June 2021 Prime Picks
Martina Weinhart with Georgiana Uhlyarik, Editors
Magnetic North: Imagining Canada in Painting,
1910-40 is a fine set
of artistic works that capture Canada's identity and culture, paired
essays that discuss the challenge of authentic Canadian art
representing the idea
of the "great North."
artists to "create art for a nation" in a production that reaches
beyond Canada's borders to interest those outside the country makes for
series of works that embrace innovative artistic approaches. They
Canada's forests, environments, landscapes, and the key industries
affected them—logging, mining, and wilderness experiences alike.
of art and Canadian cultural and environmental exploration belongs in
interested in Canadian representations.
Schiffer are highly recommended acquisitions for arts collections
books with lasting value.
Chwast's Poster Man (9780764361227,
presented in an oversized format. This enhances the full-page color
created by graphic artist Seymour Chwast, who gathers works from five
of his productions, identifying their mediums as well as the social,
and artistic impact of the art itself.
graphic 'War is Madness' and 'Peace' posters (sponsored by the Shoshin
an international design organization in Japan which promoted peace
to a tribute to Arthur Freed celebrating the Hollywood film producer's
productions reflect decades of social inspection that go beyond the art
poster to relate Chwast's art to the eras they portray.
Daley's Backroads Buildings: In Search of
the Vernacular (9780764361364, $39.99) captures over a
buildings located along America's old auto routes.
and color photos include cafes, stores, grange halls, and more—key
during the years between the Civil War and the Great Depression.
photographers and those interested in building history will be most
in these full-page images, anyone interested in rural architecture will
this collection a diverse, wide-ranging representation of styles. Backroads Buildings is thus recommended
for arts libraries strong in architecture and photography and American
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
there are numerous salad cookbooks on the market already, the only one
really needs to be in a recipe collection is The
Complete Salad Cookbook.
It holds all
approaches to salads, from embellishing lettuce-based fare with
fruits, vegetables, and proteins to creating salads from bases of
grains, meats, and pasta.
tested in America's Test Kitchen to assure foolproof results; but
importantly, each is introduced by a 'why this recipe works' section
discusses the testing process and what made for the exceptional recipe
chosen for this book.
photos accompany dishes organized by types of salads, making it a snap
locate a recipe by ingredient and approach, from main dishes to sides.
If only one
cookbook were to be chosen for a collection, all these elements make The Complete Salad Cookbook a standout
in the crowd, adding to America's Test Kitchen 'The Complete' series of
Just a Few
Ouita Michel, Sara Gibbs and Genie Graf
Fireside Industries/Univ. Press of Kentucky
Just a Few Miles South: Timeless Recipes from Our
profiles the farm-to-table cuisine of Ouita Michel's sustainable
across Kentucky, and serves up some regional favorites while exploring
traditions and stories that influenced this Southern fare.
with local flavor. Take, for example, grits. Almost every Southern
a grits recipe; but that for Weisenberger Mill Cheese Grits offers
special, from its focus on Weisenberger Mill stone-ground grits
"just down the road from Midway" to the milk and cream that enhances
the sharp cheese by giving it extra body.
slow cooker directions, introduces with insights on how the grits are
maximum flavor, and appears in the 'Breakfast Plate at Windy Corner
section, which also includes recipes for Steve-O's Red-Eye Gravy,
Butter for buttermilk for salty country ham biscuits, and more.
of local history and fare wound into this presentation, it stands out
crowd as a Bluegrass cultural food guide and cookbook gem.
Root features small vegetable and meat
plates in which the
vegetable often is the profile dish, with the meat serving as the side
embellishment in the dishes they appear in. It's an emphasis on root
that makes them the main attraction, and will especially appeal to
looking for international influences and flavor blends that go beyond
winning combinations include Roasted Carrots with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds,
Peaches, & Crème Fraiche; Carrot Jam-Filled Doughnuts with
Vanilla Cream; or Roast Cod with Gem Lettuce & Pancetta
likely to be found in competing cookbooks, and they also aren't for
like traditional fare or quick assemblies.
Instead, Root's classy, elegant, flavorful food
pairings will find a home with anyone interested in creative food
flavors, and vegetable and meat blends that stand out from the crowd
challenge the palate with inviting, original fare.
Ingeborg M. Niesler and Angela K. Niebel-Lohmann
Atlas of Flowering Plants: Visual Studies of 200
Botanical Families is a reference recommended for botany
enthusiasts, and provides a survey of flowering plants, their growth,
and orders and families.
is unique. Fresh flowering plant material was placed on a flatbed
covered with black velvet, and enlarged. Images were scanned in various
resolutions, and descriptions accompanying these vivid images include
nomenclature, classification notes, distribution, flowers, and other
characteristics of different species.
outstanding survey that belongs in serious botanical reference
many an arts holding, offering exceptional photographic representations.
H. Scott Butterfield, T. odd, Kelsey, and Abigail K. Hart, Editors
Rewilding Agricultural Landscapes: A California
Study in Rebalancing
the Needs of People and Nature provides a case study in how
balance to agricultural lands. It is the first to closely examine what
take to restore a natural ecosystem to farmland.
especially significant because it represents one of the largest
studies in dryland ecosystems, discussing all the specifics of how to
such an environment, from aquifers and soil revitalization to impacts
nearby farms and local communities.
under examination thus serves as a microcosm of experience for
damage done to the land by agricultural efforts. The discussion shows
long-term sustainability for local areas can be achieved, conducted in
with rewilding efforts.
agricultural collection (particularly those in California) should be
this important survey of specifics on revitalizing the land and
Sitting in the Shade: A Decade of My Garden Diary
comes from a
long-time wine writer who provides a different focus on gardening,
the seasons. Hugh Johnson departs from his usual wine focus to consider
capture the seasonal delights from his garden for those who would feel
connected to the earth.
More so than
books, this demonstrates Johnson's literary prowess and ability to
sense of place and nature, reviewing everything from the pace of growth
woods to changing hours of daylight, national tastes, and gardener's
Gardeners will find this literary reflection engrossing, and fun to read.
Flames of Extinction: The Race to Save Australia's
comes from a journalist who reported on the disastrous fire season of
known as Black Summer, which resulted in more wildlife deaths and
near-extinctions than any other fires in modern Australian history.
focus is on this season's events, his reporting embraces themes of
rehabilitation, fire dangers and protection efforts, and how to survive
changing climate as the future portends further global warming and more
Australia's efforts, challenges, and results offer lessons the entire
use, moving forward, as climate changes threaten wildlife. These
and lessons read with the drama of "you are here" fiction, but
incorporate all the dilemmas and approaches of what really happened,
a survey accessible to general readers and wildlife management
The Glitter in the Green: In Search of Hummingbirds
history, nature, and ecology of the hummingbird, reviewing their
the Arctic Circle to Antarctica in a celebration that goes well beyond
usual hummingbird identification discussion.
from the Shetland Islands to North America as he sought to understand
presence and interactions with environment and humans alike.
reads like a
combination of natural history and travelogue, inviting even
minimal hummingbird experience to understand their life cycles and
degree of interest in nature in general or travelogues and hummingbirds
particular will find The Glitter in the
Green a "must read" story of discovery.
Rickie Lee Jones
Jones recounts her life in music and her experiences and achievements
in Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an
American Troubadour, a memoir that will appeal to anyone
familiar with her
haunting, jazzy voice.
story of a girl who had much going against her success, but who moved
teen runaway to becoming a notable musical figure.
fellow musicians, her life on the road, struggle with broken family and
and the shows and men who influenced her world create a multifaceted
how Jones became a key figure in rock and roll music.
familiar with her soulful singing receive insights into the wellsprings
voice in a hard-hitting memoir that pulls no punches with its
of musical and personal evolution.
Mitchell's Sweet Pea Summer
is both a gardening book and a story of how a young girl copes with
her grandparents while her mother is in the hospital.
her a new task to think about, suggesting she help him with his garden,
goal is set. But she becomes frustrated over sweet peas that keep dying.
to solve problems and overcome adversity compliments an enthusiastic
gardening that young picture book readers will find simple and
Martin's Masters of Disguise: Camouflaging
& Magnificent Mimics (9781536214055, $18.99) profiles
animals, from mammals to sea life, and the different camouflaging
they employ to survive.
an exceptionally colorful text that contrasts different environments,
Arctic to jungles and Africans plains, surveying different creatures
their abilities lend to survival.
to Gaboon vipers and African leopards, these delightful contrasts make
inviting lessons in diversity and different survival techniques.
colorful books that young picture book readers will relish for both
reading and educational enlightenment.
I Really, Really Need to Pee! is a fun
story about a young animal
whose day in the woods is disrupted by an urgent need.
sight, the desperate fuzzy animal employs different methods to hold in
deluge while she desperately searches for a toilet.
whimsical drawing compliment a first-person story many a young reader
readily relate to as the blend of humor and practical problem-solving
resolution and fun encounters with other animals.
parents and new readers will find I
Really, Really Need to Pee! a delightful read!
are recommended picks for children's book readers looking for something
Farook's The Girl Who Stole An Elephant
(9781682632857, $16.99) will reach readers ages 8-12. The story is set
Lanka and tells of Chaya, a rebellious nobleman's daughter who decides
her poor community by stealing the queen's jewels.
more and more trouble, a series of adventures revolves around a girl
help aiming for loftier goals in her desire to help others and become a
her community...no matter what it takes.
adventure story pairs action with social inspection and insights into
Lankan culture. It's a fictional piece that deserves broad attention.
Salsbury's Best Friend in the Whole World
(9781682632505, $17.99) reaches ages 4-8 with the story of a lonely
unusual choice of a friend.
friend Milton shares many interests with him...but does he already have
friend? Roland would like nothing better than to not just have a best
but keep him close and away from others. Should he embrace a larger
A fine story
containing a gentle message about friendships, best friends, and new
Cicada Books Ltd.
In The Pocket Chaotic, Alexander the
kangaroo lives in his mum Nancy's pocket. It would be a safe hidey-hole
one problem—Nancy also likes putting other things in her pocket, as
is not the most organized kangaroo mother, and she's also a collector.
many things tend to join Alexander in his pouch home.
things tidy, Alexander struggles with his mother's odd habits and one
pushed over the edge, decides to take charge.
about parents and children evolves, with a special and fun message that
Simon and Schuster provide kids with engaging, absorbing stories, and
highly recommended as standouts from the crowd.
Fraioli's Deep Into the Amazon Jungle
(9781534420946, $19.99) gives ages 8-12 a gorgeous graphic novel packed
vibrant colors that bring the Amazon adventure story to life.
Young explorers Will and Jacklyn are taking a jungle journey into the Amazon from Iquitos, Peru with Fabien Cousteau and his scientists, searching for a new species of giant piranha.
encounter all kinds of colorful creatures, from parrots to dolphins and
The blend of
natural history and action gives a fast pace to a story that is both
Small's The Duck Who Didn't Like Water
(9781534489172, $17.99) will touch picture book readers ages 4-8 with
story of a duck who doesn't like water, whether it be swimming or rain.
is relatively miserable being the lone duck from his water-loving
a rainstorm introduces an unexpected new friend who needs to find his
Can Duck and
friend together overcome Duck's aversion to water?
A fun story
an unexpected slant on conquering fears.
Bear picture books will appeal to a wide audience with stories that are
colorful, fun reads.
residents will find Our Michigan! We Love
the Seasons (9781534111356, $17.95) appealing, with lovely
drawings by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen a draw to learning more about
wildlife artist follows the state's seasons, the book's format lends to
adult/child interactions, traversing Michigan's lovely natural areas
large-size, simple words to help kids read along with parental
barns, and migrating birds are beautifully drawn and create an alluring
of Michigan's seasonal wonders.
Kelley's A Cape! (9781534111110,
$16.99), for ages
4-8, is the story of a red fabric cape that leads a little boy to
superpowers he may harbor.
super hero wears a cape. Or, do they?
involves a father and son in an exploration that considers the real
powers of a
spunky child who wants to do everything, while a too-cautious father
Ocean Soup: A Recipe for You, Me, and a Cleaner Sea
by Meeg Pincus
(9781534111189, $16.99) pairs a rhyming story with a survey of ocean
and how the sea can be cleaner and made more beautiful through a little
look sparkling, underneath, the sea is a soup of living organisms that
seen under a microscope.
It also now
of human pollution, from single-use bottles to throwaway products and
that impacts all kinds of ocean life.
This impact and how to address it receives lively attention in a story that is both inviting and educational, with Lucy Semple's colorful, engaging drawings supporting the strong message about ocean conservation.