Monday, September 14, 2020

Welcome to Kiss the Book Jr.!

Welcome! Kiss the Book Jr. is for board books, picture books, early readers, and chapter books.  Also, any novels and non-fiction that we agree are specifically Pre-K - 6 related.

Go to the original blog at  Kiss the Book for your middle school and high school review needs.

Friday, July 31, 2020

The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo! by Elaine Bicknell and Raymond McGrath - ADVISABLE

The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo! by Elaine Bicknell, illustrated by Raymond McGrath. PICTURE BOOK. Philomel (Penguin), 2020. $18. 9780593202159


BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K, EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE


AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE


The little ghost is wandering through the forest on the search for her boo, which has gone missing. While she might not find a book, perhaps a whoo, coo, or moo would work?


Very adorable illustrations, but the rhyming text has a variety of syllabic differences and in one place the line is split between two pages.  A cute idea, but more for someone to read on their own -- as read it aloud is a little awkward.


Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS


Binny’s Diwali by Thrity Umrigar and Nidhi Chanani - ADVISABLE

Binny’s Diwali by Thrity Umrigar, illustrated by Nidhi Chanani. PICTURE BOOK. Scholastic Press, SEPT 2020. $18. 9781338364484


BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE


AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE


Today is Binny’s turn to teach her class about a festival important to her.  She excited to share about Diwali, a part of her Hindu religion.  After a small case of stage fright, Binny and her class enjoy a nice day.


A nice look at the Festival of Lights and a talking point about getting over stage fright and being kind to students who have it. The back matter contains a good explanation of Diwali and the endpapers are beautiful.


Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS


Eleanor Makes Her Mark by Barbara Kerley and Edwin Fotheringham - ADVISABLE

Eleanor Makes Her Mark: How Eleanor Roosevelt reached out, spoke up, and changed the world by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. NON-FICTION PICTURE BOOK. Scholastic Press, OCT 2020. $19. 9780545826129


BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ADVISABLE


AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE


From the beginning of her life, Eleanor Roosevelt cared deeply about the welfare of others. When her husband, Franklin, became the president of the United States, she used her role as first lady to reach out to travel the US helping people of all sorts.


A text dense picture book perfect for a short biography project. A welcome addition to a deeper collection of biographical PBs about women.


Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS


I’m not Afraid of this Haunted House by Laurie Friedman and Teresa Murfin - ESSENTIAL

I’m not Afraid of this Haunted House by Laurie Friedman, illustrated by Teresa Murfin. Carolrhoda (Lerner), 2020. $16. 9781575057514


BUYING ADVISORY: EL - ESSENTIAL


AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH


Simon Lester Henry Strauss is NOT afraid of anything in the haunted house. But the ghouls, the scares, the icky substances can’t frighten him. But there is something that does – and I’m not telling!


Murfin’s illustrations have a high ick factor!  I’m not sure that lower elementary students can stomach this.  But older students definitely will.


Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS


Thursday, July 30, 2020

Oliver the Curious Owl by Chad Otis - ESSENTIAL

Oliver the Curious Owl by Chad Otis. PICTURE BOOK. Little Brown, 2020. $18. 9780316529877


BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K, EL (K-3) - ESSENTIAL


AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH


Like all good owl, the Owl family only ask “who”. That is until Oliver – who asks all the other questions too.  With his best friend, Bug, he explores the woods close by.  Then one day Bug is swept away down the river. Oliver gives chase and along the way asks more questions of new friends – which is a good things, because those questions are what they need to find their way back to the big tree of home.


This may be Otis’ first author/illustrator book, but it is absolutely adorable!  I am in love with Oliver – both his ball-shaped cuteness and his endearing manner.  Otis’ years as an animator really show.


Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS


Frankenstein Doesn’t Wear Earmuffs by John Loren - ESSENTIAL

Frankenstein Doesn’t Wear Earmuffs by John Loren. PICTURE BOOK. Harper, 2020. $19. 9780062941145


BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K, EL (K-3) - ESSENTIAL


AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH


“Frankenstein” is headed out on a cold, wet night – BUT – not without his galoshes, earmuffs, snacks, etc, if his parents have anything to say about it!


Another adorable Halloween book!.  And since there is almost always inclement weather on Halloween, it will resonant with children all over! The rhyming pattern works very well for a rollicking read aloud.


Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS


America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates and Wendell Minor - OPTIONAL

America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates, illustrated by Wendell Minor. PICTURE BOOK. $19. 9781623541217


BUYING ADVISORY: EL - OPTIONAL


AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE


Wendell Minor has created brand new paintings for breath-taking sites around the United States to illustrate the words of Bates enduring poem.


Minor’s old-fashioned style of illustration lend a sense of timelessness to the book. The back matter talks about the writing of the poem and of the tune. Minor also includes info about each spot in the illustrations and a map of where they are. If you need a new picture book illustrating the song, then this is a worthy choice.


Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS


A Mystery in the Forest by Susanna Isern and Daniel Montero Galan - ADVISABLE

A Mystery in the Forest by Susanna Isern, illustrated by Daniel Montero Galan. PICTURE BOOK. Cuento de Luz, SEPT 2020. $17. 9788416733927


BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3), EL - ADVISABLE


AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE


When Rabbit damages Deer’s secret foraging spot, wrecks his kitchen, and steals his recipe book, Deer could react with anger.  After thinking it over, however, he come sup with a very different, very compassionate idea.


I would love to read this aloud with groups of students.  It lends itself to some great discussion at different parts of the story with a lead up to a very deep conversation about how we choose to react in bad situations and the possibility to react with empathy. Galan’s illustrations are delightful and full of interesting details worthy of a longer look.


Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS


The Walk by Celia Sacido - OPTIONAL

The Walk by Celia Sacido. WORDLESS PICTURE BOOK. Cuento de Luz, SEPT 2020. $17. 9788416733804


BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL


AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE


An owner and dog are out for a walk.  When the owner throws a stick for fetch, the dog finds a surprise and a new friend.


The illustrations are very sweet and I love the sweep of little birds as they move across the page.  The story, however, is not particularly interesting. So a delight to look at, but without staying power.


Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Building Zaha: The Story of Architect Zaha Hadid by Victoria Tentler-Kaylov - ESSENTIAL

Building Zaha: The Story of Architect Zaha Hadid by Victoria Tentler-Kaylov. NONFICTION PICTURE BOOK. Orchard Books (Scholastic), NOV 2020. $19. 9781338282832


BUYING ADVISORY: EL – ESSENTIAL; MS - ADVISABLE


AUDIENCE APPEAL: EL, MS - AVERAGE


Zaha Hadid was born with her fascination for architecture.  Breaking stereotypes, she forged her own path to be able to design ground-breaking buildings all over the world – including being the first woman to design a museum in the US.


Fairly text dense for a picture book, but even though it is a PB, I am glad to see another focus on a woman who has contributed to the world in unique ways. Even MS can use this if they integrate bios of women amongst their varied unit themes.


Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS


Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor - ADVISABLE

Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor, 240 pages. Viking (Penguin), AUG 2020. $17


Language: PG (13 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (mild)


BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ADVISABLE


AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE


Nnamdi’s father was the chief of police in their small Nigerian town, until the day he was murdered. Nnamdi is sure that is was the Chief of Chief, the local head of all that is bad, but as a young boy, there is little he can do. Then one night he meets his father’s spirit, who gifts him with an Ikenga, an Igbo symbol of power.  Through the Ikenga, Nnamdi seems to have the power to bring bad luck to the Chief’s lackeys. But even has Nnamdi helps his town, he also feels out of control – he may not yet be old enough to wield the full power of the Ikenga.


Nnamdi’s desperation to help his mother, avenge his father’s death, and loose the hold of the thieves on his town will resonate with readers who like magical realism and against-all-odds main characters.Okorafor brings a small part of Nigerian mythology to life and introduces readers to the present-day culture of the region at the same time. As a librarian, I think it is time for me to update my world mythology books, as with the proliferation of new books based on a  wide variety of world mythology should spur a resurgence in kids wanting to learn more.


Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS


Welcome to Kiss the Book Jr.!

Welcome! Kiss the Book Jr. is for board books, picture books, early readers, and chapter books.  Also, any novels and non-fiction that we ag...