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ALA Notable Books for Children
2017 (Younger Readers)
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Andrea Beaty

School Library Journal K-Gr 2-Ada Marie Twist is an inquisitive African American second grader and a born scientist. She possesses a keen yet peculiar need to question everything she encounters, whether it be a tick-tocking clock, a pointy-stemmed rose, or the hairs in her dad's nose. Ada's parents and her teacher, Miss Greer, have their hands full as the child's science experiments wreak day-to-day havoc. On the first day of spring, the title character is tinkering outside her home when she notices an unpleasant odor. She sets out to discover what might have caused it. Beaty shows Ada using the scientific method in developing hypotheses in her smelly pursuit. The little girl demonstrates trial and error in her endeavors, while appreciating her family's full support. In one experiment, she douses fragrances on her cat and then attempts to place the feline in the washing machine. Her parents, startled by her actions, send her to the Thinking Chair, where she starts to reflect on the art of questioning by writing her thoughts on the wall-now the Great Thinking Hall. Ada shines on each page as a young scientist, like her cohorts in the author's charming series. The rhyming text playfully complements the cartoon illustrations, drawing readers into the narrative. VERDICT A winner for storytime reading and for young children interested in STEM activities. Pair with science nonfiction for an interesting elementary cross-curricular project.-Krista Welz, North Bergen High School, NJ © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list The team behind Iggy Peck, Architect (2007) and Rosie Revere, Engineer (2013) introduce a new STEM picture-book heroine. Ada Marie Twist is an African American girl who does not speak until the age of three. But once she does, she starts with Why? And then What? How? and When? / By bedtime she came back to Why? once again. Ada Twist's curiosity is insatiable, often involving more chaos than method. A particularly bad smell sets Ada off on a journey of discovery that puts her at odds with her parents, though eagle-eyed readers will discover the source of the stink. The pen-and-ink illustrations incorporate a mishmash of white space and the paraphernalia of scientific experimentation: blocks, beakers, graph paper, gadgets; at times the pages can barely contain the breadth of Ada's inquisitiveness. An author's note reveals that the heroine is named after trailblazing women scientists Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace. Young Ada Twist and her nonstop intellect might just encourage readers to blaze trails of their own.--Dean, Kara Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Beaty and Roberts return to the classroom featured in Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer as they introduce an insatiably curious girl named Ada Marie, who comes from an African-American family so stylish that its time-out chair is an Eames. As Ada attempts to determine the source of a noxious smell, Beaty's bouncy rhymes emphasize the qualities that make for a great scientist: "She asked a small question, and then she asked two./ And each of those led to three questions more,/ and some of those questions resulted in four." Scientific research can be messy and thorny (and smelly), Beaty and Roberts suggest, but it's well worth the effort. Ages 5-7. Author's agent: Edward Necarsulmer IV, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. Illustrator's agent: Artist Partners. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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2017 (Younger Readers)
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Joyce Sidman

Publishers Weekly In a book-length poem, Newbery Honor recipient Sidman (Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night) expresses a heartfelt wish for a blizzard so big that it brings everything to a halt; Caldecott Medalist Krommes (The House in the Night) imagines a child for whom a snow day matters more than most. The child's mother is an airline pilot, and the first spreads show the girl and her father preparing to say good-bye to her. In this context, Sidman's words ("Let the sky fill with flurry and flight") take on a different meaning; the child clearly hopes that, just this once, her mother might stay. As the snow starts ("Let the air turn to feathers"), the mother sets off for the airport, but when she realizes no flights are leaving ("Let urgent plans founder" accompanies huddling groups of stranded airport travelers), she turns back. Krommes's sturdy, rounded figures and quiltlike compositions convey the family's joy as the mother returns. The story's parallel but separate threads-the innocent images of the poem, the cheery reassurance of the illustrations, and the tension of the family's wait-give this collaboration significant emotional depth. Ages 4-7. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal K-Gr 2-At dusk, a woman, child, and dog hurry out of the park and pass by a bakery, though the wool-capped girl clearly wants to stop. They enter their apartment, where Dad has dinner ready, and everyone looks happy except the girl, who's staring dolefully at a cap that sits atop a small suitcase. In the next illustration, as the windows reflect the night, a book about Amelia Earhart lies open on the couch as the mother, in her airline pilot's uniform, seems to coax her child into returning the cap she's hiding behind her back. Turn the page, and beyond the entry hall filled with winter clothes, skates, and sled, the mother is folding and packing clothes into her overnight bag. Only then do the words begin: "In the deep woolen dark,/as we slumber unknowing,/let the sky fill with flurry and flight." This haunting invocation summons geese, snowflakes, and a heavy whiteness that refracts the golden city lights. Krommes shows viewers the city from the rooftops, from the back of goose wings, and from the statues in the park. When the poem says, "Let urgent plans founder," we see the airport waiting room, where the mother gazes out at snowplows under the planes as a sign announces flight cancellations. Any child might be wishing for snow to "change the world before morning," to "make it slow and delightful and white," but here, as a stunning series of scratchboard (similar to woodcut) and watercolor pictures reveal, the petitioner is a girl who longs to have both her parents home with her to sled down a steep white slope and to visit that bakery at last. VERDICT This simply perfect book is a must-have piece of portable poetry and art for all collections.-Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal K-Gr 2-In spreads that begin wordlessly, scratchboard and watercolor images introduce a child as she says good-bye to her mother, an airline pilot. Then snow mounts, rendering travel impossible, and the mother returns home in time for a full day of sledding and indoor coziness. With remarkable artwork and poetry, two multi-award-winning children's book creators elevate a simple family scenario into a profound celebration of love, shared comfort, and the sparkling, transformative beauty of winter. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* The team that produced Swirl by Swirl (2011) offers another story both intimate and glorious. A young girl hides her mother's pilot cap, knowing that it will soon be time for Mom to fly away again. Indeed, as the child sleeps, the mother heads to the airport. But what's this? Around the brownstone's windows, snowflakes are drifting. Soon the sky is white, and by the time Mom reaches the airport, enough snow has fallen to cancel the flight. She flags down a tow truck that drops her at home, resulting in unexpected time with family to make it slow with sleds and hot chocolate. It is rare in picture books to find words and art so perfectly matched, though perhaps not surprising given the talents of Caldecott winner Krommes (The House in the Night, 2008) and Newbery Honor Book author Sidman (Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, 2010). Each phrase in Sidman's spare text evokes the heart and the senses (let the earth turn to sugar), while Krommes' scratchboard art is so intricately rendered, so full of story, that each page could be investigated dozens of times. At book's end, Sidman explains the text as an invocation, inviting readers to throw their own words and wishes into the air. Who could resist?--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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2017 (Younger Readers)
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Antoinette Portis

Publishers Weekly On Planet Boborp, "teef are long and tempers are short," yet two lookalike pink and purple aliens "have been best frints since they were little blobbies." Portis (Not a Box) pictures the frints, Omek and Yelfred, as bubblegum-tinted spheres with otterlike tails, spindly limbs, and prehensile antennae. The frints' volatility mirrors Earthling rivalries, despite a winking refrain that we have no such drama "here on planet Earth." When Yelfred receives a spossip (spaceship) for his blurfday, Omek takes it for a spin and schmackles it to pieces. Yelfred bites Omek's tail off ("Luckily, on Boborp, tails grow back") and calls him a "double-dirt bleebo." After cooling down, they fix the vehicle with "taypo" and a "sturpler," restoring their frintship. Portis tinkers gleefully with familiar language and provides a Boborpian glossary on the endpapers, just in case. Her dot-matrix layers of retro color add dimension to the simple shapes and close-up images, and her flamboyant misspellings and soundalike words let beginning readers in on the sly jokes while crafting an all-too-knowing portrait of what frintship often looks like. Ages 4-7. Agent: Deborah Warren, East West Literary. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal K-Gr 2-Employing eye-catching imagery and space lingo that will have children and their adults giggling, Portis emphasizes that friendship can be tricky yet rewarding. Yelfred and Omek, residents of the planet Boborp, have been pals (or "frints") since they were young. Though these two buddies love to engage in a variety of activities together (they give out "blurfday" gifts, play games such as "eye ball in the peedle pit"-which consists of flinging an eyeball through a sea of gaping maws-and eat "yunch"), they are quick to anger (which never happens on Earth, the author wryly points out). Yelfred and Omek's interactions do turn a bit rough (harsh words are exchanged, and a tail is gnawed off), but "frintship" prevails in the end. Portis has crafted a witty and energetic work that will appeal to children's sense of fun. There's a Tim Burton-esque feel to the zany, dramatic illustrations-Yelfred and Omek are spherical creatures with antennae, tails, clawlike arms and legs, and pointy "teef")-but also an adorable factor that will endear them to readers. Saturated colors, textured backgrounds, and a pared-down design, full of thick outlines and simple shapes, are ideal for the title's intended audience. These easily vexed alien pals capture the emotional ups and downs that children experience, and Portis's creative take adds a fun twist on a well-trod topic. VERDICT Those seeking materials on friendship, especially for storytimes, should add this wonderfully wacky take on the subject.-Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2017 (Younger Readers)
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Fleur Star
2017 (Younger Readers)
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Maria Gianferrari

Book list This striking book celebrates the life of coyotes without dismissing their predatory nature. The coyote on the front cover is on the hunt, while the back cover shows an attentive young pup. Inside, Gianferrari's well-balanced text describes both the coyote's search for prey and her vulnerability: targets escape, angry geese retaliate, pups are easy prey for hawks. Although endnotes provide more information, the text and illustrations subtly provide many facts as well, showing coyotes' opportunism regarding diet and their amazing athletic abilities (in one close-up spread, the coyote almost leaps from the page in a giant pounce). Because this hunt begins at night, Ibatoulline's palette is dark. He adds mystery by including spreads full of bushes and shadows, but the coyote's eyes are always bright, popping from the dim background. Though many pages show her fierceness, there is a quiet satisfaction when the hunt is done. With sunlight and success comes a celebratory song and a child witness, warmth in text and illustrations.--Ching, Edie Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal K-Gr 2-A captivating and atmospheric title about a mother coyote on the hunt through a suburban landscape. Readers join the coyote as she leaves her pups in the den and travels through a neighborhood, a golf course, and a lakeside-all in pursuit of a mouse, a flock of geese, a rabbit, and, finally, one unfortunate turkey. The text is spare, with a focus on the coyote's movement and use of her senses: she listens to the scratching of the mouse, sniffs the air and smells the geese, lunges, slinks, pounces, and much more. With the arrival of the sun and the success of her hunt, the coyote lets out a celebratory "Yeeeep-yip-yip-yoooo" before heading back to feed and snuggle with her young. Readers looking for straightforward facts won't find them within the text; the dynamic and richly detailed illustrations are what tell the story here. Ibatoulline uses color, shadow, and dramatic angles to portray the coyote's athleticism, her hunting style, the flight response of her prey, and the passage of time (the narrative begins at night and ends with dawn). Back matter expands on the coyote's origin in the United States and its habitat, territory, diet, physical abilities, communication, and family structure. VERDICT Simple text and remarkable artwork make this a great selection for read-alouds and parent-child bonding.-Kelly Topita, Anne Arundel County Public Library, MD © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2017 (Younger Readers)
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Martin Jenkins
2017 (Younger Readers)
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David Milgrim
2017 (Younger Readers)
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Greg Pizzoli

Publishers Weekly Pizzoli's picture books can feel a little like Twilight Zone light: a cat who wishes away his family (Templeton Gets His Wish), a car-racing dog who unexpectedly loses (Number One Sam), a crocodile who fears a watermelon is growing inside him (The Watermelon Seed). This story is no different as it introduces a blue owl whose attempts at slumber are repeatedly interrupted by an inexplicable "squeek!" Readers instantly see that a friendly gray mouse is the culprit, but Owl isn't so lucky. In an effort to locate the source of the noise, he clears the shelves of knickknacks and vinyl albums (he looks to be a fan of the Clash and Ramones), pries up the floorboards, and tears the roof off the house. Pizzoli's bright colors, mid-century modern details, and fuzzy outlines offer a zingy counterbalance to Owl's increasingly frazzled mental state. After reducing the house to rubble, Owl finally sees the mouse ("Owl smiled. He said, 'Good night, noise.'"), and the two curl up in bed to sleep. Is that what the mouse was after all along? Pizzoli leaves the answer to readers. Ages 3-5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book list The author-illustrator of Geisel Award winner The Watermelon Seed (2013) offers another anthropomorphic look at a familiar childhood concern. Here Owl, nattily robed in pink, is preparing for bed in his well-appointed house when he hears a tiny squeak. Annoyed, he checks his door and empties his cupboard but finds nothing. As the squeaks continue, he becomes even more determined to uncover their source. He removes floorboards, takes down his roof, and tears apart his walls before finally noticing the noise maker, a tiny mouse. Pizzoli's friendly, pastel-hued artwork will reassure young listeners that all ends happily, despite the rampant destruction depicted. Owl's expressive eyes and simple lines effectively convey his increasing frustration, while the tiny gray mouse seems mostly to be looking for a friend. Although the scientifically inclined are likely to realize that nocturnal owls generally eat mice, most listeners will be amused by this over-the-top adventure. This makes a perfect companion to Pat Hutchins' classic Good-night, Owl! (1972) for story hours or bedtime sharing.--Weisman, Kay Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 1-Owl is just beginning his bedtime routine when he hears an annoying squeak. Readers can see that a cheerful little mouse is responsible, but Owl remains clueless about its origins. His attempts at discovering where the noise is coming from not only are glaringly wrong but also cause him to do enormous damage to his home. When he thinks that the squeak is coming from under the floor, he pulls up every last floorboard. When he is certain that he has a "noisy roof," children witness a manic Owl destroying it with a sledgehammer. The stakes get higher and higher, as will the laughs and groans from readers, until he obliterates every inch of his domicile save his bed. It is at this point that Owl spies Mouse, and with that discovery, they both go happily to sleep. While the ending is quirky and feels abrupt, kids will be greatly amused by Pizzoli's latest effort. VERDICT Filled with big, colorful illustrations and amusing facial expressions, this is a lively addition for most collections and a definite storytime addition.-Amy Nolan, St. Joseph Public Library, St. Joseph, MI © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2017 (Younger Readers)
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Victoria Jamieson

School Library Journal Gr 1-3-George Washington, or "GW" for short, may look like a sweet, innocent classroom hamster, but little do the second graders at Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary School know that he's the inventor of the Sunflower Seed Slingshot and the Rodent Catapult Transportation Device, both of which are going to help him and his fellow inmates-Barry the rabbit (serving time in first grade) and Biter the world's toughest guinea pig (doing a stint in kindergarten)-escape to freedom. Unfortunately, when GW finally liberates his rodent pals, a gang of surly mice threaten their plans. Jamieson, author and illustrator of Roller Girl (Dial, 2015), here presents a giggle-worthy tale for younger readers and those just venturing into graphic novels. Easy-to-follow panels, complemented by several spreads, explode off the page with her bright and cheery palette. Visual humor abounds, from GW's gallant attempts at sword fighting with the mouse leader (using a broken piece of uncooked spaghetti) to Biter's confession that, while in kindergarten, she's found a way to channel her anger issues through meditation. VERDICT Hand this charmingly goofy graphic novel to chapter book readers who enjoy Dav Pilkey's works, Cyndi Marko's "Kung Pow Chicken" series (Scholastic), and Geoffrey Hayes's "Benny and Penny" books (TOON.)-Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Book list *Starred Review* For the hamster known as George Washington (GW, for short), there is no greater prison than the second grade classroom. For three months, GW has been plotting and scheming, waiting patiently for things to fall into place so he can finally break free from the joint. It takes some effort to convince fellow prisoners Barry and Biter to join him they actually seem to like it there but a well-laid guilt trip does the trick. On the brink of freedom, the three rodents run up against the biggest obstacle of all, Harriet the mouse. She and her minions have a taste for destruction, but will GW have a change of heart and stop Harriet's mad plan to ruin the school? Told with a wickedly sharp sense of humor, Jamieson's latest delivers a madcap adventure that is sure to please young readers. The hilariously expressive rodents guarantee laughs from page one with plenty of slapstick humor and pointed one-liners. Jamieson makes excellent use of a variety of panel sizes to maximize the action, and the liberal use of bright color adds extra visual punch.--Hayes, Summer Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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2017 (Younger Readers)
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Ame Dyckman

Publishers Weekly With wit and tenderness, Dyckman and OHora, the duo behind 2015's Wolfie the Bunny, introduce two creatures who are absolutely furious with each other. A bear inadvertently crushes a kite that belongs to a girl with a mop of red hair. "Horrible bear!" she shouts, and stomps home. Angry at the girl's unfair condemnation ("She barged in!") Bear hatches a plan to get back at her: "It was a Horrible Bear idea." True to the way people process feelings at different speeds, Horrible Bear arrives at the girl's house just as she accidentally damages a toy and realizes that the bear's misdeed was an accident, too. "I'm sorry!" she tells him, "And all the horrible went right out of Bear." OHora works his goofy magic everywhere, observing the way anger causes ridiculous mishaps (the bear stomps through the girl's laundry and arrives festooned with clothespins) and affects innocent bystanders (a puzzled, picnicking goat). Dyckman and OHora portray genuine forgiveness without a hint of moralizing. Ages 3-6. Author's agent: Scott Treimel, Scott Treimel N.Y. Illustrator's agent: Sean McCarthy, Sean McCarthy Literary Agency. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book list *Starred Review* Hoping to retrieve her kite, a girl with frizzy red hair reaches into sleeping Bear's cave just as he rolls over, inadvertently crushing it beneath him. Horrible Bear! she shrieks and then stomps home to scribble, kick, and (accidentally) rip the ear off her stuffed bunny. Meanwhile, Bear is indignant over being so rudely awakened, and he is bent on revenge. He practices barging and making a ruckus, eventually stomping down the mountain to the girl's house, rawr-ing all the way. When the two meet, however, the girl (who now realizes accidents just happen) immediately apologizes, draining all the horrible out of Bear. He becomes Sweet Bear, dedicated to patching up toys and friendships. The creators of Wolfie the Bunny (2015) explore the common childhood experiences of accidents and misunderstandings with sensitivity and humor. Like many preschoolers, the little girl explodes in an instant when her kite gets broken, but she also calms herself quickly once she understands Bear's perspective. OHora makes good use of bright acrylics, boldly styled characters, and limited backgrounds to keep young listeners focused on the story. Those familiar with Wolfie will also appreciate the close resemblance of the toy bunny to Wolfie's sister, Dot. A perfectly over-the-top look at tantrums, friendship, and forgiveness that is sure to resonate with preschoolers and parents alike.--Weisman, Kay Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2-In the mind of a child, mistakes are often misinterpreted as malfeasance, and the resultant anger can be contagious. Dyckman writes a simple story about just such a mistake. A little girl loses her kite in a bear's den, and when he rolls over in his sleep, he crushes it and becomes a HORRIBLE BEAR! Though the little girl seems to have some strategies to deal with anger (reading, painting, talking it out), it isn't until she mistakenly tears her own stuffed animal's ear that she gets some clarity about what really happened in that cave, and in her heart. Meanwhile, the bear is trying out his own righteous anger, charging to the little girl's house for a stand-off. A simple "I'm sorry" turns horrible into sweet. In reality, such spontaneous forgiveness and acceptance are rare, but cutting to the chase does readers no harm here. OHora's acrylic paint on paper illustrations are vivid and childlike. Thick black lines miraculously convey a range of emotions, and the girl's pile of bright red hair with black curlicues serves as a metaphor for both her anger and her exuberance. Molly Bang's Sophie finally has a worthy shelf-mate for absolutely spot-on characterizations of mood. VERDICT Highly recommended for picture book collections.-Lisa Lehmuller, Paul Cuffee Maritime Charter School, Providence, RI © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2017 (Younger Readers)
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Lucy Ruth Cummins

School Library Journal K-Gr 3-With its macabre humor and delightfully scribbly illustrations, this tale is sure to delight a wide audience of children. Using a metafiction style, the author starts the book with "Once upon a time, there was a hungry lion, a penguin, a turtle, a brown mouse, those two rabbits, etc.," but must stop and repeatedly revise the list as the bevy of animals slowly dwindle to one smugly grinning lion and "that turtle." With several surprises, and some truly extraordinary full-page illustrations, this story winds itself to a laugh-out-loud ending that will tickle the unconventional funny bone. VERDICT Highly recommended for any library, sure to be a favorite read-aloud.-Jasmine L. Precopio, Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, PA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly It's all very peaceable kingdom at the beginning of this ostensibly placid story. The ingenuous narrator introduces a self-possessed lion (marvelously drawn in rough pencil, charcoal, and a vigorous application of markers) and 13 cute animals, including "a pig, a slightly bigger pig, a woolly sheep, a koala, and also a hen." Though described as "hungry," the lion does not seem particularly threatening, but as the animals start euphemistically "dwindling," questions arise. Still, the narrator soldiers on, struggling to keep up as Cummins, an S&S art director making her debut as author-artist, keeps readers guessing-it's fitting that a book with as many "Once upon a time" beginnings as this one has more then one potential ending, some happier than others. Cummins's dizzy meta-tale has just enough wink and cheek to assure readers that it's all in good fun, and her visual style-sketchbook playful, slyly spiking sweet-seeming scenes with moments of menace and fear-should leave them hungering (in a nice way) for her next book. Ages 4-8. Agent: Emily Van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book list Meet one hungry lion and its menagerie of animal friends. Or are they friends? One by one, these animals disappear, while the lion remains hungry. Perhaps the lion is to blame, but could there be another explanation for these rapidly disappearing critters? Cummins' enjoyably repetitive text and droll illustrations give each animal a personality, despite their pending departure, from the stand-out sauciness of the lion to the affable nature of the ever-present turtle. The stark backgrounds play this up and allow each character to stand out. Of course, it's the brazen lion that drives the story: he gets in the reader's face, taking up the whole page with his loud red mane and cunning eyes, and seems curiously reserved throughout the ordeal. What's revealed is that the other animals have been preparing a birthday cake for the lion pretty great, right? Well, Cummins has a hilariously dark twist (two, actually) still to come. When this devilish book ends, there will, indeed, be only one animal left standing.--Dittmeier, Amy Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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2017 (Younger Readers)
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Kara LaReau
2017 (Younger Readers)
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Vera Brosgol

Book list It's time for Granny to knit new winter sweaters for her gigantic family, but every time she tries to get started, her grandchildren make a mess of things, unraveling her balls of yarn and getting their wet, grubby mouths all over her projects. There's only one thing to do: leave! So she packs up her supplies and heads out to the woods with a resounding, Leave me alone! Finally at peace in the calm forest, she finds a cozy spot to knit, but soon a bear family comes along and interrupts her yet again. Leave me alone! she shouts, and she departs to find a quieter location, but at every turn, she encounters an obstacle. Brosgol infuses her fairy tale-like story with a hefty dose of humor, thanks to her fantastic page turns and comedic timing, culminating in the surprising, otherworldly solution to Granny's problem. Warm, jewel-toned artwork and cartoonish details add to the warm atmosphere, and the sweet ending, when the woman finally returns home, is as cozy as a new sweater.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Graphic novelist Brosgol's (Anya's Ghost) first picture book opens in a traditional folk tale setting as a Russian grandmother in a tiny cottage struggles to finish her winter knitting. She has dozens of grandchildren, and they swarm all over her yarn: "Her grandchildren were very curious about her knitting.... Could you eat it? Could you make your brother eat it?" Brosgol's cartooning delivers laughs throughout; here, a girl in a kerchief stuffs a ball of yarn into a baby's mouth as three boys chase another ball with sticks. Fed up, the old woman takes off (after cleaning the house thoroughly, of course), bellowing, "Leave me alone!" The cry is repeated in the forest, in the mountains, and even on the moon, where aliens inspect her "with handheld scanners that went 'beep boop.' " She finds peace at last in the black void on the other side of a wormhole, where she finishes her knitting. The fizzy collision of old-fashioned fairy tale elements with space-age physics is delightful, and even the most extroverted readers will recognize that sometimes you just need a little space. Ages 4-7. Agent: Judith Hansen, Hansen Literary. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2-Brosgol incorporates folktale elements in her amusing story of an old woman in search of a quiet place to knit. Fleeing her too small house overrun with too many energetic grandchildren, she packs her needles and yarn and heads for the mountains. Unfortunately, she can't find an undisturbed spot. Hungry bears, curious mountain goats, and little green moon-men provoke her to shout: "Leave me alone!" Climbing through a wormhole, she discovers a dark and quiet place to complete 30 little sweaters. Then she crawls through a wormhole that leads to her house, where 30 grandchildren rush to meet her. Peasant clothing, wooden houses, and village scenes create a setting reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm or of Fiddler on the Roof. The humorous illustrations depict the determined woman knitting in improbable circumstances as she climbs ever higher. A huge bear looms above her, curious "about what she might taste like." Mountain goats frolic with balls of yarn they consider tasty snacks. Green creatures investigate the woman with handheld scanners while she sits on a chair-shaped moon rock. Brosgol is a master of facial expressions, using eyes, mouth, and forehead lines to indicate the old woman's thoughts and emotions. VERDICT This offbeat tale will please readers who appreciate subtle humor, especially those who crave some time alone. A good choice for collections needing to bolster their supply of humorous titles.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2017 (Younger Readers)
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Terry Fan

Publishers Weekly Brothers Terry and Eric Fan set their first story in a dreary town and imagine what happens when it is transformed by a gardener's skill. William, an orphan, sits glumly in front of his orphanage scratching an owl in the dirt as a stranger walks by. After dark, readers see the stranger at work with his shears in a tree in front of the building. In the morning, the man's artistry is revealed: the tree has been shaped into an owl like the one William has drawn. The town, initially rendered in gray pencil, shows a blush of color as people gather to marvel: "Something was happening on Grimloch Lane. Something good." A topiary parrot appears, an elephant, a magnificent dragon; townspeople of varying ages and ethnicities rejoice, and the spreads take on livelier hues. One night, William spots the gardener, follows him, and gets a topiary lesson. Though the gardener leaves soon after and the trees revert to normal as the seasons change, the town thrives, as will William, it seems clear. A treat, with artwork worth lingering over. Ages 4-8. Agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Productions. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book list Life on Grimloch Lane is, well, pretty grim until the morning William awakens in his home at the Grimloch Orphanage to discover that something marvelous has happened overnight: through topiary art, the tree on the street has been transformed into a giant owl! And that's just the beginning. Each morning thereafter, a new topiary work appears: first, a cat, then a rabbit, then a parakeet, and finally the most magnificent masterpiece yet appears: a majestic griffin. Who is responsible for these marvels? That night, as William is about to head home, he spots a stranger and follows him. Could it be? Yes, it is the Night Gardener, and he asks William to help him. The next morning, the gardener is gone, but he has left William a life-changing gift. Though not quite life-changing itself, the Fan brothers' quiet story is nevertheless invested with an element of agreeable magic which is underscored by their use of muted colors to evoke the mysteries of the night. It is a pleasing collaboration with art bound to both haunt and delight.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2-With spare text and a simple palette, The Night Gardener tells the story of a depressed town's transformation with the help of a nocturnal gardener. The book begins on Grimloch Lane, a street where every head hangs down and an orphan boy, William, is down in the dumps. A dapper elderly man with a green leaf shining in his pocket passes him, and the magic begins. Every night, a new fantastical topiary appears in a tree on Grimloch Lane, to the neighborhood's delight. People begin playing outside, drawing, playing the tuba, and looking up in wonder: it's an urban planner's delight. William gets to tag along one night, and as the season changes, the work of creating community-revitalizing topiaries is passed to him. The illustrations look like a more cheerful Edward Gorey, done with a blend of fine-tip ink and pencil work and watercolor, with the night portrayed in pearly monochromatic blues. While most of the characters are white, a few background characters wandering through the trees are people of color. VERDICT An elegant picture book that celebrates creativity and community; for first purchase.-Lisa Nowlain, Darien Library, CT © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Julie Fogliano

Book list *Starred Review* Two picture-book luminaries pair up in this sweet story about a beloved old pet and a crawling baby. Rhyming text describes the elderly canine old dog tail / and old dog nose / one eye opened / two eyes closed ­dozing lazily beneath the kitchen table. An adorable baby crawls forward and gives it a full-body hug, inspiring the snoring dog to wag its tail joyfully. Baby pokes, squeezes, and explores with delight as the two happily roll on the kitchen floor. There are sloppy kisses for both, as the two cuddle together in sleepy satisfaction, dreaming away. Subtle details include an older sibling who is busy looking through a photo book of the dog's life from puppyhood to old age. The soft palette of pastel watercolors portrays the black-and-white dog and the red-cheeked baby, while splashes of red highlight the mother's shoes and the dog's licking tongue. Raschka's deceptively simple style perfectly captures the duo's movements and relates flawlessly with the understated text. Baby's big wide smile and oval yawns are aped by the old dog's even wider yawn, tempting listeners to emulate. When the two finally settle in affectionately together for a nap, it's, in a word, charming.--Gepson, Lolly Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal PreS-K-Those privileged to have known a mild-mannered dog, a martyr to baby love, a dog that will withstand any annoyance from an infant and still adore him, will appreciate this sweet story told in verse. Fogliano's spare, pitch-perfect rhymes capture the joyful meeting between a blond-haired diapered baby and a shaggy dog on the kitchen floor. Simple rhymes create the mood: "Baby hurry/baby wiggle/'puppy! puppy!'/baby giggle." The exploration is mutual: "Old dog sniffs/with old dog nose/baby fingers/baby toes" until they are down for the count, sleeping flat out on the floor. Raschka's illustrations add hilarity and an additional layer to the narrative. He includes different legs and shoes on the periphery of the page, and readers can guess who is entering and who is leaving the kitchen. The illustrator mirrors the minimalist verse with his simple brushstrokes of watery oranges, blues, and greens. VERDICT Great for preschool storytime or for one-on-one sharing.-Teresa Pfeifer, The Springfield Renaissance School, MA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly A shaggy dog, gray and white with a spot over one eye, is snoozing on the kitchen floor. "Old dog dreams/ old dog twitches," writes Fogliano (When Green Becomes Tomatoes). "Old paw scratches/ old ear itches." In crawls a towheaded baby with bright pink cheeks, who throws back its head in delight when the dog proffers a sloppy kiss. They settle down for a co-nap, "old dog/ baby baby/ dreaming on the/ kitchen floor." There's another story underway, as well: the baby and dog are observed by an older sibling, who has been looking at photographs of the dog's puppyhood. Two women appear on the margins of the scenes, and a photograph reveals that all the characters are a family. Raschka's (The Death of the Hat) watercolor images-with their soft textures, intimate framings, and big, gentle shapes-have just the right mix of joy and melancholy. We can't stop the passage of time, Fogliano and Raschka seem to say, but we are fortunate in our loving relationships, each transcendent in its own way. Ages 2-6. Author's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. Illustrator's agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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2017 (Younger Readers)
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Taro Gomi
 
2017 (Younger Readers)
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Jeri Watts
2017 (Younger Readers)
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Hyewon Yum

Publishers Weekly It's raining, it's pouring, it's boring. "There's nothing to do. Nothing!" gripes Yum's unnamed hero. The boy sprawls on a chair as if he's being martyred by precipitation, and he refuses even to consider coloring to pass the time. But when his mother picks up his crayons and pencils and draws the boy's blue umbrella, he's intrigued. "Can you draw me holding it?" he asks her, then urges her to draw a story about a family walk in the rain. The picture quickly becomes a collaboration, with the boy adding streaks of blue crayon for rain ("I'm really good at this") and a gloriously smudgy puddle for splashing. Soon he realizes that an actual rainy day walk-culminating with real puddle-splashing-is exactly what he needs. "It's just a picture," mother and son tell one another at various points, but Yum's (This Is Our House) renderings-done in a rough, childlike style that fits the story to a T-and all-dialogue text prove that there's powerful magic in every act of representation, no matter how novice the artist. Ages 4-7. Agent: Sean McCarthy, Sean McCarthy Literary Agency. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book list There are tons of reasons not to like rainy days you can't go to the playground; you can't play soccer or ride your bike; you can't do anything. That's according to a little boy stuck inside for the day. But being indoors doesn't mean boredom is guaranteed. A mother liberates herself and her son (along with their dog, Billy) from a blah day inside by drawing pictures of them outside in the rain. The boy helps his mom illustrate their story, thereby experiencing a rainy day outside and discovering that raindrops and puddles aren't so bad. Refreshing yellows and reds brighten the chilly blues and whites of the page and warm the reader's feelings toward activities like puddle jumping. The boy and his pet gradually shift their attitude toward inclement weather, going from aloof lounging and annoyance to rapt attention on Mom's drawings (with the exception of the cat, who remains unconcerned). Though the story takes place in one room, Yum's expressive illustrations transport readers to a whole wide world outside.--Dittmeier, Amy Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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Yuyi Morales

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2-Niño is back in this rollicking adventure, but he takes backseat to the Rudas: his mischievous little sisters. The masked hero's siblings do not play by the rules, and they conquer each of their opponents with incredibly rude feats and moves that young readers will find familiar (and hilarious): the Poopy Bomb Blowout (smelly diapers), Tag Team Teething (painful bites), and Twofer Tattle (the innocent-looking hermanitas tell on their rivals). But Niño has tricks of his own and stuns the Lucha Queens with the art of storytelling. Morales's art amazes, from the endpapers to the glossary; her collage-style composition, vivid palette, and childlike, crayon-filled illustrations are just as charming as those in Niño Wrestles the World. The comic book-esque speech bubbles, varied fonts, and exaggerated facial expressions add to the work's laugh-out-loud moments. Spanish words and lucha libre lingo are peppered throughout, and their meanings can be easily discerned through the images, context, and the short glossary. Young readers will see themselves in this romp of a tale and will want it read aloud again and again. VERDICT Another winner by Morales, this ode to sibling scuffles and makeups will delight kids of all ages. ¡Vivan las hermanitas!-Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Book list *Starred Review* There is only one Niño, the lively little luchador (red-masked wrestler). And in a sequel to Niño Wrestles the World (2013), he is back for another alarming adventure. As the front endpapers explain, the Rudos are the tough guys who bend or break the rules, and Technicos are the good guys who use good manners and play nice. The bout begins in this corner with the Rudas Hermanitas, Niño's phenomenal, spectacular little sisters, nicknamed the Lucha Queens! They use techniques such as the Poopy Bomb Blowout (picture it) to gas opponents out of this world. Early in the match comes the stunning skateboard Nappy Freedom Break, followed by Tag-Team Teething biting. They tattle, they plunder, they screech and scream these Rudas know no bounds. But Niño cleverly traps the sisters, ends their dastardly deeds, and calms them with a book. Concluding end papers contain a colorful glossary, which translates some of the Spanish words, and hilarious pictures. With acrylics and inks Morales depicts the spectacular battle between Niño and his two little sisters in brilliantly colored cartoons, as each page blasts our senses with eye-popping bold-font styles and bubble text and backgrounds of explosive stars. Another hit for award winner Morales!--Gepson, Lolly Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Luchadores beware: Niño's younger sisters, Las Hermanitas, step into the ring in this wildly rambunctious sequel to Niño Wrestles the World (2014), and as rudas, they don't play by the rules. Channeling an announcer's bravado ("¡Madre! Will anyone be spared from their Pampered Plunder?"), Morales show the girls taking down such rivals as El Extraterrestre and El Chamuco with moves like the "Poopy Bomb Blowout" and "Tag Team Teething," accompanied by sound effects scattered across the pages in explosive, graffiti-like bursts. The energy in Morales's punchy artwork is dialed up to the max, and the finale demonstrates that a good book can pacify even the most ferocious of opponents. Ages 4-8. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlottte Sheedy Literary. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2-Sibling rivalry just got real. Niño returns for another round in the ring, but this time his opponents are his incredibly rude baby sisters. Readers will delight as the innocuous-looking hermanitas attack with moves like the Poopy Bomb Blowout and cheer for Niño as he and his fellow técnicos counter with a Look-and-Book Diversion. With comic book-style speech bubbles and action, Morales offers an endlessly entertaining and ultimately sweet selection on sibling bonds and the power of storytelling. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Adam Rex

Book list *Starred Review* First-day jitters are a frequent picture-book topic, but this one has a surprising twist: the nervous one is the school building. Frederick Douglass Elementary is a brand-new school, and so far, he only knows the janitor. The first day is coming, however, and School is worried that the kids won't like him. First, he overhears some older kids say they hate school; then a freckled girl doesn't even want to come inside. I must be awful, School thinks to himself. But soon, the day picks up. He hears a funny joke at lunchtime, he learns about shapes, and the freckled girl paints a lovely picture of him that the teacher pins to the wall (it hurts a little, but School doesn't mind). Robinson's blocky, naive-style paintings set just the right tone, and the subtle faces on all the buildings hint that School's not the only building with feelings. Meanwhile, Rex doesn't play the gag only for laughs; rather, he seamlessly weaves School's dialogue into the tale, as if he's just another student in the classroom. With bold illustrations featuring a diverse array of children and text that's ideal for reading aloud, this charming reversal of first-day-of-school nerves will delight little ones and help put their own anxieties at bay.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 1-Step aside, other first day of school books: there's a new school in town. After construction and a summer of tender loving care from the janitor, Frederick Douglass Elementary's first day finally arrives. And what a day it is: hordes of children with all their feelings, mess, noise, new concepts, and even a fire alarm (which the school finds deeply embarrassing). Worried but curious, impetuous, and vulnerable, the school works as a perfect proxy for nervous child readers. Rex's warm and goofy text is brought to life by Robinson's vivid collage illustrations. His signature round-headed, tulip-handed figures are diverse and appealing, from the supportive janitor to the "little girl with freckles" who slowly warms up to school at the same time that the school is warming up to the children. VERDICT A+: an essential purchase that is simultaneously funny, frank, and soothing. A perfect first day read-aloud.-Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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School Library Journal PreS-Gr 1-Newly constructed Frederick Douglass Elementary is preparing to open his doors. He's a bit anxious and wonders if he'll pass the biggest test of all and win the approval of the swarms of kids who arrive as the school year begins. Rex's warm, funny, and emotionally resonant text is superbly complemented by Robinson's engaging and vivacious collage artwork. A clever and playful look at first-day jitters. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Every so often, a book comes along with a premise so perfect, it's hard to believe it hasn't been done before; this is one of those books. As a new school year begins, it isn't just the students who have trepidations: the building doesn't quite know what to expect either, and overheard comments such as "I don't like school" aren't helping. "Maybe it doesn't like you either," thinks the school in response. But even amid lunchtime spills and an embarrassing fire drill "accident," the school comes to understand that facilitating the noisy, messy activities of the school day are quite literally what he was made to do. Robinson (Last Stop on Market Street) gives the school just a hint of visual personification in his flattened, paint-and-collage artwork, as Rex (Moonday) deftly juggles well-placed jokes and keen insights into feeling comfortable in one's own skin-or bricks, as the case may be. Ages 4-8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Sherman Alexie

Publishers Weekly Echoes of Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian resonate in this vibrant first-person tale, illustrated in a stormy palette by Morales (Niño Wrestles the World). "I am the only Thunder Boy who has ever lived," says the young narrator. "Or so you would think. But I am named after my dad. He is Thunder Boy Smith Sr., and I am..." Here, his mother pops in from the right lower margin to complete the sentence: "Thunder Boy Smith Jr." The boy confides that his father's nickname, Big Thunder, sounds impressive, while his own nickname, Little Thunder, "makes me sound like a burp or a fart." After confessing "I hate my name!" with a chorus of screaming snakes, wolves, and bears driving the point home, Thunder Boy proposes several profound or funny alternatives, including "Star Boy," "Old Toys Are Awesome," and "Drums, Drums, and More Drums" because he "love[s] powwow dancing." In the end, his father understands his ambivalence and bestows a new name, although some readers may wish the boy, having spent several pages trying on new identities, had come up with it himself. Regardless, Alexie's first picture book showcases his ear for dialogue and sideways sense of humor, and Morales uses voice balloons and other comics elements to complement the characters' dynamic poses. Thunder Boy's energy is irresistible, as is this expansive portrait of a Native American family. Ages 3-6. Author's agent: Nancy Stauffer, Nancy Stauffer Associates. Illustrator's agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book list *Starred Review* Thunder Boy, an adorable American Indian tyke in rolled-up yellow overalls, is named after his father, and he hates it! Not because it's not a normal name or because he doesn't like his father, though; he wants a name that better reflects who he is. On energetic pages in bold, brassy color, Thunder Boy tries to pick a more suitable name. He climbed a mountain once, so how about Touch the Clouds? He likes garage sales Old Toys Are Awesome and powwow dancing Drums, Drums, and More Drums! Luckily, his dad catches on and offers the perfect suggestion: Lightning. Morales' playful figures, rendered in thick brushstrokes and appealingly rounded shapes, fizz with movement against textured scenes with pops of neon, while fantastic background details enliven the atmosphere check out Thunder Boy's mom on a cool motorbike, and his pudgy sister exuberantly playing along. While the effervescent illustrations and boisterous tone are dynamite on their own, Alexie and Morales' story offers a breezy, matter-of-fact introduction to a tradition replacing a child's name that will likely be new to many readers. Even if little ones don't pick up on the cultural significance, they will be entranced by the brilliant illustrations and Thunder Boy's rollicking determination to branch out on his own. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Alexie and Morales would be big draws on their own; together, they just might be unstoppable.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal K-Gr 4 -An enchanting and humorous picture book about a little boy frustrated with his name. Readers are drawn into the story narrated by Thunder Boy Jr., called Little Thunder, who is named after his father, who is called Big Thunder. He works through his angst at the indignity of the name, presenting his case like a seasoned lawyer as he goes in search of a better, cooler moniker like Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth or Touch the Clouds. The dialogue is humorous yet profound in the simple truths it imparts. His dad eventually gives him the perfect name. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Mo Willems

School Library Journal K-Gr 2-An exciting thing is happening. The grass is growing! One blade grows tall, another grows curly, and two grow pointy. As these changes occur, the blades of grass declare what it is that makes them unique-all but one, that is. The last blade of grass has no distinguishing feature of note, and no matter how much the group wrack their brains, they can't figure it out. Then, the great equalizer, the lawn mower, comes along. It takes this event for the blade to discover his special quality. As for the rest, even though they are literally cut down, they are reassured that they will grow again. The empowering narrative can be applied to lessons regarding things like confidence, identity, and growing up. No matter the takeaway, the message is easily consumable, thanks to exaggerated characteristics, cartoonish actions, and a good sense of comedic timing. In this new series, Willems's popular characters share their favorite books, acting as the introductory and closing framework to the story. In this case, they have made an excellent choice. VERDICT Fans of Elephant and Piggie will devour this kooky easy reader, with its similar presentation and storytelling style.-Rachel Forbes, formerly at Oakville Public Library, Ontario, Canada © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Book list *Starred Review* Willems' beginning-reader superstars share their favorite books with readers in the new series Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! In this melodramatic story, written and illustrated by Keller, several shoots of grass (and one surprise dandelion) grow and ponder their existence and the things that make them special. Each shoot recognizes its strength. But what about Walt? He's not the pointiest, tallest, silliest, or even the crunchiest! After the humorous conclusion, Elephant and Piggie chime in with a few giggle-inducing closing remarks. Short, declarative sentences are presented in well-placed, color-coded speech bubbles. Some of the -iest words (silliest, pointiest, etc.) could be tricky, but clever, plot-driven repetition and excellent visual-context clues will help readers decipher these words. The text, printed in a large and easy-to-read font, is always surrounded by generous white space, allowing new readers to easily navigate the layout. The colorful, cartoonish illustrations are full of expressive faces and entertaining interactions. Though Elephant and Piggie have completed their own adventures, it's wonderful to see them present this hilarious, thoughtful, and well-designed title.--Seto Forrester, Amy Copyright 2016 Booklist

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Jon Klassen

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 3-In this capper to Klassen's delightfully sly "Hat" trilogy," two wide-eyed tortoises covet a 10-gallon hat. The economy of words, simple shapes, and rich textures highlight the stark beauty of the desert landscape and allow readers to appreciate the understated drama and humor. A surprisingly tender ending-with just the barest hint of surrealism-emphasizes the power of sacrifice and the endurance of friendship. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Book list *Starred Review* In this concluding volume of a thematic trilogy, Klassen employs all his trademark dry wit and deadpan humor to tell the story of a hat-related caper. Unlike its predecessors (I Want My Hat Back, 2011, and This Is Not My Hat, 2012), the hat in question has already been found. Two big-eyed turtles stumble across a white cowboy hat in the middle of the desert and take turns trying it on. It suits them both, they decide: But it would not be right if one of us had a hat and the other did not. There is only one thing to do. We must leave the hat here and forget that we found it. This is easier said than done: as they watch the sunset and go to sleep, one turtle in particular just can't keep his mind off the hat. Most of the story is told through that turtle's expressive eyes, as it glances furtively between its companion and the hat. The three-part narrative has a distinctly western feel, complete with a desert setting drawn in dusty pink and brown tones and then, of course, there's the sense of impending betrayal. The conclusion might surprise even those familiar with Klassen's twist endings, and the growing tensions, simple narrative, and intriguing details will endear this to many. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: An extensive author tour and national publicity campaign are just the tip of the marketing-plan iceberg for this latest from Caldecott-winning Klassen.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Klassen's I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat stand alone, but they also form a setup for this tale, in which two turtles stumble upon a big white hat in the desert ("We found a hat. We found it together") and try it on in turn ("It looks good on both of us"). Klassen's artwork, spare and sly, tells a different story. The hat does not look good. It looks silly, as if the turtle's head were stuck in a plastic bucket. "We must leave the hat here and forget that we found it," says the first turtle, with fairness in mind. The other turtle's gaze shifts left. It wants that hat. Readers of the earlier stories will recognize that look; it bodes ill. Klassen divides the book into three distinct acts; in the second, as the turtles watch the sunset, the second turtle's eyes again stray toward the hat. Uh-oh. In the third section, the first turtle settles down to sleep, and the shifty-eyed turtle begins inching toward the hat, talking all the while to the first turtle ("Are you all the way asleep?"). Readers who think they know what's coming will be wrong: the conclusion doesn't involve sharing, peacemaking, or violence. Instead, Klassen considers the instant at which a decision to act can break either way, depending on who's tempted and whether anyone else is watching. In contrast to the first two books, which relied on a certain conspiratorial menace, this one ends with a moment of grace and a sky full of stars. All three stories are about justice. It's just that justice doesn't always mean the same thing. Ages 4-8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal PreS-Gr 3-The conclusion to the "Hat" trilogy offers the sly humor fans have come to expect along with a surprisingly tender ending. When a pair of googly-eyed tortoises find a 10-gallon hat-which they both agree would look good on either of them-they decide to leave it be rather than risk inequity between them. But as should be expected of any Klassen animal in close proximity to headgear, it becomes obvious that one of the tortoises still very much covets the hat. As in his previous works, Klassen takes a minimalist approach, with an economy of words and simple, textured shapes. The repetition of certain phrases and the organization of the title into three parts make this entry flow like an easy reader. Full-page compositions showcase the bare desert landscape, with soft gradients of muted orange as the sole bit of color in the gray and black palette. Fans of the previous "Hat" books who follow the subtle clues and motivations will likely suspect an ironic ending. In a charming turn, the conflict is resolved through empathy and the bonds of friendship-Klassen's animals have clearly evolved in their thinking since the bear in I Want My Hat Back and the fish in This Is Not My Hat. The lightest touch of the surreal adds to the dreamy melancholy of this tale. VERDICT A different but wholly delightful and thought-provoking capper to Klassen's ingenious series.-Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2017 (Younger Readers)
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Tomie dePaola

Book list In this first Andy and Sandy book, geared toward emerging independent readers, Andy arrives at the playground thinking, Today I have the place to myself! Meanwhile, someone new appears Sandy, who's thinking, I've never been to this playground before. Initially, they each play separately (Andy thinks, I bet she has lots of friends, while Sandy wonders, He probably wants to play by himself). But, gradually, they both realize that certain activities, like kicking the ball and swinging, might be more fun together. It's when they spy the seesaw, however, that those thoughts become spoken words, and Sandy asks Andy if he'd like to play. He does, and after enjoying their seesaw ride, they announce simultaneously, We are friends! Spare, uncomplicated text makes this easy to read for little ones starting out on their own, and dePaola's ever-appealing multimedia illustrations subtly reinforce the concept through Andy's and Sandy's varying, sometimes overlapping perspectives. The scenario and supportive, insightful approach will likely resonate with many kids, especially shyer ones, highlighting how reaching out can bring rewards like fun and friendship.--Rosenfeld, Shelle Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly DePaola and Muppets writer Lewis kick off a picture-book series with a sunny story of first friendship, which follows a short, brown-skinned boy named Andy as he gets to know Sandy, a girl with round eyeglasses and a mop of curly red hair. The narrative bounces effortlessly between the children's perspectives. "She is new here," thinks Andy, as Sandy returns his gaze, wondering, "Is this his playground?" Rather than have the two connect instantly, dePaola and Lewis credibly portray each child's tentativeness, while emphasizing what they have in common through parallel phrases. "I bet she has lots of friends," thinks Andy; "I bet he wants to play by himself," muses Sandy. After each child imagines the benefits of playing together, they enjoy a playground activity that requires trust and cooperation: a seesaw. The acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations are classic dePaola, with spare lines, rich colors, and facial expressions that transmit heaps of personality and heart. Short sentences, large type, and the early-reader trim size will give beginning readers' confidence a boost. Simultaneously available: Andy & Sandy's Anything Adventure. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Kate DiCamillo

School Library Journal Gr 1-4-Baby Lincoln has grown tired of living under the constant direction of her older sister Eugenia and has finally said enough is enough. Planning a "necessary journey," she packs her suitcase, complete with a library book, and heads to the train station. Fans of DiCamillo's "Mercy Watson" series will recognize Baby Lincoln and her home on Deckawoo Drive, while new readers will easily jump into this tale of sibling frustration. Students unfamiliar with Baby will be in hysterics to see that, despite her name, she's an older lady, complete with gray hair and wrinkles. Those who have bossy older (or younger) siblings will immediately connect with Baby as she sets off to experience life without the direction of her older sister. Baby makes new friends (like George, a young boy scared of wolf attacks) and discoveries (learning she enjoys comics and jelly beans) and ultimately finds herself missing her sister and wanting to return home. VERDICT Lending itself well to classroom read-alouds and discussions, and independent and bedtime reading, this title is most certainly a recommended purchase for those serving a young elementary age range.-Shana Morales, Windsor Public Library, CT © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* Baby Lincoln, Mercy Watson's timid, elderly neighbor, goes on a necessary journey in this third installment of the Tales from Deckawoo Drive series. Along the way, Baby receives assistance from young Stella (who helps her to purchase a train ticket), a man in a furry hat (who reminds Baby of the importance of laughter), a young woman (who urges Baby to recall her given name), and a toddler named George (who appreciates Baby's storytelling abilities). By journey's end, Lucille Abigail Eleanor Lincoln is a changed woman, and although she is happy to see her bossy sister, Eugenia, again, readers know that going forward her life will be more satisfying. This story is certain to resonate with anyone who has ever felt overpowered by authority. To her credit, DiCamillo explores the Lincolns' complicated relationship without completely dumping on Eugenia. Yes, Eugenia is overbearing, but the sisters do love each other. Stella's parallel struggles (as Frank's younger sister) help to move the plot forward and demonstrate other acceptable ways of gaining agency. As always, Van Dusen's signature artwork is pleasing to the eye and will help emerging readers make sense of the story's nuances and quirkiness. This Deckawoo Drive adventure is sure to inspire anyone taking his or her own tentative steps toward independence.--Weisman, Kay Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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