Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

Kid Picks

April 26, 2015

dork diaries 1dumb bunny 2kylie jean 3ling and ting 4

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Sidewalk Flowers

April 24, 2015

Sidewalk-Flowers-by-Jon-Arno-Lawson-on-BookDragonSidewalk Flowers

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)

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If You Plant a Seed

April 23, 2015

If You Plant a Seed

By Kadir Nelson

 This gorgeously illustrated book has few words, but says a lot.  A beautiful lesson about the benefits of sharing over selfishness is told through both the words and the illustrations.

This book provides a great opportunity for you to discuss the events in the pictures and have your little one explain to you what is happening when the bunny and mouse choose to/not to share. This is a good choice for a preschool group read too.  Happy reading!

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Wolfie the Bunny

April 22, 2015

wolfie the bunnyWolfie 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)

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Fish in a Tree

April 17, 2015

Fish in a treeFish in a Tree

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.

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Roller Girl

April 13, 2015

roller girlRoller Girl

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)

 

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App Time Session 13: Hello, Baby Animals and Lazoo Squiggles

April 11, 2015

 

baby animalsThis week in App Time we looked at Hello, Baby Animals developed by Shortstack. It is available through iTunes for $2.99.

I love that the interaction in this app is simple and relates directly to  the text. Kids can learn the baby animal names for different animals. I even learned how to pronounce foal (a baby horse) correctly. Hint: it rhymes with rock’n’roll! You can turn narration on or off. If you choose to turn narration on, you have the choice to hear an adult’s voice or child’s voice. I like having the child’s voice as the narrator. It might inspire your kid to read along! I thought it was so cool, how the words appear as they are read. This is a different form of highlighted narration, which boosts word recognition and raises print awareness.

Our activity app was Lazoo Squiggles by Lazoo. It is available through iTunes for free.lazoo squiggles

 Haggard Library has had this app on our App Time iPads and the iPads available near the Children’s Info desk. I’ve seen lots of kids enjoying this doodle app and decided to highlight this app for a demonstration. Doodling is so much fun, but it’s also a great way to build fine motor skills. Even kids who can’t hold a crayon yet can get ready to write simply by making some squiggles. Foster human relationships by asking your child questions as they build a scene. It can be as simple as “Where did the car go?” or you can challenge them to think “Why did the flowers grow when it rained?” These questions will help build narrative skills.

App Time is funded by the Texas State Archives and Library Commission (TSLAC) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services(IMLS). Come to Haggard Fridays at 11am and join us for App Time. See you there!

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Goatilocks and the Three Bears

April 9, 2015

goatilocksGoatilocks 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.goatilocks 2

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.

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Finding Serendipity

April 8, 2015

 

Finding Serendipity

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)

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Kid Picks

April 5, 2015

i survived 1patch 2close to famous 4cupcake diaries 5puppy place sweetie 6

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