Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Star in the Forest by Laura Resau

April 18, 2014


Star in the Forest

Star in the Forest by Laura Resau

Zitlally’s father has been deported, and she feels alone.  She hides in the junkyard of rusted car parts near her trailer park, where she finds a dog which has been chained and abandoned.  Eventually she begins to trust the dog, and with the help of her next-door neighbor and new friend, Crystal, she finds the courage to rescue Star.

As Zitlally withdraws from her friends at school, she develops empathy for Crystal, a girl who is considered a liar and an outsider. Star in the Forest is an important story for children, because it opens the door to several good discussion points, like the meaning of friendship, and immigration. Immigration, a topic not normally discussed with children, does affect them.  Why not begin the discussion around a book?  Laura Resau’s website,, has two discussion guides that might be useful, plus you’ll learn how to pronounce the author’s name.  There are also pronunciation guides in the back of the book for Spanish and Nahuatl words.

Best for grades 3 to 6, I hope you’ll enjoy reading about Zitlally, Crystal and Star.

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Momo and Snap are NOT friends!

April 10, 2014

Momo and Snap are NOT friendsMomo and Snap Are Not Friends!

By Airlie Anderson

Momo and Snap Are Not Friends is a story about two different animals that happen to cross paths, and when they do they engage in a competition of sorts. They battle it out to see which one of them is more ferocious. Through several rounds, Momo the monkey and Snap the alligator go head to head testing their strength and their growls. But that’s not all, they also compete to see who is better at juggling, drawing, swimming, fishing and running. It’s a grueling competition that gets interrupted by a pack of hungry lions. But only Snap sees them coming. Thinking on his feet, Snap does the only thing he can think of. He runs in the opposite direction, but not before scooping up little Momo. And thus begins a  warm friendship.

I love everything about Momo and Snap are NOT friends, it’s such a great story with two adorable characters. What I love the most about this picture book is the style in which it is written. There are no words, the entire story unfolds through pictures and sounds that Momo and Snap make. It’s a fun read, especially when read aloud!

Recommended for ages 3-8.

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March 26, 2014


By Laura Vaccaro Seeger

This little bull is a in a bad mood. Someone is mean to him, so he turns that around and takes it out on his friends when they want to play. He calls them names, getting bigger and bigger as his attitude gets worse. Eventually, someone takes him down to size by telling him he’s acting like a big bully. It’s all he needs to realize that he’s being too mean.

This book is simple, but effective. Through just a few words, the idea of bullying comes across loud and clear. This is a good book to share with your little one to help them understand that being kind to friends is important. Laura Vaccaro Seeger is the winner of many awards and nominations for her other books, including her Caldecott Honor book Green.

Recommended for ages 3-7

Nicole P. (Schimelpfenig)

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Elvis and the Underdogs

March 13, 2014

Elvis and the Underdogs Cover Elvis and the Underdogs

By Jenny Lee

10-year-old Benji doesn’t have a lot of friends.  He hasn’t had time to make any since he’s spent a large portion of his childhood in the hospital with a wide variety of illnesses and allergies. He even faints when under stress!  When Benji suffers a particularly bad head injury at school and ends up once more in the hospital, the doctor offers him two options: wear a protective padded helmet or get a therapy dog.  Not a difficult choice for Benji, as he knows a helmet will be a bully magnet for him at school and a dog…well, there’s just nothing  that could be wrong with that choice (unless you ask his mother!).  After much cajoling and discussion, Benji’s over-protective mother finally gives in.  His therapy dog arrives in a massive crate and out walks a 200 pound Newfoundland that announces that his name is Parker Elvis Pembroke IV.  Yes, announces!  You see one of his talents is that he can talk!  (At least he can talk to Benji; everyone else hears growls or barks.)  Not only is Elvis well-spoken but he is also confident.  In fact, his confidence proves to be contagious as Benji learns to assert himself and find new friends or as Elvis would say find his “pack”.

Elvis and the Underdogs is a warm and humorous boy-and-dog adventure.  This is truly a feel good book packed with fun for the middle grades (grades 4 – 6)!

Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)

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March 6, 2014


By Meg Kearney

Illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Trouper is a good dog, but he’s missing a leg. It wasn’t a problem when he was part of a big pack, running on the streets. He and his pack get rounded up, however, and taken to a place with many cages. People come by to look at them, slowly taking away all of his pack. They take away Hunter and Tugger, Digger and Dice, Big Bear, and then Sweet Girl. All of the dogs go home with new people, all except Trouper. It makes him sad to be alone, until one day a boy comes to his cage and calls him a ‘good boy’. The boy takes him home, not minding that Trouper only has one leg.

Trouper is based on a true rescue story. Written in verse, Trouper talks of kindness and the love of a boy and his dog. The beautiful watercolor paintings are lifelike, bringing to life the story of how some animals get a second chance even when they’re not perfect. Trouper is Meg Kearney’s rescue dog in real life. He lives happily with her family in New Hampshire.

Recommended for ages 4-8

Nicki P. (Schimelpfenig Library)

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Love Monster

February 11, 2014

61kD535p+HLLove Monster

By Rachel Bright

It’s difficult being a monster in a world full of cute and fluffy things. No one wants to love a monster when they could hug a bunny, or a teddy bear, or a super cute kitten. Monster is a little bit funny-looking. To say the least. All that cuteness makes being funny-looking pretty, darn hard. Determined to find someone who loves him just the way he is, Monster sets out on a long journey. He searches high and low, inside and out, middle-ish and elsewhere. What Monster discovers is that finding love is really hard. In the blink of a googly eye, everything changes when love finds him.

A sweet and funny tale, Love Monster is a story to enjoy at Valentines, or anytime you want to feel a little warm and fuzzy. With simple, but amusing text, and warm colors, you won’t be able to help falling in love with the googly-eyed monster.

Recommended for ages 2-5

Nicki P. (Schimelpfenig)

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Kenta and The Big Wave

January 30, 2014

51gUcjaNv3L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Kenta and The Big Wave

By Ruth Ohi

Kenta is a story about loss and hope. When the big tidal wave hit Kenta’s town, he ran to the school on top of the hill as he’d learned to do. There he found his mother and father, but the ocean took his soccer ball. While his family explores the mess the wave left behind, the ball travels far across the ocean. Kenta and his family make repairs to their home and the ball ends up on a beach on the other side of the world. When a young boy finds the ball, he doesn’t understand the writing on the side but he takes it on himself to return it.

Inspired by true events, Kenta’s story shows that one small act of kindness, like returning a ball, can make a big difference in someone’s life. This is a great book to promote understanding through disaster and help anyone understand that the most important things in life are family.

Recommended reading for ages 4-7

Nicki P. (Schimelpfenig Library)

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How to Hide a Lion

January 28, 2014


How to Hide a Lion 

by Helen Stephens

One hot day, a lion strolled into town to buy a hat…

…and hilarity ensues! A charming story about a friendly lion, a little girl named Iris, and Iris’ numerous attempts to keep her new friend hidden from those who might not be so understanding when it comes to lions! The illustrations have a wonderful nostalgic feel to them, but are bright and colorful, and the ending is a sweet and funny surprise. Will things turn around for the poor lion? A simple, heartwarming story about friendship and second chances, it’s a great one to cuddle up with before bedtime. How would you hide a lion?

Lara (Haggard Library)

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Rebel McKenzie

January 9, 2014

Rebel McKenzie by Candice Ransom

Rebel McKenzie plans to attend the Ice Age Kids’ Dig this summer, but she has to babysit her cousin Rudy in her sister’s mobile home community while her sister Lynette attends beauty school.  Rebel is still focused on her original plan, so she decides to enter a beauty pageant in order to use the prize money for the camp.  Will she win, and is it worth the price of friendship?

Rebel McKenzie is a nominee on the 2014 list of Bluebonnet books.  I thought it was a fun read and I think readers will enjoy the cast of characters in the story.

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Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise

January 7, 2014

Brownie1Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise

by Susan Blackaby

illustrated by Carmen Segovia

This picture book is a cute winter read.  The illustrations in this book highlight the snowy white and blues that accompany winter.  After hanging out with his friends Fox and Bunny all fall, Brownie the Groundhog needs his long anticipated nap for the winter.  Brownie warns Fox not to eat Bunny and gives them both a pep talk in hopes that they will both entertain each other while she is asleep and enjoy their winter.  Sure enough, after Brownie leaves for her winter hibernation, Fox  gets the blues.  Bunny tries to cheer Fox up, but not without some harebrained antics.  Eventually Fox and Bunny borrow several items from Brownie’s home, but in doing so wake her up.  Brownie2Though initially upset, Brownie is taken outside where a lovely winter surprise awaits.  Brownie goes back to her house for a winter celebration with her pals, but then urges them both not to disturb her until February.  In the end, Fox and Bunny end up being closer friends and wait out the winter together.  Fans of this book can follow up on Fox and Groundhog in a Groundhog Day book, entitled; Brownie Groundhog and the FebruaryFox.

Recommend for ages K to Grade 2

(Vanessa, Davis Library)

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