With the summer right around the corner, we wanted to share staff reviews of some latest books by local authors, with an eye toward books great for children as well as adults. As the reading season progresses, look for other review roundups in our Sunday Arts & Living section.
“Water Runs Through This Book” by Nancy Bo Flood. A celebrated regional children’s book author with another sturdy title comes from Nancy Bo Flood. She writes for an 8- to 12-year-old audience with “Water Runs Through This Book,” a story that follows water through its various forms and functions.
It is similar to another book Flood wrote called “Sand to Stone and Back Again,” in that it blends curiosity, creative exploration and science into a fascinating collection and narrative. It includes sections such as “You Are Water,” “In Weeping and Healing” and “Find Water, Find Life.”
She partners with photographer Jan Sonnemair in a full-color, 66-page exploration of the earth’s most famous ingredient. And what could be a better read for summer than a celebration of water? www.nancyboflood.com. (Note: Flood will read at Barefoot Cowgirl Books downtown today at noon, www.barefootcowgirlbooks.com).
“Where I Belong” by Linda Kranz. One of Flagstaff’s beloved children’s book authors is Linda Kranz. She had a breakout book called “Only One You,” which came out 10 years ago this year. It followed the story of a fish named Adri, and involved Kranz’s colorful painted-rock artwork.
Now, she has a new book out called “Where I belong.” It features a family of young snakes led by their grandfather on an adventure. But when one of the snakes, Maximillian, feels out of place with the group, he leaves — only to find his way back to his family.
While it does not quite rise to the author’s high-water marks of “Only One You” and its follow-up, “You Be You,” Kranz still has what it takes to charm and delight readers with the story of the colorful snake family and their adventures. Consider it another treasure to add to the children’s bookshelf. www.lindakranz.com.
“Micrograms” by Nicole Walker. It must be the season of local authors stepping up with what they do best. Nicole Walker’s previous book, “Quench Your Thirst with Salt,” captured in sparse and eviscerating prose her upbringing and coming-of-age years in Utah. Now, she returns with even sparser writings, “Micrograms,” as a master of what one might call nano-nonfiction.
Strangely, it’s difficult in a small review to capture the 72-page collection of small works. Walker opens her mind to the lyrical and the scientific and mixes them up with observations of daily life.
One essay talks of her daughter getting an MRI and Walker thinking of the world inside of her head, which includes “birds sheltering squirrels hiding under owls inside trees cutting out canoes on top of fjords shadowing granite slab and then flower burst after flower burst.”
She also writes about ravens and microburst storms, with all but one of the essay titles starting with “Micro,” and the whole thing ends with a “Microapocalypse.” It’s a small book packed with big thoughts and ideas. www.nikwalk.com.