PUG, SLUG, AND DOUG THE THUG by Carol Saller
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 4, 1994

"Still, a satisfying tall tale, and great fun to read aloud. (Picture book. 4-10)"
The eponymous characters here are villains; the heroes are ``A lone boy. Read full book review >
AMERICA'S PRAIRIES by Frank Staub
NATURE
Released: Feb. 4, 1994

"Glossary; index. (Nonfiction. 8- 12)"
Beginning with a survey of grasslands worldwide, a map showing the extent of the three types (tallgrass, mixed, and shortgrass) that make up the North American prairie, and a clear explanation of their differing characteristics, Staub answers precisely the questions raised by Dvorak's beautiful photo introduction (above). Read full book review >

HANDS AROUND LINCOLN SCHOOL by Frank Asch
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"A nice, simple school story for not-so-simple times. (Fiction. 9-12)"
When Amy (the narrator) and three other sixth graders form a ``Save the Earth'' club, Amy is the reluctant one: membership means making presentations in classrooms and, ultimately, performing on stage in front of her school. Read full book review >
THE MASTER BUILDERS by Philip Wilkinson
MUSIC AND THE ARTS
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Palatable lessons on history, anthropology, and architecture. (Nonfiction. 11-14)"
One of four entries in the Mysterious Places series— simplified versions of Wilkinson's Encyclopedia of Mysterious Places; others are The Magical East; The Mediterranean; and The Lands of the Bible). Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"An attractive European equivalent to a visit to, say, Massachusetts's Sturbridge Village, though the generic nature of the northern European setting may trouble those readers who know the area well. (Nonfiction. 7-10)"
Written by a Parisian, first published in Germany, and erroneously classified in 973.8 by LC, a portrayal of European village life 100 years ago, at its most serene. Read full book review >

FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"1991). (Fiction/Short stories. 11-13)"
A delicately macabre ambience infuses these tales from the Australian author of Speaking To Miranda (1992): a fugitive finds the story of her own life in an old book; a boy visiting his aunt's dying farm is haunted by dreams centering around ``The Dam'' and its fetid lake; ``The Thief in the Rocks'' and another malevolent spirit infecting ``The Greenhouse'' behave with chilling malice. Read full book review >
THE LEGEND OF JOHN HENRY by Terry Small
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"A rendition with the power, if not the distinctive style, of Ezra Jack Keats's John Henry (1965). (Folklore/Picture book. 8-11)"
Once again, Man measures himself against Machine, with results both tragic and triumphant. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Full text with piano score; map; bibliography of 12 children's books, 1935- 1988; index. (Nonfiction. 5-9)"
A handsomely illustrated account of the writing of our national anthem, in its historical context. Read full book review >
THE LITTLE LAMA OF TIBET by Lois Raimondo
NONFICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Pronunciation of names is given in the text. (Nonfiction. 5-9)"
A photo essay about six-year-old Ling Rinpoche, a young Tibetan Buddhist monk, said to be the reincarnation of the late tutor of the present Dalai Lama. Read full book review >
WOMEN AND WAR by Fiona Reynoldson
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Books to Read''; sources of quotes (without page numbers); index. (Nonfiction. 10- 14)"
In Thomson's World War II series, one of several topical volumes sampling experiences in different countries. Read full book review >
THE CIRCLEMAKER by Maxine Rose Schur
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"The genuinely evoked setting and circumstances and the plucky boy's narrow escapes compel attention; the fact that he's last seen boarding a ship, penniless but hoping to find an aunt in New York, suggests a sequel. (Fiction. 9-12)"
When his astonished enemy Dovid, a bully who tormented him back in their Russian village, asks why Mendel has risked his life to save Dovid's, Mendel—trying to fathom his own motives- -can only reply, ``I had to close a circle.'' He is recalling his father's words: ``All growing things live and die in a circle...My knowledge is part of a circle from my grandfather...to me...and now to you...it is when you give that you gain power...Only then do you become a circlemaker.'' At 12, Mendel has fled from the forcible induction of Jewish boys into the czar's army; by coincidence, one of the men who helps him toward the Hungarian border pairs him with Dovid—who has just escaped from the army—for the journey's last leg. Read full book review >
THE BOY WHO SWALLOWED SNAKES by Laurence Yep
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"The Tsengs' watercolors range from exotically colorful to murkily mysterious, with the characters' expressions and poses dramatically exaggerated. (Picture book. 6-9)"
Puzzlingly described as an "original folktale" (LC classifies it in 398.2), the bizarre story of Little Chou, a poor Chinese boy who finds, hidden in a basket of silver, an evil ku snake that kills people and takes their money to its master. 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 >