Honey: A Gift from Nature by Yumiko Fujiwara, illus. by Hideko Ise

3 stars! The images in the book are luminous: a breakfast table on a bright sunny morning; fat, butter-colored honeybees; a shimmering veil of rain; richly hued autumn leaves; and honey in tones of yellow, amber, gold and brown.

Jazz Age Poet: A Story About Langston Hughes (Creative Minds Biographies) by Veda Boyd Jones illus. by Barbara Kiwak

3 stars! The author recounts facts in an engaging way, setting each scene with the sights and sounds of the time. The book contains no quotes from the Hughes, and neither the author or illustrator is a person of color.

Joker by Ranulfo

5 stars! The flow is smooth, the voice is smooth, and the story riveting and accessible. Although not told in old English or riddled with quotes from Hamlet, there are many clever and fitting allusions to other works by Shakespeare, citing Rosalind from As You Like It, and referencing the sonnet “Venus and Adonis,” to name a few. Pair with the play for best results.