Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Red: a crayon’s story

March 24, 2015

 

Enjoy another clever and educational book by Michael Hall.  What happens when you are considered to be a red crayon?  You even have a label on you that says  you are RED.  But whenever you are asked to create something that is red guess what color appears, BLUE!  Your crayon friends, parents and grandparents are all trying to understand you but even through encouragement they get a bit frustrated with you, the red crayon.  This labelled crayon that says RED never gives up and tries and tries to do what is expected of him.  Will he ever realize his true self, his true color?  Not let his label portray who his really is!

Michael Hall does a fabulous job with Red: a crayon’s story.  He develops such creativity within this book as he conveys an important lesson about life that many people young and old struggle with today.  The book gives parents and adults dealing with children the opportunity to discuss the importance of developing a sense of self and the effects of peer pressure.  The illustrations are fun, large and comical as each crayon is named according to their relationship with red crayon.  You will just have to pick up and read this book to appreciate the full impact of this delightful book.

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Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem

March 19, 2015

Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem

Written and illustrated by Chris Monroe

Chico Bon Bon, errant repairmonkey, is back with his tool belt in this companion book to Monkey with a Tool BeltWhen Chico wakes to a loud clatter, he searches his tree house to discover the source of the noise, only to find an elephant named Clark in his laundry shoot!  Can Chico solve this noisy problem?

As with the other two books featuring Chico (Monkey with a Tool Belt and Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Seaside Shenanigans), Monroe’s quirky illustrations and shameless sense of humor are a picture book win.  Jokes for both kids and adults make this adventure even more fun; be sure to read the entire list of tools on Chico’s tool belt to be rewarded with plenty of laughs!  With whimsicality and an eye on problem-solving skills, Chico may have kids asking for a tool belt of their own.  Recommended for preschool – 3rd grade.

 

Reviewed by Alyssa (Davis Library)

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Barry (Dog Diaries)

March 17, 2015

BarryDog Diaries – Barry

By: Kate Klimo

This is the third book in the Dog Diaries series. Each book in the series features a dog from history and the stories are told from the dog’s point of view. This one tells the story of Barry, a rescue dog from the St. Bernard Hospice in the Swiss Alps. The story is filled with adventure as Barry recues travelers that are buried in snow from avalanches. Barry is even injured by one of the people that he tries to rescue. This is a very touching story about a dog that is a gentle giant.

There is an appendix at the end of the book that contains the history of St. Bernard, information about owning a St. Bernard, and photos of the St. Bernard Hospice. There are six titles in the Dog Diaries series (Ginger, Buddy, Barry, Togo, Dash, and Sweetie) and the Plano Library System carries all of them.

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Baby-Sitters Club: The Graphic Novel series

March 16, 2015

white squarekristystacey

white squaremary annclaudia

The Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels by Raina Telgemeier

I loved the Baby-Sitters Club series growing up.  I have recently fallen in love with Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novels, such as Smile, Drama, and Sisters. Imagine my excitement when I discovered Telgemeier had created graphic novels adapted from the Baby-Sitters Club chapter books. There was jumping. There was jiving. I may have joyfully screamed.

Each of the four graphic novels highlights one of the four main babysitters in the club: Kristy, Stacey, Mary Anne, and Claudia. We learn not only about the creation of the baby-sitters club, but also about the unique individuals who make up the club. Each girl reacts differently to the dynamics within their family and within the club. The diversity in perspectives makes this series relatable to a wide audience. Telgemeier does a fantastic job of sticking true to the series.

Reviewed by Kate (Haggard Library)

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Hissy Fitz

March 11, 2015

Hissy Fitz CoverHissy Fitz

By Patrick Jennings

Illustrated by Michael Allen Austin

If ever there was a cat to rival Grumpy Cat, it’s Hissy Fitz.  Hissy is aptly named as his first reaction to almost anyone and anything is an angry HSSSSSSSSSS! – usually because he’s being disturbed from a much loved nap. Hissy’s name is also a particularly clever play on the term “hissy fit” which is a slang term for a temper tantrum. (Fitz is the last name of his family).

Hissy feels justified in his bad temper as he’s living with a very noisy and boisterous family and has become sleep deprived.  His girl human is eight-year-old Georgie who loves to pet him (which he loves) but also likes to talk, talk, talk while he’s trying to go to sleep (which he doesn’t love).  Then there’s the father who is a carpenter and pounds loudly in his workshop all day.  Finally, there are the 3-year-old twins, Zeb – “the untamed one”- who loves to constantly chase and torment Hissy, and Abe, the kind-hearted one, who actually seems to understand Hissy’s need for peace and quiet but still earns a HSSSSSSSSSS! every once in a while.

Whether indoors or outdoors, Hissy is continually denied his opportunities for a nap until he finally comes to the conclusion that “Humans are the noisiest creatures alive. I’m not sure that there is any escape.”

Beginning chapter book readers will giggle as they appreciate life from Hissy’s point of view complete with his cranky but clever commentary.  Short chapters and snappy dialogue with amusing pencil illustrations that bring the story to life complement the plot and make this a perfect beginning chapter book for anyone –  cat lover (or not)!

Recommended for Grades 2 – 3.

Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)

 

 

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13 Art Movements Children Should Know

March 10, 2015

13artmovements13 Art Movements Children Should Know

By: Brad Finger

This beautiful book published by Prestel gives tidbits of information concerning 13 important art movements: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, and Pop Art.

Each section of the book shows the time lime (in chronological order) of each movement, explains the style traits, and shows images. One side note is that this book does not give an in-depth look at each movement. Instead, it gives the important facts and concepts surrounding the different periods of art. For example, did you know that Art Nouveau artists oftentimes used a curve in their art that was referred to as a “whiplash” curve? Each chapter also gives suggestions for further reading, in case you find an art movement you love and want to learn more.

Check out this book if you are interested in learning some new things about the different periods of art. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)

 

 

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Rain Reign

March 6, 2015

rain reign Rain Reign by Ann Martin

This was such a satisfying chapter book!

Rose needs predictability in her life (she’s on the Autism spectrum), but living with her dad is difficult. He’s distant and gruff. Her saving grace is her uncle who seems to understand Rose so well. She loves homonyms and these appear all through the text.  Rose collects them. Besides her uncle, a dog–a gift from her dad–are her anchors.

I so rooted for this little girl. There’s a bittersweet ending but one that seemed just right. As a reader, I practically ached to make things right for her.  I hope you enjoy this one!

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You Wouldn’t Want to Work on the Railroad!

March 4, 2015

indexYou Wouldn’t Want to Work on the Railroad!

Written by: Ian Graham

Illustrated by: David Antram

The You Wouldn’t Want to series covers a lot of ground. You can find books in the series about history, like You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Greek Athlete, and You Wouldn’t Want to be a Civil War Soldier. You can also find books about inventions that make our lives much easier, like You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Cell Phones, and You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Toilets. This wide variety of fun books teaches kids all kinds of topics with gross and funny facts that are sure to keep their interest.

You Wouldn’t Want to Work on the Railroad is one of the newest in the collection of whimsical books. Starting with the timeline of the railroad, it talks about all kinds of hazards a railway workers could expect to face. There are ‘handy hints’ throughout, like “Don’t volunteer for bridge building in you’re afraid of heights!”. It discusses the good and bad of the railroad, highlighting the important changes it had for America, as well as the the effect it had on workers and Native Americans alike.

If your kids enjoy You Wouldn’t Want to Work on the Railroad, make sure you check out other books in the series:

civil electric greek ninja toilet

Recommended for Grades 3-5

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Kid Picks

March 1, 2015

5th grade presidentfly guyjanuary childmr puttermy blue is happynat the catsilverlicioussuper hair-o

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Nancy Knows

February 27, 2015

nancyNancy Knows

By Cybele Young

Nancy the elephant can remember all sorts of things, but she knows she’s forgetting something important! As she tries to remember, we can see all of the things she’s thinking about filling up her line art. To try and determine what she’s forgotten, she remembers things that she knows. All sorts of paper sculptures fill the elephant as she thinks about things that are similar, like the same shape or color, things that face one way, then another, things in neat rows and things that are a jumbled mess. Nancy helps the reader lean about many opposites in her quest to remember what she’s forgotten. When she finally stops thinking and lets her mind rest, the answer finally comes to her!

Nancy Knows is a precious book with lots of little details to offer. You and your little one will find yourselves examining each picture to see what all you can find in Nancy’s thoughts. Challenge your child to think of other opposites that Nancy has forgotten, like hot and cold, or high and low.

Recommended for ages 4-7.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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