February 2019 Prime Picks
The Art of Walt
Disney's Mickey Mouse
The Art of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse covers some ninety years of Disney's iconic figurehead and follows Mickey's presence in film and artistic circles, detailing all his animated appearances from shorts and television to film.
After this foundation is laid, chapters explore the mouse's evolution, pairing history with ninety pieces of artwork featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse, surveying their transformation from animation drawings to film, and including new artwork from Disney.
This progressive history follows digital, photographic, and acrylic drawings to illustration boards and excels in full-page, full color renditions.
More so than the usual history of Disney and the mouse, this offers a visual approach that documents the changing images of Mickey over a ninety-year period.
Kirby & Lee:
Kirby & Lee: Stuf' Said! The Complex Genesis of the Marvel Universe, In Its Creators' Own Words highlights Stan Lee's comic career, Jack Kirby's artistic efforts, and how the duo's efforts changed Marvel Comics and elevated the company to more than just a comic book producer.
Steve Ditko, the main influencer for the Spider-Man phenomenon, is also featured as an added bonus to this consideration of both mens' careers before, during, and after they parted as collaborators.
The different perspectives, conflicts, and revelations of each create a powerful survey and a key recommendation for those with a prior affection for the Marvel Comics Universe and its evolutionary process.
The Culinary Corner
The Complete Cook's Country TV Show Cookbook
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
The 11th Anniversary Edition of The Complete Cook's Country TV Show updates a classic collection to include all eleven seasons of the show and features every recipe and every review from it, making this is 'must' for any avid watcher of the show and even newcomers who may not have viewed a single episode.
Part of the appeal of
this collection is that it offers bonus variations in recipes, shopping
equipment lists, stories behind how the foolproof recipes were
developed, and a
host of bonus features supplementing the TV show production and
knowledge of cooks at all levels of experience.
Packed with bright color photos of finished dishes and information on every page, this cookbook excels in a visual appeal to enhance attraction to such dishes as Slow-Cooker Italian Sunday Gravy; "Impossible" Ham-and-Cheese Pie ("impossible" because it's a pie crust that requires no rolling or separate preparation); and Slow-Cooker Meatballs and Marinara.
Featuring a wide variety of meals and dishes, The Complete Cook's Country TV Show Cookbook is really the only basic primer the new cook needs in order to assure success; while seasoned cooks will value the foolproof productions and explanations of how and why they work so well.
From the Land of
Nightingales & Roses
Interlink Publishing Group
From the Land of Nightingales & Roses: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen differs from other Iranian cookbooks on the market in that it pairs family memories and dishes with recipes that profile Iranian flavors without sacrificing the nation's unique dishes to adapt to American tastes.
Thus, cooks will discover recipes not in other competing Persian cookbooks; from Savory Ginger Loaves (a specialty of Tabriz where the author's parents came from) to Rose Petal pancakes with grape molasses (also a specialty of that same town) or Zucchini with Garlic, Yogurt, and Toasted Rose Petals (which comes from Sinaiee's parents' native Azarbaijan).
Full-page, lovely color photos compliment recipes which are unique and appealing. While newcomers to Iranian cuisine will find this includes standard fare, those already well steeped in the art of Persian cooking will relish the many new dishes in this highly recommended treasure trove.
Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen celebrates Palestinian cuisine and follows up on The Saffron Tales, a cookbook noted by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, but it provides more than just a cookbook.
Yasmin Khan's review of Palestine's culture and cuisine weaves history and kitchen lore into a delicious journey that moves beyond recipes to delve into the kitchens of their creators. Obviously, cooks who want recipes will be delighted by over 80 dishes profiled here; but Zaitoun's added value in covering the Palestinian people makes Zaitoun an outstanding blend of personal reflection uniquely Palestinian dishes.
From a Roast Pumpkin, Sage and Maftool Soup (maftool is a type of couscous) to Gaza Strip cooking reflected in a fiery Spicy Shrimp and Tomato Stew, Zaitoun is packed with full-page color photos and the kind of appeal that sets the entire production on a level over and above competitors.
Science, Nature & Technology
Sea Otters: A History
University of Nebraska Press
Sea Otters: A History is essential reading for any college-level collection strong in oceanography and natural history, offering a history of the sea otter's interactions with humans, supplementing this coverage with environmental and related issues to consider the evolution of sea otter habitats.
Surprisingly, this story isn't just about sea otter natural history. Because the sea otter's world has been so affected by human endeavors, it's also a story of imperial expansion, greed, otter decline in specific areas of the world, treaties and hunting over the decades, and a myriad of global environmental and political concerns that affect sea otter habitats and lives.
The result will especially appeal to nature collections but holds satisfyingly revealing, expanded information that should cross genres to appeal to history and environmental issues library collections, as well.
Four new titles for teens offer diverse leisure reads that are highly recommended picks.
Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert (9781484726020, $17.99) probes family secrets as it tells of Danny Cheng's discovery of skeletons in the family closet which affect his dreams of being an artist in the future.
On the cusp of entering college with a scholarship for a dream career, Danny faces both family challenges and a struggle with his best friend Harry, who might be in love with his girlfriend.
The emotional complexity of Picture Us in the Light will keep mature teens on edge as they discover a series of truth that changes Danny's perceptions of his past, present, and future.
Elizabeth Lim's Reflection: A Twisted Tale (9781484781296, $17.99) tells of Fa Mulan, who lives in a world where she's called upon to go to war to disguised as a male soldier.
What she didn't anticipate was a mission to the Underworld, Diyu, in a quest to save her captain's life, or a further charge from the kingdom's ruler to embark on a nearly-impossible quest.
Fans of fantasy will find this story a cut above the ordinary.
Carla Jablonski's Break Into the Internet! Pick Your Player, Start Your Quest (9781368012157, $10.99) reaches advanced elementary to early middle grade readers with an excellent game-based adventure revolving around Ralph and the Sugar Rush game that no longer promises satisfaction.
His attempt to introduce new challenges to the gaming scenario lead to disaster as he and Vanellope face danger from the internet itself and find that Sugar Rush's survival is intrinsically tied to the fate of the world.
Fans of Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet will find this a winning saga packed with adventure and peppered with colorful drawings throughout.
Dr. Joseph Parent and Nancy Parent's A Walk in the Wood: Meditations on Mindfulness with a Bear Named Pooh (9781368026963, $17.95) pairs life lessons and admonitions with a Winnie-the-Pooh focus, crafting a gentle connection to mindful thinking that is suitable for all ages.
Pooh's main purpose is to be present and kind, and these inspiring stories packed with goals and exercises reinforce both Milne's stories and the mindfulness concept in a winning introduction that will reach a wider audience than either the children's books or adult coverages of mindful principles.
Emily Arnold McCully's Min Makes a Machine (9780823439706, $14.99) is a guided E reading level primer for grades 1-2 that tells of Min, who wants to play, but faces resistance from friends who think it's too hot to play.
As a growing group problem-solves the dilemma brought by high temperatures, Minn embarks on some creative thinking to solve what would otherwise be a boring day, bringing youngsters along for a fun tale.
Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan's I'm Done! (9780823437054, $17.99) is illustrated by Catherine Lazar Odell and tells of Little Beaver, who is building a dam when his friends invite him to come play.
He thinks he's finished his tasks, but his parents disagree. There's always something more to do, and Little Beaver begins to wonder if he'll ever get to enjoy life, as he's continually distracted from work by all kinds of lures.
The beautifully-done drawings and the whimsical story of work and play dilemmas will engage not just the very young, but their read-aloud parents.
The Real Boat
Templar Books/Candlewick Press
The Real Boat is illustrated by Victoria Semykina and translated from Russian by Olga Varshaver. It tells of a paper boat who encounters a myriad of creatures in the course of its journeys.
Good reading skills or parental read-aloud assistance will enhance this gentle story of a boat's quest for the ocean, his encounters with animals and other boats and ships, and a series of adventures that belay an underlying loneliness and a frustrating quest.
Kids who enjoy boats will appreciate the lively descriptions of different types of boats who all try to help the little paper boat reach his goals.
G.P. Putnam's Sons
Strange Days's Alex Mata has steadfastly ignored rumors of alien incursions in favor of being a kid until one day he comes home to find that an alien has murdered his parents.
This reinforces his awareness that aliens are actually real, but equally dangerous is the knowledge that nobody will believe him except a tech guru who has publicly maintained that the aliens are coming.
Alex becomes part of a group of teens who can travel through time and witness possible future events, but can their work prevent extinction?
Alien invasion and humanity's extinction blend with a time travel theme to make for a powerful story that teens will find both compelling and unpredictably unique.
Simon and Schuster
New teen and picture book titles from this publisher assure a diverse selection of leisure reading choices that libraries and children's readers will find of solid, lasting value.
Caron Lewis writes Stop That Yawn! (9781481441797, $17.95), which receives lovely, zany drawings by LeUyen Pham as it tells of active child Gabby, who is sick of bedtime and its boredom.
Refusing to settle down, she sets out to have some bedtime fun. However, there's a yawn on the loose, and that might lead her into some unwelcome snoozing. How can Gabby make the most of Never Sleeping City without the unwelcome yawns ruining her fun?
Marla Frazee's Little Brown (9781481425223, $17.99) tells of a cranky little pup who is angry because nobody plays with him. Is he alone because of his bad attitude, or something else?
As he gets crankier and crankier, trouble enters his world in this simple story of a loner who just wants to have friends.
Leah Tinari's Limitless (9781534418554, $19.99) documents twenty-four American women, celebrating their lives with poems and prose. These women have influenced history around the world through their interests, skills, and actions, and overcame many challenges to pave the way for other strong women.
Limitless explores the boundaries of achievement and perseverance, blending biography with an inspirational celebration accompanied by artist Leah Tinari's vivid black and white drawings.
Teens, too, have much
to enjoy from this publisher's new releases.
Tommy Wallach's Slow Burn (9781481468411, $18.99) is Book Two in The Anchor and Sophia series, and will best be enjoyed by readers of the first book, who will find this ongoing story of Clive, Clover, and the others an excellent continuing saga.
The group has been separated both physically and philosophically, with some in the Anchor and some in Sophia. With different missions and purposes testing their skills, faith begins to falter, and journeys of personal and spiritual self-discovery bring the four young charters to the brink of not just their lives, but the fate of civilization itself, which will be based on their actions and decisions.
Rachael Lippincott works with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Laconis in Five Feet Apart (9781534437333, $18.99), the story of Stella, whose weak lungs have hospitalized her much of her life. She must stay six feet apart to prevent any possibility of infection, but this goal, and a lung transplant, are challenged by fellow patient Will, who faces his own hurdles trying to escape the hospital and his illness.
The moving story of two teens facing major illness comes from different perspectives and makes for a moving saga.
Jason Reynolds' Lu (9781481450249, $16.99) tells of an albino boy born to run track who has both the attitude and determination to not only win, but lead his team to victory.
Lu hits a track wall when his plans not only fail, but force him to reconsider his goals and the real meaning of winning and losing in this final conclusion to Reynold's Track series, especially recommended for fans of track and the prior books in the series.