This Week’s Reviews

The Clever Tailor
Srividhya Venkat, illus. Nayantara Surendranath |
Karadi Tales Picturebooks | 9788193388907 | September 2019“Vibrant jewel-toned, pastel and colored pencil illustrations literally swirl through the pages of the book, supporting readers’ understanding of the unfamiliar words while also propelling the storyline. This is an excellent multicultural book with a message of upcycling and creativity that will inspire young readers to think twice before throwing something away.”—Children’s Book and Media Review

Get Off That Camel
AH Benjamin, illus. Krishna Bala Shenoi | Karadi Tales Picturebooks | 9788193903315 | October 2019
“A delightful combination of humor and kindness makes this book uplifting and fun.”—Children’s Book and Media Review

Weegee: Serial Photographer  
Max de Radiguès, illus. Wauter Mannaert, trans. Helge Dascher | Conundrum Press | 9781772620238 | May 2018

“Wauter Mannaert’s frenetic black-and-white illustrations are the perfect match for the iconic photography of Weegee, who was treated in his time as a hack, even though he is now seen as a true artist. This artistic take on his fascinating life is the perfect tribute.”—Digital Camera World

GG | Koyama Press | 9781927668726 | January 2020
“Each person’s experience with depression may be nuanced, but Constantly manages to touch on the more universal parts of the illness.”—Tulsa Book Review

A Long Way Off
Pascal Garnier, trans. Emily Boyce | Gallic Books | 9781910477779 | March 2020

“This tiny little gem of a novel, only 124 pages in its “advance readers copy” state, is a mind-blowing masterpiece….You should then think about buying Garnier’s works from Gallic Books and starting a little collection. And someone who knows something should at least provide an English-language entry on Wikipedia for this French author, now deceased, who had a brilliant style and a chilling mastery of storytelling.”—Bookgasm

Princess Jill Never Sits Still
Margarita del Mazo, illus. José Fragoso | NubeOcho | 9788417123833 | April 2020
“Children ages 3-7 who have gotten a bit tired of your average fairytale princess, will truly enjoy this beautifully original picture book story by the team of author/storyteller Margarita del Mazo and illustrator/artist Jose Fragoso. Simply stated, “Princess Jill Never Sits Still” will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library children’s picture book collections.”Midwest Book Review

A Wave of Stars
Dolores Brown, illus. Sonja Wimmer | NubeOcho | 9788417673413 | July 2020
“Original, beautiful, entertaining, and thoroughly kid friendly, A Wave of Stars will prove to be an extraordinary and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.”—Midwest Book Review

Hair, it’s a Family Affair
Mylo Freeman | Cassava Republic Press | 9781911115687 | April 2019

“Highlights the joys of Natural Hair, with colorful Illustrations. A beautiful book for young black boys and girls.”—Comfy Girl with Curls

In Praise of Fragments
Meena Alexander | Nightboat Books | 9781643620121 | February 2020
“In this book, one notices long lines of prose rather than the poetically shaped verses typical of Alexander’s poetry. But her observations are offered with sharp attention to detail… After all, the book is called In Praise of Fragments, and there is no denying the power of the resonances that echo through the interplay of memory and the living flesh of her surroundings.”—World Literature Today

Lisa Murphy Being Child Centered
Lisa Murphy | Redleaf Press | 9781605546155 | November 2019
Creating a Kid Zone: Are you in a truly hands-on, play-based, child-centered environment? Find out with this new book from early childhood expert Lisa Murphy.”—Learning

The Promise
Silvina Ocampo, trans. Suzanne Jill Levine & Jessica Powell | City Lights | 9780872867710 | November 2019
A bold phantasmagoria, marked by Ocampo’s insight that in extremis, delirium can be the highest form of truth.”—New York Review of Books

Forgotten Journey
Silvina Ocampo, trans. Suzanne Jill Levine & Katie Lateef-Jan | City Lights | 9780872867727 | November 2019
“[Ocampo] is a remarkably visual writer. The situations she composes—innocence corrupted; class status revealed or revoked; the external effects on the body of various foods, states of weather, varieties of poison and medicine—make for phenomenal tableaux..”—New York Review of Books

Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes
Jef Aerts, illus. Sanne te Loo | Floris Books | 9781782505617 | January 2020
“The rich illustrations that are hand-drawn using gouache and pen gently depict the green and yellow village and the city Adin and his mother move to.  This is a sensitive story about the power of friendship.”—Omnilibros

Under the Great Plum Tree
Sufiya Ahmed, illus. Reza Dalvand | Tiny Owl Publishing | 9781910328460 | April 2020

“Beautifully illustrated, this retelling of an ancient fable is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.”—Midwest Book Review

Hilary Leichter | Coffee House Press | 9781566895668 | March 2020

“There’s a lot compressed into these crisp sentences: the pressure we find ourselves under when we define our lives by our work. . . . the increasing, quasi-magical power held by administrators and bureaucrats, regardless of profession; the understanding of workers as fungible goods. But it’s all done with lightness, in a style that is quietly allusive (the ‘pleasure dome’ calls up Coleridge’s vision of Xanadu) and that relishes linguistic playfulness. . . . While Leichter’s economic analysis is serious, her manner is delightfully goofy.”—Commonweal Magazine

“The word “experimental” doesn’t quite capture what Temporary achieves in its pages; more specifically, the text creates and inhabits a psychological space: a plane of existence between real and un-real that follows its own physics and decorum. The book is pushing forward beyond realist fiction.”—Los Angeles Review

The Phoenix of Persia
Sally Pomme Clayton, illus. Amin Hassanzadeh Sharif | Tiny Owl Publishing | 9781910328439 | March 2020
“The deep, rich illustrations complement the tone of this folk tale. Front matter offers an introductory context to this traditional Iranian story and includes a QR code which allows readers to hear accompanying music. Additional backmatter gives details of the Iranian musical instruments heard in the music. This book would make a fine addition to a Persian/Iranian folk literature collection.”—School Library Connection

Kate Durbin | Wave Books | Spring 2021
“Though the swift-moving spectacle of the television show invites viewers to cast easy judgment on these hoarders, Durbin employs poetry’s slower speed to show a more complicated picture. Instead of using Tara’s story to make us feel better about ourselves for not being hoarders, she indicts aspects of American culture we all participate in—religion, capitalism—and reveals our complicity, all while dropping a lot of sight gags in the process.”—The Stranger

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