Morning Star Horse / El caballo Lucero, by Margarita Engle

I’ve struggled with this review. How does one choose the right words to describe the right words? A novelist must choose his words carefully. A poet must choose her words even more carefully. She must choose the one right word or phrase to evoke a torrent of images. Margarita Engle knows how to do this. As I read the book, I could see the dark cavern in which Estrellita and her mother lived. I could see the “octopus jugglers’  and the “fling of flamingos.” I could imagine “a mist of possibilities.” The words are magic. The story is magic. Having …

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“The Year of the Dog” and “The Year of the Rat” by Grace Lin

Well, well, well… My scanner is on the blitz (again!) so I don’t have any way of including new pictures on my blog – unless they’re already on my computer, or I can get them off the internet. So… I will be catching up on book reviews until the #@^%&* thing gets fixed. Which is something I needed to get done anyway. At the SCBWI Conference last month it was my honor to be chosen for a face-to-face critique with author Grace Lin. Her comments on “Raspberry Girl, With Freckles” were thoughtful and helpful. When I got home I checked …

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Book Review: The Girl who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill, Winner of the 2017 Newberry Award.

Let me say, first and foremost, that I wish I had written this book. I wish I had the skill and the imagination to conjure this wonderful story full of love and magic. This is a thoroughly enjoyable book in which even the minor characters are fascinating – although there really are no ‘minor’ characters. Each person or creature is essential. Even the earth and the mountains and the bog are characters – especially the bog. The characters in this amazing book include a swamp monster as old as the world, a tiny dragon who thinks he’s ‘simply enormous,’ a …

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THE SAND DWELLER: Humans and Demons, and Battles Oh My!

I walked into the Clovis Book Barn and said to Derrick, “I need a book. Do you have any here?” He looked around and said, “Yes, I think we might have one or two.” (For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Book Barn, it’s two stories of books, books, and more books. And then there are some books, too. Not to mention that they have a warehouse somewhere that’s full of – BOOKS!) I said, “What do you recommend?” Without skipping a beat, he picked up a book on display in front of the register and said, “Here, …

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Pen the Tale, Oogie: A Review

PEN THE TALE, OOGIE, by Karen J. Moore, illustrated By Doug Hansen. The Story: Oogie Bear is a great and wonderful storyteller, but winter is coming. What will his friends do without stories while he hibernates? Mr. Fox suggests that he write his stories down, so Oogie’s friends can read them while he naps. And therein lies the tale. Although author Karen J. Moore insists “PEN THE TALE, OOGIE” is about her, I know it’s about me ( isn’t everything?) and every other artist I’ve ever known, Written as a story for children, it is relatable to most adults as …

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