Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Grimm & Grimmer

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

This story doesn’t start with Hansel and Gretel, but it is about them. And, as the narrator will warn you, this is a dark an bloody tale not suited for young children, but closer to the original stories than any silly kiddie movies might be. Gidwitz strings a number of Grimm’s stories together, each featuring Hansel and Gretel. Despite the darkness and the blood, this is a fun book, the narrator’s warnings adding humor to the tale. I love remixed fairy tales, but instead of changing the setting or reversing gender roles (as one usually sees) Gidwitz has found a successful new way to retell the tales.

A fabulous combination of humor and tragedy, A Tale Dark and Grimm is precisely what it says it is. Ages 9 and up. –Marika

2 Spring Picturebooks

Wiener Wolf by Jeff Crosby

Wiener dog leads a good but boring life with Granny. When he discovers the wild life of the wolves on television, he sets out to experience the great outdoors. With just the removal of his sweater, Wiener Dog becomes Wiener Wolf! And life is great with the wolves, until Wiener Dog realizes just what wolves eat; maybe life with Granny isn’t so bad after all.

The illustrations are wonderful. Crosby’s pacing of the story and dramatic reveals (such as the transformation into Wiener Wolf) are perfectly planned for rip-roaring laughter. Readers of all ages will cheer for Wiener Dog, enjoying the quirky characterization Crosby has crafted. So put a sweater on your pooch, wrap someone’s tail around your legs, and prepare yourself for a great adventure.

Blackout by John Rocco

When the city experiences a blackout, one family, and eventually the entire neighborhood, learns the importance of unplugging and participating. From seeing the stars to having a party on the street with the entire neighborhood, Blackout celebrates friends and family. And one family learns that you don’t need a blackout to enjoy time together.

John Rocco tells his story in a comic-panel format. His illustrations, and even the font, reference Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen, though his style and medium have their own flair.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Luka and the Fire of Life

It's out today!

What is?


Luka and the Fire of Life When Luka’s father falls into a deep sleep, Luka must venture into the world of magic, and steal the fire of life, in order to save his father. Luka’s adventure takes the form of a video game, complete with saving points, as he travels through a land populated by gods, goddesses, and characters from his father’s stories. A companion book to Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Luka is a celebration of story telling, filled with classic characters and fun word-play. Age 9 & up.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spring books from Scholastic

Where's Walrus
by Stephen Savage
February 2011
Tired of the zoo and looking for something new, walrus heads out into the city. In each spread he hides somewhere new, trying to elude the zookeeper out to bring him back. With a delightful surprise ending, children will be able to tell different stories about the illustrations each time they read it. Savage tells his wordless story through c
lear, graphic illustrations that will delight even the youngest child while design-conscious adults may wish to pick up a copy for their coffee table.
Hippo and Rabbit: 3 Short Tales
by Jeff Mack
February 2011
Three sweet stories about a new duo who are sure to become a fast favorite. Hippo is silly and bumbling, his friend Rabbit quick and ready. But together they are a great team and the best of friends. The cartoony illustrations in an eye-catching palette are sure to appeal to youngsters. Hopefully this is just the first in a series starring Hippo and Rabbit. While Frog and Toad are forever, this generation may have found a new team.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

WAMC Book Picks

Listen to Emily Crowe and myself talking about books on WAMC's Round Table.

Books I mention:
Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems
Odious Ogre by Norton Juster, illustrated by Jules Feiffer
Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon
Dust City by Robert Paul Weston
Shadow by Suzy Lee
Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

It's very strange to listen to yourself.