Also published on this date: Thursday, February 1, 2023: Maximum Shelf: Everything's Fine

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, February 1, 2023


Atlantic Monthly Press: Those Opulent Days: A Mystery by Jacquie Pham

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber

Carolrhoda Lab (R): Here Goes Nothing by Emma K Ohland

Allida: Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley

News

PRH U.S. CEO Madeline McIntosh Resigning

Madeline McIntosh (photo: Paul Brissman)

In another high-level departure at Penguin Random House, Madeline McIntosh will soon step down as CEO of PRH U.S. and is working closely with interim PRH global CEO Nihar Malaviya "to determine the best plan for the U.S. organization going forward," as she put it in a letter to colleagues.

The move follows the announcement of the retirement of Gina Centrello as head of the Random House Publishing Group last month and the December resignation of PRH global CEO Markus Dohle following the collapse of PRH's effort to purchase Simon & Schuster.

Concerning her plans, McIntosh wrote, "There are ideas I've had over the years that have never found a natural fit within PRH, but which I'm excited to explore now. After all these years inside the safe and supportive home that is our company, I'm itching to make another leap."

About her decision to leave, McIntosh said that one reason is "I don't think CEOs should stay in their seats forever. Fresh perspectives can be incredibly healthy and helpful for organizations, and so I believe this is not only the best decision for me, but also for PRH...

"The other reason is just about me and my own approach to professional growth. Even though I've spent so much of my life in a single company, my path through books has never been linear. From editorial, to new media, to sales, to audio, to Amazon (and Luxembourg!), to leadership of our digital transition, to the making of Penguin Random House, to publishing with the Penguins, and finally to this seat: It's a road that would have been hard to plan for or predict. The points of my biggest pivots are exactly the ones that taught me the most."

Beginning in 1994, McIntosh worked for Random House and Bantam Doubleday Dell for 14 years in a variety of roles, starting in new media and including publisher of the audio publishing division and senior v-p, director of adult sales. In 2008, she left Random House to be Amazon's director of Kindle content acquisition for Europe, with headquarters in Luxembourg. A year later she returned to Random House as president of sales, operations, and digital, and then was promoted several times before becoming CEO of PRH U.S. in 2018.

In his own e-mail to PRH staff, Malaviya said, "Over the past almost 30 years, Madeline has played an invaluable role in our company and in our day-to-day work lives. It would be impossible for me to capture all that she has achieved during her amazing career."

He praised her "innate gift to cut through the complexity surrounding a problem and decide on and take the needed key actions always shined through brightly. Her ability to see around corners and be at the forefront of developments was clear even at the beginning of her career, when she quickly realized the importance of online sales long before others did.... As a company we have greatly benefited from her endless curiosity coupled with her drive to action, and I have no doubt that she will bring these wonderful attributes to her next venture."

He also noted, "Madeline’s love for books has always been at the center of her work. She is our 'first reader,' always seeking out recommendations while being excellent at recommending books herself. She stands for bringing a personal touch to book recommendations in this increasingly algorithmic age."


PM Press: P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by Golbarg Bashi, Illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi


Doug Salati, 2023 Caldecott Medalist

Doug Salati

Author/illustrator Doug Salati just won the 2023 Caldecott Medal for his picture book, Hot Dog (Knopf Books for Young Readers).

Congratulations! What an exciting day you must be having! How are you feeling?

It is 5:45 pm and it has been a day of nonstop amazing and celebratory messages from friends, family, colleagues and enthusiastic fans of the book. That is a lot of love. I feel extremely fortunate and grateful and happy.

Would you tell our readers about Hot Dog and its inspiration?

At its simplest, the book is about a dog whose owner helps it escape to the beach for some physical and emotional relief and rejuvenation. The idea came when I met a city-dog named Charlie who was having the time of his life at the beach.

This is the first picture book you both authored and illustrated. How did working on this compare with the works you've done in collaboration with other creators?

It is thrilling and daunting to get to make all the decisions. I think Maurice Sendak summed it up so beautifully when he said creating pictures for a book "involves a kind of vigorous working with the writer. Sometimes you're the writer, too, so you're working with yourself; then the difficulty and strain and joy of that particular book is the balancing between the text and the pictures."

Looking at the illustrative style in your other books, Hot Dog stands out as being different. I keep thinking "Raúl the third meets Matthew Cordell with vibes of Ludwig Bemelmans." Is there something different about the way you illustrated this book?

What an amazing combination of artists to be compared to. I was endeavoring to let the line stay as loose and lively as possible. And I did focus a lot on the shifting of the color, temperature and sensory feeling between city and beach, day and night.

There is an incredible sense of movement in this book: waves crash, the wind blows through blinds, the dog digs in the sand... there's even a frenetic energy in the way the panels are drawn while the woman and dog are in the city. Was this all part of the plan from the beginning?

It is wonderful you felt that. I was aiming for a lot of movement. I knew I wanted the city in the first part to feel like it was constricted and buzzing and jerky with agitation and then to let it give way to the smoothness, fluidity and flow of the water, sand and open sky.

You play with formatting quite a lot in this book using series of illustrative vignettes that require viewers to read the story sometimes left to right, sometimes vertically from top to bottom, sometimes both. Would you speak to those artistic decisions?

The panel formatting was a new way of working for me, but it seemed to be the best method to guide the reader through the sensory path of navigating a city landscape, escaping it, then returning home. In one place, we are hemmed in by vertical structure, and in another there was nothing but an expansive stretch of space.

And, of course, why a hot dog?

I wanted our long and low protagonist to be in opposition to its tall owner and the towering verticality of the city. And then to be able to shift so perfectly in parallel to the long horizon line of the beach.

Are you working on anything new?

I am excited to be currently illustrating a collection of poems by Matthew Burgess and the sequel to a new middle-grade novel by Elaine Dimopoulos. 

Is there anything else you'd like to tell Shelf Awareness readers?

Thank you for reading! --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness


Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney


2023 Michael L. Printz Award Winner Sabaa Tahir

Sabaa Tahir
(Ayesha Ahmad Photography)

Author Sabaa Tahir won the 2023 Michael L. Printz Award for her National Book Award-winning novel, All My Rage (Razorbill).

All My Rage has now won both the National Book Award and the Printz (and it's a bestseller). To ask you the classic question, what was the call like? Considering this title already has an NBA to its name, were you hoping it might get a nod today, too?

The call was emotional, funny, moving and so, so joyful. I thought we were talking about paper stock for the paperback of All My Rage, because it's out at the beginning of March. And since I'd only ever heard that award winners were notified the morning of the Youth Media Awards, I wasn't expecting anything. When the committee came on the screen and told me, I cried and scared my cat and then babbled a lot of thank yous.  

Regarding any hope around the Printz--I was still in shock from the National Book Award! This book has found such love in the world--I am very grateful for that.

Would you kindly give readers your two-sentence pitch for All My Rage?

Of course! All My Rage is a YA coming-of-age story about two high schoolers, Noor and Salahudin, trying to survive a Mojave Desert town that seems intent on crushing them. It also follows Salahudin's mother, Misbah, as she emigrates from Pakistan to America and all the hope, joy and struggle that come with such a journey. 

Shelf Awareness's review notes that the rage expressed in the book is tangible, "evocative and ever-present." Did you have to put yourself in a certain headspace to evoke this kind of emotion?

I used to call AMR my "anger" book, because I would work on it when I was filled with rage--at society, the news, dictators abroad, dictators at home--you name it. I was angry when I wrote the early drafts of this book, and found that, when I went to edit it, I had to temper that anger, to meld it with other truths: empathy, love and hope. That was the alchemy that made the book work, both for me and for my agent and editor.

What kind of research did you do for this book? I imagine you had to do some work to make sure the historical aspects of the novel were correct, but were there other things you had to investigate?

So much research! I talked to doctors about emergency room medicine, particularly with children and teens. I talked to a doctor extensively about kidney disease and exactly what would happen during renal failure. I talked to a lawyer about what Salahudin would be facing in the courtroom and what usually happened in drug cases like his and Noor's. I repeatedly sat at a courthouse for hours, just trying to get a sense of both atmosphere and procedure. I talked to a former paramedic, author Daniel José Older, about EMTs and Narcan. That's really the tip of the iceberg. The research happened over years and took ages.

What I think is particularly cool about this book getting so much love is that it's your first work of realism. What made you want to move away from the fantastic and into the terrestrial? How was writing realism different than writing speculative fiction?

It was a very challenging switch. I reminded myself almost daily, "Hey you can't fix this problem with magic. And the tension can't always come from battle scenes!" At the same time, my books at their core are about hope in dark times, through difficult circumstances. Hope sustained me through so much of my own life and seeing it in books meant so much to me as a kid. So, in that regard, hope served as a touchstone for me. When I was panicking that I didn't know what I was doing, I'd tell myself, "This is a story like all the other stories. And you have to tell it honestly."

This is also your only book that is not part of a series, correct? Did it feel different to write a book that had to encapsulate the entire story you wanted to tell? 

It was a bit of a relief! I don't have to worry about coming up with a sequel. But at the same time... that made the ending bittersweet. Characters stay with me. These ones lived in my head for more than a decade. I miss them.

Are you working on anything now?

I am working on a young adult fantasy about a tracker, a prince and a vengeful fugitive. It is great fun! I hope to be able to talk more about it soon.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell Shelf Awareness readers?

Please support your local and school libraries! Librarians are having to deal with more book challenges than ever before, and they need to know that we believe in them and that we are behind them. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness


Splendor Solis Books Opens in Northampton, Mass.

Dianne and Kevin Germain, who founded Splendor Solis Books as an online store in 2019, have opened in a bricks-and-mortar space in Northampton, Mass., that was formerly the site of Gabriel Books, the Daily Hampshire Gazette reported.

Splendor Solis specializes in used and new "books on spirituality, books on the occult, books about esoterica, and anything else we feel relates to these endeavors." Several years after opening online, the Germains started selling in stalls at conventions and other locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut, then realized they wanted a permanent shop.

At the same time, Patty Riley, co-founder of Gabriel Books in 1993, wanted to sell the used general bookstore following the death of John Riley in 2021--and she wanted to sell to booksellers, not have the space used by a business in a different field. As she told the newspaper, "I think it's important that Northampton is a place where people can come for old books. I for one don't want to live in a world without books."

"It's such a thrill to have an actual store," Dianne Germain told the paper. "We've mostly been interacting with customers online and over the phone, and now we have the opportunity to meet a lot more people in person."

The Germains inherited the stock of Gabriel Books and have been adding their own titles to the inventory.


B&N Moves in Sacramento, Calif., Cheyenne, Wyo.

The Barnes & Noble at the Promenade in the Natomas section of Sacramento, Calif., has closed after the landlord decided not to renew the store's lease, ABC10 reported. B&N said it is looking for another site in the area. A Nordstrom Rack store is planned for the site.

"We have truly loved serving this community for the past 17 years and would have loved to continue doing so for many more," a B&N spokesperson said.

B&N has another store in Sacramento, in the Arden Fair Mall, and several in the general area.

---

Barnes & Noble, which had to close its Cheyenne, Wyo., store last year after the landlord didn't renew the lease, plans to open a new store this summer a mile from its old location, according to Cowboy State Daily.

The new site, in Frontier Plaza, is about 10,000 square feet in size, significantly smaller than the previous store and in line with B&N's model for new stores. B&N has operated in a temporary location since the May closure.


Obituary Note: Gabrielle Williams

Gab Williams

Australian author Gabrielle Williams, who also worked at Readings bookstore in Melbourne as manager of the Readings Prizes, grants officer for the Readings Foundation and as a bookseller, died January 21. Readings tweeted that "we lost one of our own. Gab Williams was a brilliant author, fabulous bookseller, a fierce advocate for literacy and the arts, and dearly-loved friend. We'll miss her vibrant presence."

In a tribute to her friend and fellow writer, Simmone Howell wrote in the Conversation: "Gab's narrative voice is like a fabulous friend regaling you over a long boozy lunch: now pinning down details, now swooping out; leaving you dangling, then drawing you back. Gab was a great deployer of the interstitial narrative, of splicing in stories within stories, and playing around with normal genre conventions.... 

"Gab's books were for and about young adults, although 'old' adults could, and did, love them too. She showed a great respect for and understanding of teenagers. She didn't subscribe to the notion that adults should be written out of the story. The fullness of life for her characters is shown through their relationships with friends and family and community."

Anna McFarlane, Williams's publisher at Allen & Unwin, said, "She always wrote from her heart.... Gab loved the aesthetic of the eighties: the music, the fashion, but also, I think, the lack of parental supervision. She loved her characters to get messy."

Williams's books for young adults include Beatle Meets Destiny; The Reluctant Hallelujah; The Guy, the Girl, the Artist & his Ex; My Life as a Hashtag; and It's Not You, It's Me. Her books were shortlisted for some of Australia's most prestigious honors, including the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, the CBCA Awards and the Gold Inkys.

Author Danielle Binks tweeted: "When I tell you that Gabrielle Williams' Beatle Meets Destiny changed the way I saw my city, and felt about Aussie YA... I loved her voice, I adored her books. But she was something else; truly the kindest and funniest. Devastated to learn of her passing."


Notes

Image of the Day: The Mitford Affair

Last Friday, Litchfield Books, Pawleys Island, S.C., hosted a presentation and signing by Marie Benedict, author of The Mitford Affair: A Novel (Sourcebooks Landmark) at the Litchfield Inn. Pictured: Benedict (c.) with the mother-and-daughter owners of the bookstore, Wendy Meletes (l.) and Olivia Meletes-Morris.


Mayor Shops Local at A Seat at the Table Books

"Shopping local is a priority for our mayor. Come by and see what she loves about our store!" a Seat at the Table Books, Elk Grove, Calif., posted on Facebook.

Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen agreed: "Always a treat to visit A Seat at the Table Books for those rare finds. It's our city's only book store. There is a great cafe located inside so you can sip and read. There are always fun events to explore too. This is a wonderfully safe and inclusive space. Visit their website and subscribe to their updates."


Personnel Changes at Astra Publishing House

At Astra Publishing House:

Juliana Lauletta has been promoted to v-p of publishing, Astra Books for Young Readers. She remains publisher of Kane Press, Calkins Creek and Wordsong.

Chelsea Abdullah has been promoted to marketing associate, Astra Books for Young Readers.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Siddharth Kara on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: Siddharth Kara, author of Cobalt Red: How the Blood of the Congo Powers Our Lives (St. Martin's Press, $29.99, 9781250284303).


Movies: Danny and the Dinosaur

Legendary Entertainment is partnering with Caroline Fraser of HarperCollins Productions (Carmen Sandiego) to produce a live-action Danny and the Dinosaur film, based on the children's picture book series by Syd Hoff, Deadline reported.

HarperCollins Productions optioned media rights to the series from the Author's Guild Foundation, which shares them with the Anti-Defamation League Foundation, ORT America, and the United Negro College Fund. The original book, published in 1958, was followed up by six sequels by Hoff, with the full set selling more than 11 million copies in 12 languages, Deadline noted. 



Books & Authors

Awards: NBCC Finalists, City Lights Honored

The finalists in six categories for the 2022 National Book Critics Circle Awards and the John Leonard Prize for First Book were announced last night and can be seen here. Winners will be named on March 23 during a ceremony at the New School in New York City.

This year marks the introduction of two new prizes. The NBCC Service Award, honoring extraordinary and longstanding service to the organization, went to past NBCC president Barbara Hoffert. Finalists were also unveiled for the inaugural Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize, celebrating the artistic merit of literature in translation in any genre.

"The six books selected by members of the National Book Critics Circle represent an impressive range of genres and subjects, aesthetic styles and languages," said committee chair Tara Merrigan. "We are delighted to be able to highlight such excellent work made available in English by the skill and persistence of six translators."

In addition, Joy Harjo is receiving the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, Jennifer Wilson has won the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, and the winner of the Toni Morrison Achievement Award, recognizing "institutions that have made lasting and meaningful contributions to book culture," is City Lights Books, San Francisco, Calif.

Sandrof prize committee chair Jacob M. Appel commented: "Among the illustrious prior winners of the Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award are individuals whose own literary works have transformed book culture and also those whose activism and service on behalf of other writers has proven to be of remarkable influence. As a three-term United States Poet Laureate and a leading voice for Native American communities on and off the pages, Harjo embodies both of these legacies. Drawing upon the traditions of the Muscogee Nation and the vast landscape of her unbounded imagination, Harjo speaks in a distinctive, indelible language of myth and music. She stands not only as a literary envoy for indigenous peoples everywhere, but also as the unrivaled ambassador of American poetry."

Balakian prize committee chair Colette Bancroft said: "In graceful, well-crafted prose enriched by deep understanding of her subject, Jennifer Wilson turns a review of a new translation of an unfinished novel by Alexander Pushkin, Peter the Great's African, into a sophisticated exploration of how the great Russian poet's personal heritage as the great-grandson of a Black African informed his art and shaped his understanding of what it meant to be Russian." 

Appel, who also chaired the Morrison prize committee, observed: "The impact of City Lights on American literature has been revolutionary, which may be the highest compliment one can bestow upon an enterprise whose goal since its inception has been to transform both the realm of literature and society beyond. Since its founding in the early 1950s by Peter D. Martin and Lawrence Ferlinghetti--the latter himself a former Sandrof Award honoree--City Lights has introduced American audiences to audacious new voices, inviting us to lunch with Frank O'Hara, wander with Marie Ponsot and howl with Allen Ginsberg. Far more than a press or a bookshop, City Lights shines as a beacon for innovation and justice and as a guiding flare for readers and writers across the globe who dream of a better world."  


Reading with... Kerri Schlottman

photo: Kambui Olujimi

Kerri Schlottman's writing has placed second in the Dillydoun International Fiction Prize, been longlisted for the Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction and was a 2021 University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize semifinalist. For the past 20 years, Schlottman has worked to support artists, performers and writers in creating new projects, most recently at Creative Capital in New York City, where she helped fund projects by authors Paul Beatty, Maggie Nelson, Percival Everett and Jesse Ball. Her debut novel is Tell Me One Thing (Regal House Publishing, January 31, 2023).

Handsell readers your book in 25 words or less:

Tell Me One Thing is the story of a provocative photograph, the struggling artist who takes it, and its young and troubled subject.

On your nightstand now:

Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh, which I haven't yet started but it's next up. That book was recommended to me by a fellow author because of a novel I'm currently working on. Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett: I'm only a couple of chapters into the book but already in awe at how she skillfully uses first-person plural, which is so hard to do well. How We Live Is How We Die by Pema Chödrön, who's an American Tibetan Buddhist and a nun: I'm about halfway through. I find her writing equally terrifying and illuminating. (I mean, that title. Whew.)

Favorite book when you were a child:

When I was very young, I was fully obsessed with Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. I read that book all the time. As a pre-teen, I liked the Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin and the Sweet Valley High series, written by Francine Pascal and a bunch of ghostwriters. I also sometimes read the books my mom had around the house, so I had an early introduction to Tom Clancy, John Grisham and Danielle Steel.

Your top five authors:

Maggie Nelson, Mohsin Hamid, Jenny Offill, Jhumpa Lahiri and Joan Didion. Each of these authors has educated me as a writer in some way with their incredible talents, and I'm very grateful for that.

Book you've faked reading:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and, to be honest, many of the classics. I've been telling myself for years that I'll eventually read them, but I never do.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Abundance by Jakob Guanzon, which is a painfully important novel about economic inequality told in beautiful prose. I wish everyone would read this book and that we would then have a national discussion about poverty in America.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I recently bought a special edition from McNally Jackson Books of The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector that has small, shiny stars all over it, and I'm obsessed with it. I like the story, too, but the cover is where the magic's at.

Book you hid from your parents:

None! I grew up in the '80s when parents had no idea what their children were doing.

Book that changed your life:

Suicide Blonde by Darcey Steinke made me want to leave the blue-collar town I grew up in and move to a big city, which I ended up doing a few years later when I came to New York City. Reading that book felt like someone was telling me something about myself. It's so gorgeous and raw. I re-read it from time to time, and it never loses its specialness.

Favorite line from a book:

I'm going to cheat a bit and give two lines, but they're so good. From Thomas McGuane's Panama:

"When they build a shopping center over an old salt marsh, the seabirds sometimes circle the same place for a year or more, coming back to check daily, to see if there isn't some little chance those department stores and pharmacies and cinemas won't go as quickly as they come. Similarly, I come back and keep looking into myself, and it's always steel, concrete, fan magazines, machinery, bubble gum; nothing as sweet as the original marsh."

Five books you'll never part with:

Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard is one of the most beautiful and important books I've ever read. Simard is a phenomenal storyteller as well as scientist. I wish it were mandatory reading for everyone.

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson is an example of her incredible mind at its best. That book blows me away with how well she modernizes a classic myth.

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is so beautifully written that I hugged it when I finished. She is a stunning writer, and I wish she had more recognition in the United States.

Please Don't Come Back from the Moon by Dean Bakopoulos perfectly describes what it felt like to be fatherless in the Detroit suburbs in the '80s and really hit home for me. That book will forever have a soft spot in my heart.

And The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, which needs no explanation. The fact that she wrote it at age 23 is mind-blowing.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi is an incredibly poetic and creative book. It forces you to read slowly and deliberately, because each sentence is like a tiny gift. Her work is literary fiction at its finest.

Book you wish you had written:

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt, because I've been trying to write literary fiction with an unusual, non-human character (mine will remain nameless in case I eventually pull it off) and it's SO HARD TO DO and she did it so damn well with that octopus. That novel is just plain delightful to read. I'm excited to see what she does next.


Book Review

Children's Review: A Llama Is Not an Alpaca

A Llama Is Not an Alpaca: And Other Mistaken Animal Identities by Karen Jameson, illus. by Lorna Scobie (Running Press Kids, $17.99 hardcover, 32p., ages 4-8, 9780762478781, March 7, 2023)

Bright, happy colors reflect all the hues of nature in a lighthearted, informative picture book that helps readers differentiate between often-mistaken animal identities.

Is it a hare or a rabbit? A crocodile or an alligator? A wasp, a hornet or a bee? A Llama Is Not an Alpaca offers fun, factual answers to such questions. Author Karen Jameson (Moon Babies; Time to Shine) blends scientific fact with playful poetry to help young readers pick out the differences between 10 sets of critters. A short rhyme ("Frog or toad now hopping in?/ Look for thick and bumpy skin") accompanies a picture of one of the two. Readers turn the page for the answer ("It's a toad!") and a playful and fact-filled nugget of information about both animals ("Croak! Most toads have lumpy-bumpy skin and most frogs have smooth, moist skin. Frogs are long-legged jumpers compared to the short-legged toad"). An illustration of both creatures lets newly informed readers make the visual comparison themselves.

Illustrator Lorna Scobie's animals, while adorably cartoonish, are drawn with enough detail to drive home the variations among each pair or trio. The alpacas and llamas, for example, have big, googly eyes and fur drawn with scratchy, curling lines. But a close-up of an alpaca and a llama sticking out their tongues at one another ("Both like to spit"!), while silly, also shows the "shorter ears and chubby, furry face" of the alpaca and the "longer, curved ears" of the much larger llama. Scobie (Duck, Duck, Dad?; Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!) supports Jameson's facts with color, detail and beautifully layered fur/feather/shell/skin/exoskeleton patterns. For example, the diagonally divided page depicting the differences between moths and butterflies shows beige and brown moths flitting about a black sky dotted with stars at the top; at the bottom, a blue daytime sky backgrounds pink flowers and bright orange and yellow butterflies. The dolphin and porpoise page shows them in a circle nose to tail, with the dolphin's "curved dorsal fin" and "longer beak" on display against a watery turquoise background, and the porpoise with its triangle-shaped fin splashing into a darker blue sea.

Jameson and Scobie's partnership has generated a near-perfect nonfiction picture book with elements many young readers love: cheerful pictures saturated with color, lively rhymes and the kind of facts that are likely to stick for a lifetime. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: Lovely, comical illustrations pair with manageable morsels of fact in this fresh and entertaining book of mistaken animal identities and easy ways to tell them apart.


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