April Stars For DBG Books!

Our stars kept rising last month as April brought four more starred reviews from our friends at The Horn Book, School Library Journal, and Kirkus Magazine. With May already off to a great start we’ve gone ahead and included links to those recent reviews of both current and upcoming titles below, so make sure you add these new DBG books to your school or library today! As always we are incredibly humbled by the support each of these titles has received.

Wildman by J.C. Geiger isn’t out until June but early reviews of the title have us ready to hit road with this book in tow.

“The ethereal Dakota is reminiscent of John Green’s Alaska, while the rest of the cast is crass, uncouth, dangerous at times, and winningly human. All of this is amplified by Geiger’s ability to spin laugh-out-loud, insight-filled one-liners to keep the pace up while the quieter moments balance the narrative with genuine beauty. A thought-provoking, hilarious, eloquent story of a young man realizing that the world is much larger than the one set up for him.” – Kirkus


Bob, Not Bob by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick with illustrations by Matthew Cordell earned its third starred review this time The Horn Book.

“Kids will relate to Little Louie’s suffering from both his cold symptoms and his inability to make his wishes heard. Cordell’s expressive loose-lined illustrations set on lots of white space enhance the humor and help move the plot forward. Sharp-eyed viewers will clue in to the difference between BOB meaning the dog (printed with an o-shaped O) and BOB meaning MOM (with a heart-shaped o: “B♥B”). Eventually, Mom (exhausted), Little Louie (happy), and Bob (content) all end up in bed, as “cozy as could be.” All turns out well for Little Louie; his germs, however, move on to the next victim. Get well soon, Bob, er, Mom!”  – Kitty Flynn Horn Book

Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins (Mother Bruce and Hotel Bruce) is available now, and jus earned it’s THIRD starred review from School Library Journal.

“The text, appearing in a large, handwritten font and in speech bubbles, is well spaced and easy to read. The giggle-inducing conversations among the characters are fast-paced and witty. The illustrations are large and comical, inviting readers to fully experience the range of emotions displayed by the characters. VERDICT This hilarious and fun read-aloud will be a hit at storytime. Kids will be laughing out loud.” – Amy Shepherd, St. Anne’s Episcopal School, Middleton, DE SLJ


The Pearl Thief  by Elizabeth Wein’s is inching ever closer to release later this month, and as the countdown to this prequel to Code Named Variety continues so to do the starred reviews. The latest from School Library Journal marks the FOURTH starred review for this title.

The main plot is compelling and has the added depth of Julie’s growth and her interactions with the cast of interesting characters and the hints of her future romantic relationships. VERDICT A must for Verity fans and a good read for those who enjoy mystery with a touch of romance. – Janet Hilbun, University of North Texas, Denton SLJ

Recent Starred Reviews For DBG Titles

Our friends at Booklist, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books have us truly humbled and seeing stars after several of their recent reviews of our latest and upcoming releases. We are truly honored by what each reviewer had to say and have collected a few here for you to read and see for yourself.

The Pearl Thief Elizabeth Wein’s prequel to Code Named Variety doesn’t come out until this May but that didn’t stop the reviewers at Booklist from digging right in to this latest outing with Julie.

“A finely crafted book that brings one girl’s coming-of-age story to life, especially poignant for those who already know her fate.” – Ilene Cooper Booklist

Be Quiet! The next laugh-out-loud picture book from Ryan T. Higgins (Mother Bruce and Hotel Bruce) hits shelves next month and has already earned TWO starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly respectively.

“From Captain Quiet’s clever belt buckle (“SH”) to Rupert’s gaping tonsil shots, Higgins has once again drawn up a winner.”Kirkus Reviews

“The story’s backdrops are as polished as the characters, Higgins breathes emotional life into his characters, both visually and verbally, and his smart, laugh-out-loud comedy is expertly paced.” – Publishers Weekly

Soldier Song: A True Story of the Civil War by Debbie Levy and Gilbert Ford received its second starred review from Booklist following Publishers Weekly’s own favorable words about this beautifully told story about music and American History available now.

“Levy’s prose is elegant and precise, and her tone positions readers at a respectful distance from the soldiers coping with fear, homesickness, and vulnerability. The text incorporates quotes from soldiers’ letters and musical scores, alternating songs just as the battling bands did. Uniting both sides, ultimately, were the tender strains of “Home, Sweet Home.” Ford’s vivid illustrations capture the desolation of the cold, dark evenings in blues and grays, and the vibrancy of the music that sustained the soldiers, in swirls of orange and red.”Amina Chaudhri for Booklist

“Through insightful narration and vibrant silhouettes and cartooning, Levy (I Dissent) and Ford (The Marvelous Thing That Came from a Spring) vividly bring to life a chapter in the U.S. Civil War and the integral role music played during the conflict.”Publishers Weekly

Night, Night, Groot the adorably out-of-this-world bedtime story starring two of the Marvel universes own rising stars, found favor from Kirkus Magazine thanks to author Brandan Deneen and illustrator Cale Atkinson’s interstellar adventure featuring none other than Rocket Raccoon and Groot of Guardians of the Galaxy fame along side page after page of superhero cameo’s both large and small. Keep an eye out for this one in May.

“A title comics aficionados will snap up in order to groom the next generation of fandom—even if they don’t have a next generation yet.”Kirkus Reviews

Bob, Not Bob by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick with illustrations by Matthew Cordell earned its second starred review since it hit shelves last month thanks to The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books March 1st issue.

This is a fond and funny take on the way illness can bring the normally independent to desperately wanting their mommy (“When Little Louie got sick, he felt littler than usual”), and the readaloud instructions make this a perfect cheer-up for a kid tucked up with a cold. Cordell’s scribbly lines are well suited to the bleariness of illness, and they contrast amusingly with the crisp hand-drawn dimensional lettering of Little Louie’s utterings (in which “Bob” meaning “Mom” is identified by the heart forming the space in the O).”  The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Book

Those are just a handful of the DBG reviews out there from some of the top industry periodicals right now. Make sure to keep an eye out for more as the February and March issues of those magazines make their rounds at your school or library, and check back often right here for more news as it comes in.