4 stars! A well-staged, well-directed, thoughtfully costumed and designed made-for-television adaption starring John Legend, Brandon Victor Dixon and Sara Barreilles.
2 stars! The writing is well-paced and energetic, but the plot is predictable. While the story is unique, and the mix of technology and spirituality dynamic and original, there are so many technical mistakes it is nearly impossible to suspend one’s disbelief at the ghosts in the machine concept.
5 stars! This introduction to continents and countries begins with an orientation session to the concept of a globe, a map, and land characteristics, which is a transition for how to recognize boundaries and landforms on a map.
4 stars! Part biography, part legend and all poetry, this picture book defines the famed and feared dread pirate Captain Teach in all his swashbuckling glory.
5 stars! An Egg is Quiet is a rich natural history picture book, celebrating diversity by showcasing over sixty eggs from birds, fish, reptiles, insects and more.
4 stars! Mama is a nearly wordless tale of a hippo rescued after a tsunami that avoids a discussion of grim facts or sobering details and instead uses only artwork to show how the life of a young hippo, Baby, is transformed the day the wave hit.
5 stars! Owen is a baby hippo, Mzee is a ancient tortoise; they strike up a surprising bond when they become acquainted at an animal sanctuary after Owen is rescued following a tsunami.
2 stars! sing elements from familiar fairy tales, a boy’s dragon friend is transformed into the protagonist of several major fairy tales after they magically become lost in the woods after leaping from a playground swing.
2 stars! This repackaged version of Simon’s Destination Mars (HarperCollins, 2000) is a fact-filled photographic journey to the red planet, updated with the most current Mars research findings.
4 stars! Perhaps better suited to European purchasers, the book does hold value to American audiences for the artwork, clever facts and companion CD, all for a bargain price of less that the cost of the average picture book.