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As Far as You'll Take Me by Phil Stamper
Belly Up by Eva Darrows
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Birds by the Shore by Jennifer Ackerman
A Deadly Chapter by Essie Lang
A Game of Cones by Abby Collette and Joell Jacob (narrator)
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
The In-Between by Rebecca Ansari
Just Because by Mac Barnett and Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrator)
The Last Treasure by Janet S. Anderson
Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico
Moriarty the Patriot, Volume 2 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi
Negative Image by Vicki Delany
Nothing O'Clock by Neil Gaiman
Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith
Oddity by Eli Brown and Karin Rytter (illustrator)
The Old Boat by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey
Paladin's Strength by T. Kingfisher
Plantation Shudders by Ellen Byron
The Raconteur's Commonplace Book by Kate Milford

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
Restaurant to Another World Volume 3 by Junpei Inuzuka and Katsumi Enami (Illustrations)
Séance Tea Party by Reimena Yee
Stray Bullets by Robert Rotenberg
These Unlucky Stars by Gillian McDunn
Tin by Candace Robinson and Amber R. Duell
Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story by Lauren Myracle and Isaac Goodhart
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Wicked Weaves by Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene
The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen

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Just Because: 03/23/21

Just Because

Just Because by Mac Barnett and Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrator) is a picture book about a child's nightly routine of asking why before bed. The child will ask a typical question: Why is the sky blue? And the father will give a fanciful answer that Isabelle Arsenault beautifully illustrates.

On a strictly artistic front, Just Because is whimsical, avant garde, and utterly delightful. There are flying fish who are crying down tears. One of the fish has a banjo. It's the sort of artistic fun I adore.

But the text is a let down. Here's a father who is being asked how the world works by his kid. The actual answers are often just as magnificent as the made up ones.

Take for instance "What happened to the dinosaurs?" The surviving species evolved into birds! This is science that has happened within the last twenty-five years. Little kid me would have had their mind blown by this information. College aged me, did!

Just Because is a missed opportunity to mix imagination with STEM.

Three stars

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