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Posts by Karen L

Chilling on a summer day

Cover of Paletero Man
A review of Paletero Man by Lucky Diaz

Latin Grammy award-winner, Lucky Diaz, has written a tribute to his childhood LA neighborhood. On a hot summer day in LA, a young boy grabs his money and heads off down the street to find the Paletero Man, with his cart full of frozen treats, colorful paletas in so many flavors. Following the cart’s “Ring Ring,” the boy runs along, passing his friends’ food carts, the bike shop, the park and more, and treating readers to a beautiful day in his neighborhood. Alas, he is unaware that he is dropping his money along the way.

Jul 26, 2021

Urban adventuring

Cover of Strollercoaster
A review of Strollercoaster by Matt Ringler

One cranky preschooler plus one desperate dad, a purple stroller and an urban landscape, equals a ride as exciting as any tilt-a-whirl. Strollercoaster is an invention created by Matt Ringler for his own daughter when the daily frustrations got to be too much, and an exciting distraction was just the ticket.

Jul 1, 2021

Adventures in math

Cover of What Will Fit
A review of What Will Fit by Grace Lin

Part of a phenomenal new series of board and picture books, Storytelling Math, What Will Fit follows a little girl at a Farmer’s Market as she looks for the perfect item to fit into her basket. She tries a beet (too small), a zucchini (too tall), and a few other items before finding something that fits perfectly. This installment of the series focuses on spatial sense. Others focus on early geometry, patterns, and other math concepts.

Jun 22, 2021

Aspiring chefs take note

Cover of Kid in the Kitchen: 100 Re
A review of Kid in the Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Tips for Young Home Cooks by Melissa Clark

Food columnist, chef and home cooking authority, Clark shares 100 recipes and tips for young foodies who are hoping to grow their culinary skills. In this day of high-tech recipe searching, I don’t find myself looking at cookbooks much. So when I opened this one I was really excited about the content, the quality of instructions, and the conversational tone of the text. It also helped that the photographs of completed recipes, and recipes in process were so alluring.

May 28, 2021

Never all sparkles and sunshine

Cover of Kevin the Unicorn: It's No
A review of Kevin the Unicorn: It's Not All Rainbows by Jessika von Innerebner

Unicorns are supposed to be all smiles, glitter and rainbows. And Kevin’s days are “filled with …Magical Awesomeness” Until the morning Kevin wakes up on the floor. Something feels not quite right, but he picks himself up and smiles through it all, since his living room posters remind him that, “Unicorn Starts with You!” and to “Keep it Happy” and “Sparkle Sparkle Sparkle.” So he sets out for yet another fantastic day.

Apr 9, 2021

Celebrating families

Cover of We Are Little Feminists
A review of We Are Little Feminists by Aarcha Shrivastav

The 2021 *Stonewall Award-Winning board book, We Are Little Feminists: Families, features photographs of families with children aged 0-5 with their siblings, parents, grandparents, and more. The broad representation sets this (and the other two books in the series) apart. Candid-style photos show children and parents playing, laughing, sharing snacks and smiles, and bring readers into the lives of LGBTQ+ families from a variety of races, ethnicities, and family structures as well as being inclusive of various disabilities.

Feb 24, 2021

Complicated high-flyer

Cover of The Rise and Fall of Charl
A review of The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh by Candace Fleming

Famous for his pioneering flight from New York to Paris, Charles Lindbergh was lionized in his lifetime. Fleming’s well-researched biography is a rags-to riches story that doesn’t side-step Lindbergh’s Nazi sympathies and white supremacist activities, but rather portrays the path of eugenics pseudo-science paired with disinformation that he followed to get there.  

Feb 11, 2021