Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

Hook’s Revenge

October 16, 2014

Hook’s Revenge

By Heidi Schulz

Hook’s Revenge tells the tale of Jocelyn Hook, the only daughter of Captain Hook – yes, that Captain Hook, he of Peter Pan fame – who hopes to escape her horrible finishing school and become a feared pirate captain like her long-missing father.  When a letter from Captain Hook himself arrives, asking Jocelyn to avenge his death at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile, Jocelyn jumps at the chance to ditch manners lessons for a great adventure.  But being a pirate is much harder that she ever thought. Can Jocelyn find the courage to beat the crocodile before time runs out?

Readers won’t be bored with this quirky but action-packed story, adventuring with Jocelyn as she deals with her pathetically untrained pirate crew, outwits cannibals, rescues her amnesiac best friend, and fends off that twerp Peter Pan, who keeps barging in uninvited.  Jocelyn is a fierce heroine who is easy to love: hilarious and fiery with a heart of gold.  Discovering the details of Neverland itself add to the fun, as well as the snarky side comments of the story’s cranky narrator.

Recommended for grades 4-7.

Reviewed by:   Alyssa (Davis Library)

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Color Mixing Fun!

October 14, 2014

Mix It Up by Herve Tullet is a wonderfully interactive picture book, and a fun introduction to colors and color mixing.  Directed to tap here and rub there, readers and listeners mix the colors on the pages of this book.  With its generous white space and splotches of paint color, the reader is invited to “with one finger take a little bit of the blue…and just touch the yellow.  Rub it…gently…”

And with a page turn, “see?” the reader sees the splotch of green that they’ve made!

Herve Tullet gave new meaning to an interactive picture book with Press Here, and this title follows in that same vein.

A delightfully fun reading experience that hopefully leads to some actual play with paints and colors!

Read the book, get some finger paints…and MIX IT UP!

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The Lion and the Bird

October 9, 2014

lionThe Lion and the Bird

By Marianne Dubuc

One day while working in his garden, Lion hears a sound. Finding a hurt bird, he takes the little creature into his house to help nurse it back to health. Since the bird’s friends have continued to fly south for the winter, Lion lets him stay. They do everything together during the winter. They read books together, have dinner together, go ice fishing and sledding together. When spring comes, Lion is sad to see his dear friend go. He spends all summer alone, but gets a special surprise when fall comes again.

This is a sweet story with soft, color-pencil illustrations. The text is simple and limited, making it a great choice for young readers. Though the bird never speaks, Lion always knows what he’s trying to say. Your little ones will love these adorable friends.

Recommended reading for ages: 4-7

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Judy Moody and Stink – The Big Bad Blackout

October 8, 2014

The big bad blackoutJudy Moody and Stink The Big Bad Blackout

 Megan McDonald

 In this third installment of the series featuring third grader, Judy and her little brother, Stink, the Moody family is cooped up in their house with no electricity as Hurricane Elmer comes ashore. The Moody’s make the best of the situation with the help of Grandma Lou and an assortment of animals she has taken in for friends. The kids are thrilled that school is cancelled for several days. Grandma Lou cooks food over a fire in the fireplace, teaches Judy and Stink how to play musical board games, and Stink enjoys pretending he is a pioneer like his hero, Abraham Lincoln. The best part about the adventure is when each member of the family shares stories with each other. There is plenty of laugh-out-loud humor in this edition of the series which grows out of the interaction between the family members. This is an enjoyable story for readers of all ages!

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The Fourteenth Goldfish

October 3, 2014

The Fourteenth Goldfish CoverThe Fourteenth Goldfish

by Jennifer L. Holm

How many of you have a close relationship with your grandfather?  Now….how would you feel about hanging out with your grandfather as a 13-year-old boy?  A grandfather who looks young but has the same intelligence, personality and attitude he had as a 76-year-old! 11-year-old Ellie finds herself in this exact situation as her scientist grandfather has, shockingly enough, found the means to reverse aging through a particular species of jellyfish and has experimented upon himself!

This may sound like a good thing for Grandpa Melvin but now that he is young again, this man who previously earned 2 PhD’s must now attend middle school for the 2nd time creating complications not only for himself but for Ellie!  Then there is the issue of Ellie’s mother having to take in her own father and raise him as a teenage boy in her household while Grandpa is still trying to tell her what she can and can’t wear to work!

However, there is a bright side to this crazy situation. Ellie’s relationship with her grandfather deepens as he teaches her a lot about famous scientists and their discoveries, stimulating an interest in science she never knew she had. As the story unfolds, both Grandpa and Ellie learn that sometimes scientific discoveries have unexpected consequences.

Holm has hit a home run once again with this smart, funny and touching middle grade novel about a family learning from one another about themselves and the world around them.

Recommended for grades 4 through 6.

Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)

 

 

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Grandfather Gandhi

October 2, 2014

grandfather gandhiGrandfather Gandhi
by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus
illustrated by Evan Turk

Arun Gandhi lives with his family in Grandfather Gandhi’s village, where the days are thick and hot. Silence fills the air—but peace feels far away for the young Arun. When an older boy pushes him on the soccer field, Arun’s anger fills him in a way that surely a true Gandhi could never imagine. Can Arun ever live up to the Mahatma? Will he ever make his grandfather proud? [from the book jacket]

Live as light and celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday today with a reading of Grandfather Gandhi, Arun Gandhi’s story of how his grandfather’s teachings of peace and healing touched his life as a young boy. The narrative is well-written—both a lesson in history and a tale on how to turn anger into love—and the illustrations are enthralling. Intense colors and a collection of media—paper, cloth, foil, and thread—add even more dimension to this layered story.

Highly recommended! Nonfiction/biography picture book. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.

(Jocelyn, Davis Library)

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The Monkey Goes Bananas

September 30, 2014

Monkey Goes BananasThe Monkey Goes Bananas

By: C. P. Bloom

Illustrated by Peter Raymundo

There are a number of books with a limited use of words. With just eleven different words (twelve if you include ‘the’), this book will take you on a flip-book type journey with a resourceful monkey. The Monkey Goes Bananas uses simple text and extremely animated and fun pictures to tell the story of a monkey who wants the bananas from a nearby island. The only thing stopping him is a big span of water and a SHARK!!!

This is a great book for an interactive story time with your little ones. Have them tell you the story using the pictures, or try to say each of the eleven different words with a crazy voice. This story will have your kids giggling and begging to read it again!

Recommended for ages: 3-7

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Lion vs. Rabbit

September 12, 2014

Lion vs. Rabbit

 by Alex Latimer

Lion bullies all the other animals until finally they can’t take it anymore, so they post an ad, asking for help.  even the largest among them fail to defeat him.  When a rabbit arrives, no one thinks the small animal will be brave or strong enough to defeat Lion. But perhaps this rabbit is smart enough?

If you think you already know the ending to this quirky re-writing of “The Tortoise and the Hare”, wait for the twist at the end of the tale!  Lion vs. Rabbit is a picture book triple-threat:  a funny story, adorable illustrations and a great message.

Recommended for Pre-k through grade 2.

Also try: 

Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play With Your Food! By Bob Shea

Bootsy Barker Bites by Barbara Bottner

 

Reviewed by Alyssa (Davis Library)

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Chu’s First Day of School

September 11, 2014

Chu's firstChu is back in Chu’s First Day of School by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex.  In the first book featuring the lovable panda bear, readers got a surprise when they found out about Chu’s explosive sneezes.

In this second title, Chu is nervous about going to school.  When he gets there and all the animals take turns introducing themselves and sharing something they love to do, there’s a surprise in store for his fellow classmates, as Chu can’t help but demonstrate what he loves to do.  The expressions on his classmates’ faces tell Chu everything is going to be all right.

The concerns of Chu will resonate with young children, and readers will find humor in the facial expressions throughout the book and of course, in Chu!

For more books, check out our Starting School list.

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Puddle Pug

September 10, 2014

indexPuddle Pug

By Kim Norman

Illustrated by Keika Yamaguchi

Percy the pug loves all kinds of puddles. In his search to find the perfect puddle for splashing, he makes a map of all the swamp puddles, the stomp puddles, and even the ready-for-a-romp puddles. He tries froggy puddles, and foggy puddles, and deeper-than-a-doggy puddles. When he finds just the perfect puddle, it’s already occupied by mama pig and her little piglets!

Percy tries everything to get in mama’s good graces, but it takes a big storm and one smart doggy to earn a chance to stay in the best puddle of all. This is an adorable story with fun illustrations. Percy’s expression are simply perfect as he enjoys all the different kinds of puddles. With rhyming text, it’s a great read-aloud story for your little ones.

Recommended for ages 3-6.

Nicole P. (Schimelpfenig)

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