Sunday, December 10, 2006

Weekend Reviews (I-II)

A busy Saturday resulted in a delay in the Weekend Reviews roundup. Here it all is in one huge post. (Susan, there are tons of top-ten lists in here. Summarize away!)

Philip Ardagh reviews Larklight, by Philip Reeve, for the Guardian. ("Satisfying, enjoyable and engaging. Mr Reeve has done it again.")

Madeline Bryant recommends holiday choices for the Los Angeles Times. Her choices are:
  • Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?, written by "fourteen masters of illustration," including Jerry Pinkney and Mo Willems
  • Follow the Line, by Laura Ljungkvist
  • Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
  • Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini, by Sid Fleischman
  • Crispin: At the Edge of the World, by Avi
  • Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine
  • The Legend of Bass Reeves, by Gary Paulsen
  • Pick Me Up, by Jeremy Leslie and David Roberts

Dinah Hall selects her favorites of 2006 for the Telegraph. These include:

  • Who's In the Loo?, by Jeanne Willis (love the title)
  • That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown, by Cressida Cowell and illustrated by Neal Layton
  • Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
  • Tim the Tiny Horse, by Harry Hill
  • Hall includes an anti-recommendation in her picture book roundup: "there's no excuse for the emetic that is Kylie the Showgirl Princess"
  • The Story of Everything, by Neal Layton
  • Deadly Invaders, by Denise Grady
  • Pick Me Up, by Jeremy Leslie and David Roberts
  • Whitakers World of Facts
  • Young Gardener, by Stefan and Beverley Buczacki
  • Look! Seeing the Light in Art, by Gillian Wolfe
  • Tiger and its perhaps less easily loveable Rhino, by Joanna Skipworth
  • Larklight, by Philip Reeve
  • The View from Saturday, by E. L. Konigsburg
  • Alone on a Wide Wide Sea, by Michael Morpurgo
  • The Silver Donkey, by Sonya Hartnett
  • Frozen Fire, by Tim Bowler
  • Centre of My World, by Andreas Steinhofel

Elizabeth Ward selects her top ten novels for children and top ten picture books for the Washington Post. First with the novels:

  • The Book of Everything, by Guus Kuijer
  • Here Lies the Librarian, by Richard Peck
  • Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City, by Kirsten Miller (I adore Kiki Strike. It's one of those books I wish I'd had when I was 10)
  • Lugalbanda: The Boy Who Got Caught Up in a War: An Epic Tale From Ancient Iraq, by Kathy Henderson
  • Peter Pan in Scarlet, by Geraldine McCaughrean
  • Samurai Shortstop, by Alan Gratz
  • The Unresolved, by T.K. Welsh (I loved this one too.)
  • Victory, by Susan Cooper
  • The White Elephant, by Sid Fleischman
  • Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett

Now for the picture books:

  • Flotsam, by David Wiesner
  • Lost and Found, by Oliver Jeffers
  • Mommy?, by Maurice Sendak, Arthur Yorinks and Matthew Reinhart
  • Probuditi!, by Chris van Allsburg
  • The Runaway Dinner, by Allan Ahlberg, illustrated by Bruce Ingman
  • Silly Suzy Goose, by Petr Horacek
  • The Squeaky Door, by Margaret Read MacDonald, illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma
  • Stanley Goes Fishing, by Craig Frazier
  • The Three Witches, by Zora Neale Hurston, adapted by Joyce Carol Thomas, illustrated by Faith Ringgold
  • Wolves, by Emily Gravett

Karen MacPherson selects her top ten non-fiction titles of 2006. They include:

  • Quest for the Tree Kangaroo, by Sy Montgomery
  • Diving to a Deep-Sea Volcano, by Kenneth Mallory
  • John Smith Escapes Again!, by Rosalyn Schanzer
  • Everybody's Revolution, by Thomas Fleming
  • The American Story: 100 True Tales From American History, by Jennifer Armstrong, illustrated by Roger Roth
  • Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon, by Catherine Thimmesh
  • Liftoff: A Photobiography of John Glenn, by Don Mitchell
  • Andy Warhol: Pop Art Painter, by Susan Goldman Rubin
  • Make It Pop! Activities and Adventures in Pop Art, by Joyce Raimondo.
  • The Amazing World of Sports, Sports Illustrated

In the midst of all this top-tenning, Jabari Asim reviews picture books for this week's Washington Post. She reviews:

  • Black? White! Day? Night!, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger ("a smartly conceived, cleverly designed exploration of opposites and their meanings")
  • The Opposite, by Tom MacRae ("an equally fanciful approach to the same concept")
  • The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine or The Hithering Thithering Djinn, by Donald Barthelme ("the absurdist story of a young girl named Mathilda who had a brief Alice in Wonderland-type adventure")
  • 365 Penguins, by Jean-Luc Fromental and illustrated by Joelle Jolivet ("definitely pleasing")
  • New Clothes For New Year's Day, by Hyun-Joo Bae ("delightful illustrations")

Lights, Camera, Amalee, by Dar Williams, is the Washington Post "Book of the Week."

On Angel Wings, by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Quentin Blake, is the Times "Children's Book of the Week."

Mary Harris Russell is back with her "For Young Readers" column in the Chicago Tribune. This week she reviews the following six titles:

  • Snow Globe Family, by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by S.D. Schindler ("Delightfully working out parallels in winter outings and the real fun of a good night's sleep after a cold day of play, whether the snow is real or not.")
  • Ophelia, by Lisa Klein ("Shakespeare loved changing source material around, and Klein continues in his footsteps")
  • Beka Cooper: Book 1: Terrier, by Tamora Pierce (has a "strikingly unexpected ending")
  • Beauty and the Beast, by Max Eilenberg, illustrated by Angela Barrett
  • Night Boat to Freedom, by Margot Theis Raven, pictures by E.B.Lewis ("Color--that first red, her quilts, the dark and the dawn--flows through the story, and the hues of E.B. Lewis' illustrations move us.")
  • 365 Penguins, by Jean-Luc Fromental, illustratedby Joelle Jolivet (" it's the fun of the rapidly multiplying penguin horde that carries the book")

Sue Corbett chooses her top books of 2006 for the Miami Herald. With the help of an "in-home focus group," Corbett's choices are the following:

  • Happy Birthday, Jamela!, by Niki Daly
  • I'm Not a Baby!, by Jill McElmurry
  • Lilly's Big Day, by Kevin Henkes
  • John, Paul, George & Ben, by Lane Smith
  • Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
  • Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection, by Alma Flor Ada and Isabel Campoy
  • Clementine, by Sarah Pennypacker
  • Half Moon Investigations, by Eoin Colfer
  • A True and Faithful Narrative, by Katherine Sturtevant
  • Born to Rock, by Gordon Korman
  • Headlock, by Joyce Sweeney

Still reading? Then let me tell you that The Oregonian has instituted a new Young Adult Literature column, written by April Henry. Henry reviews E. Lockhart's The Boy Book and Michael Harmon's Skate this week.

Are you really still reading this roundup? The consider Eleanor A. Bernal's travel book recommendations for children in the San Antonio Express.

And, wait! There's more. Cecelia Goodnow recommends a few new books (including The Green Glass Sea, Toys Go Out, and The American Story) in the Dallas Morning News.

Whew! What a weekend. I think I need a nap...