Archive for August 18, 2011


Another Cover Controversy

Two very similar covers, right?  Well, according to the artist who created the cover on the left, the Bewitching cover is a copy.  HarperCollins invited artist Nathalia Suellen to create the cover for Bewitching, but Suellen refused the job because the art had already been sold to another book.

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.  But the two are strikingly similar, aren’t they?

Thanks to The Centered Librarian for the story.

BlanketCoverweb HuttonPetsCover Web YardCoverBoxes

I rarely review books by self-published authors, but when I saw the covers for these books, I made an exception.  These are board books that have a particularly sunny and cheery point of view.  Each of these three books takes a subject and then spends time exploring many facets of it.  Blanket will surprise readers with a touch of humor and then ends with bedtime.  Pets talks about a wide variety of pets and ends with an emphasis on connection and love.  Yard, which is my favorite of the three, explores what children will find in their own yard as well as some of the wonder of wider nature. 

The illustrations of the books are done in a flat, friendly style where everyone is happy.  Filled with bright colors and done very simply, the illustrations are just right for the toddler or infant.  The books are written in rhyming pairs that work well, making reading aloud easy.

A particularly successful series of self-published board books, these books speak to the quality of some of the self-published work on the market.  They have a nice blend of modern illustration and timeless subjects.  Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from copies received from Baby Unplugged.

lucky for good

Lucky for Good by Susan Patron

This conclusion of the Lucky trilogy will be bittersweet for fans of the series.  Happily, there is one more book with the vivacious Lucky and the intriguing extended family of Hard Pan.  Sadly, it is the final one.  In this book, Lucky struggles with the unknown.  Brigitte’s new café is closed due to a violation of a county ordinance, her best friend is headed to England for the summer, and she even punches a boy.  That ends up with her in serious trouble and she is forced to do a family tree.  That brings up even more questions for Lucky, who doesn’t know how she will handle researching the side of her estranged father.  But nothing keeps Lucky down for long and soon all is heading towards solutions, but not without a few more bumps in the road to keep it all interesting.

Patron does not shy away from difficult topics in this final book.  She deals with the universal themes of family and community as she has in her previous novels.  And what a community it is!  I think all readers of the Lucky series hope to move to Hard Pan, despite the dried out sandwiches.  But Patron explores religion in this novel in a very frank and honest way, voicing the questions that children (and adults) have when they meet someone who believes in a more judgmental universe.  I applaud the courage and bravery of Patron in being so open about these questions, something that young readers will love as well.

Patron also excels at creating characters and all of your favorite characters return in this novel, plus a few new ones.  Lucky is a heroine with real spunk, with her own world view, and a strong sense of self.  Even in her moments of doubt, Lucky never shies away from being exactly who she is. 

An impressive conclusion to the Lucky trilogy, fans of the series will have to have this one.  And for me, I can’t wait to see what world Patron will create for us next.  Appropriate for ages 8-12.

Reviewed from copy received from Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

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