Saturday, November 12, 2005

Reviews and more

There's a wealth of riches in this season's New York Times Children's Book Issue, from picture books to young adult titles. With more articles to mention, I'll just note several reviews I find intriguing.

  • Elizabeth Devereaux considers two books concerning the Holocaust--Josephine Poole's Anne Frank (illustrated by Angela Barrett) and Isaac Millman's Hidden Child. Devereaux prefers Millman's book, writing, "Close observations, not neat conclusions, allow readers to understand the author's experiences. Weigh the emotion compressed in this statement: 'Sometimes, days went by when I didn't think about the war or Mama and Papa.' Hauntingly transmitted, this child's experiences, preserved in the memory of the adult Millman, can become the reader's memories."
  • Polly Shulman reviews the marvelous wonder that is Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief.
  • Sam Swope discusses three new children's books by writers who usually write for adults--Dale Peck, Adam Gopnik, and Carl Hiaasen. Swope concludes that only Hiaasen has successfully crossed over to the children's market with Flush. He writes, " Part of what makes Flush so enjoyable is the sense it conveys that Hiaasen himself is having such a grand old time. It's thrilling to read a writer so shameless and so good. Hiaasen stoops to any cornball shtick - slapstick villains, mysterious pirates, a boy hiding in the ladies' room - and pulls it off each time. This is pitch-perfect writing, better than Hoot, and that's saying something, because Hoot was a 2003 Newberry Honor book. "