With a charming cast of characters like flamboyant and gorgeous dance phenom Alec, cruel dance teacher Millicent Moore, singer/songwriter Fletch, mean girls Natasha and Jade, and terrifying martinet Cecile Duke, the plot moves along in a way that is comforting if a little predictable. Fans of Singin’ in the Rain will know exactly where the story is going, but they will enjoy getting there tremendously.
It’s been twenty years since we met those typing cows, and Farmer Brown is tired. (Well. Aren’t we all?) It’s time to unplug and go to sleep. The cows, sheep, and chickens are all ready for bed. Why can’t Duck sleep?
Madeline Finn is a young girl with a big white dog named Star. Is he a lab? Is he a Great Pyrenees? Does it matter? No. He is adorable, and so is she. Madeline is training Star to be a therapy dog. They practice meeting people, sitting still, and meeting other dogs. Then it’s time for Star’s first of three tests at the retirement home. He passes with flying colors.
Our hero is a sweet little bear, who one day chances to come across a red balloon. (Why are they always red? If you don’t have “99 Luftballons” in your head, you are not as old as I am.) The bear is enchanted by the simple pleasures of playing with a balloon, and proceeds to show his new playmate his home.
Written in a breezy, conversational style, the book is a quick read, for all its depth. Felix is engaging, appealing, and faces the most appalling adult dilemmas with grit and grace. His plight will be great fodder for discussion in the classroom or around the dinner table.
Violet Shrink, by Christine Baldacchino, and illustrated by Carmen Mok, is really a parents’ how-to manual masquerading as a children’s picture book, but not to worry, kids will appreciate it too.
Mónica and Hannah have a new teacher, Miss Shelby, and they have more in common with her than they think. Mónica is from Bolivia, and misses her grandmother, and the hummingbirds they fed together in the backyard. Hanna is from Israel, and misses the way the wind whooshes through the desert, and the tortoise that lived in the sand dunes outside her house. Together, Mónica and Hannah form the Homesick Club
There are people who carry a pocket US Constitution in their, you know, pocket. This book is not for those people. In my experience, the folks with the slim black copy of the Constitution in their jacket pocket tend to take the document as an unchanging lodestar, practically perfect in every way. I suspect they wouldn’t like this marvelous book aimed at middle grade Con Law scholars , because the authors present a more sophisticated, nuanced, and dare I say, correct view of the matter, one that shows us where the Framers got the Constitution right, and where they just got it written. And you know what? It’s a serious page turner.
From the streets of Oakland, to the plains of Zambia, from snowy Montreal to historic Howard University in Washington DC, we follow Kamala’s story as she sees injustice and tries to right it in ways big and small. Illustrator Laura Freeman’s colorful and bold illustrations are gorgeous, and Grimes’ prose is poetic but to the point.