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Just the two of us

Four funny, episodic books for emerging readers feature dynamic duos — human, invertebrate, and everything in between. Laurel Snyder’s beginning chapter book Charlie & Mouse is filled to the brim with sincere, slice-of-life sibling moments. In four chapters, the two eponymous brothers have a party on the playground, attempt to sell rocks to the neighbors, […]

OH! AH! WAAHOO! Concept books!

Learning about colors, numbers, sounds, and the ABCs can be a blast (“WAAHOO!”) with these concept books for preschoolers-and-up. Say Zoop!, the latest old-school interactive picture book by Hervé Tullet (author of Press Here), plays with sounds, primary colors, and creativity. The book begins: touch a small blue dot “and say a little oh!” Press […]

Review of Barkus

Barkus by Patricia MacLachlan; illus. by Marc Boutavant Primary    Chronicle    56 pp. 6/17    978-1-4521-1182-7    $14.99 When globetrotting Uncle Everton sets off on a new voyage, he leaves Barkus — the “smartest dog in the world” — with Nicky and her family. In five brief chapters, Barkus and Nicky change the classroom dynamics at school, host […]

Review of My Pictures After the Storm

My Pictures After the Storm by Éric Veillé; illus. by the author; trans. from the French by Daniel Hahn Primary    Gecko    32 pp. 3/17    978-1-776571-04-8    $16.99 This subversive French import riffs on the standard before-and-after construct with a crafty conceit and playful presentation. The opening spread is simple enough. On the left sits a grouping […]

Review of All Ears, All Eyes

All Ears, All Eyes by Richard Jackson; 
illus. by Katherine Tillotson Preschool, Primary    Dlouhy/Atheneum    40 pp. 3/17    978-1-4814-1571-2    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-1572-9    $10.99 “An owl hoots in our dim-dimming woods. / Who-who.” As the sun sets 
in a forest, viewers must keep their senses alert to catch all the activity in 
Tillotson’s atmospheric pictures, […]

Mother Gray and Little Blue app review

Mother Gray and Little Blue (Oken Studios Limited, 2017; iOS and Android) is an interactive storybook app about a mother gray whale and her baby’s migration north during the winter. They need to leave their lagoon off the coast of California and join the other whales at “the top of the world,” where food is […]

Review of The Street Beneath My Feet

The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Guillain; illus. by Yuval Zommer Primary, Intermediate    Quarto    24 pp. 5/17    978-1-68297-136-9    $22.95 Turn the sturdy pages of this large book from bottom to top for an accordion-folded journey to the center of the Earth. Successive vertical spreads show readers the layers of animal, vegetable, and mineral life […]

Tiggly Chef: Addition app review

Tiggly’s educational apps can be played alone or with the corresponding Tiggly-brand silicone counting, letter, or shape toys. The engaging Tiggly Chef: Addition (2014; iOS and Android) makes a natural follow-up to Tiggly Adventure, inviting you to add numbers up to ten in combinations of units. Select the first level from the menu, and an […]

Review of Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee!

Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee! by Andrea J. Loney; illus. by Keith Mallett Primary    Lee & Low    40 pp.    g 6/17    978-1-62014-260-8    $19.95 One of the most memorable visual artists of the Harlem Renaissance was photographer James VanDerZee. In a picture-book biography that follows VanDerZee from his childhood interest in photography to his […]

Mammals app review

The latest in Tinybop’s Explorer’s Library series, Mammals (2017; iOS only) offers a fascinating introduction to mammals and how their bodies operate. The app opens on a natural history museum–like gallery containing five subtly animated creatures: little brown bat, Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth, red kangaroo, African elephant, and Bengal tiger. Tap on any animal to interact […]