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, December 6, 2019

Catch Up on the Podcast

CATCH UP ON THE PODCAST:

A new episode of the podcast is available now on iTunes and Spreker.

Start at the SHOW NOTES page and listen to our favorite 30 books from August and September. We found some cute new board books with interactive parts, a couple of new Christmas picture books, several non-fiction gems for all ages and novels of all sorts of genres and age levels.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Silly Lullaby by Sandra Boynton - ADVISABLE


Silly Lullaby by Sandra Boynton.  BOARD BOOK Little Simon (Simon and Schuster), 2019.  $6.  

BUYING ADVISORY: PRE-K – ADVISABLE  

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE  

A little bear is getting ready for bed.  He has his pajamas, stretches his arms, and snuggles on his dad’s lap for a night-time song.  The father bear proceeds to sing a mixed-up silly song and baby bear falls asleep.  

I love Boynton’s illustrations and silly antics.  The mixed-up lullaby is weird enough to make young readers laugh and the bright colors will appeal to young readers.  There are better Boynton books out there-Red Hat, Green Hat is our family favorite, but if you have Boynton fans, they will appreciate this read as well.  

Reviewer, C. Peterson.

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan - ESSENTIAL


The Last Olympian (The Olympians, #5) by Rick Riordan illustrated by Orpheus Collar and Antoine Dode, 128 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL  Disney Hyperion, 2019.  $22  

Content: Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG.  

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS – ESSENTIAL  

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH  

Percy and his friends are gathering to fight a big battle against Kronos.  As Percy tries to figure out more about Luke (who Kronos is inhabiting his body), he learns about Luke’s prophecy from Luke’s mother. Percy learns about the true hero of the prophecy and is surprised to learn that it isn’t him.  As the monsters gather behind Kronos, Percy gathers his friends and they can stave off Kronos, receiving accolades from the Greek gods. 

I love the Olympian series because of the perfect blend of action and character development.  This graphic novel stays true to the story and I enjoyed the amazing illustrations.  If you have readers who like Percy Jackson, this graphic novel series is fantastic.  

Reviewer, C. Peterson.

Ember and the Ice Dragons by Heather Fawcett - ADVISABLE

Ember and the Ice Dragons by Heather Fawcett, 368 pages.  Balzer and Bray (Harper), 2019. $17.

Content: G (some danger)

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Ember, 12yo, knows that she really sin’t a girl, but she has to keep her dragon nature secret.  It is getting harder and harder, though, to suppress her fire sparks at the magic school at which her human father works. When her reclusive aunt invites Mina to visit her in Antarctica at her ice dragon research station, Ember and her father agree it may be safer for her there. But she can’t escape her own nature even there. Dragons have been spotted and the prince, the heir, of the land has arrived to eradicate them.  Ember is determined to stop him no matter what.  

Of the three middle grade dragon books I read lately, this is my favorite. Ember’s situation has the spark of the unusual that propels it above the others.  She is a tough cookie who perseveres and the secondary characters add a lot of interest to the reading.

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Spark by Sarah Beth Durst - ADVISABLE

Spark by Sarah Beth Durst, 320 pages. Clarion (Houghton Mifflin), 2019. $18.

Content: G (some danger)

BUYING ADVISORY: EL - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

The country of Alorna enjoys perfect weather every day, aided by the storm beasts and their riders. Mina’s family is certain her egg will hatch to be one of the gentler beats - wind, rain, sun, or snow.  But in her secret heart, Mina wants a lighting beast. Which is just what hatches. But even when she and her beast are off to train at the Mytris Lightning School, Mina’s self-doubt hinders her, her beast, and her group mates.  When a training exercise goes awry because of Min’s insecurities, she stumbles upon an incredible and dangerous secret about the hidden costs of their beautiful weather.  Can she get anyone to listen to her —- in time?!

Spark is similar to many middle grade fantasy books.  It absolutely a fine read, it just doesn’t contain that magic quality that makes it great. You should certainly get this in paperback for schools with large groups of fantasy readers — or even a few voracious ones.

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Owen at the Park by Scot Ritchie- ADVISABLE


Owen at the Park by Scot Ritchie. PICTURE BOOK. Groundwood Books, 2019. $18. 9781773061672

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL:MEDIUM

Owen loves to go to the park where his father works.  Most of the time being at the park is boring.  At times Owen helps with sweeping or raking.  Once a week there is one exciting job and today Owen’s father is going to allow him to do all by himself! The job can be difficult at times and takes Owen out off his comfort zone, but he is ready and willing to give it a try.  Read this beautifully illustrated book by Scot Ritchie to find out what is in store for not only Owen but all the patrons at the park!

The illustrations in Owen at the Park are unique and detailed.  From little bits of food left on a paper plate to Owen’s dog grabbing a drink in the lake, there is nothing left out.  The expressions on Owen’s face as he attempts to execute his big job are priceless.  Hours can be spent simply looking at and discussing the artwork. After reading the Author’s Note at the end of the book I realize where the story originated.  Up until that point the story was a less exciting than I had anticipated based on the incredible illustrations. 

Reviewer: SL

Monday, November 18, 2019

Dragonfell by Sarah Prineas - OPTIONAL

Dragonfell by Sarah Prineas, 272 pages. HarperCollins, 2019. $17.

Content: G

BUYING ADVISORY: EL - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

When two strangers walk into Rafi’s village with thinly veiled threats against Rafi’s father and his weaving loom, a mysterious accident injures one of the strangers. Then, Mr. Flitch, the owner of a wearing factory in the city arrives, accusing Rafi of being “dragon-touched”, insisting that Rafi surrender to him.  Instead, Rafi runs away and is befriended by Maud, who seems to know much more that’s Rafi.  Together the two search for answers and maybe for — dragons!

Prineas writes a fun, light dragon story with enough action and adventure to please young readers.  

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

The Girl Who Sailed the Stars by Matilda Woods - OPTIONAL

The Girl Who Sailed the Stars by Matilda Woods. 260 pages. Philomel Books (Penguin), 2018. $17                        

Content: G 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

On the night Oona Britt was born the whole town was excitedly waiting. Her dad, a famous sea captain, had been promised a strong son after seven girls. However, Oona Britt was a girl anyway. She was not wanted by her parents or her sisters. they all just tried to forget she was there. Small for her age, unwanted and unloved she wanted to just like her dad; strong and fearless and a sea captain going on whale hunts in the great north. Oona sneaks aboard her dad's ship all ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Her dad is furious when he finds out and her bravery is tested almost right away. 

Oona Britt's story is full of adventure, hardships and even magic. Kindness and acceptance comes from the most unexpected place. I enjoyed this book and it was a fast read. I felt for Oona having to fend for herself. My heat ached every time she was rejected and I felt her joy when she finally found what she was looking for. I will book talk this book and I hope the students at my school will enjoy it, too."            

Ellen-Anita, Librarian                                               
   

Sunday, November 17, 2019

And then the seed grew by Marianna Dubuc -OPTIONAL


And then the seed grew by Marianna Dubuc.  PICTURE BOOK. Kids Can Press, 2019. $18. 9781525302077

BUYING ADVISORY:  EL (K-3) -OPTIONAL
AUDIENCE APPEAL: MEDIUM

In a small section of earth, there lives a number of creatures. A gnome family lives in a little house above and below lives a mole and a mouse family. When a seed falls and starts growing it disrupts all of their lives. As its roots grow it effectively destroys the underground homes, but they all come together for repairs and to move the little family. Eventually they are fed up and decide to cut the plant down. But one little creature speaks up in the plants defense.

A nice little story about a community coming together, weathering change together and appreciating the surprise life has to offer. The pages are fun to look at with lots of little details and things going on. Not a book to share for story time, as the images needed to follow the story are quite small, as you look at the overall picture of the little community. The illustrations are cute and bright. The cover isn’t very appealing and the story moves slowly, so it might not receive many checkouts.

Reviewer: Stephanie MLS & Author.

Save It! by Cinders McLeod –OPTIONAL


Save It! by Cinders McLeod. PICTURE BOOK. Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin), 2019. $17. 9781984812407

BUYING ADVISORY:  EL(K-3) - OPTIONAL
AUDIENCE APPEAL: MEDIUM

Honey is Bunny who is sick of her loud little siblings. She wants her own house, but that’s way too expensive. With the help of her dad she learns that she can save money (carrots) for her own playhouse, if she works hard and doesn’t spend it on little things. Features large and bright illustrations.

Who doesn’t want their child to be one that saves money? That being said the story is fairly linear and a bit contrived, there are no setbacks, or plot. Feels like a book adults wrote for kids to learn a lesson outright. Almost just like telling them about saving, which you could do without a book. Children reading stories know this, that’s why stories in ELA books feel so fake and irritating to read, they weren’t written as a story that happened to have lessons,  they were written as a lesson story.

Reviewer: Stephanie MLS & Author.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Rainbow Rangers: Rockin' Rainbow Colors by Summer Greene- ADVISABLE


Rainbow Rangers: Rockin' Rainbow Colors
by Summer Greene. BOARD BOOK. Imprint, 2019. $10.  9781250190345

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K. EL (K-3)- ADVISABLE
AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

Rainbow Rangers fans will love learning their colors in this superhero board book! Each Rainbow Ranger highlights a different color.  Rosie Red, Lavender LaViolette, and Bonnie Blueberry and just a few of the superhero’s found in Rainbow Rangers: Rockin' Rainbow Colors. The Rainbow Rangers are sent to on a mission to save the earth! This tabbed board book is a great introduction to colors. 

Choosing to add tabs to Rainbow Rangers: Rockin' Rainbow Colors is a brilliant idea.  Little fingers will love turning the pages to their favorite Rainbow Rangers or favorite colors.  The colors are stunning and very bold.  The text is simple and fun.  The illustration of each of the Rangers is detailed and delightful.  Rainbow Rangers: Rockin' Rainbow Colors could be used in a unit on colors or to teach children at home.

Reviewer: SL

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...