September 15, 2017 Booklist 47 www.booklistonline.com
his message down to its most understandable
form. The advice is simple: be honest, keep
learning, act on your individual conscience.
This advice is offered in plain terms and is
written on pages filled with Ransome’s colorful illustrations, which alternate between
scenes in a modern classroom of children of
all races, creeds, and exceptionalities, and
scenes from King’s own life. His first taste of
bigotry as a child is illustrated, as are some of
his greatest achievements, such as enrolling
in Morehouse College at the age of 15, delivering his message on the steps of the Lincoln
Memorial, and organizing nonviolent protests in Selma. By applying a repetitive and
straightforward prose, the book manages
to make essential lessons in civic responsibility accessible to the very young reader.
How the Cookie Crumbled: The True (and
Not-So-True) Stories of the Invention of
the Chocolate Chip Cookie.
By Gilbert Ford. Illus. by the author.
Oct. 2017. 40p. Atheneum, $17.99 (9781481450683).
641.5092. K–Gr. 2.
It’s hard to imagine life without chocolate chip cookies, but they did need to be
invented, and were, by Ruth Wakefield, at
her Toll House Inn, during the 1930s. No
one disputes these facts, but there are some
questions regarding how. Readers are presented with three possible ways the cookies
might have come into existence and encouraged to figure out which version makes the
most sense. To help, this picture-book biography documents Wakefield’s evolution,
from child chef, to college nutrition major,
to teacher, restaurant owner, master baker,
and generous entrepreneur happy to share
her discovery. As word spread, the Nestlé
Corporation was delighted with the sudden increased demand for their chocolate
and started producing easy-to-use chips,
delivered in the iconic bag with the recipe
on the back. The mixed-media illustrations
align perfectly with the breezy, pun-filled
text, aptly integrating period details, expressive facial expressions, and lots of happy
crunching. This will be an enjoyable choice
for one-on-one or group storytimes—just
be sure to have some chocolate chip cookies
handy! —Kathleen McBroom
Malala’s Magic Pencil.
By Malala Yousafzai. Illus. by Kerascoët.
Oct. 2017. 48p. Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316319577).
371.822095491. K–Gr. 2.
Malala Yousafzai, activist and youngest re-
cipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, takes her
well-known story and brings it to a younger
audience. She starts with a memory from her
Pakistani childhood: watching a TV show in
which a boy makes anything real by drawing
it with his magic pencil. Malala drew things
that would make others happy, including
schools her father might open. Unlike some
fathers, Malala’s encourages her to learn,
and learn she does. But then “powerful and
dangerous men” forbade girls from attend-
ing school. Malala deftly handles the most
difficult parts of her story. She notes simply
that the men used weapons to attempt to si-
lence her powerful voice. “But they failed.”
The book then describes how Malala went
on to become a household name. Artistically,
the illustrations feel a bit lighthearted and
casual, though there are plenty of moving
scenes, and the decorative touches are nicely
enhancing. Malala’s messages of inclusivity,
girls’ rights, and strength through knowledge
come across loud and clear. —Ilene Cooper
My Journey to the Stars.
By Scott Kelly. Illus. by André Ceolin.
Oct. 2017. 48p. Crown, $17.99 (9781524763770).
629.450092. K–Gr. 2.
American astronaut Kelly shares this
picture-book overview of his life simultaneously with the adult memoir Endurance: A
Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery. Here he
tells about growing up a poor student with
his quarreling parents and his twin brother
(now also an astronaut), and how, after being inspired by a book, he chose to spend
time in the navy, on space shuttles, and his
recent year aboard the International Space
Station—“the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
The first-person voice is accessible, enthusiastic, and encouraging, if sometimes pat,
and the short sentences are set upon colorful, full-bleed illustrations by Brazilian artist
Ceolin, often accompanied by color photographs from the real-life experiences. While
there are some unnecessary gaps of helpful
information, and the opportunity for captions, back matter, and further exploration
has been lost in space, Kelly’s story is an
inspiration for adventure, fodder for space
fascination, and a call to work hard and follow one’s dreams. —Andrew Medlar
Song of the Wild: A First Book of
By Nicola Davies. Illus. by Petr Horácek.
Oct. 2017. 108p. Candlewick, $19.99 (9780763691608).
811. K–Gr. 3.
An eye-catching illustration of an orang-
Who Am I? An Animal Guessing Game.
utan and her baby will draw children to this
collection of verse by science writer Davies.
Five thematic sections with headings such as
“Colors and Shapes” and “Animal Homes“
give the presentation a bit of structure.
The book’s generous size and heavy, glossy
pages provide an excellent showcase for the
mixed-media artwork. The very large, color-
ful illustrations are impressive, and Horácek
uses the space well, offering striking images
of many species. Often written in rhyme (or
slant rhyme) and usually steering clear of
anthropomorphism, the poems vary in ef-
fectiveness. Some of the best, such as “Baby
Gorilla,” capture instants in the wild, while
others muse about animal behavior and dra-
matic moments, marrying interesting facts
to poetically phrased information. Other
selections, such as “Ways to Get to Water,”
appear to be straight prose. Each section
ends with a double-page spread of detailed
drawings accompanied by prose captions.
Kids intrigued by animals will enjoy the art
while absorbing some information along the
way. —Carolyn Phelan
By Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Illus.
by Steve Jenkins.
Nov. 2017. 40p. HMH, $14.99 (9780544935396). 590.
Page and Jenkins are an author-illustrator
team that has created an impressive body of
nature-themed children’s books. Their latest
nonfiction offering adopts a more unconventional format: readers are given clues about
an animal before it is revealed on the subsequent page. This playful layout makes this
an ideal book for read-alouds. Five clues for
each animal are illustrated with artwork that
focuses attention on very specific parts of its
body. The clues include a range of pertinent
facts about each creature, such as their physical characteristics, adaptive features, habitat,
diet, and social habits. Readers will be challenged to activate prior knowledge while
learning something new about common
species. Additional facts about each animal
are provided in a summary in the end matter. Strong visual appeal coupled with the
format, which is more of a game than an
exposition on animal facts, offers a delightfully fresh resource on the animal world.
Arbordale shines this fall
with four new titles!
HC: 9781628559859 $17.95
PB: 9781628559866 $9.95
HC: 9781607183228 $17.95
PB: 9781607183235 $9.95
HC: 9781628559033 $17.95
PB: 9781628559040 $9.95
HC: 9781628559767 $17.95
PB: 9781628559774 $9.95
Also available in Spanish
paperback and dual-language