Alphabetical Index of Other Book Reviews

The Karate Kid: The Classic Illustrated Storybook

The Karate Kid: The Classic Illustrated Storybook is the newest Pop Classic from Quirk Books. I previously talked about Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A Picture Book, from the same line. That book was an original story, but this one retells the 1984 movie. It’s based on the film written by Robert Mark Kamen and directed by John G. Avildsen, and this book is adapted by Rebecca Gyllenhaal and illustrated by Kim Smith, who has done all the titles in the […]

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The Little Guys

The Little Guys has an odd topic and message for a children’s book. When I first heard of the concept, that tiny little creatures — they look rather like beards with acorn caps and stick arms and legs, so they have no analogue in the real world — teamed up together, could do anything, I thought that that sounded like a typical, encouraging read about teamwork. That is not this book. As the promotion asks, But as they begin to […]

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You Are New: Lucy Knisley’s Children’s Book

It’s becoming the thing to do for comic artists to expand into children’s picture books. The differences are minimal but significant in terms of publishing audiences and format. A children’s book is usually a larger hardcover (easier for little hands to manipulate), with captioned images instead of word balloons, and fewer but larger pictures. Kate Beaton has released a couple, and so has Vera Brosgol. (She also illustrated someone else’s story to hilarious effect.) My favorite artist, Lucy Knisley, illustrated […]

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National Parks of the USA

As someone who’s never been able to successfully go camping — I’m allergic to the outdoors, and the one time I tried, I managed to develop bronchitis — I found this beautifully illustrated oversized hardcover a wonderful, escapist read, like paging through a catalog of gorgeous things I can’t afford. National Parks of the USA is written by Kate Siber, illustrated by Chris Turnham, and covers 21 of the 59 national parks, arranged by region. Each is introduced with an […]

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Where’s the Llama?: An Around-the-World Adventure

If you enjoy Where’s Waldo but would rather look for cute animals instead of a dopey guy in a striped shirt, Where’s the Llama?: An Around-the-World Adventure is the book for you. It’s written by Frances Evans and illustrated by Paul Moran. A group of ten llamas have decided to travel the world, so the goal is to find all of them in 17 colorful scenes that range from street festivals and famous tourist sites to art galleries, fashion shows, […]

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The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me

The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh is a cute teen romance with a substantial message. If you’ve been enjoying the Sex Education TV show, this should be your next read, because there are a lot of similarities. Lacey, Evita, and Theo are the best of friends in their senior year of high school in North Carolina. They dream of attending a music college in Boston together, but then the school’s mandatory abstinence-only “healthy life choices” […]

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The Story Behind: The Extraordinary History Behind Ordinary Objects

The Story Behind: The Extraordinary History Behind Ordinary Objects is a book compiling short stories of object origins, taken from the podcast of the same name by Emily Prokop. When I was a kid, before the internet became what it is and destroyed traditional publishing, I gobbled up books like these. It was so cool learning where things came from and bits of trivia around their creation. The Story Behind taps into that same appeal. Each chapter runs only 4-6 […]

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Why The Beach Boys Matter

Review by KC Carlson It’s a pretty tall order to tell the Beach Boys’ oft-confusing, decades-long history in a 176-page, 5″ x 7″ book, but Tom Smucker does an admirable job in Why The Beach Boys Matter, recently published by Music Matters/University of Texas Press. I admire someone who can write well about such a complex subject in such relatively short space. It’s important to note some of the many bands that didn’t have the longevity of The Beach Boys, […]

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