Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

Upside Down Babies

December 17, 2014

by Jeanne Willis

“Once when the world tipped upside down, the earth went blue and the sky went brown.  All the baby animals tumbled out of bed and ended up with very funny moms instead.”  These are the first two sentence in this clever and beautifully illustrated book, “Upside Down Babies.”  We would all be a bit shocked to see a pig falling into a parrot’s nest.  But just imagine how that parrot mom would feel.   How about a polar bear landing in the desert next to her new mom, a camel.   A cheetah faster than lightning ends up with a sloth, can anything be slower.  This cheery book brings humor to each page as each mom is faced with unthinkable challenges gazing on their new babies.  Of course, the world does turn around but the ending may surprise you as a few babies and moms actually are happier with their new arrivals.

This book is great for our toddlers as well as preschool children.  Any adult would enjoy sharing this book with a group of children as well as a fun read one on one.

Davis – (Bev)

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Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

December 16, 2014

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett with illustrations by Jon Klassen

Sam and Dave are on a mission to dig a hole in search of something spectacular.  As they try to figure out the best strategy, the reader (and the knowing dog) see the big gems that the pair are missing.  When they fall asleep and free-fall through the deeper hole, they end up falling from above, back to where they were before…or is it?  With sepia-toned illustrations, spare text and the reader in the know, children will enjoy the surprise ending.

This story reminded of that child-like belief that you can dig a hole to China, and the illustrations brought to mind that classic, A Hole is to Dig by Ruth Krauss.  Enjoy!



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December 11, 2014

Picnic by John Burningham

John Burningham’s books are some of my favorites.  Simply written and simply illustrated, they are perfect for young children.

Picnic is a quiet story about a boy and girl who go out one day and meet their animal friends.  Along the way they have a small adventure, as they are chased by Bull and the wind blows Sheep’s hat away.  In the end, they all go home to bed. Children will love reading along and answering the questions in the text like, “Can you find Sheep’s hat?”

Reading with children every day is essential to their early literacy development, and talking about the story as you read is equally important.  This particular book makes life easy for the parent because the story already includes interactive questions.

I hope you’ll share Picnic with your children, and that John Burningham’s books become some of your favorites too!

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Planet Kindergarten

December 10, 2014

planetPlanet Kindergarten

By Sue Ganz-Schmitt

Illustrated by Shane Prigmore

3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF! The boy in this book is training to explore Planet Kindergarten on his very first mission. He checks his plans for the next day, gets his supplies with his mom, gets two thumbs up from the doctor, and prepares for lift off! It’s difficult to explore a strange new world on his own, but he doesn’t want his parents to worry, so he stands tall. His crew mates are all strange creatures. Though he’s dealing with many unusual crew members, the boy manages to make a new friend.

Planet Kindergarten is an outrageous space-themed adventure with lots of fun characters. If your child is a fan of space, or zany books, they’ll love reading this adventure. The illustrations are extremely colorful and fun, giving hints about the normal day behind the space mission. There’s even a few Star Trek references for the grown ups! You might consider reading it to prepare your little one for his or her own trip to kindergarten!

Recommended for ages 3-5.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Emma and the Blue Genie

December 3, 2014

Emma and the Blue Genie (Junior Library Guild Selection) CoverEmma and the Blue Genie

By Cornelia Funke

Illustrated by Kerstin Meyer

8-year-old Emma lives with her family in a little house by the sea.  Being the only girl in a family with 4 pesky brothers means that Emma frequently needs some alone time.  On just such a night, Emma and her dog Tristan sneak out of the house to watch the waves roll toward shore and dream of adventure and faraway lands.  But what is that bottle bobbing in the waves?  To Emma’s surprise her dreams seem to have come true as it contains a genie….but this is not an ordinary wish-granting genie like those in her storybooks.  This genie (named Karim) has been imprisoned in his bottle by a more powerful evil genie. In fact, Karim is now quite small, powerless and incapable of granting any wishes at all.  Is Emma up for the adventure she has always dreamed of?  What will happen if she jumps on Karim’s magic carpet and flies off to his homeland to help him confront the evil genie?   Join Emma and Tristan on their exciting magical journey. Believe me, you will enjoy the ride!

Colorful and whimsical illustrations accompany this fast–paced adventure that will make this the perfect reading experience for children in the early elementary grades who are just getting into the longer chapter books.

Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)

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Zeraffa Giraffa

November 18, 2014

zeraffa giraffaZeraffa Giraffa

By Dianne Hofmeyr

Illustrated by Jane Ray

Zeraffa the giraffe was caught in Africa. No taller than the tallest hunter, she was just a baby. When she was presented to the Pasha, he was delighted. He decided that she would be the perfect gift for his friend, the king of France. Zeraffa was given to a boy named Atir, who would care for her on the long journey. They first took a small boat up the Nile River, then a bigger boat across the Mediterranean Sea, and then Atir and Zeraffa walked the great distance to the beautiful city of Paris!

Through the whole journey, Zeraffa keeps growing, and growing, and growing! By the time they reach the King, she’s taller than any animal the French have ever seen. They loved her right away! Soon, French ladies were styling their wigs to be as tall as they could and they decorated their homes with the pattern on Zeraffa’s fur. The French people made cookies in the shape of giraffes and trimmed their bushes to look like her. But the one who loved her most of all was the King’s granddaughter.

Zeraffa Giraffa is a beautiful book about a giraffe’s great journey. The soft illustrations will capture the reader’s imagination and transport them to a time long ago when no one had ever seen a giraffe in Paris.

Recommended for ages: 6-10

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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I Wanna Go Home

November 14, 2014

Karen Kaufman Orloff

When I read this new book, I Wanna Go Home, I had a flash back to a familiar song called Camp Grenada.  If you are not familiar with the song it is about a young boy who is sent to summer camp and sends home humorous messages about his miserable life at camp.  “I Wanna Go Home” is very similar since Boy Scout Alex and two of his siblings are sent to his grandparents retirement community for two weeks while his parents are on vacation.  Reluctantly he goes and when he contacts his parents about his adventures you just have to smile.  He is amazed to discover his grandfather doesn’t have real teeth and when he takes them out they look like jellyfish.  He didn’t know that grandma and grandpa still had to go to school; square dancing school.  They don’t even have a TV set, what will he do.  Through all his escapades not only does he learn to enjoy his grandparents but he wants to stay an extra week.

This was a fun book to read all by myself!  I think any parent or grandparent would enjoy sharing this with their children or grandchildren especially ages 5 – 9.

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Beyond the Door (Time Out of Time #1)

July 18, 2014

Beyond the Door Beyond the Door (Time Out of Time #1)

by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

“With his love of learning and the game of Scrabble, Timothy James feels like the only person who understands him is  his older sister, Sarah, and he’s fairly certain nothing interesting will ever happen to him. But one night, while his  parents and sister are away, the door opens, and mythical creatures appear in his own living room! Soon, a mystery of  unparalleled proportions begins to unfold, revealing an age-old battle of Light against Dark, and Timothy must embark  on a quest to prevent the Dark from controlling the future and changing the past. But he can’t complete the quest alone.  Timothy has to team up with his sister and the school bully, Jessica, to face an ancient evil, and in the process, this  unlikely trio discover they are each more than meets the eye.” – from GoodReads
I would recommend this book to people who are interested in mythology. I loved the mixing of old mythology and a  contemporary setting. At first I thought the bottom of the pages were decorative, but they are a code. The legend is the back, so it was a fun surprise at the end to try to decode the message. Beyond the Door is the first of a series. I simply can’t wait for book 2!

Recommended for grades 5 and up.

Reviewed by Kate (Haggard)

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Under the Egg

June 27, 2014

large_Under_the_Egg-copy[1]Under the Egg

by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Thirteen-year-old Theodora Tenpenny doesn’t have it easy. The sudden death of Jack, her beloved grandfather, has left Theo with less than $500.00 in the bank account and no chance of more money coming in, and Theo’s mother is well on her way to blowing it all on expensive teas. So Jack’s dying words to “look under the egg” and a mention of “treasure” spur Theo to discover the secret behind her museum security guard grandfather’s very first painting–an egg, which has been displayed above the mantle in their house as long as she can remember. Does she have a valuable long lost painting by a master on her hands? And if so, where on earth did it come from and how on earth did Jack get it?

With some help from a couple of new friends, Theo explores New York and delves into her grandfather’s past and the history of one of the most famous artists in the world.

Part mystery, part adventure, and part tale of friendship and family, art and history, Under the Egg is well worth a read for fans of The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler!

Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard Library)


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It’s an Orange Aardvark!

June 18, 2014

Michael’s Hall’s latest book, It’s an Orange Aardvark, is another charming and witty book that can be added to his collection of stories.  We greet five carpenter ants that have taken up residence in a tree stump.  Rumble, Rumble, outside noises alert them.  A curious member of the group decides to create a peephole in the stump.  What could it be?  It is obvious to one of the ants that  is a fearsome beast, an aardvark who eats carpenter ants.  As they peer out they see orange and the frightened ant assures everyone it is an orange aardvark.  Each page of this delightful book presents a new peephole with a new color and the imagination of our frightened ant only becomes sillier and sillier.

Michael Hall’s illustrations only enhance this funny story and all the peepholes throughout the book just add to the excitement of discovering the next color.  This book can be enjoyed by anyone!

Beverly (Davis)

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