Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

Still a Gorilla

August 26, 2016

Still a Gorilla!

By Kim Norman

Willy is a gorilla at the zoo, but he wants to be a different animal.  No matter how hard he tries to look or act like other animals, he is still a gorilla! This picture book is super fun and silly.  The large, bold and colorful illustrations are very eye-catching.  This is a wonderful book for storytime or for a preschool classroom, as well as for sharing one-on-one with your child.  There are many opportunities for kids to join in the read-aloud fun each time that Willy is ‘STILL A GORILLA!’  I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.  Happy reading!

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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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Sports Apps for Families

August 6, 2016

Yesterday was the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.  To celebrate, check out some of these sports-themed apps.  What’s your favorite Olympic event?

The Olympics – Official App for the Olympic Games by International Olympic Committee

Ages:  4+

Requires:  iOS 6.0 or later or Android 2.3.3 and up

Compatibility:  iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android

Take the Olympic Games with you wherever you go!  The official app of the Olympics provides a variety of information.  You can view top moments from past Olympic Games, both winter and summer, including photos and videos.  If you want the results of your favorite event, you can find results for specific sports, athletes, or just the Games overall.  Plus, you can see the Olympic records associated with each sport.  If you’re having trouble finding what you want, search by specific dates, athletes, and countries.  This app includes the latest news and schedules for the 2016 Games, but also provides information about the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang.

Math Climber HD by John Crandall

Ages:  9-11

Requires:  iOS 7.0 or later or Android 4.1 and up

Compatibility:  iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android

Math Climber HD combines sports and math into a single app.  Using 18 different math topics ranging from simple addition and subtraction to advanced concepts like order of operations, this app helps build skills through fun.  You will select and customize your climber, and then select which game to play.  In addition to choosing the topic, you can choose a difficulty level of easy, medium, or difficult.  You can practice your skills first, or choose from competitive levels including speed climbing and races.

In each game, a correct answer lets you move up the climbing wall.  As you climb, earn virtual coins that can be exchanged for virtual rewards for your avatar or hints on harder problems.  Each game includes 10 questions.  To improve your score, you can play the game again as many times as you want.  This app offers a perfect amount of challenge – you can control the subject and difficulty level to make the game fun.  The further you advance in the game, the more important it is to answer questions quickly.  You can earn victory dances with perfect scores, and the Wall of Fame and Progress Report let you easily view and manage your progress.

Kids Match Sports HD by Yik Jin Low

Ages:  4+

Requires:  iOS 4.2 or later

Compatibility:  iPad

Kids Match Sports is a simple but fun matching game that helps teach your child about different objects associated with popular sports.  Each challenge features a picture of sports equipment, which is labeled.  Underneath, you will see three different items to match it with, also labeled.  Upon correctly matching the objects, the name of the sports object will be read aloud.  Sports covered include football, basketball, track and field, ice skating, and more.  Three games are included in the lite version of the app, and an additional 24 games can be purchased for 99 cents.

Ready to get up and moving?  Join us for some fun movement programs coming up this month:

  • Dance Party – Tuesday, August 9 at 10:30 AM – Haggard Library:  Move to the music, listen to books with beat, and have lots of fun.  Music helps with early literacy!
  • Parachute Party – Thursday, August 11 at 10:30 AM – Haggard Library:  Up, down, and round and round – join us for rhymes and songs using giant parachutes.

Be sure to check out the Engage brochure online or in the library for the rest of our upcoming programs!

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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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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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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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Red: the True Story of Red Riding Hood

July 7, 2016

Red: the True Story of Red Riding Hood

By Liesl Shurtliff

You might think you know the tale of Red Riding Hood but according to Liesl Shurtliff there is a lot more to the story.  Rose Red (who wears a magical red hood) is the young granddaughter of the Witch of the Woods (Granny).  Her grandmother has magical powers galore and can conjure up all types of magical spells.  Red has powers, too, but after a particularly disastrous spell backfires, she vows never to use magic again. Unfortunately Granny becomes deathly ill so to save her grandmother’s life Red sets off into the magic forest to find a cure.  Along the way Red meets Goldie (yes, the one with the golden locks) who becomes her sidekick and not always welcome companion.  There is, of course, a wolf but maybe he’s not quite as bad as you think he is.  Red’s encounters with a disgruntled dwarf, a Beast, pixies, bears, gnomes and enchanted items create nonstop action in this fairytale mash-up with unique twists and turns as Red continues the quest to help her grandmother.

Fans of fractured fairytales will gobble up this delightful book as familiar characters and subplots appear in the most unexpected places.  I would also recommend the author’s other books of this genre: Rump: the Story of Rumpelstiltskin and Jack: the Story of Jack and the Beanstalk).

Recommended for grades 4 – 6.

Reviewed by Connie (Schimelpfenig Library)

 

 

 

 

 

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