Alphabetical Index of Other Book Reviews

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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The Gumazing Gum Girl: Popped Star

The third book in the Gum Girl series by Rhode Montijo with Luke Reynolds, The Gumazing Gum Girl: Popped Star, addresses the concerns readers and parents may have had around the girl hero hiding her abilities from her family. Previously, Gabby Gonzalez became a stretchy superhero when she chewed bubblegum, but her love of gum concerned her father, a dentist. Now, he’s going to fill a cavity in her tooth, and she’s resolved to reveal her secret identity to her […]

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Tess of the Road

Tess of the Road is an astounding book that presents a heartbreaking portrait of a young woman finally breaking the shackles of a restrictive upbringing in a fantasy world. Aided by a serpent-like quigutl, a species cousin to dragons, Tess overcomes her outcast status to find and value what she wants to be. After Tess’s early disgrace, the end result of a religiously-focused mother trying to break the spirit of a creative, outgoing young girl without giving her the tools […]

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The War Bride’s Scrapbook

As she did with The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, Caroline Preston has created a visual history of a woman who never existed but whose life is enlightening. The War Bride’s Scrapbook portrays how Lila found herself married after knowing Perry only a few weeks. The daughter of a status-seeking Virginia woman and an insurance salesman, Lila was too tall and plump for her mother’s taste. When war breaks out, she finds ways to be useful, culminating in renting a room […]

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Groovy: When Flower Power Bloomed in Pop Culture

The book Groovy: When Flower Power Bloomed in Pop Culture is quite the time capsule. Not just in its content, which is all about material from the 1960s and 70s, but that it exists at all. When I was a kid, I loved these kind of popular grab-bag histories, with weird little stories about things that happened in the relatively modern era but before I was born. This one rambles through music, notable TV shows (The Monkees and Laugh-In), movies […]

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Killer Fashion: Poisonous Petticoats, Strangulating Scarves, and Other Deadly Garments Throughout History

The main thing that surprised me about the various ways clothes can kill you that are shown in Killer Fashion: Poisonous Petticoats, Strangulating Scarves, and Other Deadly Garments Throughout History was the sheer number of them that involved catching on fire. Wigs, artificial fabric, and shirt cuffs were all surprisingly flammable. While (as a fan of weird cultural history) I had heard of many of these before, though, I hadn’t seen them expressed in such a charmingly grotesque manner. Each […]

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