Starred Review

Ask Me

by Bernard Waber, illus. by Suzy Lee

The late Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile author Bernard Waber's Ask Me is just about a father and daughter on a walk, some might say. Suzy Lee's pencil lines--often in the glaring reds of fall leaves--are expressive, but not meant to be fancy. What's the big deal? The big deal is (and it really, really is), that the conversation between father and daughter reflects all their love and the history they've shared in a way that is so fresh and real it sounds like a transcript of a recording. The girl keeps asking the father

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Sidewalk Flowers

by JonArno Lawson, illus. by Sydney Smith

Sidewalk Flowers is picture-book perfection. Not a word is "spoken"; Sydney Smith's exquisitely inky, watercolor illustrations are all that's needed to animate JonArno Lawson's simple story of a little girl accompanying her preoccupied father on city errands.

In her red hooded jacket, the child is the only splash of color in a neighborhood that's washed in grays and black, until she begins spotting yellow dandelions and multi-colored glass vases and an occasional flowered dress. Her kind-looking--but distracted--father

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Atlas of Adventures

by Rachel Williams, illus. by Lucy Letherland

The British import Atlas of Adventures is a fun, quirky alternative to a traditional children’s atlas. Organized like a travelogue that begins with a world map and spans the globe, this alluringly oversized book is filled with curious facts about animals, people and culture; browsable maps; and suggestions for possible adventures a child could have, including "Monkey around in Nagano’s hot springs" (in Japan), "Explore Giza’s ancient pyramids" and more. It’s no surprise that the author,

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Shelf Discovery

The Story of Snowflake and Inkdrop

by Pierdomenico Baccalario, Alessandro Gatti, trans. by Brenda Porster, illus. by Simona Mulazzani

In this extraordinary Italian import, Snowflake and Inkdrop meet by chance in the sky, and once they collide, they never part again.

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by DK Publishing

With 10,000 photographs and much more, Picturepedia beautifully illustrates subjects as diverse as the Earth's structure, feudal Japan and soccer.

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Little Robot

by Ben Hatke

Ben Hatke's sweet graphic novel about a friendship between a young girl and a robot can be enjoyed by readers of any age or ability.

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Rufus the Writer

by Elizabeth Bram, illus. by Chuck Groenink

A boy named Rufus decides to set up a story stand one summer and ends up with all sorts of wonderful trades, from a shell to a kitten.

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by Carson Ellis

Carson Ellis paints lovely homes for bees, a Slovakian duchess, a Kenyan blacksmith, a Norse god and more.

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Flop to the Top

by Eleanor Davis, illus. by Drew Weing

Wannabe superstar Wanda is furious when her floppy dog gets famous and leaves her in the dust... but she comes around.

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Miracle on 133rd Street

by Sonia Manzano, illus. by Marjorie Priceman

The too-small oven of a Puerto Rican family in New York City is the unlikely catalyst for a community Christmas dinner in this festive picture book.

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Fable Comics

by Chris Duffy, editor

Twenty-eight fables by Aesop and others morph into colorful comics in editor Chris Duffy's terrific collection featuring 26 esteemed cartoonists.

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Penguin: Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

Media Heat

Monday, November 30, 2015

Fresh Air: Mary Beard, author of SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (Liveright, $35, 9780871404237).

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Diane Rehm: readers review My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (Europa Editions, $17, 9781609450786).

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Diane Rehm: Harriet Washington, author of Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We "Catch" Mental Illness (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316277808).

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fresh Air: Peter Guralnick, author of Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll (Little, Brown, $32, 9780316042741).

Diane Rehm: James Kaplan, author of Sinatra: The Chairman (Doubleday, $35, 9780385535397).

Thursday, November 19, 2015

KCRW's Bookworm: Gary Indiana, author of I Can Give You Anything But Love (Rizzoli Ex Libris, $25.95, 9780847846863).

: Gavin McCrea, author of Mrs. Engels: A Novel (Catapult, $16.95, 9781936787296).
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