Outstanding!

Every month, we post an annotated bibliography of books that were rated ‘Outstanding’ and nominated for our Distinguished List at our previous month’s meeting. Members can see full reviews of these books and many more in the February edition of BayViews.

Picture Books

Before-AfterBefore After written and illustrated by Anne-Margot Ramstein and Matthias Arégui
Candlewick, 2014.
This gorgeous French import has crisp, digitally-illustrated spreads which depict such scenarios as showing a swarm of bees around a beehive on the left, and a jar of honey on the right, and could provide jumping off points for discussions on sequencing, cause and effect, and the passage of time. (Kindergarten – Grade 3)

Fiction

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nivenall the bright places
Knopf/Random, 2015.
After an initial encounter on the ledge of a bell tower, Violet and Finch become partners on a class project, and gradually develop a tentative, tender relationship. Theirs is a fully believable, fragile love story and a painfully realistic, affecting portrait of teen mental illness. (Grades 9 – 12)

HowItWentDownHow It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
Holt, 2014.
In this timely and illuminating novel, Magoon uses multiple voices from a neighborhood to explore the shooting of a black teen by a white man, and its aftereffects on friends, family and community. (Grades 8 – 10)

Graphic Novel

Ms. Marvel: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson; illustrated by Adrian Alphonams marvel
Marvel, 2014.
Kamala Khan is a Muslim-American teen living in Jersey City, who mysteriously gains the superpowers of her hero, Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel. Ms. Marvel is a great read for teenagers and up, especially those looking for superheroes, strong female characters and diversity done well. (Grade 8 – Adult)

Biography

rad womenRad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History… and Our Future! by Kate Schatz; illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl
City Lights, 2015.
In an A-Z format, readers are introduced to 25 women, both well- and lesser-known, who made an impact on the world. The conversational tone, accessible vocabulary, and extensive additional reading list make this a must purchase for most libraries. (Grades 3 – 7)

Nonfiction

Place Hacking: Venturing Off Limits by Michael J. Rosenplace hacking
21st Century, 2015.
Place hacking is broadly defined as going where one is not allowed to go and Rosen divides this into urban exploration, adventure, and infiltration. With great photos, and back matter (timeline, glossary, persuasive writing activity, source notes, and a ‘for further information’ section), this is a unique and exhilarating addition. (Grades 8 – 12)

sand swimmersSand Swimmers: The Secret Life of Australia’s Desert Wilderness written and illustrated by Narelle Oliver
Candlewick, 2015.
This fascinating exploration of the secret life of Australia’s desert wilderness provocatively juxtaposes historic European perspectives and the Aboriginal understanding of remarkable animal adaptations. Gorgeous, earth-toned illustrations, opportunities to search for camouflaged wildlife and extensive supporting back matter make this a great choice for both pleasure reading and classroom study. (Grades 2 – 6)

– Hayley

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KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month

Check out the fifth annual KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month!

redpencilVisit the blog Kidlit Women’s History Month (http://kidlitwhm.blogspot.com/2015/03/bring-new-childrens-books-to-life-with.html ), which “seeks to inspire, to collaborate, to call attention to new books featuring women in history, and to serve as a resource for all who are interested in the intersection of women’s history and literature for young people. The world needs confident young women with a keen understanding of the generations of women that came before them, the plight of women still suffering inequality, and the unlimited possibilities of the future. How girls see themselves in the media and on the printed page helps to shape their views on women’s place in society. All of the featured writers, librarians, artists, and educators know that literature for young people matters.”

The blog features reviews of new books for children and teens that focus on strong female characters and women in history. They have a great month planned. The blog will also One Plastic Baghave interviews with authors of some of these books, and ideas for programming with children’s books that feature strong female characters. The official theme of the National Women’s History Project for 2015, is “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives,” and they are celebrating their 35th anniversary with a slogan of “Celebrating 35 years of writing women back into history.”

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Read-Alikes for the 2015 Summer Reading Program “Read to the Rhythm”

Read to the Rhythm2015 Summer Reading Program  “Read to the Rhythm”

For Little Ones (ages two – five)

Andreae, Giles. Giraffes Can’t Dance.

Costello, David. Little Pig Joins the Band.

Craig, Lindsay. Dancing Feet!

Emberley, Rebecca. The Ant and the Grasshopper.

Feiffer, Jules. Rupert Can Dance.

Gorbachev, Valeri. Catty Jane Who Loved to Dance.

Gordon, Gus. Herman and Rosie.

Hennesy, Scott. The Cat’s Baton Is Gone: A Musical Cat-tastrophe.

Holabird, Kate. Angelina Ballerina series.

Kohuth, Jane. Duck Sock Hop.

Lachenmeyer, Nathaniel. Scarlatti’s Cat.

Lickens, Alice V. Can You Dance to the Boogaloo.

Lies, Brian. Bats in the Band.

Lodding, Linda Ravin. A Gift for Mama.

Moss, Lloyd. Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin.

Player, Micah. Chloe, Instead.

Ray, Mary Lyn. Deer Dancer.

Schofield-Morrison, Connie. I Got the Rhythm.

Shields, Carol Diggory. Baby’s Got the Blues.

Sif, Birgitta. Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance.

Stinson, Kathy. The Man with the Violin.

Swenson, Jamie. Boom! Boom! Boom!

Trice, Linda. Kenya’s Song.

Vernick, Audrey. So You Want to be a Rock Star.

Winter, Jeanette. Kali’s Song.

Wissinger, Tamera Will. This Old Band.

Wright, Johanna. The Orchestra Pit.

For Early Readers (ages five – six)

Buck Nola. Sid and Sam.

Capucilli, Alyssa. Katy Duck and the Tip-Top Tap Shoes.

Feldman, Thea. Harry Cat and Tucker Mouse: Tucker’s Beetle Band.

Henkes, Kevin. Penny and Her Song.

Parish, Herman. Bravo, Amelia Bedelia!

Rylant, Cynthia. Mr. Putter and Tabby Dance the Dance.

Scotton, Rob. Splat the Cat Sings Flat.

Willems, Mo. Elephants Cannot Dance!

Willems, Mo. Listen to My Trumpet!

Moving-Up Transitional Chapter Books (ages six – eight)

Ada, Alma Flor. Dancing Home.

Giff, Patricia Reilly. Star Time.

Kline, Suzy. Horrible Harry and the Missing Diamond.

Knudson, Mike. Raymond and Graham: Dancing Dudes.

Krulik, Nancy E. Katie Kazoo Switcheroo: Tip-Top Tappin’ Mom!

Marsden, Carolyn. The Gold-Threaded Dress.

Mitchell, Margaree King. When Grandmama Sings.

Stern, A.J. Rocking Out!

Stilton, Geronimo. Thea Stilton and the Dancing Shadows.

Stout, Shawn K. Penelope Crumb is Mad at the Moon.

For Tweens (ages nine – twelve)

Federle, Tim. Five, Six, Seven, Nate!

Haston, Meg. How to Rock Best Friends and Frenemies.

Hughes, Mark Peter. Lemonade Mouth Puckers Up.

Lasky, Kathryn. Dancing Through Fire.

Namioka, Lensey. Yang the Youngest and his Terrible Ear.

Nichols, Travis. Matthew Meets The Man.

Paulsen, Gary. Dancing Carl.

Russell, Rachel Renee. Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star.

Streatfeild, Noel. Ballet Shoes.

Venkatraman, Padma. A Time to Dance.

Webb, Sarah. Dancing Daze.

Yep, Laurence. Ribbons.

Zalben, Jane Breskin. Four Seasons.

Poetry

Florian, Douglas. Poem Depot: Aisles of Smiles.

Janeczko, Paul, editor. Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems.

Lewis, J. Patrick. Everything Is a Poem: The Best of J. Patrick Lewis.

Wilson, Karma. Outside the Box.

Nonfiction

Ajmera, Maya, and others. Music Everywhere!

Hill, Laban Carrick. When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kook Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop.

Neri, G. Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.

Parker, Robert A. Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum.

Robertson, Robbie. Legends, Icons, and Rebels: Music That Changed the World.

Russell-Brown, Katheryn. Little Melba and Her Big Trombone.

Sandler, Martin W. How the Beatles Changed the World.

Siegel, Siena Cherson. To Dance: A Ballerina’s Graphic Novel.

Penny Peck, San Jose State University iSchool

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Review of the Week: “Hansel and Gretel” by Neil Gaiman

hanselGaiman, Neil. Hansel and Gretel. Lorenzo Mattotti, Illus. Non-fiction. Toon, 2014. 54p. $16.95, 978-1-935179-62-7, PLB $29.95, 978-1-935179-65-8. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 4-8.

Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti lend their noir strengths to this deeply satisfying retelling of the Grimms’ classic tale. Gaiman’s straightforward, conversational tone smooths over the ominous hints of darkness, creating a creepily compelling
narrative. Both this tale and the extensive and excellent author’s note on the history of the story add in the political events that drive the action: war, famine, and political conquest. The historical
backdrop makes the story both more understandable and more chillingly believable, elevating its appeal to older readers.
Mattotti’s dark and vigorous brushed-ink drawings create a claustrophobic world in which small, silhouetted figures appear dwarfed by the swirling elements surrounding them. A short bibliography accompanies the author’s note.
Melissa McAvoy, Live Oak School

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New Pop-up and Flap Books for Spring 2015

New Pop-up and Flap Books for Spring 2015

Giant VehiclesGreen, Rod. Giant Vehicles. Illus. by Stephen Biesty. Templar/Candlewick, 2014. $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-7404-5.

Illustrator Stephen Biesty is respected for his many factual books, including The Story of Buildings (Candlewick, 2014) and Into the Unknown (2011). His newest is not in that league but will be enjoyed by children who are fascinated with giant machinery and vehicles.
Nine machines are featured, including a cruise ship, helicopter, submarine, train, jet, and dump truck. Each spread focuses on one vehicle, drawn in detail with colored pencil and featuring several small captions with facts. Each vehicle has three of four small flaps that open to show something on the interior of the machine, with a brief caption.
The flaps are quite sturdy and it has board pages, so this will hold up to library usage. But the information is quite minimal (not enough for a report), so this is really for browsers. Readers who enjoy Eyewitness books will like this but it is not an essential purchase.

Crowther, Robert. Robert Crowther’s Pop-up Dinosaur ABC. Candlewick, 2015. $ 19.99. ISBN 978-0-636-7296-6. Rob Crowthers Dino

Straight-forward in presentation, this ABC of dinosaurs will certainly be popular although it may not stand up to library circulation. It begins with each letter as a flap (in various colors) – lift the flap and see the dino with a few sentences on what makes it distinctive. The letter appears in the upper case, with a smaller lower case letter set onto the capital letter. A few of the flaps slide, but most open up to a color dinosaur.
The smallish dinos are depicted fairly realistically but in a variety of bright colors (not all lizard-y green), and a few have comical facial expressions. For the most part, children under the age of ten will grasp both the facts, and get a strong impression of what the dinosaur possibly looked like.
Because the pop-ups and illustrations are relatively small, there could be some factual misinterpretations. The T-Rex is standing upright when newer research indicates that may have been unlikely, and the carnivore Guanlong is seen eating grass.
The final page gives silhouettes of the dinos along with a human, just to show the scale of their sizes. It also contains a very brief glossary of relevant words such as herbivore, and a brief description of the three eras (Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous).
Overall, this is sure to be popular and could even be useful for brief dinosaur reports. If your library has a collection of popup books for “in house” use, this would be a find purchase.

Hide and Seek PoutDiesen, Deborah. Hide-and-Seek Pout-Pout Fish. Illus. by Dan Hanna. Square Fish/Macmillan, 2015. $8.99. ISBN 978-1-250-06011-2.

In this board books with flaps, a “pout pout” fish is looking for other ocean friends. The rhyming text has four lines per page, describing Pout-Pout’s journey. In some cases the other creatures are referred to accurately, including the shark, lobster, puffer fish, squid, and more, but sometimes they receive nicknames. For example, the octopus is called “Mr. Eight,” another is called “Miss Shimmer;” and the change is not to facilitate a rhyme so that seems pointless.
The soft illustrations appear to be created in watercolors and colored pencil, and depict fairly realistic sea creatures except for their cartoon eyes and mouths. Unfortunately, the thin cardstock of the flaps make them difficult for little fingers to open, and they are likely to be torn off quite easily. Most libraries can skip this.

Bleck, Linda. What’s In My Truck? Scholastic, 2014. $6.99. ISBN Whats In My Truck978-0-545-53525-0.

Five semi-trucks are the featured element of this engaging board book that will appeal to a wide age range. Toddlers will like the trucks and older children can read the brief text. The full color cartoonish illustrations do a great job of depicting factual elements, such as engines, gas tanks, and tools.
Each truck has a theme – delivering food from a dairy, taking animals for a petting zoo, bringing in a carnival, taking sea creatures to a pet store, and transporting new cars to the dealership. Each truck has several small flaps that open to show what is being hauled, as well as parts of the truck itself. There is at least one driver of color, and one female driver; unfortunately she asks the read to look for her “bag,” which is a pink purse under her seat.
The text consists of one sentence describing each truck and one question asked of the reader – can you find the gas tank or the engine? Under each flap is a picture and another question, urging the reader to identify what is being shown, to count items, etc. This offers a great deal of interaction and will encourage multiple readings.

Penny Peck, San Jose State University iSchool

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New BayNews, Workshop on Serving Children and Teens, New Seuss, Children’s Choice Finalists

Read to the RhythmNew ACL BayNews Posted: The February 2015 BayNews (the newsletter for the Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California) is now available on our website: http://www.bayviews.org . You will find reviews of new pop-up books, Read-alikes for the Summer Reading Program “Read to the Rhythm,” new storytime themes relating to the Summer Reading themes, and much more.

The 201 5 Spring Workshop of the Pacific Library Partnership Staff Development Committee presents a workshop: Why do they act like that and how am I supposed to deal with it?  Working successfully with teens, children and parents in public libraries Videogaming

Two sessions of the same workshop:
Tuesday, April 21, Castro Valley Library (Alameda County) and Wednesday, April 22, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library (San Jose).
Both sessions 9:00 am – 12 noon (sign-in 8:30 – 9:00). $15 registration fee.

This workshop is appropriate for all levels of library staff. It’s especially designed for staff whose primary focus at work falls outside children’s and teen services.

All of us who work in public libraries have to occasionally address behavioral issues. Children and teens fill most of our libraries every day. We all have to work with them and, at times, with their parents. The presenters will provide practical techniques and resources to work successfully with children and teens.

Topics covered will include:
• Child development by age group
• Age of reason
• When can a child be left alone?
• Children with special needs
• The reference interview and the child
• Tween/teen brain changes
• Teen behavior
• Distracting vs. dangerous behavior
• Tips for positive interactions with teens
• Tips for talking with parents of younger children, of older children, and of teens

Presenters:
Sarah Flowers has worked in California public libraries for 20 years, including five years as Deputy County Librarian at the Santa Clara County Library. She was the 2011-12 President of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). She is the author of Young Adults Deserve the Best: YALSA’s Competencies in Action (2011) and Evaluating Teen Services and Programs (2012).

Penny Peck has been a children’s librarian for 30 years. She has led thousands of children’s storytimes, hundreds of book club discussions for students in grades 4-12, and hundreds of school tours and assemblies. She has taught classes in children’s and teen services at San Jose State University since 2002. She has written three books on children’s services, including Crash Course in Children’s Services, 2nd edition (2014).

The April 21 workshop will held in the meeting room of the Castro Valley Library, a branch of the Alameda County library system. On-site parking is available, and the library is close to the Castro Valley BART station.

The April 22 workshop will be held in a meeting room at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, the main library of San Jose Public Library. The Fourth Street Garage is across the street from the library

For more details and to register, go to http://host7.evanced.info/pls/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=535 (Castro Valley) or http://host7.evanced.info/pls/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=536 (San Jose).

SeussNew Dr. Seuss Book to be Published: More than 20 years after his death, there is still plenty of news about Dr. Seuss. Random House Children’s Books said it will publish a recently discovered manuscript with illustrations called “What Pet Should I Get” on July 28, 2015. The publisher plans at least two more books, based on materials found in 2013 in the author’s home in La Jolla, California, by his widow and secretary.

The author whose real name was Theodor Geisel died in 1991. Random House associate publishing director Cathy Goldsmith says “What Pet Should I Get?” was likely written between 1958 and 1962. The book features the same brother and sister seen in Dr. Seuss’ 1960 classic “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.” http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Recently-discovered-Dr-Seuss-book-coming-out-in-6087166.php .

Children’s Choice Book Awards: Every Child a Reader (ECAR) and the Children’s Book Council (CBC) have announced the finalists in the eighth annual Children’s Choice Book Awards (CCBA), the only national book awards program where the winning titles are selected by kids and teens. Young readers across the country will determine the winners in all 7 categories of the Children’s Choice Book Awards by voting online at ccbookawards.com from Tuesday, March 17, 2015 through Sunday, May 3, 2015. In 2014, over 1.2 million votes were cast online by young readers. Winners will be announced during the 96th annual Children’s Book Week (May 4-10, 2015).

The finalists for the K-2, 3-4, and 5-6 Book of the Year categories were selected by kids through the Children’s Choices Program, a joint project of the International Literacy Association (ILA) and the CBC, in which 36,600+ children from different regions of the United States read newly-published children’s and young adult trade books and voted for the ones they liked best. Teen Book of the Year finalists were chosen by 4,000+ teens via voting conducted by Teenreads.com.

The five finalists in each of this year’s three new award categories — Children’s Choice Debut Author, Teen Choice Debut Author and Children’s Choice Illustrator — were determined by two selection committees comprised of librarians, educators, booksellers, and children’s literature experts appointed by Every Child a Reader:
Children’s & Teen Choice Debut Author Committee:
• Jonathan Hunt, County Schools Librarian, San Diego County Office of Education
• Amanda Hurley, Manager, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL
• Max Rodriguez, Founder, Harlem Book Fair & Westchester Children’s Book Festival; Publisher, QBR The Black Book Review
• John Schumacher, Librarian; Founder, Watch, Connect, Read
• Seira Wilson, Books Editor, Amazon.com
Children’s Choice Illustrator Committee:
• Betsy Bird, Youth Materials Specialist, the New York Public Library; Blogger, A Fuse #8 Production (SLJ)
• Julie Danielson, MLS, Founder, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
• Colby Sharp, Teacher, Parma Elementary, MI; Co-Founder, Nerd Camp
• Tegan Tigani, PNBA President; Bookseller and Children’s Book Buyer for Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, WA; Editor for nwbooklovers.org
• Bernette Ford, Founder, Color-Bridge Books, LLC; Consulting Editor, Boxer Books, Ltd

The 2015 Children’s Choice Book Awards finalists are:

KINDERGARTEN TO SECOND GRADE BOOK OF THE YEARDuck Duck Moose
• Duck, Duck, Moose! by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones (Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group)
• Eva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut EVER! by Jeff Cohen, illustrated by Ellana Allen (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
• Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance by Birgitta Sif (Candlewick Press)
• How to Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan, illustrated by Lee Wildish (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House)
• A Pet for Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold (Orchard Books, an imprint of Scholastic)

THIRD TO FOURTH GRADE BOOK OF THE YEAR
• Claude at the Beach by Alex T. Smith (Peachtree Publishers)
• The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza by James Kochalka (First Second Books, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
• Happy Birthday, Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm, illustrated by Matt Holm (Random House Books for Young Readers)
• Kali’s Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue by Jennifer Keats Curtis, illustrated by John Gomes (Arbordale Publishing)
• Sisters by Raina Telgemeier (Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic)

Percy Jackson Greek GodsFIFTH TO SIXTH GRADE BOOK OF THE YEAR
• Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson (HMH Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group)
• Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan, illustrated by John Rocco (Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group)
• Temple Run: Race Through Time to Unlock Secrets of Ancient Worlds by Tracey West (National Geographic Children’s Books)
• The Dumbest Idea Ever! by Jimmy Gownley (Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic)
• The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke (First Second Books, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)

TEEN BOOK OF THE YEAR
• City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (Margaret K. McElderry, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
• Cress by Marissa Meyer (Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
• I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai, co-written by Patricia McCormick (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group)
• The One by Kiera Cass (HarperTeen)
• We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)

CHILDREN’S CHOICE DEBUT AUTHOREl Deafo
• Cece Bell, El Deafo (Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams)
• Natalie Lloyd, A Snicker of Magic (Scholastic Press)
• Katherine Roy, Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands (David Macaulay Studio/Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
• Piers Torday, The Last Wild (Viking Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group)
• J.A. White, The Thickety: A Path Begins (Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books)

TEEN CHOICE DEBUT AUTHOR
• Sally Green, Half Bad (Viking Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group)
• Jennifer Mathieu, The Truth About Alice (Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
• Don Mitchell, The Freedom Summer Murders (Scholastic Press)
• Jason Reynolds, When I Was the Greatest (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster)
• Leslye Walton,The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender (Candlewick Press)

CHILDREN’S CHOICE ILLUSTRATOR
• Chris Appelhans, Sparky by Jenny Offill (Schwartz & Wade, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)
• Steve Light, Have You Seen My Dragon? (Candlewick Press)
• Yuyi Morales, with photography by Tim O’Meara, Viva Frida (Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
• Christian Robinson, Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
• Brian Won, Hooray for Hat! (HMH Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group)

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Review of the Week: “A Fine Dessert”

dessertJenkins, Emily. A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Dessert. Sophie Blackall, Illus. Non-fiction. Schwartz & Wade/Random, 2015. [44]p. $17.99, 978-0-375-86832-0, PLB $20.99, 978-0-375-96832-7. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 2-5.

From Lyme, England, in 1710, to Charleston, S.C., in 1810, to Boston, Mass., in 1910, and finally to San Diego, Calif., in 2010, this picture-book history shows how food procurement, kitchen equipment, home, and clothing have evolved—but “Blackberry Fool” has always been “a fine dessert.” The narrative establishes a pattern that invites comparison, and the various changes make it interesting. The cream, for example, is beaten first with a bundle of twigs, then a metal whisk, then a cast-iron rotary beater, and finally with an electric mixer. Rendered in Chinese ink, watercolor, and blackberry juice, the art maintains a visual pattern that parallels the narrative, making it easy to follow the changes. Illustrations also portray social changes not mentioned in the text. The Charleston mother and daughter, for example, are clearly slaves. In San Diego, a boy and his father represent a gender shift, and their guests also reflect social changes not mentioned in the narrative. Packed with plenty to discuss, this accessible, delicious bite of history will also appeal to Bay Area “foodies.” Back matter includes recipe, historical notes, and sources.
Linda Perkins, Independent

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