Archive for the ‘books’ Category
by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith
In this beautiful wordless picture book, a little girl walks through the city with her father collecting colorful flowers she finds growing in overlooked places. As she walks, she sees others who look like they could use a little bit of color too, so she leaves a little bit of cheer behind her as she goes, saving herself for last. A great way to talk about feelings of loneliness and sadness and about caring for others’ feelings. And the illustrations are detailed and absolutely gorgeous — worth pouring over multiple times!
Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard Library)
Wolfie the Bunny
by Ame Dyckman
illustrated by Zachariah OHora
When the Bunny family finds a baby wolf on their doorstep and decides to take him in, big sister Dot is not pleased. In fact, she’s convinced Wolfie is going to eat them all up! It’s only commonsense that bunnies and wolves don’t mix, but Mama and Papa love Wolfie like one of their own and think he’s good at everything. Will Dot ever find a way to love Wolfie as her brother?
Readers will love tough and spunky bunny Dot, and the well-meaning carrot-eating Wolfie. Dyckman has written a funny and sweet story about sibling relationships, and OHora’s illustrations are the perfect complement. A great book to read aloud.
Recommended for ages 3 to 7.
(Jocelyn, Davis Library)
By: Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Sixth-grader Ally Nickerson has passed through seven schools in seven years and has hidden a deep, dark secret at each one. She can’t read and to cover up the shame she feels, she acts out and winds up in the principal’s office at each school. However, at Ally’s current school a long-term substitute, Mr. Daniels, sees through Ally’s charade. He tells Ally that he suspects she has dyslexia and provides tools to help Ally overcome her learning disability. Ally is also dealing with a father who is deployed in the Middle East and she struggles to make friends at her new school. The supporting cast of quirky characters who are dealing with their own problems round out the story and add interest beyond the focus on dyslexia. This is a touching story that pays tribute to teachers that go the extra mile for their students. Fans of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder may enjoy this title.
Fish in a Tree is Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s second middle-grade novel. Her first novel, One for the Murphys was published in 2012. Hunt is an expert at exploring themes of family and friendship. I hope she continues to write middle-grade books because I plan to read everything she writes.
I couldn’t resist writing about these two books written and illustrated by Carin Bramsen, Hey Duck and Just a Duck! The illustrations are large and beautiful and so realistic you just want to reach out and touch each fuzzy animal. Speaking of animals we meet duck and cat. Duck is an extremely friendly fellow and he is sure he has found a new friend, another duck. He keeps asking the duck why is tail is so long? Why doesn’t he like to swim in water? Why doesn’t he quack? You might be able to guess that his new friend is a cat. Cat gets quite annoyed at this pesky duck but eventually responds to duck, “My sense of ME has gone AMUCK!” and begins to quack just like duck. They form a bond through this adventure and their friendship is sealed.
Just a Duck? the sequel begins with duck deciding to become a cat. Even though both cat and duck realize he looks nothing like a cat, duck is sure he can grow into a cat. Duck tries to walk like a cat, meow like a cat and act like a cat so you can imagine how silly this duck is portrayed. With considerable regret, duck has to come to the realization that he is just a duck!.
I enjoyed reading both of these books and the interactions between the duck and cat were both hilarious and enjoyable to read about. These are great books for for our youngsters to enjoy with their parents or in a group setting. These two books just bring a smile to your face.
Show Me Happy by Kathryn Madeline Allen; photographs by Eric Futran
Using rhyming text and photographs, Show Me Happy highlights feelings and other simple concepts that are important to children in their daily lives. Allen and Futran’s second book is no less wonderful than the first, A Kiss Means I Love You. I have a weakness for children’s books using photographs and this one reflects joyous, diverse children.
And speaking of diversity, join us at Harrington Library this Saturday, April 15, for El dia de los ninos/Day of the Child. This is a free family opportunity featuring Solina Marquis, bilingual storyteller at 2pm, Mexico 2000 Ballet Folklorico at 3pm and crafts at 3pm.
We hope to make you happy!
by Victoria Jamieson
Astrid’s mother loves to take Astrid and her best friend, Nicole, to museums, poetry readings, and even the opera. The girls couldn’t care less about these cultural evenings. Until, one night, Astrid’s mother surprises them by taking them to a roller derby. Astrid falls in love with the excitement, the boldness, and the culture of roller girls. She’s shocked when Nicole doesn’t want to sign up for the roller derby with her. Can Astrid survive the summer without her best friend? Will they still be the same once middle school starts?
Jamieson tells a great story about growing up. Change is hard to deal with sometimes, especially when you aren’t ready for it. However, Astrid learns how to stay true to herself and to her friends as she’s confronted with huge changes. This story is great for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Cece Bell’s El Deafo, and Zita the Spacegirl. Or, if you haven’t read those titles either, give them a try! They won’t disappoint!
Reviewed by Kate (Haggard)
By: Joanna Issa
This book is part of the What Can I Make Today? series created specifically with first-time crafters in mind. For this book, a child learns what is needed to make a functioning paper truck, with corresponding images of materials. Each section goes step-by-step in making a truck including images. The instructions and information are written in a large font. Some words are in bold, indicating that they can be referenced in the picture glossary in the back of the book. These bold words express important vocabulary when it comes to trucks, such as axle or ramp. Some sections will have a bold red square with a note inside: “ask for adult help.”
This book provides an opportunity for younger elementary children to learn about working with step-by-step instructions. The project is suited to be completed side-by-side with an adult. Once you have finished, what else can you make?
Recommended for younger elementary school-aged children.
Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)
Goatilocks and the Three Bears by Erica S. Perl
A fractured version of Goldilocks featuring a “kid,” a young goat, as the main character. The goat is as audacious as Goldilocks but with a goat-like twist: she eats everything! How can she make it up to the bears? There’s a surprising and satisfying answer to round out the story. The comical, cartoon-style illustrations add to the humor in this pleasing fractured fairy tale.
So what is a fractured fairy tale? Take a regular fairy tale, then change the gender(s) of some of the characters, mix up the setting, add a little humor, and you have a new version of an old favorite.
These titles are often great for reading aloud with children who know the traditional tale well and can enjoy the humor of a different version. We have a list of them here.
By Angelica Banks
Tuesday McGillicuddy has a famous mother but she can’t tell you anything about her. The reason being that her mother is the author of one of the most popular adventure series in the world! She is so famous that she has to dress in disguise and pretend to be a completely different person when she’s out doing book signings or speaking in schools as the author Serendipity Smith.
Tuesday loves her mother deeply but she doesn’t love all of the time she spends writing her novels – locked away from her family for days on end. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Tuesday is happy that her mother is about to finish writing her last book in the Vivian Small adventure series. This means a family trip where Tuesday will be able to spend weeks on a remote island somewhere with her mother and father, all the while enjoying their undivided attention.
But now something terrible has happened! Her mother has apparently vanished through the open studio window while writing the final pages of Vivienne Small and the Final Battle! The only clue left behind in her writer’s studio is a silver box containing a shimmering silver thread that spells “The End” and floats above the keyboard of her typewriter. Hoping her mother will reappear, Tuesday starts a story of her own on the same typewriter. And now, her own adventure begins as she sets off to find her mother who is seemingly lost in her story somewhere.
I thoroughly enjoyed this magical and imaginative tale filled with twists and turns that introduce readers to a mystical land where authors find inspiration for their characters and stories. A land where their characters become real and can live out the lives created for them. And maybe, just maybe, live lives of their own after the author has left the story.
I highly recommend Finding Serendipity for children grades 4 through 6. It would also be tremendous as a read-aloud!
Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)