LOS VAQUEROS by Sammye Munson
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"While the Mexican influence on the origins of the cowboy is neglected, this book doesn't tend to the oversight. (b&w photos, not seen, glossary, bibliography) (Fiction. 7-10)"
A fictional narrator, Francisco, tells about life on his Texas ranch, and passes along the stories his grandfather told him about the vaqueros, the Mexican cowboys. Read full book review >
SECRET SIGNS by Anita Riggio
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"Underground Railroad along the route. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Riggio (A Moon in My Teacup, 1993, etc.) combines folk art and her experiences with sign language into a story about the Underground Railroad. Read full book review >

PUNIA AND THE KING OF SHARKS by Lee Wardlaw
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"A skillful creation of a fantasy world. (glossary) (Picture book/folklore. 4-8)"
This engrossing Hawaiian folktale combines lyrical language and a lush setting. Read full book review >
THE MAGIC PORRIDGE POT by Harriet Ziefert
FANTASY
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"It's just not much fun; the confines of the form, worked to such advantage by Minarik, Lobel, and Rylant (and Nola Buck—see review, above), make for a flat-footed telling here, and since most children know a version of the tale, there's no suspense to engage them. (Fiction/folklore. 4- 7)"
With beginning readers in mind, Ziefert (The Tweeny-Tiny Woman, 1995, etc.) retells the traditional story of the magic pot that won't stop cooking in this entry in the Easy-to-Read series. Read full book review >
BRIAN WILDSMITH'S AMAZING WORLD OF WORDS by Brian Wildsmith
NONFICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"Drawbacks: There's an index for which any use is difficult to imagine, and the tab cuts on the pages will become quickly dog- eared. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Wildsmith (Saint Francis, 1995) enters the picture-search market long dominated by Waldo and the I Spy series. Read full book review >

THE GOOCH MACHINE by Brod Bagert
POETRY
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"Jean Marzollo's Pretend You're A Cat (1990), the acting-out potential seems indirect at best. (Poetry. 7-9)"
In these ``Poems for Children to Perform,'' young readers may first elect to scratch their heads: ``Alien Eyes?'' is about looking into another planet's sky; ``The Homework Guarantee'' covers procrastination; and ``Butterfly Fire'' trumpets something about ``the flame of poet-fire/When it burns in children's eyes.'' Budding dramatists can take hints from the chubby-face children who cavort through Ellis's sprawling cartoon scenes; these are usually light in mood, although the image of a man sweating over his taxes is a dismal take on ``Dad's Greatest Fear''—``that someday/I'll grow up just like him.'' Bagert's occasional proficiency, as in ``The Food Cheer''—``Carnivores! Read full book review >
SILK PEONY, PARADE DRAGON by Elizabeth Steckman
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"There's no tension—the mandarin never has a chance—and it's a weak finish that Mrs. Ming, who achieves success throughout the book by her own words and care, must rely on magic to obtain her fee. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Mrs. Ming is proprietress of a dragon farm somewhere in China's imperial past. Read full book review >
PENALTY SHOT by Matt Christopher
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"These one-dimensional jocks employ some fairly leaden dialogue on the way to the inevitable happy ending, but not even all those exclamation points can give the book a semblance of excitement. (Fiction. 8-12)"
After a season away from hockey because of slipping grades, Jeff Connors is in trouble again and anxious to keep his place on the team. Read full book review >
ROTTEN RALPH'S ROTTEN ROMANCE by Jack Gantos
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"It's Ralph's eighth episode—and as Sarah's unrelenting forgiveness grows increasingly incomprehensible, the formula is starting to wear thin. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Clifford the Big Red Dog's feline evil twin confronts his worst nightmare: Valentine's Day. Read full book review >
COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO by Steve Lavis
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"The last spread is a group shot, with the words hanging overhead like a visual cacophony of sound—a phonetic finale to otherwise standard fare. (Picture book. 2-6)"
Counting cows and chickens while making animal sounds is nothing new to the toddler set. Read full book review >
LOVE LETTERS by Arnold Adoff
POETRY
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"Every spread stands alone, a vignette of immeasurable emotion. (Picture book/poetry. 6-10)"
A collection of love poems spoken in the distinct voice of a sibling, schoolmate, student, playmate, secret admirer, and even the self. Read full book review >
THE EGG AND I by Sylvie Chausse
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"Chausse delivers her sly message with wit, while Crozat's illustrations infuse the characters with personality. (Picture book. 5-9)"
There is a wicked and clever little twist that sets this story above the mainstream of cautionary tales. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Clinton Kelly
January 9, 2017

Bestselling author and television host Clinton Kelly’s memoir I Hate Everyone Except You is a candid, deliciously snarky collection of essays about his journey from awkward kid to slightly-less-awkward adult. Clinton Kelly is probably best known for teaching women how to make their butts look smaller. But in I Hate Everyone, Except You, he reveals some heretofore-unknown secrets about himself, like that he’s a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s least enthused high-school commencement speaker. Whether he’s throwing his baby sister in the air to jumpstart her cheerleading career or heroically rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with aplomb. With his signature wit, he shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, like deciding whether it’s acceptable to eat chicken wings with a fork on live television (spoiler: it’s not). “A thoroughly light and entertaining memoir,” our critic writes. View video >