Alphabetical Index of Other Book Reviews

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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Doctor Who: Tales of Terror

What an odd but effective mash-up. Doctor Who: Tales of Terror is a collection of twelve scary stories, each featuring one of the twelve Doctors. This would make an excellent Halloween gift for your favorite Whovian. I wouldn’t have thought to put the two together, but then I remembered that Doctor Who has lots of monsters in it, and particularly the fourth Doctor specialized in horror tales. This was put out by BBC Children’s Books, so nothing in it is […]

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Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian

I loved the concept of Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian when I heard about it, and I’m pleased to report that the book was as good as I hoped. Jacob Sager Weinstein wrote and Vera Brosgol (Leave Me Alone!) illustrated this twist on a classic spy adventure. Doctor Glockenspiel threatens to unleash an army of giant moths to eat the world’s books unless he’s given a lot of money. When the world’s best secret agents fail, it’s up to Lyric McKerrigan, […]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A Picture Book

I can see some of the critics I read in grad school frothing at the mouth. A kids’ picture book retelling a TV show? Degradation of the format! How dare those purveyors of mass media trash infect our previous children and their literary tastes? I think it’s a clever idea. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A Picture Book, Kim Smith turns the fan-favorite series into a bedtime story with adorable younger versions of the cast. I loved it from the […]

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My Lady’s Choosing

As the kids raised on Choose Your Own Adventure books grow up, they turn the form into more adult entertainments of the same type. That’s what My Lady’s Choosing is — a pick-your-options story set in the vague milieu of historical romance by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris. You might fight spies with a dashing rogue in Scotland. Or flirt with minor lords in ballrooms while defeating a con artist trying to claim the estate. Or even have a sapphic […]

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The Little Particle That Could

The Little Particle That Could is an adorable educational children’s book with plenty of distinctive, charming illustrations. It’s a board book, for ages 3-6, the size of an elongated pack of index cards. As written by Jason Rodriguez, it’s the story of a happy particle who “spun all day and pulled, pulled, pulled things down to Earth.” This is about a graviton, in parental words, happily bopping along until the day she sees a light photon, which never stops moving. […]

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Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian

Out September 4 is a kids’ book with a concept that tickles me by a talented artist. Vera Brosgol (Be Prepared, Anya’s Ghost, Leave Me Alone!) is illustrating Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian, written by Jacob Sager Weinstein. Described as a “delightfully silly superhero tale”, the plot of the picture book aimed at ages 4-7 is: When an evil genius has a diabolical plan to destroy every book on the planet, who has the tome-toting page power to thwart his dastardly […]

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Enough Is Enough

This cute little picture book by Barney Saltzberg features two siblings who happen to be sheep and a playful approach to page structure. Enough Is Enough demonstrates both the need for alone time, sometimes, and the pleasure of interacting together at other times. Olive wants to read, but younger brother Will wants to play. So she tears a hole in the wall (as shown on the cover) and visits some imaginative landscapes in a series of double-page spreads. But after […]

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