"Illustrators draw a crowd"A review of last weekend's artist talk featuring Christopher Bing, David Macaulay, Kelly Murphy and Matt Tavares at the Brush Art Gallery & Studios' Children's Book Illustrators Exhibition was published in today's print edition of The Boston Globe.
Haunted Houses review by School Library Journal'Haunted Houses (Are You Scared Yet?)' is reviewed in the September 2010 issue by School Library Journal:
"These 10 spooky stories include a classic Halloween scare: visitors get their admission fee of $25 back if they make it to the top floor of a haunted house-but can they? In another, the primary occupant of a dollhouse is a ghost of a child who needs help moving from one consciousness to another. San Souci also writes about an abandoned teahouse with ghosts, a Ouija board that foretells a confusing yet doomed future, and a mother's spirit who is searching for her missing son. The stories are well paced and satisfyingly startling. While some are better written than others, this book won't stay on the shelves for long. Murphy and Revoy's black-and-white illustrations heighten the fright factor, making San Souci's collection even more riveting."
-Patty Saldenberg, George Jackson Academy, New York City
The Basilisk's Lair review by School Library JournalA glowing review of The Basilisk's Lair by School Library Journal:
"Nate Fludd, budding beastologist, is back in an adventure even greater than his first. His Aunt Phil receives a telegram that a basilisk has escaped from the village of Bamako. The natives need her help, and soon Nate is racing on a camel, flying across the Sahara, and warding off crocodiles from a boat. Aunt Phil has two friendly weasels willing to do battle with the basilisk, and Nate's troublemaking pet, Greasle, accompanies him every step of the way. The basilisk is terrifying, with its deadly venom and scales, and Nate musters all his courage to fight it and continues to wonder who freed the beast and what happened to his parents, who disappeared in Flight of the Phoenix (Houghton, 2009). Children who enjoyed the first book will not be disappointed by the sequel, and those new to the series can easily pick up the story line. The action is nonstop, and the elements of fantasy, mystery, and humor will appeal to a wide audience. Murphy's spot art and occasional full-page drawings carry the action along nicely."
-Jane Cronkhite, Santa Clara County Library, CA
The Basilisk's Lair review by the Sacramento Book ReviewA great The Basilisk's Lair review by the Sacramento Book Review:
"In the second book of R. L. LaFevers' series, Nate once again finds himself in an adventure where he must save the day. Aunt Phil has undertaken Nate's education in beastology since his parents disappeared. In the middle of the Sahara Desert, they are met by Arab friends with a telegram: A basilisk has escaped from its lair in a remote part of the Sudan. Aunt Phil arranges to travel by plane, then by canoe, then by donkey, to save the Dhughani people from the escaped basilisk. To her displeasure, Nate's pesky, oil-eating, pet gremlin, comes along. On this trip, Nate is only supposed to observe and learn while his aunt captures and returns the basilisk to its lair. But Nate peeks in Aunt Phil's Book of Beasts and is not happy with what he discovers: a basilisk is the king of serpents, born of a cockerel egg, hatched by a serpent. Its breath is venomous, its scales poisonous; its glance kills from twenty feet!
Things don't go according to Aunt Phil's plan, and it becomes Nate's job (with the help of the pesky gremlin), to rescue Aunt Phil. Action-packed, with humorous illustrations, this is a delightful read for young children."
Masterpiece climbing on the New York Times Best Sellers ListMasterpiece climbs to number 7 on the New York Times Best Sellers List, Children's Bestsellers, Paperback Books List!
Posted on June 6th, 2010See more press about New York Times Best Sellers, Awards and Lists, Masterpiece
Masterpiece climbing on New York Times Best Sellers ListMasterpiece is back on the New York Times Best Sellers List, Children's Bestsellers, Paperback Books, rising to number 8!
Posted on May 30th, 2010See more press about New York Times Best Sellers, Awards and Lists, Masterpiece
Masterpiece on SSYRA Master ListMasterpiece has been chosen for inclusion on the 2010-2011 Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA) master list of nominated titles.
The Basilisk's Lair review by BooklistThe Basilisk's Lair review by Booklist.
"Picking up immediately where Flight of the Phoenix (2009) finished, Nathaniel Fludd, Aunt Phil, and the gremlin Greasel pursue an escaped Basilisk, the highly dangerous king of the Serpents. Despite his previous success in the field, Nathaniel is an uncertain beastologist, although wise Aunt Phil finds ways to incorporate Nathaniel's preexisting skills, such as his artistic abilities, as he hones his new ones. Familiarity with Nathaniel's previous adventure is helpful though not necessary, and fans can look forward to a return to Batting-at-the-Flies as the trio investigates the disappearance of Nathaniel's parents in the forthcoming volume."
The Basilisk's Lair review by KirkusThe Basilisk's Lair review on Kirkus Reviews:
"When his Aunt Phil flies to the western Sudan to recapture an escaped basilisk, she takes Nathaniel Fludd along, reassuring him that he is only to "watch and learn." Instead, he and his gremlin friend, Greasle, play important roles. This satisfying middle-grade adventure features a hesitant, unskilled hero, a miniature sidekick straight from Where the Wild Things Are and an exotic setting in colonial British West Africa in 1928. The basilisk is appropriately scary, and straightforward storytelling leads to an exciting climax. Readers won't get and don't need the entire back story from Flight of the Phoenix (2009), the first in the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist series, but those who have read it will surely enjoy the return of the supposed orphan and his formidable aunt. Murphy has provided a full-page pen-and-ink illustration as well as several smaller sketches for almost every chapter, and Nathaniel contributes drawings, too. Sharp-eyed readers will realize that the chapter numbers are counted in animal bones. This story is complete in itself, but the ending promises more adventure to come." (Adventure. 7-10)
Masterpiece on the New York Times Best Sellers ListMasterpiece is on the New York Times Best Sellers List!
Posted on April 25th, 2010See more press about New York Times Best Sellers, Awards and Lists, Masterpiece
Brand-New Baby Blues starred review by School Library Journal
Brand-New Baby Blues received a Star review from School Library Journal:
"Through rhyme and three repeating stanzas, a child laments about the good ol' days and realizes, "Now everything is different,/everything is changed./I'm not the one and only./My whole life's rearranged." The normal emotions of sadness, disappointment, jealousy, and anger follow when her parents shower her new brother with attention, pass her stuffed bear down to him, and share the hugs that were once all hers. Then, with just the right words from Mom and Dad about her uniqueness, and some positive observations, her attitude changes. She looks forward to the days when her new sibling will not be a baby anymore, but instead be a brother she can play catch with and a game of hide-and-seek. Oil, acrylic, and gel are used to create gentle hues. What makes this telling of the new brother/sister theme stand out is how well the verses are in sync with the illustrations, layout, and the characters' facial expressions. Great for sharing with a group or one-on-one."
-Anne Beier, Hendrick Hudson Free Library, Montrose, NY