Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Little Robot

October 13, 2016

little-robotLittle Robot

By Ben Hatke

Life outside the robot factory is confusing.  Little Robot has a lot to learn… And that’s what friends are for.  But with danger on the way, will friendship be enough to save them. (from cover)

This graphic novel starts with a box falling off a delivery van.  It also starts with a little girl in need of a friend.  When she discovers the box and opens it up to reveal a robot, that’s just what she finds.  However, friendship is hard and can get rocky from time to time.  On top of that, the robot factory has discovered one of their robots is missing and sent out a big, bad recovery bot to bring him home.  Can Little Robot and the girl overcome all of the obstacles in their way?

I really loved this story!  I’m a big fan of graphic novels that let their art tell the story and that’s just what this book does.  Minimal text and colorful illustrations make this a great book for all ages, even early readers.  The picture narrative is really great for developing children’s storytelling skills.  The story is packed full of messages about friendship and communication.  I found the characters very endearing and relatable.  I’d say this is an all-around good read especially for kids that love robots, tinkering, and cats!

Older readers who like this book might try out Ben Hatke’s earlier graphic novel series, featuring Zita the Spacegirl!

zita-the-spacegirl    legends-of-zita-the-spacegirl    return-of-zita-the-space-girl

Reviewed by Meredith (Harrington Library)

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Little Blue Truck

October 8, 2016

Little Blue TruckLittle Blue Truck

By Alice Schertle

Illustrated by Jill McElmurry

Beep! Beep! Beep! The classic book, Little Blue Truck, is such a sweet tale of a little blue pick-up truck that shows such kindness to the animals he passes on the road. Each animal he passes is friendly right back to Little Blue. One day though, a BIG truck comes by and rudely pushes Little Blue right out of its way. Further down the road, that BIG truck needs help. Together with his animal friends, Little Blue stops to help that BIG truck even though that BIG truck did not show kindness to them. This story helps children see that everyone can show kindness to others, even to those who might not have shown kindness to them. Little Blue Truck is appropriate for adults and children alike. Couldn’t we all benefit from hearing a wonderful message about teamwork and kindness every now and then?

Recommended for ages 4 and up (yes, adults too!). 🙂

Reviewed by Melanie (Davis Library)

If you love Little Blue Truck, please check out these other books that Little Blue is in!

Little Blue Truck Leads the Way

Little Blue Truck’s Halloween

Little Blue Truck’s Christmas


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October 7, 2016



By Sharon Creech

What happens when 12-year-old Reena and her family transfer from the crowds, noise and hectic pace of New York City to the farms, beaches and beauty of coastal Maine?  More than they ever expect!

Shortly after settling into their new home, Reena’s mother volunteers Reena and her 7-year-old brother Luke to help an elderly, eccentric (and somewhat cranky) neighbor woman named Mrs. Falala with chores around her farm. As the children reluctantly show up for work the first day, they discover that  Mrs. Falala has a menagerie of animals – a pig named Paulie, a cat named China, a snake named Edna and one particularly stubborn, ornery and slobbering cow named Zora. As the two children progress from menial jobs to a close relationship with the animals and their owner, they learn the meaning of hard work, patience and kindness.  Maine isn’t all about the blueberries, lobsters and cold weather their New York friends had told them about.  It is that and much much more!

Through a mixture of prose and free verse poems, Creech packs descriptive images, landscape and emotion into this beautiful tale of a developing friendship and the cranky cow that brought them all together.

Recommended for grades 3 – 5.

Reviewed by Connie (Schimelpfenig Library)



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Dragon Was Terrible

September 29, 2016


Dragon Was Terrible by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli

Honestly, this book is adorable!  Dragon is terrible, because that’s how dragons are.  The king and his villagers are resolved to tame him and even promise a reward.  I love that the resolution to the situation speaks to the power of a good story.  The promised reward was the cherry on top.

Dragon Was Terrible is illustrated by Greg Pizzoli, a favorite author/illustrator of mine (The Watermelon Seed).  I am so happy that DiPucchio and Pizzoli have partnered for this new book.  I think it will appeal to preschoolers who are developing their sense of humor, and of course younger elementary aged children.

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Unidentified Suburban Object

September 22, 2016

Uunidentified-suburban-objectnidentified Suburban Object

By Mike Jung

Chloe Cho is tired of everyone assuming that all Asians are the same.  As the only Korean American as well as the only Asian American in her school, she’s heard it all — she’s a straight-A student because she’s Asian, she’s good at the violin because she’s Asian, her parents know how to discipline because they’re Asian — and she’s had enough!  It doesn’t help that her parents seem just fine with people confusing them for Chinese or Japanese and never seem to want to talk to her about their lives back in Korean.  Things finally start to look up for Chloe when a new teacher comes to town and she’s Korean American too!  Finally, she has someone to talk to who understands her!  But Chloe’s world starts to unravel when a class assignment about her family history forces her parents to share an out-of-this-world family secret.

I’m not going to lie; the book cover is what originally drew me to this book; just look at the face on that fish!  After reading the summary on the book cover, I was hooked.  Racial stereotypes and unintended racism can be hard topics to address and even harder to sell to young readers, but I think Jung does a great job giving it enough humor to help the medicine go down in the most delightful way.  Chloe has such an authentic voice and is very relatable.  It really sounds like a story told by a seventh grade girl.  While a lot of authors struggle with the balance of character emotion, Jung is able to portray Chloe at her whiniest, most miserable low point without alienating the reader (pun intended).  I really enjoyed the emotional roller coaster and I loved the little twist at the end.  Who knows, maybe this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Miss Chloe Cho…

Reviewed by Meredith (Harrington Library)

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Tru & Nelle

September 16, 2016


Tru & Nelle

by G. Neri

In their small town of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1930, misfits Tru and Nelle strike up a friendship and find a mystery to solve when someone breaks into the drugstore and steals some candy and a fancy brooch.

This is a fictionalized account of the real-life friendship between two of America’s great writers, Truman Capote and Harper Lee, so for adults, it’s really fun to see the ways parts of this book mirror things that happen in the books that Capote and Lee wrote as grown-ups. But it’s also a really satisfying story of friendship, small town life, standing up for yourself and your friends, childhood adventures, and dealing with tough situations in life, and also about sometimes having to let go when you’ve found a person and a place you really connect with. No prior knowledge of Truman Capote or Harper Lee are necessary to enjoy this book immensely! Definitely well worth a read for aspiring writers, mystery fans, and those looking for adventures in everyday life.

Happy reading!

Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard Library)

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Cecil’s Pride

June 23, 2016

cecilWhen Cecil the lion was killed in 2015, the news made international headlines.  In Cecil’s Pride: The True Story of a Lion King, young readers learn more about Cecil and his extraordinary life before his death.

When Cecil was challenged by another male lion, and forced to abandon his territory, Cecil unexpectedly paired up with another male lion.  Male lions are fiercely protective of their prides and typically do not pair up, so this was highly unusual.  Cecil and Jericho, however, were stronger together. When Cecil was tragically killed by hunters, Cecil’s pride (especially the cubs) were in danger.  Amazingly, Jericho spared the cubs and adopted them into his own pride.

Young animal lovers (and budding conservationists) will pore over the quality photographs and enjoy the narrative of this unlikely friendship.  The author team is a father and his two daughters, and they’ve produced many photo biographies of true animal friendships.  Check out this one or another one by the Hatkoff’s.

cecil and jericho

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Hector and Hummingbird

June 21, 2016

Hector and HummingbirdHector and Hummingbird

By: Nicholas John Frith

Hector is a bear with a big problem. His best friend, a tiny hummingbird, is so NOISY!! If that isn’t bad enough, Hummingbird copies Hector too.

Hey Hector!

            Are you scratching?

            I’m going to scratch too!

            Look! I’m the best scratcher, aren’t I?



This story made me laugh out loud. Kids will be able to relate to Hummingbird while parents might relate with Hector. The brilliant, bright illustrations are the perfect complement to the story. A real winner!

Renee (Parr library)


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The Mouse Who Reached the Sky by Petr Horacek

May 31, 2016

mousewhoWhen Little Mouse sees something red and shiny in a tree, she tries to get it down but is unable to reach it. She goes to ask her friend Mole to help but they still can’t attain the necessary height. The two friends ask Rabbit to assist them and by cooperating with each other, they are able to achieve even more than their original goal. Each character imagines the red circle is something a little different.  Children can make their own guesses before the actual object is revealed at the end.  The vibrant colors used in the illustrations add to the exuberance of the story.  When these friends help each other, they succeed beyond their wildest dreams. mouse moon

Recommended for children ages 3-6.

Enjoy these two additional titles by Petr Horacek starring Little Mouse.

new house for moue



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Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

May 27, 2016

By Chris Grabenstein


Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.
Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.
In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience. (taken from Goodreads)

This fun, entertaining book has many elements that engage the reader. I enjoyed all aspects of this story. The clues and puzzles are cleverly done and the children have rewards and consequences for their actions.

This is a great book for older elementary age kids, who will have an opportunity to discuss the book in our ‘Tween You and Me Book Club at Parr Library this summer.  You can find more information about the book club, and other great summer events at the library here

Happy reading!

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