Starred Review from School Library Journal for "The Door By The Staircase"Kelly Murphy's new book for Disney-Hyperion, The Door By The Staircase, written by Katherine Marsh, received a second starred review, from School Library Journal:
"It's a delightful mash-up of stories and traditions; imagine Little Orphan Annie crossed with Russian folklore, plunked down in the spiritualist community of Lily Dale, NY, with a dash of Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away on top.
Perhaps not a story for reluctant or struggling readers-it's relatively demanding in terms of length and vocabulary-but for those willing to tackle a rich and layered text, there's much here to enjoy."
The Door By The Staircase will be out in stores January 5th, 2016.
—Amy Holland, Irondequoit Public Library, NY
Starred review from School Library Journal for "The Mouse With The Question Mark Tail"The Mouse With The Question Mark Tail received a third starred review, from School Library Journal:
"Attractive mouse's-eye-view drawings help establish the relationship between these two halves of Victorian society."
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
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
Posted on February 1st, 2010See more press about Awards and Lists, Reviews, School Library Journal, Starred Reviews
The Flight Of The Phoenix review by School Library JournalThe Flight Of The Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist Series) review on School Library Journal.
"...The story is packed with adventure and mythological creatures. Children who love fantasy, myth, exotic settings, and even a little dose of history will relate to Nate as he discovers his inner hero and carries on the Fludd family tradition. The characters are strongly developed and the period illustrations done in line, including some of Nate's own sketches, enhance the tale. A quick and enriching read that will appeal to a wide variety of children."
-Jane Cronkhite, San Jose Public Library, CA
Masterpiece starred review by School Library JournalMasterpiece received a Star review from School Library Journal:
"Broach combines discussion about the art of Albrecht Dürer with a powerful tale of friendship in a novel that is entertaining and full of adventure. Marvin is a beetle, and he and his family live in the Manhattan kitchen that belongs to the Pompaday family. When James receives a pen-and-ink drawing set for his 11th birthday, Marvin discovers that he is a bug with artistic talent. Although he can't speak to James, they soon bond in a true interspecies friendship, and their escapades begin. Because of Marvin's wonderful drawing, presumed to be James's work, the boy is recruited to create a fake Dürer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art to help trap an art thief. Marvin produces the forgery, but he soon realizes that the original artwork is in danger. Only by placing his life on the line and relying on James's help can he save the masterpiece. Broach's projection of beetle life, complete with field trips to the family's solarium and complex uses of human discards for furniture and meals, is in the best tradition of Mary Norton's The Borrowers (Harcourt, 1953) and similar classic looks at miniature life. Murphy's illustrations add perspective and humor, supporting the detailed narrative. A masterpiece of storytelling."
-Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI
Posted in 2008See more press about Awards and Lists, Reviews, School Library Journal, Starred Reviews, Masterpiece
Fiona's Luck review by School Library Journal
Fiona's Luck review on School Library Journal:
"...Murphy's illustrations are richly toned and evocative. Some are spreads, full of color in a folk-art style; on other pages, the smaller spot illustrations highlight the details in the story. Each page is a harmonious blend of artwork and text, which makes the story an engaging read-aloud, and it's also accessible to young readers. Children will love this tale, particularly the facial expressions on Fiona and the small people who surround her, and they'll delight in the young woman's cleverness and quick thinking."
The Boll Weevil Ball review by School Library JournalThe Boll Weevil Ball review on Publishers Weekly:
"When the Beetles head for the Boll Weevil Ball, Redd is left behind. He grabs hold of a cricket's leg and finally arrives at the party. He is so small that when he tries to drink a glass of punch, he falls off the table and lands in the middle of the dance floor where he is in danger of getting trampled. He manages to climb to higher ground on a tree branch and decides to watch the other guests, but his luck changes when he meets another small bug sitting on the branch. Her name is Lily, and she is a firefly. The two new friends dance in the night air high above the rest of the partyers. Splendidly done in watercolor, gel medium, and acrylic, each picture has a textured finish that encourages children to reach out and feel the pictures. The warm blues and greens and muted reds create the perfect ambience. Young children will identify with Redd's predicament and will laugh aloud as the little beetle tries to fit in at the dance."
-Kristin de Lacoste, South Regional Public Library, Pembroke Pines, FL