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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Review of the Day: Timelines From Black History: Leaders, Legends, Legacies by D.K. Publishing

This book is NOT the only book on the subject that will ever be written, but right now it appears to be the only book so far. And I’m just relieved that it was good to begin with. A beautifully designed supplement.

Review of the Day: Mars Is by Suzanne Slade

Want to instill Mars fever? Then you gotta catch this book.

Review of the Day: The Snail With the Right Heart by Maria Popova, ill. Ping Zhu

Today we discuss a book that takes risks, makes mistakes, and comes out memorable in the end. The right snail with the right heart in the right book for the right reader.

Review of the Day: 13 Ways to Eat a Fly by Sue Heavenrich, ill. David Clark

Funny and gross, this book is an honestly inventive way of spelling out how the simultaneously disgusting and delicious (eh?) fly is an integral part in not only the food chain but also the world as we currently know it.

Review of the Day: Escape at 10,000 Feet by Tom Sullivan

From what I can tell, this title is going to make a lot of kids into fans of exciting works of history. That is, if they can wrench this book away from their grown-ups. Because if there’s one thing I know, an enticing unsolved mystery is good but a fantastically rendered unsolved mystery is irresistible.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2020 Nonfiction for Older Readers

A sliver of the magnificent nonfiction for older readers on offer to kids in 2020.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2020 Nonfiction Picture Books

In some ways, these are the books I’m the most excited about. Welcome to the end of 2020! And welcome to a list of truly wonderful books.

Review of the Day: The Talk, edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson

Pitch perfect in tone and content, this is supposedly the book that will help all parents talk to their kids. In truth? This also is the book that will help KIDS talk to their parents. It’s a two-way street and everybody’s driving.

Review of the Day: Rescuing the Declaration of Independence by Anna Crowley Redding, ill. Edwin Fotheringham

The true story of the man responsible for keeping key American documents out of the hands of the invading British in 1812. A book about the rescue of ideas put to paper.

Review of the Day: All of a Sudden and Forever by Chris Barton and Nicole Xu

If we are talking about events that change us all and that we must collectively heal from (whether literally or figuratively) then this book might be precisely what we need. Because this isn’t just a book about something that happened a quarter of a century ago. It’s a book that is meant to help you learn how to heal and recover and hope in the face of the horrendous. Give it a go.

A Good Old-Fashioned Nonfiction / Informational Fiction Debate

A rip-roaring conversation (with only minimal bloodshed) between myself and author Amy Alznauer about the border between fiction and nonfiction in the realm of children’s books and how carefully it should be guarded.

Review of the Day: Honeybee by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann

Great writing for kids, when you encounter it, reminds you that there is always a new way to look at this old, familiar world of ours. If you buy only one bee book for the rest of your life, make it this one.

Review of the Day: Firefighters’ Handbook by Meghan McCarthy

If there is an art to rendering expository facts with a narrative feel, then Meghan McCarthy is this type of book’s Vincent Van Gogh. Never sacrificing beauty, never skimping on reality, she provides the perfect balance while also managing to come up with books that kids will really really enjoy reading. A treat to eye and ear and a blessing to parents of the firefighting obsessed nationwide. The best at what it aims to be.

Review of the Day: Monument Maker by Linda Booth Sweeney, ill. Shawn Fields

When a book is as funny, smart, beautiful, and interesting as Monument Maker, you have a chance to remember that old adage about judging a book by its cover.

Review of the Day: The Crayon Man by Natascha Biebow and Steven Salerno

The ideal use of great writing without cheating. Filled with facts and backmatter, it also makes the subject interesting to kids. It’s beautiful to look at and while I would have made some changes, it stands as a pretty darn good look at a man, a plan, a crayon. Crayola.