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Posts by Holly SP

Mow the floor, rock the dishes, bathe the rug?!

Cover of Bathe the Cat
A review of Bathe the Cat by Alice B McGinty, illustrated by David Roberts

Grandma is coming to visit at 2pm, but the house is a mess! Quick, everyone gets assigned their tasks, spelled out on the fridge with brightly colored alphabet magnets. Dad is in charge of dishes and mowing the lawn, Bobby has to mop the floor and rock the baby, Sarah needs to sweep the mat and feed the fish, and Daddy has to mow the lawn and ... bathe the cat.

Mar 14, 2023

A sunflower life cycle

Cover of A Seed Grows
A review of A Seed Grows by Antoinette Portis

This picture book about the life cycle of a sunflower is beautiful in its simplicity. Each spread has just a few words - starting with "a seed falls" - accompanied by vibrant illustrations that take the reader from seed to flower and back to seed. A surprise fold out page halfway through mimics the height of a sunflower, and the back matter includes more details about the different parts of a sunflower seed and its plant, as well as what the seed needs to sprout.

Mar 8, 2023

A different shade of blue

Cover of Blue: A History of the Col
A review of Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, Illustrated by Daniel Minter

This books delivers exactly what it promises - a history of the color blue from lapis lazuli stones used by ancient Egyptians, to blue dye pressed from a snail's foot in Mexico, to crushed and dried indigo plants in West Africa and finally a Nobel Prize winning chemical clue created in 1905. Along the way we learn more nuance about the color's complicated history - how blue was used and viewed, the value assigned to it, and the meaning given to it by people all over the world, even today in the language that we use.

Mar 2, 2023

Learning from those who came before

Cover of The Year We Learned to Fly
A review of The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson Illustrated by Rafael López

From the Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López, creators of The Day You Begin, comes a new story about using your imagination to soar. Stuck inside on a rainy day, two siblings are told by their grandmother to use their minds, to "close your eyes and take a deep breath, and believe in a thing." No longer stuck in their apartment, they soar over the city, each season escaping from their boredom, their arguments, and their loneliness, just as their ancestors who also flew with their beautiful and brilliant minds. 

Feb 15, 2023

Caldecott Honor Book: Berry Song

Cover of Berry Song
A review of Berry Song by Michaela Goade

Caldecott medalist Michaela Goade's new picture book is a gorgeously illustrated tale of family and land that warmed my heart and felt so cozy. 

On an island at the edge of the sea, a young girl learns from her grandmother how to live on the land, picking berries of all kinds from the forest:

Feb 8, 2023

Caldecott Honor Book: Choosing Brave

Cover of Choosing Brave: How Mamie
A review of Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement by Angela Joy Illus. by Janelle Washington

This book opens on August 31, 1955, when Emmett Till's body was found and his mother, Mamie, chose to have him sent home - the braver thing. We then jump back in time to Mamie's childhood, learning about her family, her schooling, her marriage, and Emmett's birth, with each of Mamie's brave choices highlighted. Emmett's childhood comes next, noting his stutter of speech that came from polio, and his trick of whistling to calm him down.

Jan 31, 2023

Growing and changing

Cover of Ride On
A review of Ride On by Faith Hicks

I was looking for some graphic novels to read over the holidays and placed a hold on this book, but even as I did I wondered if it would be too horse-y for me. I never really went through a horse phase as a kid beyond a couple trail rides at summer camp, but I shouldn't have worried. Yes, this book is about horses, but it's really about evolving friendships, growing up, changing interests - and fandoms!

Jan 10, 2023

Stunning lyrics, stunning illustrations

Cover of Still This Love Goes On
A review of Still This Love Goes On by Buffy Sainte-Marie

Gorgeous lyrics by Academy Award-winning Cree singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie are accompanied by absolutely stunning illustrations by Cree-Métis author, illustrator, and artist Julie Flett. The book is based on a song of the same name and celebrates nature, changing seasons, and Indigenous traditions. The author and illustrator notes, addressed to "readers and listeners," are also beautiful and full of love, and the sheet music is included at the end of the book so you can sing along. 

Dec 9, 2022