Saturday, April 08, 2006

Saturday's Sunday Reviews

Elizabeth Ward reviews four new children's books this week in her "For Young Readers" column (Washington Post).

  • Here Lies the Librarian, by Richard Peck. Ward says that Peck shakes things up in this novel written for children, ages 10-16: "the mean, dried-up, book-hating librarian is just one of the stereotypes upended here as thoroughly as the coffins surprised from the earth in the first chapter, "Twister in the Graveyard." Few people are what they seem."
  • Lilly returns in Lilly's Big Day, by Kevin Henkes. Ward finds, "age has not withered the fashion-enslaved mouse with the big ego and bigger heart."
  • Silly Suzy Goose, by Petr Horacek ("Horacek is…the thinking tot's Eric Carle." A "near-perfect picture book.")
  • The Fuchsia Is Now , by J. Otto Seibold ("one good pun goes far with this age group")


There are many reviews of new children's books this week in the New York Times.

Randy Kennedy reviews new art books for young readers and finds, "The best of these books assume that children don't have to be tricked into liking art and don't have to be talked down to about it. But they also should never be bored by it." The first of these books to fit the bill is The Art Book for Children by the editors at Phaidon Press ("uses the individual artworks to examine different themes"). Also reviewed are:

The Times offers a web bonus to this review article. Randy Kennedy has prepared a web slide show featuring works from The Art Book for Children.

Alana Newhouse reviews Emil and Karl, by Yankev Glatshteyn and translated by Jeffrey Shandler, "the story of two young boys — one Jewish, one not — living in Vienna right after the Anschluss with Nazi Germany." Newhouse says adults will also find Emil and Karl a compelling read.

Another book on the years before the Holocaust featured this week in the New York Times is Memories of Survival, by Esther Nisenthal Krinitz and Bernice Steinhardt. Krinitz recorded her memories with "embroidery and fabric collage." The Times notes, "The effect is eerie, as precise renderings of orchards, geese and children's games give way to images of soldiers and barbed wire in gunmetal gray."

Finally, "Bookshelf" is devoted to children's books this week and features a great variety of new books.