Foreword Reviews

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Want to Get a Child to Read? We Recommend These Books


The saying goes “if you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” Good thing for children there are so many different kinds to choose from. Anything your child is into, there’s a book out there to make them love reading. From learning books to funny adventures, these books reviewed in our September/October 2017 issue will help any child learn to love reading.

Fatima and the Clementine Thieves

Book Cover
Mireille Messier
Gabrielle Grimard, illustrator
Red Deer Press
Hardcover $18.95 (32pp)
978-0-88995-529-5
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

When their orchard mysteriously comes under attack, Fatima and her grandfather rely on a cluster of unlikely allies to save an important crop in Mireille Messier’s Fatima and the Clementine Thieves. Beautifully accented watercolors from Gabrielle Grimard add to the allure with exotically detailed textiles, landscapes, and architecture. Inspired by the African proverb of the elephants and spiderwebs, Fatima and her friends prove that by working together, even little things can have a big impact.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

No More Noisy Nights

Book Cover
Holly L. Niner
Guy Wolek, illustrator
Flashlight Press
Hardcover $17.95 (32pp)
978-1-936261-93-2
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

With a ghost in the attic, a bogey monster in the basement, and a pixie in the piano, it’s no wonder Jackson is having trouble sleeping. No worries, though—some thoughtful problem solving guarantees a restful slumber for Jackson, and perhaps a few new friends, in No More Noisy Nights, from Holly L. Niner. Amusing illustrations from Guy Wolek reveal an adorably earnest Jackson and his kind but clamorous neighbors as they learn to peacefully coexist.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

Wake

Book Cover
Shawn Dougherty
Leah Busch, illustrator
Blue Manatee Press
Hardcover $17.99 (40pp)
978-1-936669-60-8
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

A boy hears the call of an owl, feels the pull of the moon, and communes with a giant oak. Wake, from Shawn Dougherty, follows his dreamy nighttime foray into the surrounding woods. Watercolors from Leah Busch complement the boy’s quiet inner musings as he expresses his love, respect, and wonder at the world around him, marveling as the northern lights and star-filled sky softly fade, and embracing the dawning light of the morning sun.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

I Love My Purse

Book Cover
Belle DeMont
Sonja Wimmer, illustrator
Annick Press
Hardcover $18.95 (36pp)
978-1-55451-954-5
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Confidently rocking a bright red hand-me-down pocketbook, Charlie’s quiet courage shines in Belle DeMont’s delightfully inspiring I Love My Purse, a tribute to being unapologetically true to yourself and embracing individuality, be it through wearing an accessory traditionally meant for girls, eating the food you love, or openly pursuing your dreams. Colorful illustrations from Sonja Wimmer highlight cool Charlie’s quirky style as he cruises to and from school, skateboard and handbag in tow.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

Stolen Words

Book Cover
Melanie Florence
Gabrielle Grimard, illustrator
Second Story Press
Hardcover $17.95 (24pp)
978-1-77260-037-7
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Saddened that he cannot recall any words in his native Cree language to share with his curious granddaughter, Stolen Words, from Melanie Florence, is one man’s emotional tale of strength, hope, and healing, shedding light on the continued repercussions of the horrific residential schools that separated indigenous children from their families and heritage in the name of cultural assimilation. In color and gray scale, Gabrielle Grimard’s moving watercolors capture the bittersweet journey while looking to the future.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

Wakem the Rooster: Up All Night

Up All Night

Book Cover
David FitzSimmons
Richard Cowdrey, illustrator
Wild Iris Publishing
Hardcover $18.99 (32pp)
978-1-936607-01-3
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Everyone knows that roosters herald the morning, but one song-loving fowl shakes up the barnyard, turning night into day with his incessant cock-a-doodle-doing, in Wakem the Rooster: Up All Night, a rollicking bedtime adventure from David FitzSimmons. Eye-catching images with a brightly feathered Wakem, from illustrator Richard Cowdrey, add to the comic mayhem as a farm full of sleepy cats, dogs, owls, and more offer surprisingly sage advice on how to get back on schedule.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

When Planet Earth Was New

Book Cover
James Gladstone
Katherine Diemert, illustrator
Owlkids Books
Hardcover $18.95 (40pp)
978-1-77147-203-6
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Fusing art and science, James Gladstone’s When Planet Earth Was New explores over four billion years of transformation in climate, geology, biology, and more as an uninhabitable environment ever so slowly teems with life from the tiniest cyanobacteria to prehistoric behemoths and the gradual rise of human civilizations. Striking, otherworldly illustrations from Katherine Diemert show the constantly evolving landscapes in fantasy-rich hues in this beautifully unique journey through space and time.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

Where Are You Hiding, God?

Book Cover
Elisabeth Zartl
Westminster John Knox Press
Hardcover $12.00 (24pp)
978-0-664-26352-2
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

In Elisabeth Zartl’s sweetly profound Where Are You Hiding, God?, a little girl looks for God between the clothes in her dresser, among the garden flowers, and all around, but she can’t find God anywhere. Swirls and whorls of dreamy, windswept artwork in soothing shades enhance the simple, reflective message as the girl realizes that, while she may not be able to see God underneath her socks, she can always feel God’s presence wherever she may be.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

Little Red Ruthie

A Hanukkah Tale

Book Cover
Gloria Koster
Sue Eastland, illustrator
Albert Whitman & Company
Hardcover $16.99 (32pp)
978-0-8075-4646-8
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

An enchanting holiday twist on an old fairy-tale classic finds the big bad wolf stalking a basket-carrying little girl on her way to grandmother’s house, or rather, Bubbe Basha’s. Traditional latkes, candle lighting, and retelling the tale of the Maccabees are matched with modern flourishes from Sue Eastland; the white snowy woods are a pleasant contrast to Ruthie’s candy-cane-striped leggings and puffy, hooded jacket in iconic crimson.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

Good Night, Reindeer

Book Cover
Denise Brennan-Nelson
Marco Bucci
Sleeping Bear Press
Hardcover $16.99 (32pp)
978-1-58536-370-4
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

With humor and a holiday sense of wonder, Santa ushers Blitzen, Vixen, Prancer, and friends into bed in Good Night, Reindeer from Denise Brennan-Nelson. Simple verses mimicking the style and rhythm of Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon are accompanied by dynamic paintings from illustrator Marco Bucci, full of twilight shadows and rich textures with festive strings of multi hued lights twinkling throughout, but with Christmas morning looming large, one red-nosed reindeer may be too excited to sleep.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

Living Things and Nonliving Things

A Compare and Contrast Book

Book Cover
Kevin Kurtz
Arbordale Publishing
Softcover $9.95 (32pp)
978-1-62855-986-6
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Vivid photographs featuring some of Earth’s most astonishing features, creatures, and accomplishments are set on a crisp white backdrop and paired with an array of questions that sensibly guide curious young biologists on a quest of scientific identification in Living Things and Nonliving Things: A Compare and Contrast Book from Kevin Kurtz. Perfect for classrooms or home study, creative minds are encouraged to explore further through a variety of visually compelling checklists, quizzes, and online resources.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

Wild Zoo Train

Book Cover
Carmela LaVigna Coyle
Steve Gray, illustrator
Muddy Boots
Hardcover $15.00 (32pp)
978-1-63076-306-0
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

With a clickety-clack and a choo-choo-choo, Carmela LaVigna Coyle’s Wild Zoo Train chugs through desert, jungle, savanna, frozen tundra, and beyond while a sprightly conductor clamors over cars, calling out amusing rhymes to introduce an entertaining variety of plants, mammals, insects, and reptiles in their native habitats. Wide-eyed passengers, brought to life by Steve Gray’s humorous cartoon-style characterizations, stare raptly at equally wide-eyed animals as the train winds along the tracks through diverging landscapes for one unforgettable ride.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

Dear Dinosaur

With Real Letters to Read!

Book Cover
Chae Strathie
Nicola O’Byrne, illustrator
Barron’s Educational Series
Hardcover $11.99 (28pp)
978-0-7641-6898-7
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

When his trip to the The City Museum is cut short, Max is encouraged by an enthusiastic curator to write a letter to his favorite dinosaur, sparking an entertaining and cleverly educational correspondence between a boy and a T. Rex in Chae Strathie’s Dear Dinosaur. Fold out letters on museum stationery, lift-the-flap cards, e-mail, and even a beach vacation postcard are set amid a rainbow of Nicola O’Byrne’s picture collages as the new penpals playfully swap stories.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

Love You Always

Book Cover
Eileen Spinelli
Gillian Flint, illustrator
WorthyKids
Hardcover $15.99 (32pp)
978-0-8249-5686-8
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Whether singing, dancing, or grumbling on the verge of a tantrum, Eileen Spinelli’s Love You Always conveys a message of unconditional love through simple, charmingly melodic verses and lovely pastel-hued vignettes from Gillian Flint. Ideal for reading quietly or sharing aloud, children of all ages will take comfort in knowing that whether they are happy, sad, naughty, or mad, and no matter where they are, what they are doing, or how they are feeling, someone loves them always.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

Melvin the Mouth

Book Cover
Katherine Blanc
Jeffrey Ebbeler, illustrator
Charlesbridge Publishing
Hardcover $16.99 (32pp)
978-1-58089-714-3
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Bugs, Tweety, and countless other well-loved characters can all thank one man for giving them a voice in movies, television, and radio, but before Mel Blanc became an actor, he was a precocious boy with mountains of energy and imagination, earning the nickname Melvin the Mouth. Mel’s daughter-in-law, Katherine Blanc, tells his story with an array of creative artwork from Jeffrey Ebbeler, who fuses lively black-and-white sketches with color spreads, showcasing Mel’s irrepressible spirit.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

Ivy and the Lonely Raincloud

Book Cover
Katie Harnett
Flying Eye Books
Hardcover $16.95 (32pp)
978-1-911171-15-7
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Looking for a friend who won’t run for cover when he comes out to play, one small raincloud meets his match in the perpetually frowning florist in Ivy and the Lonely Raincloud from Katie Harnett. Humorously expressive illustrations in muted shades of stormy gray are brightened by a soft rainbow of flowers as a yellow dress wearing girl and an eager cumulous find common ground and perhaps a reason to smile, despite the drizzly weather.

PALLAS GATES MCCORQUODALE (August 27, 2017)

Pallas Gates McCorquodale

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