Children's Book Reviews (page 8)

THE BIG UMBRELLA by Amy June Bates
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"A subtle, deceptively simple book about inclusion, hospitality, and welcoming the 'other.' (Picture book. 3-6)"
Illustrator Bates applies her signature watercolor, gouache, and pencil style to a quiet story about a smiling umbrella, a tale sparked by a conversation with her seventh-grade daughter, co-author Juniper Bates. Read full book review >
BIRD BUILDS A NEST by Martin Jenkins
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"A worthy, if somewhat forced, venture into multidisciplinary teaching for very young children that may require caregivers to do some heavy lifting of their own. (index) (Informational picture book. 4-6)"
A generic mother bird learns to conquer the forces of physics while going about her daily chores. Read full book review >

BLOOM by Kyo Maclear
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Not only a gorgeous portrayal of this 20th-century creative genius, but an empowering tale encouraging readers to 'dare to be different.' (author and illustrator's note, endnotes, bibliography) (Picture book. 4-8)"
An exuberant fictionalized rendering of designer Elsa Schiaparelli's early life. Read full book review >
FREDERIK SANDWICH AND THE EARTHQUAKE THAT COULDN'T POSSIBLY BE by Kevin John Scott
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Clunky title, clunkier tale. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Frederik knows the Earth shook; why won't anyone talk about it? Read full book review >
MARABEL AND THE BOOK OF FATE by Tracy Barrett
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Poor execution distracts from the story's important themes of female empowerment, tolerance, and inclusion. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
Princess Marabel of Magikos goes on a quest to save her twin brother, Marco. Read full book review >

DARK SIDE OF THE MOON by Jeramey Kraatz
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Otherworldly adventure that satisfies. (Science fiction. 9-12)"
Following series opener The Moon Platoon (2017), aliens are temporarily defeated, but Benny Love and the rest of the gang still need to rescue their kidnapped leader, expose a global conspiracy, and figure out how to keep the aliens from taking Earth for themselves. Read full book review >
ANOTHER QUEST FOR CELESTE  by Henry Cole
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Earnest animal fantasy with exceptionally designed illustrations but uncomfortably set in a time and place undeserving of a rosy glow. (author's note) (Animal fantasy. 6-10)"
A timid mouse goes on an inadvertent journey. Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF BOY by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Blend epic adventure with gothic good and evil, and add a dash of sly wit for a tale that keeps readers turning the page, shaking their heads, and feeling the power of choice. (Historical fiction. 8-12)"
Light and darkness have never clashed with such fierce majesty and eloquent damnation. Read full book review >
THE PROBLIM CHILDREN by Natalie Lloyd
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"A promising, lighthearted beginning. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
When the Swampy Woods home of seven siblings is utterly destroyed, the children move to House Number Seven in Lost Cove—and neighbor Desdemona O'pinion tries her hardest to malign, evict, and separate the children. Read full book review >
SNAPSTREAK by Suzanne Weyn
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"For reluctant readers not drawn to genre fiction, this story may speak to them for a little while. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Snapchat takes center stage in this Disney-esque drama about middle school girl friendships and a Snapstreak competition. Read full book review >
KEEP YOUR PAWS OFF! by Mark Parisi
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Readers will howl for the next installment even without full-moon inspiration. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 7-12)"
Aspiring artist Marty Pants jumps to wild conclusions again with hysterical results. Read full book review >
STRONGHEART by Candace Fleming
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"A touching, playful, and satisfying tale of a silver-screen wonder dog. (photos, bibliography, notes) (Historical fiction. 8-12)"
Before Rin Tin Tin and Lassie there was Strongheart, the first canine movie star, whose real-life career serves as the basis of this fast-paced, dramatic story from Fleming and Rohmann. 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 >