Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

1 to 20, Animals Aplenty

July 9, 2014

1 to 20 animals aplenty1 to 20, Animals Aplenty
by Katie Viggers

Inside the front cover of Katie Viggers’ 1 to 20, Animals Aplenty a baboon declares “Let’s count.” From there, a menagerie of animals represents numbers one through twenty, with a silly start at “1 fox in a pair of socks.” Viggers’ whimsical illustrations contain just enough detail to give you reason to linger over each and every page. Rhyming descriptions will elicit laughs. Definitely worth a look. If you enjoy it, try Viggers’ other book, Almost an Animal Alphabet.

1 fox in a pair of socks

Recommended for ages 3 to 7.

(Jocelyn, Davis Library)

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Half a Chance

July 8, 2014

Half a Chance CoverHalf a Chance

By Cynthia Lord

12-year-old Lucy loves photography and longs to have her talents noticed by her father, a famous nature photographer.  When the opportunity to enter a photography contest for young people arises, Lucy eagerly grabs it. Unfortunately, as Lucy discovers, there is one problem….her father is the contest judge which will probably make her ineligible.  However, with her father away for the summer on assignment shooting photographs in Arizona, Lucy decides to take this opportunity anyway and chronicle her summer at the lake in New Hampshire where they have recently moved.   Along with her new friend Nate, the boy from the cottage next door, Lucy captures photos of the family of loons on the lake, as well as, Nate’s family and their adventures kayaking and hiking the beautiful New Hampshire outdoors.  As Lucy comes to know Nate and his family, her camera unexpectedly reveals truths that his family doesn’t want to see – his beloved grandmother’s slow decline into Alzheimer’s.

The sweetness and honesty of Lucy’s captured moments on film emphasizes the importance of savoring every moment and enjoying it in the present – a lesson no one is ever too young to learn.

Recommended for grades 4 through 6.

Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)

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The School For Good and Evil

July 4, 2014

91g5CWQ+J+L._SL1500_The School for Good and Evil

By Sonan Chainani

I never liked the black and white generalizations for ‘good’ and ‘evil’, so the author made several points to ‘not judge a book by its cover’ and look deeper into the individual characters. This is a book makes YOU, the reader, come to the conclusion on the true meaning of good (friendship, loyalty, etc) and evil (selfishness, vanity, etc). This book has romance, jokes, lessons, imaginary worlds, and adventure. I enjoyed the jokes, laughed at the characters, and cheered on for the ‘villain(s)’.

Recommended for preteens and teenagers (10+) and for those who like books like Harry Potter.

Look out for part two in the series by Soman Chainani: A World Without Princes.

Dorothy S. (Schimelpfenig)

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Cool Beans – The Further Adventures of Beanboy

July 3, 2014

Cool Beans – The Further Adventures of Beanboy

Lisa Harkrader

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the second book about Tucker McBean and his superhero creation, Beanboy, because I enjoyed the first one so much.  No one gives the Art Club any respect at school, so Tucker and his friends try to prove their worth in an all-school assembly.  Then Tucker decides that the Art Club will enter the annual dodge ball competition at his school and their team name will be The Artful Dodgers.  He really enters the competition because his younger brother, Beecher wants the helmet that is the prize for winning the competition.  In order to generate some enthusiasm, Tucker creates a new Beanboy superhero comic strip and uses it to recruit more players for the less-than-athletic art club team.  This is another great story with memorable characters from Lisa Harkrader.

Cool Beans is great to recommend to kids who have outgrown Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Big Nate.  It is also a great transitional book between graphic novels and traditional novels.

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Under the Egg

June 27, 2014

large_Under_the_Egg-copy[1]Under the Egg

by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Thirteen-year-old Theodora Tenpenny doesn’t have it easy. The sudden death of Jack, her beloved grandfather, has left Theo with less than $500.00 in the bank account and no chance of more money coming in, and Theo’s mother is well on her way to blowing it all on expensive teas. So Jack’s dying words to “look under the egg” and a mention of “treasure” spur Theo to discover the secret behind her museum security guard grandfather’s very first painting–an egg, which has been displayed above the mantle in their house as long as she can remember. Does she have a valuable long lost painting by a master on her hands? And if so, where on earth did it come from and how on earth did Jack get it?

With some help from a couple of new friends, Theo explores New York and delves into her grandfather’s past and the history of one of the most famous artists in the world.

Part mystery, part adventure, and part tale of friendship and family, art and history, Under the Egg is well worth a read for fans of The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler!

Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard Library)

 

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Charlotte and Wilbur

June 26, 2014

Charlotte talks to her snail friend Wilbur at the Haggard Library!

The Mischievians by William Joyce

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The Great Day

June 24, 2014

3-5years2The Great Day

By Taro Gomi

The boy is awake first, then the alarm, then the dog, but everyone else is asleep. He’s the first to eat and dress and brush his teeth. Follow his great day as he’s the first to do many things, both good and bad. Though he’s the first to get into a fight, he’s also the first to make up with his friend. Because his day is so busy, he’s also the first to go home and get tired.

Originally published in Japan in 1984, this is the first time The Great Day has been printed in America. Using simple language and vibrant illustrations, Taro Gomi captures the action and excitement found in young children.

Recommended for ages 3-5.

Nicki P.  (Schimelpfenig)

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If You Were a Panda Bear

June 20, 2014

If You Were a Panda Bear

Wendell and Florence Minor

 

What kind of bear enjoys catching fish? Which one eats bamboo? This beautiful picture book’s rhyming text will introduce your little one to many kinds of bears, from panda bear to spectacled bear. The illustrations in this charming read are vivid and captivating, and should keep your young reader happily engaged.

The ending is an absolute delight, but I won’t spoil it for you.  Check out this lovely book and find out for yourself.  Happy reading!

 

 

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The Miniature World of Marvin & James

June 13, 2014

The Miniature World of Marvin & James written by Elise Broach and illustrated by Kelly Murphy

This beginning chapter book (with really large text size and plenty of sepia-toned drawings) is quirkily charming and perfect for a reader just starting chapter books.

It features characters from the author’s novel, Masterpiece, which I have not read, so this was my first introduction to the boy James and his best-buddy beetle named Marvin. In this story, James goes away for a week so Marvin is forced to play with beetle cousin, Elaine. Their adventure inside a pencil sharpener where they frolic in pencil shavings and nearly get caught, is great fun!

This is the first in a new series.  I am looking forward to reading more.

If you think you or your child would like this book, leave a message in the comments section below for a chance to win a free, hardback copy of the book!  One winner will be chosen at random on Friday, June 20, 2014.

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The Islands of Chaldea

June 12, 2014

The Islands of Chaldea

Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Jones

The Islands of Chaldea is a fun adventure about a girl named Aileen who comes from a magical family. As a part of initiation she is to go into a cave and have a vision but alas no vision comes. She begins to believe she lacks magical powers. However, she soon finds herself on a quest with her Aunt Beck, Prince Ivar, Ogo (the servant to Prince Ivar) to find Ivar’s older brother and Aileen’s father who have been kidnapped. In order to get to the fifth island they must take at least one person from each of the other four islands. Along the way Aunt Beck gets cursed, they meet Aileen’s father’s relatives and have a grand adventure. This is a story that will make you laugh and read until you finish!

For ages 8-12 years old

Reviewed by April (Parr Library)

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