Dragon Was Terrible

September 29, 2016 by

 

Dragon Was Terrible by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli

Honestly, this book is adorable!  Dragon is terrible, because that’s how dragons are.  The king and his villagers are resolved to tame him and even promise a reward.  I love that the resolution to the situation speaks to the power of a good story.  The promised reward was the cherry on top.

Dragon Was Terrible is illustrated by Greg Pizzoli, a favorite author/illustrator of mine (The Watermelon Seed).  I am so happy that DiPucchio and Pizzoli have partnered for this new book.  I think it will appeal to preschoolers who are developing their sense of humor, and of course younger elementary aged children.

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Bedtime For Batman

September 28, 2016 by

Bedtime for Batman

Written by Michael Dahl

Illustrated by Ethen Beavers

 

This is a cleverly written story of a little boy getting ready for bed – decked out in costume and imagining that he is Batman – juxtaposed with the superhero doing what he does best on the opposing pages. The simple text works for both scenarios at once, and the detailed illustrations are fantastic – with the boy’s toys matching Batman’s allies and enemies. This fun and engaging book will be enjoyed by children and superhero fans alike.  Happy reading!

 

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Next to You

September 27, 2016 by

nextNext to You: A Book of Adorableness

By Lori Haskins Houran

Illustrated by Sydney Hanson

What could be cuter than a basket of baby chicks? Or a bunny, the kind with the little round fluffy tail? How about a baby elephant taking a bath? Why, it’s you! Of course! When it comes to new babies, friends, or other special people in your life, it’s very important to let them know just how adorable they are. This small book is FULL of adorableness, from little ducklings to baby tigers. With a little bit of comedy thrown in, Next to You can give some great ideas of how to tell someone you love how much they mean to you. If you can resist the big-eyed baby animals on the front cover, then you’re a stronger person than me!

Recommended for ages 5-8.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Scary (and some not-so-scary) Tales

September 24, 2016 by

Boo! October is almost here and it’s the perfect time for a spooky, spine-tingling story. Here’s a list of some of my favorite books.

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The Graveyard book by Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens escaped being kidnapped by a man named Jack when he was a toddler. He is alive and safe in the graveyard, raised by ghosts, but he soon gets restless and wants to get out in the real world. Can he survive among the living or must he remain in the graveyard forever? There are even 2 a graphic novel adaptation of the book split into 2 volumes!

The Witches by Roald Dahl

A seven year old boy and his grandmother are on holiday in a luxury hotel. One day, as the boy is training his pet mice, he stumbles on a convention of Witches! Luckily his grandmother has told him everything he needs to know about witches. But is that knowledge enough to help him avoid their curses?

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

A collection of scary, creepy, eerie stories that are complemented with chilling illustrations by Stephen Gammell.

I Spy a Pumpkin by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick

Exercise your brain and your eyes, by finding various Halloween objects.

Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

This whole series is ghoul gold! Whenever I visited my elementary school library, I would bolt for these books. I eventually expanded my reading repertoire, but this series will always have a sweet spot in my heart.

Reviewed by Kate (Parr Library)

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Unidentified Suburban Object

September 22, 2016 by

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By Mike Jung

Chloe Cho is tired of everyone assuming that all Asians are the same.  As the only Korean American as well as the only Asian American in her school, she’s heard it all — she’s a straight-A student because she’s Asian, she’s good at the violin because she’s Asian, her parents know how to discipline because they’re Asian — and she’s had enough!  It doesn’t help that her parents seem just fine with people confusing them for Chinese or Japanese and never seem to want to talk to her about their lives back in Korean.  Things finally start to look up for Chloe when a new teacher comes to town and she’s Korean American too!  Finally, she has someone to talk to who understands her!  But Chloe’s world starts to unravel when a class assignment about her family history forces her parents to share an out-of-this-world family secret.

I’m not going to lie; the book cover is what originally drew me to this book; just look at the face on that fish!  After reading the summary on the book cover, I was hooked.  Racial stereotypes and unintended racism can be hard topics to address and even harder to sell to young readers, but I think Jung does a great job giving it enough humor to help the medicine go down in the most delightful way.  Chloe has such an authentic voice and is very relatable.  It really sounds like a story told by a seventh grade girl.  While a lot of authors struggle with the balance of character emotion, Jung is able to portray Chloe at her whiniest, most miserable low point without alienating the reader (pun intended).  I really enjoyed the emotional roller coaster and I loved the little twist at the end.  Who knows, maybe this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Miss Chloe Cho…

Reviewed by Meredith (Harrington Library)

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The Adventurers

September 20, 2016 by

The AdventurersThe Adventurers

Rachel Elliot

 A girl and her toys embark on an action-filled adventure together.  The girl, referred to as “The Child” travels with Velvet Cat, Russian Doll, Pirate, Rocking Horse, and Blue Elephant.  They each take turns describing the perils that they all are facing such as exploring snow-capped mountains and sailing the seas in search of buried treasure.  Each time, the quick thinking Child rescues the group from certain disaster just in the nick of time.  The final adventure, riding down a waterfall, ends with them all in a heap on the nursery room floor.

The illustrations by Valeria Docampo are simply stunning.  The artist paid attention to detail and included a pirate map on the endpapers and a treasure chest on the title page.  Children and parents will want to read this one over and over again.

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Tru & Nelle

September 16, 2016 by

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Tru & Nelle

by G. Neri

In their small town of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1930, misfits Tru and Nelle strike up a friendship and find a mystery to solve when someone breaks into the drugstore and steals some candy and a fancy brooch.

This is a fictionalized account of the real-life friendship between two of America’s great writers, Truman Capote and Harper Lee, so for adults, it’s really fun to see the ways parts of this book mirror things that happen in the books that Capote and Lee wrote as grown-ups. But it’s also a really satisfying story of friendship, small town life, standing up for yourself and your friends, childhood adventures, and dealing with tough situations in life, and also about sometimes having to let go when you’ve found a person and a place you really connect with. No prior knowledge of Truman Capote or Harper Lee are necessary to enjoy this book immensely! Definitely well worth a read for aspiring writers, mystery fans, and those looking for adventures in everyday life.

Happy reading!

Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard Library)

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Hammer and Nails

September 13, 2016 by

daddyHammer and Nails

By Josh Bledsoe

Illustrated by Jessica Warrick

I’m a daddy’s girl and nothing excites me more than seeing great daddy/daughter stories that show a dad can have an amazing relationship with his daughter. In Hammer and Nails, Darcy thinks her day is ruined when her best friend gets sick and can’t make it to their playdate. She had a whole list of fun things to do, but she crumples it up. When her daddy overhears her grumbling, he makes her a deal. If they can do one thing off his to-do list, then they can do one off of hers. What follows is an adorable mashup of daddy’s chores and Darcy’s playdate plans.

Hammer and Nails is a charming story about trying things for the first time and might inspire kids and adults both to find the fun in chores. The characters are so expressive, especially faced with that ONE thing that they’re not sure about. I would recommend this story to anyone, daddies, daughters, mothers, and sons.  As the daddy in this book puts it “Sometimes things you’ve never done end up being fun! Try it.”

Recommended for ages 5-7.

Nicki Paris

Schimelpfenig Library

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Kid Picks

September 11, 2016 by

a-to-z cupcake-surprise the-barftastic-lifefly-guy

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That Stinks! A Punny Show-and-Tell

September 9, 2016 by

That Stinks! A Punny Show-and-Tell

By Alan Katz

Illustrated by Stephen Gilpin

When rainy weather forces Mrs. Mueller’s class to have to stay inside for recess, the teacher suggests an impromptu show-and-tell. “That stinks!” exclaims a student to everyone’s horror until you turn the page and see that his show-and-tell item is actually his pet skunk, Harry. “Aw, nuts!” says another student and yes, her show-and-tell item is, indeed, a bowl of nuts. The exclamations and laughs only increase as child after child make what would appear to be rude statements that might have gotten them sent to the principal’s office if not for the fact that they were actually factual statements about their item being shown to the class.  Admittedly the items are a bit far-fetched but humor and cartoon style illustrations will keep children laughing as they wait to see what is actually being described as the page is turned. And what will happen when the principal finally shows up and exclaims “I have had enough!”?  You can only imagine!

Reviewed by Connie (Schimelpfenig Library)

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