Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Story of the Olympic Games by The Olympic Museum - ADVISABLE


The Story of the Olympic Games
by The Olympic Museum
, 93 pages. NONFICTION. Welbeck, 2020. $23.

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

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

The Olympics brings athletes and spectators together from around the world -- and has been doing so since 1896! How did this world tradition start? Who are some of the great Olympians that have competed? Let’s find out!

The variety of pictures and facts keeps readers interested as this book talks about how the Olympics have developed over time into the games we know today. Readers get to learn about the host countries, how world events have impacted the Olympics, and the examples set before us by competitors -- whether or not they have won gold medals. I loved reading through the facts, especially as some athletes became familiar to me across several Olympics which made it feel more like a story than I expected from a nonfiction book. The mature content rating is for the use of nearly nude figures used in examples of past Olympic posters and medals.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Weekend Dad by Naseem Hrab and Frank Viva - ESSENTIAL

Weekend Dad by Naseem Hrab, illustrated by Frank Viva
. PICTURE BOOK. Groundwood Books, 2020. $19. 9781773061085

 BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ESSENTIAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

During the week the boy lives with his mom; on Fridays he has to go to his dad's new place, bringing his favorite stuffed toy, Wendell. Everything is different and he only wants things to be the same. Worried his dad will be alone, he leaves Wendell in his dad's bed to comfort him. It is strange to go somewhere else to stay, but he soon realizes that where his dad lives is also his home, because his dad is there. 

 The letter Dad gives the boy at the end is a really nice touch. It is so important for children to realize that the divorce was not their fault and that mom and dad will always love him. A very dear and tender book with a good message. 

Ellen-Anita, Librarian

North & South: a tale of two hemispheres by Sandra Morris - ADVISABLE

North & South: a tale of two hemispheres by Sandra Morris
. NON-FICTION PICTURE BOOK. Candlewick, 2021. $18. 9781536204599 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Morris juxtaposes the hemispheres in a month-by-month look at a representative animal from each hemisphere. 

 The information is detailed, but each page could be read one at a time over several sittings, instead of trying to read it in one sitting. The beautiful endpapers show the location of each animal. Morris is a talented writer and illustrator. I would buy two or three copies of the book and ask the publisher for permission to make wall posters for each month; it would make a great classroom display! 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

If You Want to Knit Some Mittens by Laura Purdie Salas and Angela Matteson - ADVISABLE

If You Want to Knit Some Mittens
by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Angela Matteson
PICTURE BOOK Boyds Mills Press, October, 2021. $18 9781629795645 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

If You Want to Knit Some Mittens . . . there is so much to do to make mittens completely from scratch, starting with acquiring a sheep and letting its wool grow all winter long. Then shear the sheep, wash and card the wool, spin it and dye it - but first you will need to grow the marigolds for the color to use in the dye and learn to knit. Yes, so many steps and it will take a lot of time, but in the end you will have beautiful mittens! 

Such a clever book! I loved the illustrations and that the sheep was part of the process (more than just as the wool grower). I will certainly be showing this to my spinner friends, they will love it. Would work great in a classroom as well, because there's more to farming that vegetables.

Lisa Librarian

The New Kid Has Fleas by Ame Dyckman and Eda Kaban - ADVISABLE

The New Kid Has Fleas
by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Eda Kaban
. PICTURE BOOK Roaring Brook Press (MacMillan), 2021. $19. 9781250245243 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

There's a new kid at school. She's different, doesn't wear shoes, plays alone. One of the kids has started a rumor that the new kid has fleas. But when the narrator is randomly assigned to work with her on a class assignment, he finds out that she has a great family with super fun little brothers and sisters (yes, they are wolves!) 

If you get to know someone, you might be surprised. I loved that the boy wasn't named (so he could be anybody) and that he wasn't afraid to work with someone new. Oh, the illustrations are great! So fun, I love that the new kid's shadow is a wolf (foreshadowing) and that she acts kinda wolfish - understandable, considering her home situation.

Lisa Librarian

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

A Life Electric: the story of Nikola Tesla by Azadeh Westergaard and Julia Sarda - OPTIONAL

A Life Electric: the story of Nikola Tesla by Azadeh Westergaard, illustrated by Julia Sarda.
NON-FICTION PICTURE BOOK. Viking (Penguin), 2021. $18. 9780593114605 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL - OPTIONAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Westergaard lays out the life of Nikola Tesla, from childhood, through the “current wars”, and even the many years he spent penniless in New York, only know as the Pigeon Charmer. 

While there is some really interesting facts presented here and the illustrations have a quirkiness to them that seem to fit Tesla’s personality, for me the book feel flat – interesting without really sparking (pun not intended) that re-reading quality. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

What Happens While You Sleep by Anna Russelmann - ESSENTIAL

What Happens While You Sleep by Anna Russelmann
. PICTURE BOOK. NorthSouth Books, 2020. $18. 9780735844469

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

Malu has had a busy day. She went to the zoo with her parents, painted and played in the yard. Mom made Malu's favorite pancakes. At bed-time Malu would rather stay up read a book and play with blocks. She finally puts on her PJ's and brushes her teeth. When she is finally in bed she can't find her favorite stuffed toy, Teddy. She can't remember where she put him down. She finally goes to sleep and all kinds of interesting things happen in her brain. 

First of all, the illustrations are amazing in this book. They are vibrant, colorful and full of motion and feelings. While Malu sleeps all kinds of things happen in her brain. Her brain goes through all that happened during the day. All the information is organized and sorted so it will be easier for Malu to remember things in the morning. The book is great and it really explains to children how important it is for their well-being to get enough sleep. I highly recommend this book! 

Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Clovis Keeps His Cool by Katelyn Aronson and Eve Farb - ADVISABLE

Clovis Keeps His Cool
by Katelyn Aronson, illustrated by Eve Farb
. PICTURE BOOK, Page Street Kids, 2021. $18. 9781645672135 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Clovis is a bull in a china shop - literally - he runs his granny's store in the town square, and he's never dropped a dish. But, he does have a temper, because he used to be a football player. One day he is visited by some rival players who tease him and try to make him mad, but Clovis remembers a breathing technique and keeps his cool. In fact, Clovis knows lots of ways to stay calm, but eventually the other bulls push him over the edge and he charges! His grandmother would be so disappointed - is it to late to make things right? 

There are so many books about Mindfulness these days, and I really like this one because Clovis is unable to manage and has to repair and refresh, rather than maintain. A great example for the reader that mindfulness is a thing we continue to practice.

Lisa Librarian

The Duck Who Didn't Like Water by Steve Small - OPTIONAL

The Duck Who Didn't Like Water
by Steve Small
. PICTURE BOOK Simon and Schuster, 2021. $18. 9781534489172 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

One rainy night, Duck discovers a hole in his roof. Popping outside for a bucket, he finds Frog who is lost, and invites him in. Looking for Frog's home, they travel together, ask other animals and end up back at Duck's house. But when Pelican drops by with the mail, he knows where Frog lives! 

Not really about a duck who doesn't like water, while that is his character traits - it's more about a duck who makes friends with a frog. That aside, the illustrations are sweet and the story is cute. Personally, I think the frog was taking advantage of the duck because he really didn't live that far away.

Lisa Librarian

Monday, September 13, 2021

13 Days of Christmas by Steven Davison, Carolyn Gardner, and Jerrod Maruyama

13 Days of Christmas by Steven Davison and Carolyn Gardner, illustrated by Jerrod Maruyama
. PICTURE BOOK. Disney Press, 2021. $13. 9781368064576 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

In homage to the 12 Days of Christmas, waltz through 13 days in Nightmare before Christmas style. 

The words fit the traditional song perfectly, making it easy to sing along, though I would probably try for a slower, more dirge-like rhythm, personally. And the illustrations bring back many favorite characters from the movie. I am going to add this to both my Halloween picture book collection and the Christmas ones. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

SNAP! Chomp Your Jaws! by Bob Barner - ADVISABLE

SNAP! Chomp Your Jaws! by Bob Barner
. BOARD BOOK, Chronicle, 2021. $15. 9781452179421 

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

5 animals are waiting to snap their jaws on unwary fingers! A short, simple board book – it feels like the springs will hold up to repeated snapping and the pages are sturdy enough to also withstand lots of wear. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Twitchy Witchy Itch by Priscilla Tey - ADVISABLE

Twitchy Witchy Itch
by Priscilla Tey
PICTURE BOOK Candlewick Press, 2021 $18 9780763689810 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

When Itch the Witch invites her friends over for tea, she is so worried that everything won't be perfect that she sweeps and dusts and sweeps some more, making sure her house is messy enough for her friends, then casts a spell just to make sure her itching and twitching (worrying) will go away. But then, when Fidget the Witch and Glitch the Witch arrive, their powers start to make things slip and slide around in Itch's house, so she casts another spell which has unintended consequences. 

The visual images in this book are so well done - Glitch the Witch makes things turn into pixels and Fidget's powers distort the colors. Told in lyrical verse, this will make a super fun Halloween read aloud.

Lisa Librarian and AJ age 5

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...