PAX by Sara Pennypacker
Kirkus Star
by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Jon Klassen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Moving and poetic. (Animal fantasy. 9-13)"
A motherless boy is forced to abandon his domesticated fox when his father decides to join soldiers in an approaching war. Read full book review >
BEATRIX POTTER AND THE UNFORTUNATE TALE OF A BORROWED GUINEA PIG by Deborah Hopkinson
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The use of invented dialogue makes this problematic as straight biography, but it is nevertheless a charming, delightful homage. (author's note, photographs, notes) (Picture book. 4-9)"
Beatrix Potter was an artist and writer whose tales of the small animals she loved have entertained generations of children; here, Hopkinson and Voake offer a story of her childhood. Read full book review >

DINOSAUR BOY SAVES MARS by Cory Putman Oakes
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Deft stimulus for both brains and funny bones. (appendix of scientific references) (Science fiction. 10-12)"
Sawyer Bronson's spiky stegosaurus tail provides both help and hindrance in a rescue flight to the red planet that takes on solar system-wide significance. Read full book review >
SWEATERWEATHER by Sara Varon
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Varon shows a knack for both verbal and visual storytelling, but this showcase is likely to be of more interest to confirmed fans and budding graphic artists than to general readers. (Graphic short stories. 8-11)"
The graphic novelist updates her first solo collection (2003) with additional art, commentary, and minicomics. Read full book review >
PUDDLE JUMPERS by Anne Margaret Lewis
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The cheery, yellow-slickered tot brims with child exuberance. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A little boy imagines himself with many animals as he jumps into a puddle. Read full book review >

A WEEK WITHOUT TUESDAY by Angelica Banks
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A stimulating read that validates and encourages the creative impulse—highly recommended. (Fantasy. 8-14)"
In this middle-grade sequel to Finding Serendipity (2015), Tuesday McGillycuddy, Baxterr the dog, and the fictional, winged Vivienne Small continue their adventures in the worlds of writerly imagination.Read full book review >
SWEET HOME ALASKA by Carole Estby Dagg
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Cozy, charming, and old fashioned, but in a good way; fine for curling up and reading under the covers—in Alaska or elsewhere. (author's notes, recipes) (Fiction. 10-14)"
If Laura Ingalls Wilder had lived in Alaska, she might have written this novel. Read full book review >
PINK IS FOR BLOBFISH by Jess Keating
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An intriguing approach for animal-fact enthusiasts. (Informational picture book. 7-11)"
Seventeen of the world's oddest creatures share a single characteristic: their pink coloration. Read full book review >
SAMURAI RISING by Pamela S. Turner
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A well-researched narrative told with true grit. (author's notes, timeline, glossary, chapter notes, bibliography) (Biography. 10-14)"
The life of 12th-century samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune unfolds in this compelling and often shocking nonfiction account. The opening warning doesn't lie: very few people die of natural causes. Read full book review >
THE BATTLE OF THE VEGETABLES by Matthieu Sylvander
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Delicious, nutritious absurdity. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Three stories with vegetable protagonists make up this quirky French import. Read full book review >
THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO GOBBLED A SKINK by Tammera Will Wissinger
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"This fisherman's adaptation doesn't add much to the original. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A fishing version of the classic song "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" has readers wondering, "Perhaps she'll sink." Read full book review >
THE WONDERFUL HABITS OF RABBITS by Douglas Florian
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Small and friendly. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Florian's whimsical poem is set against a plethora, indeed a veritable multitude, of rabbits. 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 >