"Historical note. (Easy reader. 5-9)"
Coping with a plague of grasshoppers on the Minnesota prairie in the 1870s. Read full book review >
JIMMY CRACK CORN by Candice F. Ransom
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 5, 1994

"Nevertheless, a serviceable addition. (Fiction. 8- 10)"
A 1932 Washington, D.C., demonstration by WW I vets hoping to collect a promised bonus is the basis for a novel about how nine-year-old Jimmy Watkins joins his unemployed father in the effort. Read full book review >
THE TICKLEOCTOPUS by Audrey Wood
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: April 1, 1994

"Point made, with raucous good humor. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Life is grim for Bup; hoping to save him from the dire fates of his three sibs, his parents trap him in the cave when they go hunting. 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 >