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This wordless picture book is an absolute delight. The story, told entirely in pictures, alternates between full page spreads and small panels, providing an exciting mix of pacing and detail. A little girl takes her beloved stuffed fox toy to school for show and tell; on the playground, a little fox child steals the toy, and an anguished search and rescue mission begins. The girl and a friend eventually find themselves in a forest village populated by all sorts of animal families, and at last find the little fox child playing with the fox doll. I won't spoil the ending for you; trust me when I say that this tale has all the pathos, character development, and suspense you could ask for in a picture book. Full of charming details to spot in the artwork, and a storyline that is easy to follow while giving full credit to the emotional roller-coaster of childhood lost-and-found. This one can melt your heart. ~ Reviewed by Jennifer Armstrong
Welcome, once again, to Pullman's extraordinary imagination. The master storyteller has brought us back to the world of His Dark Materials, but earlier on, with some familiar characters and most notably, a new hero in a sturdy canoe: Malcolm Polstead. Part Arthurian quest, part Noah's flood, part Odyssey, part flight into Egypt, La Belle Sauvage will take you for a wild ride that will leave you breathless and yearning for more. ages 10+ ~ Reviewed by Jennifer Armstrong
High in the Arctic a wolf pup gets lost, but a mama polar bear takes him in. The refrain, "I'm not your mother, but ..." lets us know that lost pup will be okay. When the wolf grows up, he has a chance to return the kindness. Ages 3+ ~ Reviewed by Jennifer Armstrong
This charming companion book to Strictly No Elephants easily stands alone. A tiny pet narwhal dreams of exploring the world outside, but is full of doubts and fears until a gang of friends comes to help allay all those worries. Very sweet! Ages 3+ ~ Reviewed by Jennifer Armstrong
Three intertwined stories of three refugee families - one, a German Jewish family fleeing Nazi persecution in the 1930s and heading to Cuba, another, a Cuban family facing the Florida Straits in a homemade boat to escape Castro's oppression in 1994, and finally a Syrian family risking everything to reach Germany today. These three stories, featuring three frightened but determined young protagonists, bring the refugee crisis vividly to life for readers in fourth grade and up. Families and classrooms will have much to discuss with this one. Highly recommended. ~ Reviewed by Jennifer Armstrong