THE APPRENTICE by Pilar Molina Llorente
Released: Aug. 18, 1993

"Still, it's a slim, fast-paced read—and a rare translation of Spanish fiction. (Fiction. 9-12)"
Originally published in Spain in 1989, a story that begins as an instructive look at apprenticeship in Renaissance Florence (no particular century or historical characters) and ends as a melodrama about a mysterious prisoner in a master painter's attic. Read full book review >
MY TWO WORLDS by Ginger Gordon
Released: Aug. 15, 1993

"An upbeat picture that effectively contrasts the best of both worlds. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4-9)"
A straightforward color-photo essay depicting an attractive eight-year-old at P.S. 189, at home in N.Y.C. and on a Christmas visit to the Dominican Republic. ``I'm the only one born here,'' Kirsy Rodriguez explains. ``We all speak Spanish at home and English whenever we need to.'' Since her parents have jobs and her brother's in college, only Kirsy and her older sister make the trip. Read full book review >

PRAIRIE DOGS by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Released: Aug. 15, 1993

"Bibliography; index. (Nonfiction. 9-14)"
The prolific Patent at her best, with a succinct, well researched, and informative rundown of the prairie rodent's lifestyle and social organization, plus a clear presentation of its controversial role: knowing that 400 or so prairie dogs eat enough grass to maintain a cow, ranchers (and the US) have exterminated them by the millions (``Their numbers have been reduced by about 90 percent''). Read full book review >
COWBOY COUNTRY by Ann Herbert Scott
Released: Aug. 15, 1993

"Authentic information, presented with real artistry. (Picture book. 4-10)"
A cowboy (``about as real as an old buckaroo can get'') takes a boy who's ``never met a real cowboy before'' to his ranch, saddles him a pinto, and takes him out on the range for an overnight, sharing memories and know-how in laconic, wonderfully well-honed descriptions in the manner of one who has long pondered in solitude what he cares for most. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 15, 1993

"Lloyd's sharply observed realistic watercolors—in a palette somewhat grayed as if to recall old b&w photos—beautifully reflect this well-told story's warmth and focus on essential values. (Picture book/Young reader. 5-9)"
When the extended family gathers for its annual cookie baking, great-grandma Rebecca tells about her ninth Christmas, in 1930 during the Depression. Read full book review >

THE FIVE-DOG NIGHT by Eileen Christelow
Released: Aug. 15, 1993

"A good-natured, entertaining yarn. (Picture book. 4-9)"
A story with a premise that's bound to amuse: Old Betty, Ezra's neighbor, is forever pestering him, when she calls to bring cookies and make him tea, about his need for extra blankets. ``Not me,'' he insists, refusing to elaborate beyond remarking, next day that ``It was only a two-dog night.'' As fall moves into winter, the number rises until the curious Betty peers in Ezra's window—and sees what Christelow's cheery, cartoon- style illustrations have revealed all along: as it gets colder, Ezra just pulls on another of his five dogs. Read full book review >
FISH STORY by Katharine Andres
Released: Aug. 10, 1993

"Sophisticated whimsy, not for every taste but sure to find an audience. (Picture book. 4-10)"
Craig isn't a fisherman, but he's sitting in a boat musing about wishes when he strikes up a conversation with a huge fish. ``Otto'' has just realized he can grant wishes; he goes home with Craig (``graceful[ly] skimming along on his tail''), stays for dinner (on wife Ann's invitation; Craig cooks), and engages in gentle discussion—with mild philosophical overtones—about what wishes would be appropriate. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 10, 1993

"Offbeat and rather long, this may do best as a young reader. (Picture book. 6-9)"
The premise here is childlike: lonely because Mother's preoccupied with a job she hates and the kids at school are ``mean,'' a little girl finds solace in conversations with things—a sheet that says ``Ouch!'' if she pulls too hard, toothpaste that giggles when squeezed, and especially the friendly bathroom sink. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"With much intriguing detail— and a particularly intriguing title spread of a many-cornered wall that, in Baron's artful perspective, makes a straight line across the pages: excellent nonfiction, sure to amuse. (Nonfiction. 5-9)"
A lighthearted but searching and intelligent exploration of the concept and lore of walls, from dry-stone structures to honeycombs and tin cans. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"Kids will love finding old favorites and picking up some new ones. Indexes by first line and by 12 ``types''—''autograph,'' ``skipping,'' ``superstitions,'' etc. (Folklore/Picture book. 8-11)"
In an attractive counterpoint to the Opie/Sendak I Saw Esau (1992), Booth offers a broad, large-size collection of schoolyard rhymes grouped by period: ``Out Loud, Right Now!'' (contemporary); ``Mama Said It and I Say It Too'' (the largest, which by rights could include much from the first group); and ``Echoes from Long Ago.'' By their nature, these chants, taunts, and jokes have appeal; Kovalski adds to it with her detailed b&w illustrations of scamps and mischief-makers, combining bits of 19th-century woodcuts with her own lively crosshatched pen drawings and adroitly arranging several rhymes and images on each page with much of the text hand-lettered in cartoon-style balloons or incorporated into the art. Read full book review >
KANGAROOS by Kathy Darling
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"Kangaroo Facts''; index. (Nonfiction. 8- 12)"
Another in the Darlings' excellent ``On Location'' series (Walrus, 1991, etc.)—a survey of the ``sixty different kinds of kangaroos,'' including wallabies, quokkas, and pademelons, with outstanding color photos taken at seven Australian locations. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"Once again, Korman whips up a broad-humored farce, driven by a colorful cast and salted with satire—more-or-less gentle fun with plenty of unconventional (to say the least) baseball action. (Fiction. 11-13)"
A Spoonerville, Texas, Little League team, sponsored by the local toilet-tissue company, opens the season with a collection of misfits coached by a nuclear physicist—completely ignorant of baseball—and his hotshot niece Kristy, visiting from New York because ``The parental units are doing the Europe thing this summer, so I'm chilling out down here with my main man....'' Kristy goes quickly to work, pushing the team into line with sharp talk (``Tsupwitchoor bat, bro'? Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
John Sandford
author of SATURN RUN
October 6, 2015

Saturn Run, John Sandford’s new novel, is quite a departure for the bestselling thriller writer, who sets aside his Lucas Davenport crime franchise (Gathering Prey, 2015, etc.) and partners with photographer and sci-fi buff Ctein to leave Earth’s gravitational field for the rings of Saturn. The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate; spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: whatever built that ship is at least 100 years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out. The race is on. “James Bond meets Tom Swift, with the last word reserved not for extraterrestrial encounters but for international piracy, state secrets, and a spot of satisfyingly underhanded political pressure,” our reviewer writes. View video >