The picture book Wild Symphony by Dan Brown, illustrated by Susan Batori (Rodale Kids, 2020) is a combination of so many genres it astounded me the first time I found it. It is a set of animal poems, an app with related musical pieces, a seek-and-find book, and a scrambled letters puzzle. Although it is

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Africana: An Encyclopedia of an Amazing Continent by Kim Chakanesta, illustrated by Alabi Mayowa (Quarto Publishing, 2022) is an invaluable new volume for young people that captures basics about the history, landscapes, people, and cultures throughout the regions in Africa. Africa is a giant continent, so obviously one volume will never be enough. Africana provides

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Adam and His Tuba by Ziga X Gombac, illustrated by Maja Kastelic (translated by Olivia Hallewell, NorthSouth Books, February 2023) is a sweet story about the youngest child of the Von Trapeze family, which, as you may surmise, is a talented circus family. But Adam cannot do the highwire, be part of a human pyramid,

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The Giant Book of Creativity for Kids by Bobbi Conner (Roost Books, March 2015) is just packed full of creative ideas for engaging our kids of all ages in fun and educational activities. In more than 400 pages, Ms Connor shares insights for incorporating crafts, music, movement, drawing, pretending, building, and more into the daily

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The Mormon Tabernacle Choir by Michael Hicks (University of Illinois Press, March 2015) is a biography of the choir itself. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I’ve grown up with the choir: songs during the biannual general conferences, recordings in my home. Because of my background, I was interested

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School Days Around the World by Margriet Ruur and illustrated by Alice Feagan (Kids Can Press, 2015) captures Malala’s vision in the epigram at the beginning: “I don’t mind if I have to sit on the floor at school. All I want is education.” In the cut-paper collage illustrations, the stories of real children around the

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The Sound of Music Story by Tom Santopietro (St. Martin’s Press, 2015) is a celebration and explanation of how a story about a “beguiling” novice becoming the stepmother to singing children became (or inspired), as the book claims “the most beloved film of all time.” It takes a true fan of The Sound of Music

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In his note following his picture book, The Grasshopper and the Ants (Little, Brown and Company 2015), Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney says the picture book is intended to be an “homage to nature.” The rich details of the summer and autumn turning in to winter certainly provide an appropriate homage. As with his richly illustrated

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I had hoped that by waiting a week or two I’d know what I want to say about Love’s Labour’s Lost, but after all this time I still have very little to say. I worry that I feel this way because I read a free Project Gutenberg version of it, and as I read in

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