Featured Book Lists
Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog A Spell for Trouble
by Esme Addison

Publishers Weekly Alex Daniels, the 28-year-old heroine of Addison’s captivating debut and series launch, returns to her hometown of Bellamy Bay, N.C., more than 20 years after her mother’s death there. Her father, who died three months earlier in Connecticut, had always forbidden her to visit, but Alex is in need of some rest and relaxation after abruptly leaving her high-powered job in New York City. Impulsively, she takes a retail position at her family’s herbal apothecary, Botanika. When Alex’s reticent aunt, Lidia, is arrested for the murder of a Botanika customer, Alex sets out to clear Lidia’s name. Her investigating uncovers more about the circumstances of her mother’s death, and long-standing inter-family strife, leading her to realize her relatives have secrets beyond perfume and organic soap recipes, and to wonder whether she’ll ever feel a part of the family. A crafty plot, distinctive characters, and a quirky small-town setting bode well for future installments. Cozy fans will be more than satisfied. Agent: Nikki Terpilowski, Holloway Literary. (May)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Addisons sparkling debut brings a woman back to her mother's hometown, where she learns a shocking truth about her familyand herself.Aleksandra Daniels was forbidden by her father to return to Bellamy Bay, North Carolina, after her mother drowned there more than 20 years ago. After his death, however, she leaves her New York City job as a risk manager and, with her dog, Athena, goes to visit her Aunt Lidia and cousins Minka and Kamila, who are thrilled to see her after such a long hiatus, and help them out at their herbal remedies store. There she meets Pepper Bellamy, an inquisitive reporter who mentions the hidden secrets of the towns oldest clans, the Wesleys and the Sobieskis, Alexs own family. Lidia has an odd, nasty confrontation with Randy Bennett, one of her customers, who badly needs an elixir but finally departs with some tea. By contrast, Alex and new police officer Jack Frazier hit it off, but their relationship is taxed when he arrests Lidia after Randy is found fatally poisoned by deadly nightshade berries. Furious, Alex decides to look into the case herself. After all, Randys widow, Stephanie, stands to inherit millions; his business partner, Edwin Kenley, was angry with him; and the wealthy and powerful Wesleys want to buy their business. Alex is astonished when Pepper tells her shes working on an article claiming the Sobieskis are water witches descended from mermaids. When Lidia is put under house arrest, Alex learns that her relatives really are witches and that shed be wise to develop some of the powers she inherited from her talented mother. As she begins to investigate the Wesley family, she meets Dylan, a stunningly attractive man who reminds her that they played together as children. The connections still there, but she cant trust him or his steely mother and sister. As she struggles with her powers, Alex cant talk to Jack about her theories because hes a nonmagical Mundane, and she puts herself in great danger when she turns up more dangerous secrets.For those who love cozies, romance with an edge, and magical adventures. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list After her father’s death and the loss of her job, Alex Daniels travels to Bellamy Bay, North Carolina, to visit her aunt and cousins, whom she hasn’t seen in more than 20 years. Alex agrees to help out in the family herbal apothecary, and at the shop her Aunt Lidia has a physical argument with local businessman Randy Bennett. When Bennett is found poisoned, Lidia is arrested for the murder. Determined to clear her aunt of the charges, Alex begins her own investigation. She is stunned to learn that she, like her aunt and cousins, is a "water witch," a magical being thought to be descended from mermaids. Combining her fledgling magical powers and standard investigative techniques, Alex uncovers long-buried secrets and identifies additional suspects, including members of the powerful Wesley family, also with magical powers. This cozy, with its well-developed characters and charming seaside setting, and framed by plant and mermaid lore, will appeal to those who enjoy stories with a touch of magic.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Kirkus Addison’s sparkling debut brings a woman back to her mother's hometown, where she learns a shocking truth about her family—and herself. Aleksandra Daniels was forbidden by her father to return to Bellamy Bay, North Carolina, after her mother drowned there more than 20 years ago. After his death, however, she leaves her New York City job as a risk manager and, with her dog, Athena, goes to visit her Aunt Lidia and cousins Minka and Kamila, who are thrilled to see her after such a long hiatus, and help them out at their herbal remedies store. There she meets Pepper Bellamy, an inquisitive reporter who mentions the hidden secrets of the town’s oldest clans, the Wesleys and the Sobieskis, Alex’s own family. Lidia has an odd, nasty confrontation with Randy Bennett, one of her customers, who badly needs an elixir but finally departs with some tea. By contrast, Alex and new police officer Jack Frazier hit it off, but their relationship is taxed when he arrests Lidia after Randy is found fatally poisoned by deadly nightshade berries. Furious, Alex decides to look into the case herself. After all, Randy’s widow, Stephanie, stands to inherit millions; his business partner, Edwin Kenley, was angry with him; and the wealthy and powerful Wesleys want to buy their business. Alex is astonished when Pepper tells her she’s working on an article claiming the Sobieskis are water witches descended from mermaids. When Lidia is put under house arrest, Alex learns that her relatives really are witches and that she’d be wise to develop some of the powers she inherited from her talented mother. As she begins to investigate the Wesley family, she meets Dylan, a stunningly attractive man who reminds her that they played together as children. The connection’s still there, but she can’t trust him or his steely mother and sister. As she struggles with her powers, Alex can’t talk to Jack about her theories because he’s a nonmagical Mundane, and she puts herself in great danger when she turns up more dangerous secrets. For those who love cozies, romance with an edge, and magical adventures. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list After her father’s death and the loss of her job, Alex Daniels travels to Bellamy Bay, North Carolina, to visit her aunt and cousins, whom she hasn’t seen in more than 20 years. Alex agrees to help out in the family herbal apothecary, and at the shop her Aunt Lidia has a physical argument with local businessman Randy Bennett. When Bennett is found poisoned, Lidia is arrested for the murder. Determined to clear her aunt of the charges, Alex begins her own investigation. She is stunned to learn that she, like her aunt and cousins, is a "water witch," a magical being thought to be descended from mermaids. Combining her fledgling magical powers and standard investigative techniques, Alex uncovers long-buried secrets and identifies additional suspects, including members of the powerful Wesley family, also with magical powers. This cozy, with its well-developed characters and charming seaside setting, and framed by plant and mermaid lore, will appeal to those who enjoy stories with a touch of magic.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Aleksandra Daniels's father would never let her visit her mother's hometown of Bellamy Bay, NC. But now that she's alone in the world and unemployed, she accepts an invitation from her Aunt Lidia and cousins. Alex has the time to help with the family business, an herbal apothecary. But when Alex's cousin makes a mistake in the shop, Alex sees her aunt slam a man against the wall in a rage. When he's murdered, Aunt Lidia is arrested, and the local gossip column talks about mysterious powers and witches. Alex had no idea she's descended from Polish water witches, nor did she know her mother was the most powerful of them all. Now, though, she jumps in to save Lidia and find the true killer. However, enemies with their own powerful magic oppose the search, and the endangered Alex is unprepared to use her newfound gifts. VERDICT As an amateur sleuth, Alex is awkward and too pushy for a newcomer in town. However, flaws in her character may be overlooked because of the unique background of Polish history and magic. Fans of Ellery Adams's mysteries will want to try this one.—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Ill give you the sun
by by Jandy Nelson

Book list Gr. 5-8. Igus' prose poems and Wood's evocative paintings combine to give a succinct overview of African American music. A useful time line sets the social context, and brief paragraphs describe the various types of music, from African origins and slave songs through ragtime; the blues; big band, bebop, and cool jazz; gospel; rhythm and blues; and the contemporary sounds of rock, hip-hop, and rap. Igus effectively uses snippets from song lyrics to communicate both a feel for the music itself and a sense of how the various styles played to the emotions of the musicians and their fans ("From the basements to the rooftops, / I see the cool tones of modern jazz / escape the city heat"). Wood's paintings are equally suggestive. Mixing modernist and primitive styles and using color nicely to communicate musical style and tone, her art not only complements the text but vivifies it. Audience may be a problem: the supportive text is too sophisticated for younger readers to grasp themselves, and the format may alienate some older readers. Perhaps best used in a junior-high classroom with audio accompaniment, this striking book, in the hands of a creative teacher or librarian, could give kids a feeling for the majesty, creativity, and continuity of African American music. (Reviewed February 15, 1998)0892391510Bill Ott

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Kirkus The collaborators on Going Back Home (1997) return with a stunning history of African-American music. They begin 500 years ago, on the African continent, chronicle the slave trade, and document the work songs and spirituals of American slaves. The blues, ragtime, jazz, gospel, R&B, rock, funk, rap, and hip hop all come under scrutiny in free-verse poems that incorporate lyrics about and the rhythms of every style. In addition, Igus has added a brief description of each musical movement and a terrific timeline noting highlights of African-American history--both musical and more general information--which roots the whole book in a broader context. Wood's vibrant paintings are based in historical detail, and resonate with emotion. The color choices, postures of the figures, as well as the expressions on their faces, reflect various aspects of African-American music; the pictures broadcast joy, innovation, and exuberance in the face of systematic oppression. A child hidden in each scene adds a nice piece of personality for readers to interpret. Stylish and lively design pulls it all together into an absorbing, attractive package. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog Going Down Home with Daddy
by Kelly Starling Lyons

School Library Journal Gr 2-5-Inspired by the author's family heritage and traditions, this title follows an African American family as they travel "down home" for a family reunion. Lil' Alan is excited to see his extended family and visit his great-grandma and her farm but is anxious about how he might contribute to the celebration. Sis is planning to sing Granny's favorite song, and cousin Isaiah will read a poem by Langston Hughes, but what can Lil' Alan do? As he goes on a tractor ride, enjoys "love-made" family meals, attends church services, and listens to his father and other relatives share memories and ruminate on the importance of family, Lil' Alan realizes that the answer is in the precious family land, the gifts of which he uses in a heartfelt tribute to his family and its roots. Minter's illustrations, rendered in an acrylic wash, work in beautiful harmony with Lyons's joyful portrait of a deeply loving multigenerational family. Carefully layered images, patterns, and textures reinforce the narrative links between family history, American history, ancestral land and nature, and the bonds of family: "When we go down home with Daddy, everything we see holds a piece of him and us." VERDICT Readers will enjoy this moving celebration of familial love, history, and tradition. Highly -recommended.-Lauren Strohecker, McKinley Elementary School, Elkins Park, PA © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly In a lushly illustrated tribute to family history, an African-American boy and his family take their annual trip to his great-grandmother's farm for a reunion. The pivotal event is a family celebration during which each individual performs. Lil Alan's cousins have their presentations prepared-one cousin will read a Langston Hughes poem, another will share a scrapbook "in Granny's favorite color blue." Alan, though, is stumped: "I kick a stone and my eyes start to burn." But as he internalizes the energy of the farm, tastes "love-made dishes," and enjoys family, the words come: "Cotton for the quilts Granny made to keep her children warm... A pecan for the trees Pa planted and all the kids love to climb." Lyons's image-rich prose and Minter's powerful acrylics-rendered in shadowy blues and fiery shades-convey a sense of historical struggle alongside cherished tradition while capturing the experience of performance jitters. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Lil Alan and his family are heading "down home" to the farm where Daddy was raised. Although Alan is excited to see his family, he's nervous about what to share at the celebration. With his family's help, Alan finds the right words to say. This relatable story of a multigenerational family reunion is strengthened by the acrylic-wash paintings, mixed with African symbols, of the family gathering. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Lil' Alan and his African American family arise before dawn for the drive down home to Granny's house for a reunion. They arrive to hugs from Granny, a parade of extended kin, and a quick trip around the farm on Granny's tractor. Tradition dictates that everyone contributes something to the celebration a song, a poem, a scrapbook but Alan agonizes, unsure what he should share. Lyons' lyrical text recounts a heartfelt story of family love, shared history, and connection to a place that binds everyone together. Minter's acrylic wash illustrations transmit a dreamy quality that conveys the deep respect family members share with one another. Blue washes are employed for the most reverent scenes, depicting dinnertime grace, memories of the now departed patriarch Pa, and Alan's heartfelt speech acknowledging the iconic elements that symbolize family for him. Also effective is Minter's use of intricately designed patterns that grace clothing, Granny's chickens, and layered images depicting cotton plants, garden areas, and a church. A tribute to families and the components that connect them.--Kay Weisman Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Kirkus A young boy ponders the perfect tribute to his great-grandma for their annual family reunion.This year everyone's prepared something special for Granny's anniversary celebration "down home"everyone except Lil Alan. As he considers what to give, Lil Alan's weekend is marked by memories connected to the land and his family, those who are still alive and ancestors that have passed on. Ultimately, he gifts an object lesson that emphasizes the legacy of love that brings them together as a "mighty family." Imagery is presented in marvelous metaphors ("I watch as we drive from city streets to flowing highways under a sweep of sparkling stars"), while lighthearted ribbing (" Got a head just like your daddy,' Uncle Jay teases me") and soul food ( "smoked turkey, mac and cheese, okra and tomatoes, and biscuits oozing mayhaw jelly"yum) set the scene for a celebration of myriad African-American and family traditions. Minter's acrylic-wash prints soar as stenciled cotton bolls, okra, and pecans dot the pages alongside images of family members in sepia and blue-black hues. One striking spread details silhouettes of Lil Alan, Sis, and Momma layered on top of one another, same eyes, lips, and textured hair and same reunion T-shirt imprinted with a simple, familiar, deeply rooted tree.A warm, loving, necessary reminder of the power in families coming together. (Picture book. 4-11) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 2-5-Inspired by the author's family heritage and traditions, this title follows an African American family as they travel "down home" for a family reunion. Lil' Alan is excited to see his extended family and visit his great-grandma and her farm but is anxious about how he might contribute to the celebration. Sis is planning to sing Granny's favorite song, and cousin Isaiah will read a poem by Langston Hughes, but what can Lil' Alan do? As he goes on a tractor ride, enjoys "love-made" family meals, attends church services, and listens to his father and other relatives share memories and ruminate on the importance of family, Lil' Alan realizes that the answer is in the precious family land, the gifts of which he uses in a heartfelt tribute to his family and its roots. Minter's illustrations, rendered in an acrylic wash, work in beautiful harmony with Lyons's joyful portrait of a deeply loving multigenerational family. Carefully layered images, patterns, and textures reinforce the narrative links between family history, American history, ancestral land and nature, and the bonds of family: "When we go down home with Daddy, everything we see holds a piece of him and us." VERDICT Readers will enjoy this moving celebration of familial love, history, and tradition. Highly -recommended.-Lauren Strohecker, McKinley Elementary School, Elkins Park, PA © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly In a lushly illustrated tribute to family history, an African-American boy and his family take their annual trip to his great-grandmother's farm for a reunion. The pivotal event is a family celebration during which each individual performs. Lil Alan's cousins have their presentations prepared-one cousin will read a Langston Hughes poem, another will share a scrapbook "in Granny's favorite color blue." Alan, though, is stumped: "I kick a stone and my eyes start to burn." But as he internalizes the energy of the farm, tastes "love-made dishes," and enjoys family, the words come: "Cotton for the quilts Granny made to keep her children warm... A pecan for the trees Pa planted and all the kids love to climb." Lyons's image-rich prose and Minter's powerful acrylics-rendered in shadowy blues and fiery shades-convey a sense of historical struggle alongside cherished tradition while capturing the experience of performance jitters. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Lil Alan and his family are heading "down home" to the farm where Daddy was raised. Although Alan is excited to see his family, he's nervous about what to share at the celebration. With his family's help, Alan finds the right words to say. This relatable story of a multigenerational family reunion is strengthened by the acrylic-wash paintings, mixed with African symbols, of the family gathering. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Lil' Alan and his African American family arise before dawn for the drive down home to Granny's house for a reunion. They arrive to hugs from Granny, a parade of extended kin, and a quick trip around the farm on Granny's tractor. Tradition dictates that everyone contributes something to the celebration a song, a poem, a scrapbook but Alan agonizes, unsure what he should share. Lyons' lyrical text recounts a heartfelt story of family love, shared history, and connection to a place that binds everyone together. Minter's acrylic wash illustrations transmit a dreamy quality that conveys the deep respect family members share with one another. Blue washes are employed for the most reverent scenes, depicting dinnertime grace, memories of the now departed patriarch Pa, and Alan's heartfelt speech acknowledging the iconic elements that symbolize family for him. Also effective is Minter's use of intricately designed patterns that grace clothing, Granny's chickens, and layered images depicting cotton plants, garden areas, and a church. A tribute to families and the components that connect them.--Kay Weisman Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Kirkus A young boy ponders the perfect tribute to his great-grandma for their annual family reunion.This year everyone's prepared something special for Granny's anniversary celebration "down home"everyone except Lil Alan. As he considers what to give, Lil Alan's weekend is marked by memories connected to the land and his family, those who are still alive and ancestors that have passed on. Ultimately, he gifts an object lesson that emphasizes the legacy of love that brings them together as a "mighty family." Imagery is presented in marvelous metaphors ("I watch as we drive from city streets to flowing highways under a sweep of sparkling stars"), while lighthearted ribbing (" Got a head just like your daddy,' Uncle Jay teases me") and soul food ( "smoked turkey, mac and cheese, okra and tomatoes, and biscuits oozing mayhaw jelly"yum) set the scene for a celebration of myriad African-American and family traditions. Minter's acrylic-wash prints soar as stenciled cotton bolls, okra, and pecans dot the pages alongside images of family members in sepia and blue-black hues. One striking spread details silhouettes of Lil Alan, Sis, and Momma layered on top of one another, same eyes, lips, and textured hair and same reunion T-shirt imprinted with a simple, familiar, deeply rooted tree.A warm, loving, necessary reminder of the power in families coming together. (Picture book. 4-11) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Caldecott Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Bear Came Along
by Richard T. Morris

Publishers Weekly What begins as a solo log ride down a river for Bear turns into a group adventure as new forest animals join the pileup hurtling through the water. Each has a different approach to the wild ride: the turtles worry about what could go wrong, while the raccoons delight in the "twists and turns." All are surprised, though, when they realize where they're headed: a waterfall, which, after a dramatic plunge, lands them in a calm, communal pool. Text by Morris (Fear the Bunny) bounces along with appealing repetition and rhythm, but it's cleverly designed illustrations by Pham (Stop That Yawn!) that make this offering a standout choice for reading aloud. Varying perspectives amplify both the drama and the humor, particularly in wordless scenes that move from the vertiginous animals'-eye-view to their comically shocked faces to an aerial image that emphasizes how far the drop will be. And the forest's gradual color shifts, from muted grays to the brilliant hues in the final scene, echo the story's underlying message: connecting with others makes life richer, more vibrant, and a lot more fun. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Alice Tasman, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt Literary Agency. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2–The dramatic cover, featuring a large hand-lettered title and a close-up of an alarmed-looking bear, sets the stage for a spirited adventure. Venturing out of his cave, a curious bear climbs out on a tree that breaks off and falls into a river. Starting what becomes a natural "log flume" ride, Bear initially moves slowly, picking up Froggy and the Turtles, then a string of various animals. Each creature gains specific knowledge through the quest. Bear doesn't know he was on an adventure until he finds Froggy. Froggy doesn't realize she has friends, until the Turtles join them, etc. Watercolor, ink, and gouache illustrations are well-designed to expand the text, using each animal's expressions and body language to convey their individual roles. Front and back end pages both act as maps of the river, but also provide an introduction and an epilogue to the tale. A dramatic spread, positioned from the animals' point of view, shows them on the edge of a precipice about to take the plunge. A page turn shifts to a facing view and all the creatures' wide-eyed expressions. One more turn pulls the focus out to long range, showcasing the river, the drop, and the animals perched precariously. As they fall, however, their expressions are mostly cheerful, then exuberant, ending with "Oh, what a ride!" VERDICT Full of messages about seizing the day and learning from one another, this jaunty tale and its large-scale, immersive pictures expansively invite readers to come along, too.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list A big brown bear doesn't know what a river can do until he falls in. As the water rushes on and he floats away on a log, Bear inadvertently finds a number of new friends. A frog hops on his head, turtles climb aboard, a beaver and raccoons drop in, and the whole gang crashes into a flock of ducks. All the while, the river is twisting and turning and heading for a deep-drop waterfall. The two-page spread in which the animals observe their fate is priceless, varying between uncertainty and shock. But the fall turns out to be much more delightful than anticipated, with even more new friends appearing. Anyone who fondly remembers the similarly themed Little Golden Book Big Brown Bear (and everyone else!) will have warm feelings toward this river-­riding fellow who isn't expecting what he finds but embraces the experience and happily accepts the friendships that come along with it. Pham's artwork here is delightful as she paints between the lines of sensational and silly. Her vivid colorings and imaginative design command attention, as does her focus on the blue water, which swirls and whirls with both fun and purpose. Most important, she uses her watercolor, ink, and gouache artwork to build the simple story to (mixing metaphors here) a breath-holding cliff-hanger. Perfect for listeners in story hours or on laps.--Ilene Cooper Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Horn Book This boisterous adventure is about discovery and friendships forged when least expected--all in the form of a wild log-ride. A river "didnt know it was a river" until...Bear shows up. Bear doesn't know he's on an adventure until...a frog leaps onto his head. And so it goes until...the animals plummet over a waterfall in an exhilarating vertical spread. Pham's illustrations have a 1980s-cartoon feel yet remain fresh. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus A succession of forest creaturesand even the river itselflearn from one another and validate their relationships with both one another and the wider world.The simplicity of the text and the stylized, comical creatures belie the depth of the message that comes through for even the youngest of readers: We are all in this together, and our differences strengthen our unity. The river "didn't know it was a riveruntil" Bear accidentally begins riding down it on a piece of broken tree trunk. Bear in turn doesn't realize he is on an adventure until Froggy lands on his back; lonely Froggy doesn't know how many friends she has until the wary Turtles show up on the ever-more-swiftly-moving log; the Turtles learn how to enjoy the ride when Beaver climbs aboard; and so on through several more characters until they are all at the brink of a waterfall. Outstanding art perfectly complements the text, showing the animals' differing personalities while also using color, space, and patterns to create appealing scenery. There are several hilarious double-page spreads, including one from the animals' collective perspective, showing solely the various feet on the tree-trunk-cum-raft at the waterfall's edge, and one requiring a 90-degree turn, showing the plummeting animals as they reach for one anothersome looking worried and others, like Duck and Beaver, obviously enjoying the sudden drop.To quote one particularly joyous double-page spread, "Oh, what a ride!" (author's note, illustrator's note) (Picture book. 2-5) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog The Storyteller
by Dave Grohl

Kirkus The Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman shares anecdotes from his (mostly) charmed life in rock ’n’ roll. Grohl’s memoir is thick with name-drops, but not for the sake of gossip or even revelatory detail. (Fans likely won’t learn anything about Kurt Cobain they didn’t already know, except perhaps his choice for cheap sustenance in the band’s pre-fame days, a canned-tuna-on-toast concoction dubbed “shit on a shingle.”) Rather, Grohl’s name-drops are of the “can you believe I get to do this for a living” variety: backing Tom Petty and Iggy Pop, meeting musical heroes from Little Richard to Joan Jett, singing “Blackbird” at the Oscars, performing at the White House, and filling arenas all over the world. As the book’s entertaining early pages reveal, Grohl was an unlikely candidate for global stardom. An accident-prone kid and unschooled drummer raised in a middle-class suburb of Washington, D.C., he caught the punk bug at a Naked Raygun show in Chicago, later dropping out of high school to join Scream. Though Scream was only moderately popular, Grohl thought he'd reached the mountaintop, so Nirvana’s massive fame, followed by Cobain’s suicide, was seriously disorienting. Still, the author is upbeat even when talking about lean or tense moments, like when his body finally pushed back against his five-pot-a-day coffee habit. Grohl is good company, but the gee-whiz tone as well as the clichés (hanging out with the members of metal band Pantera is “not for the faint of heart”) make the book feel like a missed opportunity. Grohl survived a massive band’s collapse and leads another hugely successful act in a genre that’s no longer dominant. Rather than exploring that, he’s largely content to celebrate his good fortune. Perhaps when he finally hangs it up, he will dig more deeply into his unique career. A high-spirited yet surface-level glimpse into the life of one of the planet’s last rock stars. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Sixteen-time Grammy-winner Grohl cranks the story of his life to full volume in this exciting debut chronicling his rock ’n’ roll career. Growing up in the 1970s in the suburbs of Springfield, Va.—a “Wonder Bread existence”—Grohl followed the sound of drumming all the way to the stage, from jamming with friends in high school to playing in the D.C. hardcore punk band Scream, joining Kurt Cobain’s Nirvana in 1990, and eventually fronting his band, the Foo Fighters. Grohl’s uninterested in regaling readers with tales of backstage debauchery; instead, he candidly shares his reverence for the enduring power of music. As a teenager, he writes, it became his religion, “the rock stars my saints, and their songs my hymns.” By the time he turned 22, he was traveling the world with Nirvana. After the shock of Cobain’s 1994 suicide subsided, Grohl focused on the Foo Fighters and began touring internationally again, while raising three girls with his wife (“music and family intertwined”). Reflecting on his fame, Grohl writes, “I have never taken a single moment of it for granted.” Paired with his sparkling wit, this humility is what makes Grohl’s soulful story a cut above typical rock memoirs. There isn’t a dull moment here. Agent: Eve Atterman, WME. (Oct.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Grohl joyfully recounts his life in this memoir. Growing up in Virginia, Grohl taught himself to play drums by ear. He left school to tour with the group Scream, then joined Nirvana and struggled with its monumental success. The lifelong nonconformist found himself adored by Nirvana's mainstream audiences while dealing the band's "awkward dysfunction." After Nirvana's breakup, Grohl started the Foo Fighters, then formed the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, with Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones. In nostalgic, often humorous anecdotes, he recalls meeting the musicians who inspired him: jamming with Iggy Pop, drumming for Tom Petty on Saturday Night Live, sharing bedtime story duties with Joan Jett. Grohl seems most proud of his role as father, and his loving stories of parenthood are sprinkled throughout the book. VERDICT Grohl bares his soul and shares his passion in this must-read memoir, which will resonate with music lovers and his fans.—Lisa Henry, Kirkwood P.L., MO

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

204 West Main Fertile, IA 50434  |  Phone: 641-797-2787
Powered by: YouSeeMore © The Library Corporation (TLC)