Review: The Patchwork Bike

The Patchwork Bike

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by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Author), Van Thanh Rudd (Illustrator)

Imagination and ingenuity will take you anywhere. The Patchwork Bikeis a very personal, yet completely relatable story about how family and making your own fun can help surmount hardship. Set in an Australian village by the “no-go” desert, three siblings make their own bike out of bark, cans, flour sacks, and mom’s milk pot. The descriptions are simplified into child-like sounds, and drama and content is distilled to the most pure. Especially beautiful are the author and artist biographies in the back, folding in cultural and social issues, woven together with heart, and topped with page design so relevant it seems to whisper its own story from flip to flip. Most definitely a keeper.

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Review: Hello, Horse

Hello, Horse

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by Vivian French  (Author), Catherine Rayner (Illustrator)

An excellent combination of story and education set to some truly lovely watercolor art, Hello, Horsewalks a young boy through the initial apprehension surrounding horseback lessons. There is a gentle rhythm to the narrative that holds the viewer by the hand while snippets of information about horses and horse care are sprinkled throughout.  Delicately paced and thoughtfully laid out, Hello, Horse makes a beautiful addition to any child’s library.

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Review: Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World

Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World

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by Katherine Halligan  (Author), Sarah Walsh  (Illustrator)

Not HIStory, HERstorytells about 50 wonderful women’s earth-shaking biographies presented in a fun scrapbook layout. Artists, writers, scientists, and queens are featured in a bite-sized history lesson into some amazing females that changed the game in their fields. Fans of She Persisted and Miss R•EVOLutionaries will find the ultimate bedtime story source to replace Prince Charming in your little heroine’s life.

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Review: The Day War Came

The Day War Came

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by Nicola Davies (Author), Rebecca Cobb (Illustrator)

An expressive tale of what happens when your day starts normally, and ends in rubble.  Child- appropriate words and images bring us into the universe that is war and refugee immigration.  Ending in hope, this book is a powerful jump into the lives of individuals whose world was torn apart by war, especially since it is from a child’s perspective.

Eye-opening, emotional, important and timely, The Day the War Camewas published in association with Help Refugees.

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Review: Pterodactyl Show and Tell

Pterodactyl Show and Tell

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by Thad Krasnesky  (Author), Tanya Leonello (Illustrator)

Serious laugh out loud fun! Any child into dinosaurs (or chaos, wrecking havoc,  gross-outs, and class disruptions) will adore this fast paced, super extra silly picture book about what happens when a third-grader brings a pet Pterodactyl to class. The quick and innocent voice of the author coupled with the absolutely relatable classroom responses make for a real storytime gem.

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Review: Mouse House

Mouse House

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by John Burningham  (Author, Illustrator)

Two families, one house–one by day and one by night. But when worlds collide, how will they continue to share space? Mouse House by John Burningham invites us in to watch how an unlikely friendship evolves through the seasons. Endearing illustrations add to a sweet story of what home really means.

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Review: With Love, Grandma

With Love, Grandma

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by Helen Foster James  (Author), Petra Brown (Illustrator)

Sweet messages of encouragement and connection through a series of letters sent from Grandma make up this heartfelt picture book by Helen Foster James and Petra Brown.  Delightful illustrations and comfortable hand-lettered-looking text make each page a sweet reuinion between grandchild and grandparent. A special reminder to children (and adults) to take the time to keep in touch!

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Review: The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection

The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection

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by Colby Sharp  (Editor)

Creativity jump-start! Filled with quotes, notes and prompts, the Creativity Project is a great inspirational first step for anyone. Lemony Snicket, Chris Grabenstein, Javaka Steptoe, Linda Sue Park, and dozens more push you off the stuck ledge and into creative flight.

Each story starter is curated by editor Colby Sharp and designed for story builders, but really, this whole book makes great imagination snacks for any creative discipline!

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Review: The Eye That Never Sleeps: How Detective Pinkerton Saved President Lincoln

The Eye That Never Sleeps: How Detective Pinkerton Saved President Lincoln

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by Marissa Moss (Author), Jeremy Holmes (Illustrator)

Half graphic novel and half “who was,” The Eye That Never Sleepsfollows detective Allan Pinkerton on a historic trip to protect Abraham Lincoln as he travels on a speaking tour. Full of detail, both literary and illustrative, this book will not fail with preteens doing their first historical-character book report. Absolutely fun and informative, Moss and Holmes bring true sparkle to history.

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