Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Builder Mouse

March 9, 2016

buildermouseBuilder Mouse: A story of friendship, creativity, and the fine art of compromise

By: Sofia Eldarova

Edgar the mouse loves to build tall things with food leftovers. This is problematic when his best friend, Toby, also like leftovers, but for eating, not building. Each masterpiece that Edgar creates becomes a meal for Toby. Eventually Edgar decides to leave his home to find a place where his talents for building are appreciated. He tries out the subway, a restaurant, and a museum, but all the mice in those places also find his masterpieces tasty. He decides to return home to his best friend, Toby, and discovers that his best friend has gotten him a surprise to help him with his building.

I enjoyed this sweet friendship story mostly because of the subtle story and lovely illustrations. Share this book with the little builder in your life. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)

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Minna’s Patchwork Coat

March 8, 2016

Minna’s Patchwork Coat

by Lauren A. Mills

8-year-old Minna lives with her family in a rustic cabin in the Appalachian Mountains during the beginning of the 20th century.  Life is difficult.  Her father works in the coal mines where he has contracted the deadly black lung disease and is forced to miss work more and more often. The family is extremely poor.  Too poor, in fact, to afford a coat for Minna. Without a coat, Minna must remain at home during the harsh winter months.  No coat means no school – her greatest wish. Minna knows how to read and write thanks to her mother who has taught her at home but Minna desperately wishes that she could go to school and make friends with the other mountain children.

Sadly, Minna’s beloved father finally dies from his disease and her mother must make ends meet by joining the local Quilting Moms who sell their quilts to city people to bring in an income.  When the mothers discover Minna’s coat dilemma, they offer to make her a coat from the scraps of material that are part of their family’s life.  Each scrap has a story behind it – stories of the children that Minna hopes will eventually be her friends.  Can the children see beyond the rags to the girl inside who is offering them her friendship?

The author has based this middle grade chapter book upon her 1990 picture book The Rag Coat and in so doing has expanded Minna’s story and built it upon her own childhood memories of summers spent with her grandparents in West Virginia.  In addition, Mills has complemented Minna’s tale with exquisitely drawn pencil sketches that skillfully bring the setting and characters to life.

Recommended for grades 4 – 6.

Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)

 

 

 

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Green Thumbs-Up!

February 24, 2016

Green thumbs-up!Green Thumbs-Up

By: Jenny Meyerhoff

The first book in the Friendship Garden series introduces readers to third-grader Anna Fincher. Anna has recently moved to Chicago from upstate New York. The view from her new school window is gray where there used to be green. She misses her friends and wonders how she will be able to make new friends. Luckily a school project partners her with Kaya, whose abuela loves to garden, and Reed, who loves to dig in the dirt. The trio comes up with the idea of starting a kid’s garden club. They will need to convince an adult to supervise their garden project. Anna’s father stays at home while her mother works as a chef. He can’t help the garden club, but the kids find someone who can help them. This sweet chapter book will appeal to readers of Laurie Friendman’s “Mallory” books or Anna Branford’s “Violet Mackerel” series.

Reviewed by:  Renee (Parr Library)

 

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Noni the Pony Goes to the Beach

January 21, 2016

nonibeachNoni the Pony Goes to the Beach by Alison Lester

I’m ready for a warm sunny day, and a trip to the beach.  How about you?  If you need some inspiration, check out Noni the Pony Goes to the Beach. In this charming story, Noni and her friends, Dave Dog and Coco the Cat, go on an adventure to the beach.  Slightly silly, and full of rhyming words, this book will be perfect for your favorite preschooler.

And if this book puts you in the mood for more books about the beach, try our Beach theme bag, which includes nine books, a puppet, and a felt rhyme about sandcastles.  Search the catalog for keywords: Beach theme, or search theme bag for a list of all of our themes.

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The Seeds of Friendship

January 19, 2016

The seeds of friendshipThe Seeds of Friendship

By: Michael Foreman

This touching picture book tells the story of a boy named Adam who moved to a strange new city. When he looks out of his bedroom window all he sees is gray. Adam misses the faraway place he used to live. He especially misses the colorful forest and the animals he used to see. Adam’s favorite place at his new school is the green garden. When his teacher gives him some seeds to take home, it plants an idea in his mind. Adam plants the seeds of friendship.

Enjoy!

Reviewed by: Renee (Parr Library)

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Strictly No Elephants

December 12, 2015

strictlynoelephantsStrictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev; illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

A little boy is excited to meet others at Pet Club Day to show off his unusual pet, a tiny elephant.  Sadly, he arrives and a sign is posted stating, “Strictly No Elephants.”  As he goes back home, he meets a girl who also was excluded because of her pet skunk, and eventually, many children come together in a new place where “All Are Welcome.”

The story is not a heavy handed moral lesson, but it is about tolerance.  It’s also a story about what it takes to be great friend. The illustrations feature diverse children and diverse pets!  Share it with your favorite friend today!

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The Doldrums

December 10, 2015

The Doldrums

By Nicholas Gannon

11-year-old Archer Helmsley is a dreamer who longs for adventure.  Unfortunately, his overprotective mother has confined him to his house and his school.  Not for a week or a month but forever…or at least as long she can protect him from the adventurous tendencies passed down to him by his grandparents, famous explorers who disappeared in Antarctica. It doesn’t help that his family lives in his grandparents’ house surrounded by pictures and memorabilia from their numerous journeys around the world. Consequently, Archer’s resolve to escape is intensified. He soon concocts a plan, along with some new-found friends, to stow away on a ship to Antarctica to find his grandparents who he is convinced are still alive.  But… the best of plans don’t always turn out as expected.  Accidents can turn into adventures too!  After all, anything can be an adventure when you’re with friends!

This is the perfect book for kids in grades 4-6 who enjoy whimsical tales of friendship, mystery and adventure with characters who could have leaped out of a Roald Dahl novel. Delightful full-color as well as black and white illustrations complement the story without distracting the reader and give this imaginative novel a “classic” quality.

Highly recommended!

Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)

 

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Snowy Bear

November 27, 2015

Snowy Bear

By Tony Mitton

This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of a little bear all alone in the cold snowy woods, trying to find a warm place to rest.

As I read along, I found the cadence reminiscent of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’, and I loved reading it aloud. Alison Brown’s illustrations captivated me as I followed Snowy Bear’s journey through the woods as he tries to find a home. Sadly, it seems that no one has a place for poor Snowy Bear. Finally, he sees a little farmhouse. Could this be a place he can rest?  Will he find a friend there? Check out this sweet book to find out. Happy Reading!

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The Sea Tiger

November 25, 2015

CSA3bc1UYAIzP6WThe Sea Tiger

by Victoria Turnbull

The Sea Tiger is Oscar’s best friend, Oscar’s only friend.

They do everything together — explore the ocean, visit the sea circus, even swim to the surface to look at the stars.

But Oscar is shy, so it’s up to the Sea Tiger to help him find a new friend.

If nothing else, you should check this one out for the illustrations alone–absolutely stunning, and detailed in such a gentle, soothing sort of way.

But it’s also a beautiful story about two friends, and that fear shy people (like me!) can sometimes feel when faced with people or experiences they’re not familiar with. The Sea Tiger takes the lead and encourages his friend to give others a chance, and that leads to all new adventures!

Well worth a read for shy children and adults alike!

The Sea Tiger

Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard Library)

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Marilyn’s Monster

October 30, 2015

monsterMarilyn’s Monster

By Michelle Knudsen

Illustrated by Matt Phelan

The monsters just start showing up one day. They come at random times, sometimes while kids are sleeping, sometimes on the playground or the park, and sometimes in the middle of class! After a while, most of the kids Marilyn knows already have monsters. She tries to wait patiently for her monster. When he doesn’t come, she starts to get antsy. Everyone tells her that you don’t go searching for your monster, that it’s just NOT what you do, but Marilyn thinks maybe it’s time to take things into her own hands.

Marilyn’s quest to find her own special monster is a subdued way of showing that sometimes people get what they want without any effort, and sometimes you have to search for what you want most, no matter what other people say. The soft pencil and watercolor illustrations are fun and whimsical, giving the impression that having a monster best friend would be the best thing in the world! You too will want your own monster by the end.

Recommended for ages 4-8.

Nicole P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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