ACROSS THE WIDE AND LONESOME PRAIRIE by Kristiana Gregory
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1997

"Gregory brings a sobering dose of reality to an era that's often romanticized; this is a fine glimpse of history on a human scale. (b&w photos, map) (Fiction. 8-14)"
In a work subtitled ``The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell,'' Gregory (Earthquake at Dawn, 1992, etc.) reconvenes the Dear America series in 1847, as Hattie, her parents, and her two younger brothers begin the long trek from Missouri to Oregon by wagon train. Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1997

"A superb, well-researched book that finds extraordinary science in the everyday life of a butterfly. (maps, diagrams, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)"
A migration flight from New England to Mexico and back again would be impressive for a large goose; for a monarch butterfly, it's nothing short of miraculous. Read full book review >

THE SEED BUNNY by Jennifer  Selby
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1997

"An ebullient take on an important rite of passage. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Selby (Beach Bunny, 1996) offers another affectionate and accurate portrayal of the bond between parents and preschoolers. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1997

"The illustrated, kid-friendly instructions have no more than six steps, and the insets of the club members conversing and cavorting will engage preschoolers while parents ready work spaces for action. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Squirrel and raccoon friends Winky, Skipper, and Tag from The Make-Something Club (1994) reunite on a cold winter day for the making of 12 preschool projects, one for each month of the year. Read full book review >
ROSA MOVES TO TOWN by Barbro Lindgren
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1997

"Scary. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Rosa is a spunky dog, a veritable Hoover of the canine realm, ingesting every interesting morsel she encounters whether it is food or not. Read full book review >

THE ANIMALS' SONG by David L. Harrison
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1997

"This book, a group of preschoolers, and a rhythm band set form a cacophonous combination with appeal that's loud and clear. (Picture book. 2-6)"
Fans of old-fashioned rhyming books will warm to this perky celebration of sight and sound: ``There was a little girl/With a silver flute,/Toot toot/Tootity toot,/Who puckered her lips/And blew her flute,/Tootity tootity toot.'' Soon she is joined by a little boy with ``a rumity drum,'' a hooty owl, a sleepy ``yippity'' dog, a cow, a pony, a rooster, a pig, bird, goose, lamb, duck, pigeon, and a shy mouse from ``under the sink.'' All together they make a crew that recalls the Bremen town musicians in a noisy, onomatopoeic parade: ``They sang and danced/And skipped along/With a flute and a drum/And the animals' song.'' The parade ends grandly; the girl who started it all is fast asleep in her sunset-drenched bedroom, her toys gathered around her. Read full book review >
PUTTING ON A PLAY by Nancy Bentley
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1997

"An admirably lucid and concise presentation of the essentials of stagecraft, with plenty of encouragement for aspiring thespians. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)"
The collaborators behind The Young Producer's Video Book (1995, not reviewed) cast this book, subtitled ``The Young Playwright's Guide to Scripting, Directing, and Performing,'' in the same format: an easy-to-read how-to-do-it guide, with a welcome emphasis on the structure and content of the drama rather than on the technicalities of acting and production. Read full book review >
TWO'S COMPANY by Shirley Greenway
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1997

"Back matter includes scientific names and a paragraph of interesting facts about each animal. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-8)"
A book of collective nouns paired with full-color photographs from Oxford Scientific Films and brief lines of text for 13 animals. Read full book review >
DROP DEAD by Babette Cole
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1997

"Pair this with Margaret Wild's Old Pig (1996) for a fairly complete definition of aging and death—one funny, one tender—aimed at the young. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Cole (The Bad Good Manners Book, 1996, etc.) proves that she can fracture more than Emily Post in this eccentric tale subtitled ``Or how we grew from one-year-old bald wrinklies into eighty-year-old bald wrinklies.'' A question from their grandchildren—``Gran and Grandad, why are you such bald old wrinklies?''—prompts two elderly folks to recite the major events of their lives, from birth to the moment they drop dead and are then ``recycled,'' returning as two scrawny chickens. Read full book review >
THE HUNTERMAN AND THE CROCODILE by Baba Wagué Diakité
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1997

"Sources are offered in an author's note. (Picture book/folklore. 4-7)"
DiakitÇ's first book makes bold use of memories of his childhood in West Africa and of the hand-painted ceramic tiles that appear as the illustrations in this book. ``There was a time'' when the crocodile, Bamba, and his family, finding themselves hungry and exhausted en route to Mecca, ask Donso the Hunterman to return them to the river. Read full book review >
I SWIM AN OCEAN IN MY SLEEP by Norma Farber
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1997

"There are nice moments in the text as well, but sometimes the perceptions of the author intrude, resulting in a narrative that wavers between the child's point of view and a more sophisticated perspective. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Farber (When It Snowed That Night, 1993, etc.) begins her sleeptime fantasy quietly: ``Night is dark,/Night is deep,/I swim an ocean in my sleep.'' In Savadier's whimsical ink and gouache illustrations, a small boy in red-striped pajamas swims through an imaginative underwater world. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: March 1, 1997

"Kirby Puckett, the remarkable Alou family, the one-handed pitcher Jim Abbott—will find little here to take home. (Biography. 8-12)"
What could have been a three-run homer ends up a strikeout in this disappointing collective biography of contemporary players, managers, and teams from the collaborators behind The Macmillan Book of Baseball Stories (1993). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >