Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith

August 30, 2016

hoodooHoodoo by Ronald L. Smith

Looking for a page turner?  I picked up Hoodoo, because I heard it would keep you on the edge of your seat.  Set in 1930’s Alabama, Hoodoo Hatcher, twelve, needs to learn to conjure to defeat the “Stranger,” threatening the town with black magic.  Be sure to know your reader, because this story might be too scary.  But it’s perfect for those who like a bit of a shiver.  After all, Halloween is just two months away!

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Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber

August 23, 2016

missmarycatalogMiss Mary Reporting written by Sue Macy and illustrated by C. F. Payne.

As a child, Mary Garber played football with the boys and attended sporting events with her father.  She also loved to read about sports so she was a natural to be a sportswriter as an adult. It wasn’t that simple though, since Mary lived during a time when women didn’t usually have the opportunity to become sportswriters.

At first Mary accepted a job as a society reporter just to start working on a newspaper but she didn’t have any interest in writing about parties and fashion. During World War II, many of the male sportswriters became soldiers so Mary was given a chance to write about sporting events.  During her sports-writing career, she covered various teams from local to professional sports. Mary wrote regularly for the Winston-Salem Journal  newspaper until she was 86 years old.

Although it was often a challenge to be a woman sportswriter, Mary loved her job.  She covered baseball when Jackie Robinson became the first black player to join the major leagues and “was inspired by his quiet dignity”.   Many lively anecdotes and energetic images convey Mary’s inspirational story in this picture book biography.

Recommended for children in grades 2-4.

Reviewed by Donna (Library Technical Services)

 

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I Am Pusheen the Cat

August 12, 2016

pusheenI Am Pusheen the Cat

By: Claire Belton

There is no doubt you have come across Pusheen at some point, whether it is the local comics bookstore, or as a meme on Facebook and Tumblr. Pusheen is the delightfully plump gray cat with a naughty streak. This book is a collection of stories and comics that have been seen in social media, but are now in one handy book. Tips for cats, their owners, and other random tidbits. While there is not a large amount of substance in this collection, it is an enjoyable quick read for elementary age children, and quite possibly the teens and adults in their lives.

Recommended for those who love cats, memes, and silly comics.

Meow.

Review by: Diana (Schimelpfenig Library)

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The Perfect Dog

August 9, 2016

The Perfect Dog

By Kevin O’Malley

What kind of dog is “the perfect dog”?   One little girl thinks she knows the answer to this question until she starts looking at all of the different types of breeds with their varying characteristics. To make her decision, this little girl decides that she will compare the different breeds. At first her dog should be “big…” (Chow Chow), then “bigger…” (German Shepherd), then “biggest…” (Saint Bernard…) and finally “Maybe not this big!” (Great Dane).  After that she looks for dogs that are small, snuggly, fancy, fast, long-haired and happy with all of the extremes of each similarly displayed in cartoon-like drawings of lovably humorous dogs with very distinct personalities. Playful chaos takes over as each specific trait reaches its extreme with “maybe not…” until finally girl and dog are united…perfectly!

The dogs are the true stars of this book which just happens to teach a fun-filled lesson on comparisons and superlatives with wit and charm.  A perfect picture book for dog lovers everywhere!  (Don’t miss the endpapers displaying the various breeds in the story!)

Reviewed by Connie (Schimelpfenig Library)

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Kid Picks

August 7, 2016

the chicken squad

dance team dilemma the rainbow fish The Vampire Dare
My day in the forestThe notebook of doom

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The Opposite Zoo

July 28, 2016

The Opposite ZooThe Opposite Zoo

By Il Sung Na

“They are

fast and slow.

Soft and prickly.

Tall and short.

Noisy and quiet….  Meet the animals of the Opposite Zoo!” (from back cover)

After the zoo is closed, the monkey finds that his door is open and he decides to visit all of his animal neighbors.  Each turn of the page reveals a new pair of opposite animals with their accompanying descriptive words.  Many of the words use font that emphasize the differences between the two adjectives such as small, lowercase letters for the word “shy” and big, uppercase letters for “bold.”  The illustrations have a rough, sketch-like quality that, when combine with the bright and unusual coloring, gives the whole story a whimsical feel.  Children will enjoy finding the monkey in each picture as he feeds the giraffe and swims with the seals and swans.

This is a great book for introducing opposites to young children as well as practicing storytelling skills by describing what is happening in each scene.

For more opposites fun, check out Charlotte and Eddie’s video review of The Hueys in What’s the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers on the library’s YouTube page here.The Hueys

Reviewed by: Meredith (Harrington Library)

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HARE AND TORTOISE

July 22, 2016

Many of us have enjoyed reading the classic Aesop’s fable, Hare and Tortoise.  Alison Murray has created a new version of this classic that is a delight to read.  Right from the start the reader is involved, we get to stop the Hare and  Tortoise and learn about their characteristics and personality traits.  The race begins as predicted with the energetic over-confident Hare and the ever steady Tortoise racing to see who will get to the finish line first.  There is no mystery to this fable since we are aware the Tortoise always wins the race with his diligence and patience.  We can, however, enjoy a bit of humor and creativity in every page with the colorful and large illustrations than are easy for children to interpret.

Review: Bev (Davis)

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Little Tree

July 21, 2016

51Fg2ChjzMLLittle Tree

By Loren Long

In the middle of a little forest, there was a little tree. He had bright green leaves like all the other little trees, they kept him shaded and cool during the hot summer months. When fall came, all of the other trees dropped their leaves one at a time, but not the little tree. He held onto them tight. The next summer, all the other trees grew fresh green leaves. They got taller and bigger as the years went by, while the little tree clung to his brown, withered leaves and stayed the same. Can he learn to let go?

This story can be applied to so many situations. With it’s simple, colorful illustrations, it shows how holding onto something can keep you from growing up. Releasing that blanket or pacifier or raggedy toy might be easier with a little help from this little tree.

Recommended for ages 5-8.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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All About Art!

July 15, 2016

tullet 1If you’re familiar with Herve Tullet’s  books, you’ll know he’s all about free expression and interactivity in art.  Art Workshops for Children applies that philosophy to group art projects and provides lots of ideas based on Tullet’s own art sessions, done around the world and in live art sessions.  According to Tullet, “art is a means and not an end.  My workshops are based around getting children to…create freely.”

You’ll find these are workshops that may be done with many, or only a few, children.  Each workshop description includes information on getting ready, conducting the workshop and suggestions for variations.  Most of the projects require only paint and paper.  Colorful photos serve as the background for the white blocks of text, so the book design is as appealing as the art projects.

One of the projects, The Magic Dice, asks children to draw a monster based on the roll of a dice.  Throw a number 4, and that’s how many eyes children draw.  Throw a two and that’s how many mouths children draw.  Tullet suggests having the children swap papers after each throw of the dice.

With plenty of variations and encouragement to simply enjoy and embrace the process of art, hopefully this book will inspire you and your children to get messy and make some art!tullet 2

 

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D is for Dress-Up: The ABC’s of What to Wear by Maria Carluccio

July 8, 2016

dressupD Is for Dress-Up: The ABC’s Of What we Wear by Maria Carluccio

It is hot outside and cool clothing may be on your mind.  This little book is a perfect solution for the summer heat.  Curl up on the couch in the air-conditioning and enjoy the alphabet as you talk about the clothes we wear.

Not all alphabet books are created equal.  They are best when they include uppercase and lowercase letters, plus corresponding words that make sense to children.  D is for Dress-up shows each uppercase letter, and prints a lower case word below the uppercase.  The choice of clothing items are mostly recognizable to children, along with one or two words that are great vocabulary expanders; E is for ensemble or V is for vintage.  The illustrations feature soft painted colors, diverse children and diverse activities.  This alphabet book is a winner!

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