Monday, November 13, 2017

Book of the Week: Little Wolf's First Howling



Little Wolf’s First Howling

by Laura McGee Kvasnosky
Illustrated by Laura McGee Kvasnosky and
    Kate Harvey McGee
Published by Candlewick Press, 2017
24 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7636-8971-1
Ages 3-7


Kvasnosky, Laura McGee. Little Wolf’s First Howling. Illys by Kate Harvey McGee. Candlewick Little Wolf is eager to go out at night with his father, Big Wolf, to learn how to howl. As the moon begins to rise, Big Wolf demonstrates a howl that ends with a lengthy “ooooooooooo.” Little Wolf’s first attempt starts strong but his enthusiasm gets the better of him as he brings it to a close: “I’m hoooowling, ‘oooowling, ‘ooooowling!” Which isn’t, Big Wolf notes, “proper howling form.” Big Wolf demonstrates. Little Wolf tries again. This time, his howl starts strong and ends with a jazzy “dibbity dobbity skibbity skobbity skooo-wooooo-woooooooooooo” Big Wolf praises Little Wolf for many things. “But your howling. It is not proper howling form.” So they try again. This time, Little Wolf’s ending is even more unrestrained. And Big Wolf can’t help it: he starts tail-wagging and ear-twitching and paw-tapping along. Distinctive digitally rendered paintings reminiscent of colored block prints create an inviting backdrop for a story begging to be howled aloud. ©2017 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Monday, November 6, 2017

Book of the Week: The Stars Beneath Our Feet



The Stars Beneath Our Feet

by David Barclay Moore
Published by Knopf, 2017
294 pages
ISBN: 978-1-5247-0124-6
Ages 9-13


On the edge of young adulthood, Lolly has the support of a hardworking, no nonsense mom and her girlfriend; his dad, who isn’t a daily presence in his life but whose love is never in doubt; staff at the community center; his best friend, Vega. He’s also keenly aware that the freedom with which he moved through Harlem when he was young has changed now that he’s 12; now that he’s eyed by various crews of older boys and young men as being either with them, or against them. The threat feels all the more real since his big brother Jermaine was recently shot and killed, and Lolly’s grief is complicated by the fact his brother, so often his protector, was mad at him for refusing to get involved in Jermaine’s dubious business. But Lolly’s sense of himself and the world and possibilities begins expanding after receiving an architecture book as a gift. Inspired to begin constructing an elaborate city out of Lego bricks, his efforts lead to a surprising new friendship with Rose, a girl most kids shun, who is navigating struggles of her own, and to exploring the real places pictured in the book. Lolly, his family, friends, and neighbors are vivid and alive in a story featuring exceptional characterizations and dialogue. The complexities of family and friendships come into full relief in a story celebrating the power of creativity and community in a child’s life. ©2017 Cooperative Children’s Book Center