A children book recommendation: Falling: A Daughter, a Father, and a Journey Back by Elisha Cooper

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2akrnRS.
It is at moments like this when Cooper’s prose evokes the sharpness — and the melancholy — of his watercolor paintings for his children’s books…There is a matter-of-­factness to Cooper’s art (“Who is this girl?”) that helps “Falling” avoid the pitfalls of mawkishness and sentimentality.
Book description from Google Books:
The award-winning children’s book author confronts a new world when faced with his daughter’s illness in this frank, moving, and beautiful memoir. Elisha Cooper spends his mornings writing and illustrating children’s books, his afternoons playing with his two daughters. The phrase he hates most is “throw like a girl,” so he teaches them to climb trees and play ball. But when he discovers a lump in five-year-old Zoë’s midsection as she sits on his lap at a Chicago Cubs game, everything changes. Surgery, sleepless nights, treatments, a drumbeat of worry. Even as the family moves to New York and Zoë starts kindergarten, they must navigate a new normal: school and soccer games and hot chocolates in cafés regularly interrupted by anxious visits to the hospital. And Elisha is forced to balance his desire to be a protective parent–even as he encourages his girls to take risks–against the increasing helplessness he feels for his child’s well-being, and his own. With the observant eye of an artist and remarkable humor, Elisha writes about what it took for him and his wife to preserve a sense of normalcy and joy in their daughters’ lives; how the family emerged from this experience profoundly changed, but healed and whole; how we are all transformed by the fear and hope we feel for those we love. From the Hardcover edition.
The book is rated 3.74/5 at goodreads.com, from 134 ratings. See 28 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2ajzivp.
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A children book recommendation: Riverkeep by Martin Stewart

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2hRMMWw.
Wull picks up some plucky sidekicks, including Tillinghast, the profane homunculus. His story stands out because it has some emotional heft. Much of that story, however, is borrowed from other sources, like almost every element of this novel, which is the most unfortunate aspect of all.
Book description from Google Books:
A stunning debut perfect for fans of Patrick Ness and Neil Gaiman! The Danék is a wild, treacherous river, and the Fobisher family has tended it for generations–clearing it of ice and weed, making sure boats can get through, and fishing corpses from its bleak depths. Wulliam’s father, the current Riverkeep, is proud of this work. Wull dreads it. And in one week, when he comes of age, he will have to take over.             Then the unthinkable happens. While recovering a drowned man, Wull’s father is pulled under–and when he emerges, he is no longer himself. A dark spirit possesses him, devouring him from the inside. In an instant, Wull is Riverkeep. And he must care for his father, too.             When he hears that a cure for his father lurks in the belly of a great sea-dwelling beast known as the mormorach, he embarks on an epic journey down the river that his family has so long protected–but never explored. Along the way, he faces death in any number of ways, meets people and creatures touched by magic and madness and alchemy, and finds courage he never knew he possessed.             Martin Stewart’s debut novel is an astonishing blend of the literary, the comedic, and the emotionally resonant. In a sentence, it’s The Wizard of Oz as told by Patrick Ness. It marks the beginning of a remarkable career.
The book is rated 3.37/5 at goodreads.com, from 399 ratings. See 121 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2acB0yR.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uwShkm.

A children book recommendation: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2fpw0xN.
“The Girl Who Drank the Moon” is as exciting and layered as classics like “Peter Pan” or “The Wizard of Oz.” It too is about what it means to grow up and find where we belong. The young reader who devours it now just for fun will remember its lessons for years to come.
Book description from Google Books:
Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal The New York Times Bestseller An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book of 2016 A New York Public Library Best Book of 2016 A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016 An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016 A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016 A School Library Journal Best Book of 2016 Named to KirkusReviews’ Best Books of 2016 2017 Booklist Youth Editors’ Choice Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge–with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . . The Newbery Medal winner from the author of the highly acclaimed novel The Witch’s Boy.
The book is rated 4.20/5 at goodreads.com, from 9613 ratings. See 2287 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dW0ORx.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2t6W9Ew.

A children book recommendation: Red’s Planet: Book 1 by Eddie Pittman

A critic review (source Financial Times) can be read at: http://on.ft.com/1WKMJup.
Pittman’s fluid brushwork recalls that of Jeff Smith, author of peerless comic-book fantasy saga Bone, while the tone and narrative drive of Red’s Planet bring to mind Pixar at its best.
Book description from Google Books:
Red’s Planet, an intergalactic graphic novel fantasy series from award-winning cartoonist Eddie Pittman (writer/story artist for Disney’s hit TV series Phineas and Ferb), is a nonstop adventure with a unique cast of characters unlike any you’ve ever seen before.   Meet Red, a quirky, headstrong 10-year-old who longs to live in her own perfect paradise far away from her annoying foster family. But when a UFO mistakenly kidnaps her, Red finds herself farther away than she could have possibly imagined–across the galaxy and aboard an enormous spaceship owned by the Aquilari, an ancient creature with a taste for rare and unusual treasures. Before Red can be discovered as a stowaway, the great ship crashes on a small deserted planet, leaving her marooned with a menagerie of misfit aliens. With her newfound friend, a small gray alien named Tawee, Red must find a way to survive the hostile castaways, evade the ravenous wildlife, and contend with Goose, the planet’s grumpy, felinoid custodian. Surely this can’t be the paradise she’s been hoping for.   Fans of Mike Maihack’s Cleopatra in Space and Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl will embrace Red’s Planet, a boldly illustrated and imaginative new series for readers of all ages. “Fun, sharp, hilarious, and rip-roaringly original!””– Jeff Smith, Bone  “The only thing that’s missing is seeing Red’s Planet on my bookshelf– sandwiched between Jeff Smith’s Bone and my library of Pixar Films.”– Mike Maihack, Cleopatra in Space  “Red’s Planet is a fantastic and fun journey for young readers, but it’s also a great trip down memory lane for their parents. The story weaves together a lot of the fun stories we watched  and read in the ’80s and ’90s and spins them into something new.” — Kazu Kibuishi, creator of Amulet, Flight, and Explorer “Filled with genuine sense of childlike awe and style of story, art, and filmmaking reminiscent of Jeff Smith’s Bone. Eddie Pittman really has the goods.” — Dan Povenmire, co-creator of Disney’s Phineas and Ferb  “A meeting of everything that is great about comic books…incredible art, spellbinding storytelling, rich characters, fun, adventure, humor…and heart.” — Tom Richmond, Mad Magazine artist and President of the National Cartoonist Society   
The book is rated 3.78/5 at goodreads.com, from 335 ratings. See 78 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1WKNyTU.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tSKVXT.

A children book recommendation: The Body Book by Roz MacLean

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2qIamqE.
With rhyming text and simple illustrations, the concepts are both fun and easy to understand, while still driving home a very clear, educational and positive message.
Book description from Google Books:
With simple, fun, colorful illustrations and a delightful series of simple rhymes, Roz MacLean introduces the concept to young children that bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Designed to celebrate diversity and to make children feel comfortable with how they look, The Body Book is a visual delight for pre-schoolers and an excellent resource for early primary students learning to read.

Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2qIyWr9.

A children book recommendation: Rescued (Ape Quartet #3) by Eliot Schrefer

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/1TKiVYW.
…despite the clear and present danger of Schrefer’s story becoming a morality tale, it never falls into that trap. It would be equally enticing to let the book become a fairy tale…Schrefer presents the start of Raja’s Chapter 2 as it is: realistic, gritty, dangerous, yet fabulously hopeful.
Book description from Google Books:
Raja has been raised in captivity. Not behind the bars of a zoo, but within the confines of an American home. He was stolen when he was young to be someone’s pet. Now he’s grown up . . . and is about to be sent away again, to a place from which there will be no return. John grew up with Raja. The orangutan was his friend, his brother — never his pet. But when John’s parents split up and he moved across the country, he left Raja behind. Now Raja is suffering. There’s one last chance to save Raja — a chance that will force John to confront his fractured family and the captivity he’s imposed on himself all of these years. Eliot Schrefer’s last two novels, Endangered and Threatened, were both finalists for the National Book Award. With Rescued, he brings his remarkable storytelling to the American landscape, giving us a boy who must redefine his own humanity and an orangutan who will need his help in order to return home.
The book is rated 4.15/5 at goodreads.com, from 120 ratings. See 44 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1TKiX39.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2usM0WM.

A children book recommendation: The Prince of Two Tribe: Chronicles of the Misplaced Prince Book II by Sean Cullen

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2doHJaL.
This book gets a five out of five star rating, or two big thumbs up. Anyone who loves adventure and fantasy with some romance mixed in — this is the right book for you!
Book description from Google Books:
Brendan figures his troubles are over. Sure, he’s going to have to hide the fact that he’s a Faerie from his human family and his friends at school, but now that he’s been initiated and survived his quest, the hardest part is behind him. Right? Wrong. In The Prince of Two Tribes, Brendan discovers that his troubles are only beginning. He has to prove his worthiness to the Faerie World in a series of difficult tests, and he’s having trouble mastering even the simplest of his talents.
The book is rated 4.12/5 at goodreads.com, from 99 ratings. See 10 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cNWZ3x.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uiCPs2.

A children book recommendation: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I and II (Special Rehearsal Edition) (Library Edition): The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production by John Tiffany

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2eteDrk.
The stage play is more than five hours long. The script takes less time to read. “Cursed Child” is a most satisfying and well-done follow-up to “Deathly Hallows.”
Book description from Google Books:
As an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father, Harry Potter struggles with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs while his youngest son, Albus, finds the weight of the family legacy difficult to bear.
The book is rated 3.76/5 at goodreads.com, from 384832 ratings. See 52465 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dAEznr.
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A children book recommendation: The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2d7PbH8.
…I still missed the delicacy I had felt so keenly in the earlier pages…That said, “The Nest” leaves a lasting mark on the memory, and by the end, Oppel tenderly champions the world of the broken and anxious, the sick and the flawed.
Book description from Google Books:
Kenneth Oppel’s most haunting story yet . . .She was very blurry, not at all human looking. There were huge dark eyes, and a kind of mane made of light, and when she spoke, I couldn’t see a mouth moving, but I felt her words, like a breeze against my face, and I understood her completely.”We’ve come because of the baby,” she said. “We’ve come to help.”In this beautiful, menacing novel, perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, an anxious boy becomes convinced that angels will save his sick baby brother. But these are creatures of a very different kind, and their plan for the baby has a twist. Layer by layer, he unravels the truth about his new friends as the time remaining to save his brother ticks down.With evocative and disquieting illustrations by Caldecott Medal– and Governor General’s Award–winning artist Jon Klassen, The Nest is an unforgettable journey into one boy’s deepest insecurities and darkest fears.
The book is rated 3.75/5 at goodreads.com, from 5248 ratings. See 1407 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1TIWuTS.
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A children book recommendation: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

A critic review (source All About Romance) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1TyFgsr.
While Adelaide’s story is completely wrapped up at the end of the novel, Ms. Mead drops some enticing hints into the direction of the next two books. They seem to feature Tamsin and Mira, and promise to be just as engrossing as this first instalment in the trilogy. I’m counting the days until the release of book two.
Book description from Google Books:
A dazzling, romantic fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds from Richelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy. “Brilliant and original, Mead’s new series starts off with a bang and will leave readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.” –School Library Journal Big and sweeping, spanning the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.  Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court. When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise–first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor. But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands. . . . From the Hardcover edition.
The book is rated 3.44/5 at goodreads.com, from 13813 ratings. See 2447 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1TyELOV.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2ug0glJ.