Foreword Reviews

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In a World of Possibilities

Picture Books

In worlds like our own, where anyone can be anything, picture books are the place to go for imaginations wild and abundant. The ones we’ve reviewed in our Children’s 2017 Spotlight are fantastical and sure to incite a child’s imagination. Monsters and fairy tales, dreams and goals are bountiful, all shared below.

The Day I Ran Away

Book Cover
Holly L. Niner
Isabella Ongaro, illustrator
Flashlight Press
Hardcover $17.95 (32pp)
978-1-936261-89-5
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

When Grace’s day turns from bad to worse, she decides to leave it all behind, in Holly L. Niner’s sweetly uplifting The Day I Ran Away. Alternating voices and fonts in adult orange and youthful purple relate Grace’s experiences with dramatic humor, and fun, colorful illustrations from Isabella Ongaro convey the wide range of emotions that allow Grace’s day to go from better to best with a little help from mom and dad.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

The Caterpillar Woman

Book Cover
Nadia Sammurtok
Carolyn Gan, illustrator
Inhabit Media
Hardcover $16.95 (32pp)
978-1-77227-083-9
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Inspired by the folklore and traditions of the Inuit people, Nadia Sammurtok shares a magical tale that unites a kindhearted maiden who dances with butterflies and a lonely hunter, in The Caterpillar Woman, a transformational story of kindness, compassion, and looking beyond the surface to the character within. Illustrations from Carolyn Gan showcase the beauty and grandeur of the arctic tundra with its dramatic landscapes and fascinating culture as Piujuq and Amaruq meet and fall in love.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

The Crystal Mountain

Book Cover
Ruth Sanderson
Crocodile Books
Hardcover $17.95 (32pp)
978-1-56656-021-4
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Ruth Sanderson uses threads of Chinese and Norwegian folklore in The Crystal Mountain, an alluring rendition of the “magic brocade,” this time set in fifteenth-century Europe. A stunning collection of intricate, textured paintings will enchant as the story of a humble weaver, covetous faeries, a mysterious stranger, and, of course, a quest befitting a brave and dashing hero —complete with magic whistle and magnificent steeds—unfolds in vivid detail, bringing the weaver’s beautiful tapestry to life.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

Dance With Me

Book Cover
Penny Harrison
Gwynneth Jones, illustrator
EK Books
Hardcover $17.99 (32pp)
978-1-925335-23-1
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

A music-box ballerina jumps and twirls with enthusiasm, in Penny Harrison’s Dance with Me. Creative and fluid, dreamlike illustrations from Gwynneth Jones help turn a little girl’s room into a field of flowers, a sandy seaside, and a dense jungle as she grows into a distracted teenager who is no longer interested in swaying and swirling, much to the ballerina’s dismay. Lovely and nostalgic, the ballerina’s story continues even after the lid on the box is closed.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

The Nian Monster

Book Cover
Andrea Wang
Alina Chau, illustrator
Albert Whitman & Company
Hardcover $16.99 (32pp)
978-0-8075-5642-9
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Chinese New Year is just days away when a legendary monster intent on devouring the city faces off against a feisty girl who must use her knowledge of the holiday’s customs to outsmart him, in Andrea Wang’s fun-filled holiday adventure, The Nian Monster. Alina Chau’s vibrant depictions of Shanghai’s cityscape, docks, and marketplaces surround an adorably wide-eyed Xingling as she saves the day in bunny slippers, merging old and new traditions while celebrating the spirit of the season.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

Dos conejos blancos

Book Cover
Jairo Buitrago
Rafael Yockteng, illustrator
Groundwood Books
Hardcover $18.95 (56pp)
978-1-55498-904-1
Buy: IndieBound

A young girl embarks on a great adventure with her papá, counting animals, clouds, and stars along the way, in Dos conejos blancos, by Jairo Buitrago. The perilous real-life struggles of Mexicans and Central Americans travelling north toward the United States are softened with child-like enthusiasm, even as Rafael Yockteng’s illustrations portray fierce armed soldiers and rough carrilera dwellers living alongside the railway tracks, in this moving Spanish-language tale of one family’s migration.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

Dream Big

Book Cover
Kat Kronenberg
Greenleaf
Hardcover $15.95 (48pp)
978-1-62634-347-4
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

As Baboon taps out a beat on his drum, he is inspired by the magic of wishing on a star, in Kat Kronenberg’s Dream Big, a story about friendship, positive thinking, and believing in yourself.

Illustrations from Stephanie Dehennin feature a brilliant East African sun and twinkling night sky as a variety of creatures from timid Tadpole to lonely Termite follow their hearts. Suggestions for interactive games, crafts, and activities will motivate little dreamers everywhere.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

The Carpenter

Book Cover
Bruna Barros
Gibbs Smith
Hardcover $12.99 (40pp)
978-1-4236-4676-1
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

A young boy abandons his beloved electronics when an old-fashioned yellow-jointed tape measure causes his imagination to run wild, in The Carpenter, a wordless expression of the simple joys found in exploration and creative play. Brazilian illustrator Bruna Barros uses basic yet bold contrasting colors, and lines that showcase the transformation of a carpenter’s shop into a veritable ocean of wonder, giving Harold and his purple crayon a run for their money.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

Tales of the Mushroom Folk

Book Cover
Signe Aspelin
Floris Books
Hardcover $17.95 (32pp)
978-1-78250-334-7
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

From the early days of spring through the rainy autumn season, meadows and forests are inhabited by a curious community. Tales of the Mushroom Folk, from Signe Aspelin, peeks into the whimsical world of mushrooms, from the evilly odiferous stinkhorns to the delightfully industrious puffballs and shaggy ink caps. Beautiful vintage illustrations will enchant while inspiring budding mycologists and naturalists to accurately identify a dozen varieties of edible or poisonous fungi and toadstools.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

The Steadfast Tin Soldier

Book Cover
Hans Christian Andersen
Joohee Yoon, illustrator
Enchanted Lion Books
Hardcover $22.95 (64pp)
978-1-59270-202-2
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Hans Christian Andersen’s iconic tale of love, loyalty, and loss, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, is retold by Joohee Yoon using classic printmaking artistry with an avant-garde edge. In gray scale with vivid scarlet splashes, the story of the soldier and the ballerina unfolds, maintaining all the tragic dignity of the original while infusing a fresh and thrilling air of suspense and emotion, ideal for those experiencing the tin soldier’s journey for the first time or the fiftieth.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

Break the Siege

Make Your Own Catapults

Book Cover
Rob Ives
John Paul de Quay, illustrator
Hungry Tomato
Hardcover $26.95 (32pp)
978-1-5124-0638-2
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Bringing engineering, physics, and history together in one extraordinary series, Rob Ives instructs audiences in the transformation of a variety of common household items into medieval trebuchets used to destroy castles, deadly Roman onagers, and more, in Break the Siege: Make Your Own Catapults, one of four TableTop Wars books available now. Grapes, marshmallows, and imaginations will soar as John Paul de Quay’s depictions assist in the step-by-step construction of some of history’s most innovative designs.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

Walter and the Wallet

Book Cover
Billy Bloom
Eifrig Publishing
Hardcover $14.99 (36pp)
978-1-63233-116-8
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Walter Whippingdale’s awful day takes an unexpected turn for the better when he stumbles across an abundance of cash, in Walter and the Wallet, by Billy Bloom. Rolling, rhyming four-line stanzas, accompanied by Tanya Leonello’s expressive watercolors, build excitement as Walter buzzes with the thrill of endless possibilities, and warm the heart as he discovers the rewards of honesty and giving. Perfect for a story-time read-aloud or programs that promote virtues and character building.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

La larga travesía de Endeavour

Celebrando 19 Años De Exploración Espacial

Book Cover
John D. Olivas
Icy & Michael Smith, editor
Gayle Garner Roski, illustrator
East West Discovery Press
Hardcover $19.95 (40pp)
978-0-9973947-2-6
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Former NASA astronaut John D. Olivas highlights the space shuttle Endeavour’s momentous history as seen through the eyes of young Jojo as he visits the California Science Center in Los Angeles for the first time, in La larga travesía de Endeavour: Celebrando 19 años de exploración espacial, the Spanish-language version of Endeavour’s Long Journey. Color photographs, pictures by Gayle Garner Roski, fun facts, quizzes, and more make this a great choice for all los niños aventureros.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

All the World a Poem

Book Cover
Gilles Tibo
Manon Gauthier, illustrator
Pajama Press
Hardcover $16.95 (32pp)
978-1-77278-009-3
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Poetry lives, falls from the sky, floats on the sea, and tumbles from the heart, in All the World a Poem, a flowing collection of verses from Gilles Tibo, translated from the original French by Erin Woods. Cut-paper-and-crayon collage art by Manon Gauthier adds to a youthful sense of wonder, as young poets are invited to see and share the beauty and inspiration in nature, emotion, friendship, and all the world around them.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

A Surprise for Teresita

Una sorpresa para Teresita

Book Cover
Virginia Sánchez-Korrol
Carolyn Dee Flores, illustrator
Piñata Books
Hardcover $17.95 (32pp)
978-1-55885-831-2
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

On the bustling city sidewalk in front of her building, Teresita anxiously awaits the arrival of her Tío Ramón, who has promised her something special for her seventh birthday, in A Surprise for Teresita, a bilingual slice of colorful, urban life from Virginia Sánchez-Korrol. Carolyn Dee Flores uses bold neons and soft edges to bring Teresita’s world into focus as she jumps rope, waters plants on the fire escape, and listens for the call of the snow-cone cart.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

What Color is a Kiss?

Book Cover
Rocio Bonilla
Charlesbridge
Hardcover $16.95 (32pp)
978-1-58089-739-6
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

In a riotous celebration of color and emotion, Monica, a charming young artist who likes strawberry cake and black sheep, contemplates the best way to paint a smooch, in Rocio Bonilla’s What Color is a Kiss? A bit eccentric and a bunch funny, Monica’s ruminations will delight as she explores each color’s suitability, in an effort to express with a paintbrush the warm feelings evoked when kissing or being kissed by a loved one.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (December 12, 2016)

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