STARRED REVIEW in for Marcie Colleen & Alison Oliver’s THE BEAR’S GARDEN!

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Congrats to both Marcie Colleen and Alison Oliver for their first, starred review for their picture book collaboration, THE BEAR’S GARDEN, from Kirkus Reviews:

One little girl understands that urban spaces need tender loving care.

When a little black girl with her hair in two puffballs looks at her city street, she sees people who rarely slow down enough to imagine the possibilities of beauty around them. But she does…Inspired by a true story of a stuffed bear found in what has become the Pacific Street Brooklyn Bear’s Community Garden, this tale of urban renewal shows how one person with an imagination, a little dirt, and a few seeds can transform a concrete village into something beautiful. Oliver’s endpapers depict maps of the garden site—the front endpapers sans garden and the rear ones featuring [more]

Here at Upstart Crow, few events make us happier than when our clients’ books appear out in the world. That really is the ultimate triumph—when the book is on shelves, awaiting the fancy of a passing reader. Making that debut all the sweeter is when the reviewers recognize the genius of the talent involved (for if the talent involved didn’t partake of genius, we wouldn’t be working with him or her, right?

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Next month marks the publication of Kurt Cyrus’s picture book The Voyage of Turtle Rex, and its first two reviews are in—both starred raves that recognize Kurt’s singular talents as a writer and illustrator. The first is from Kirkus Reviews:

In a life-cycle arc paralleling the one in Cyrus’ Tadpole Rex(2008), a tiny prehistoric ancestor to modern sea turtles hatches from

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book-thiefI’ll admit it: I can be a hater. Sometimes when I hear too much hype about a book/film/band I’m less inclined to check it out. Maybe I miss the pre-internet joy of being one of the select few to really love and appreciate something. Whatever the reason, when I heard everyone talking up Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, I didn’t want to read it. The front cover, after all, claims, “It’s the kind of book that can be life changing.” Seriously? No thanks. For my job, however, it’s best to familiarize myself with books that have worked, so I begrudgingly bought the paperback and shoved it on a shelf.

When I finally got to reading, it didn’t take long for me to concede that the book was special. … [more]

CullingA few weeks back, my landlady put a big box of books out in front of our brownstone, with a sign inviting passersby to take a book or two. Ours is a busy street, and within a few hours, most of her books had disappeared—no doubt to good homes and eager readers. So I refilled the box myself.

Many people I know blanch at the thought of getting rid of books. “I could never part with a single one of them!” they say, but I feel a good culling every now and then focuses my bookshelves. I prize  the books by my very favorite writers. But the rest are fair game when it comes time to weed the shelves.

There are the books that weirdly have multiple copies: Do I really need three copies of … [more]