Saturday, September 14, 2019

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.

Hopefully you will like these changes and enjoy a lighter load over at Kiss the Book for your middle school and high school review needs.

ALL OF OUR REVIEWS PRIOR TO September 14, 2018 are at Kiss the Book. That's 535 board books, 5048 picture books, 532 early readers, 168 chapter books, and 4000 novels for Pre-K to Elementary students,

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Autumn Babies by Kathryn O. Galbraith

Autumn Babies by Kathryn O. Galbraith, Illustrated by Adela Pons. BOARD BOOK. Peachtree, 2018. $7. 978-1-682-63066-2

BUYING ADVISORY: PRE-K-ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Animals and babies enjoy autumn activities in nature.

This book contains a fun ABCB rhyming pattern and large, bright illustrations, but the story was not captivating.The art seemed confusing since the title states “babies”, but the illustrations appeared as toddlers. 

MOMMAC

Winter Babies by Kathryn O. Galbraith - ADVISABLE

Winter Babies by Kathryn O. Galbraith, Illustrated by Adela Pons. BOARD BOOK. Peachtree, 2018. $7. 9781682630679

BUYING ADVISORY: PRE-K - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Animals and babies enjoy winter activities in nature.

This book contains a fun ABCB rhyming pattern and large, bright illustrations, but the story was not captivating. The art seemed confusing since the title states “babies”, but the illustrations appeared as toddlers.

MOMMAC

Lu : Sometimes You Gotta Jump Anyway by Jason Reynolds - ESSENTIAL

Lu : Sometimes You Gotta Jump Anyway by Jason Reynolds218 pages. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2018 $16.99.

Language: G (0 swears, 0 'f') Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (Lots of mean bully speak) 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ESSENTIAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

Lu is learning to run hurdles - he's fast, but the hurdles throw him - or rather trip him - or stop him from jumping at all. He's Lightning Lu! Born to parents who thought they couldn't have children, plus, he's an albino - lightning struck twice in the same place. He knows he's special, but, like the others on his track team, Lu is dealing with issues. His dad is a former drug dealer, mom is expecting another "miracle" baby, and Lu can't see past the bullies or the hurdles. 

Jason Reynolds crossed the finish line on this series with style and finesse. Lu is a great voice, the message isn't heavy handed and all the problems aren't neatly solved, nor is the story completely wrapped up (just like in real life). Although there are issues (drug dealers, bullying, tough stuff) they are handled in a kid appropriate way, from the perspective of the child. I highly recommend this book, in fact the whole series for both elementary and middle school students and libraries. 

Lisa Librarian

Feelings by Libby Walden - ADVISABLE

Feelings by Libby Walden, illustrated by Richard Jones.  PICTURE BOOK. Tiger Tales, 2018.  $17.  9781680100938

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

A child explores a range of different feelings.

Walden compares each feeling to something in nature, using a distinct color palette.  The rhyming verses work well, but follow no particular meter scheme from line to line.  A good springboard to a discussion about feelings -- what they feel like, how to recognize them, how to express them.

Cindy, Middle School Librarian

Ballpark Mysteries: Subway Series Surprise by David A. Kelly - ADVISABLE


Ballpark Mysteries: Subway Series Surprise (Ballpark Mystery Super Special, #3) by David A. Kelly, illustrated by Mark Meyers, 120 pages.  A Stepping Stone Book (Random House), 2018.  $13.  

Content: Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: G  

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE  

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH  

Mike and Kate are in New York to watch a series of baseball games called the Subway Series between the Mets and the Yankees.  They receive a mysterious letter that challenges them to find the person who wrote it, they also have to solve the mystery of where Kate’s mom’s research notes went and last they need to figure out who was playing Yankee pranks in the Mets stadium.  Mike and Kate use their sleuthing skills to solve all the mysteries and at the same time enjoy the Subway Series ballgames.  

My eight-year-old loves baseball and he loves reading this series.  Kelly does a good job of mixing baseball facts and descriptions of the baseball games with the mystery.  There are little illustrations throughout that break up the chapters and help new readers visualize the story.  This book and all of the Ballpark Mysteries books are great additions if you have sports fans.  

C. Peterson           

Prince Harry & Meghan: Royals for a New Era by Jill Sherman - ADVISABLE

Prince Harry & Meghan: Royals for a New Era by Jill Sherman, 48 pages. NONFICTION. Lerner Publications, 2019. $32. 9781541539457. 


Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: G

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: EL, MS - AVERAGE

This is a short informational/biographical text of Prince Harry of Wales and his now-wife, US-born Meghan Markle. Basic information is covered about both of them--with more emphasis on Harry than Meghan--and colorful photographs illustrate every step of the way. The book ends with their royal 2018 wedding. The back of the book has a timeline, source notes, and a basic index and bibliography.

This was a great nonfiction biography at a perfect level for upper elementary and middle school readers. Those who are interested in this famous royal couple (and who isn't?!) will get the basic info they want; the numerous pictures are appropriate and add a nice touch. I liked the writing style and overall feel like this is a good fit for any library's informational text collection.

Reviewer: TC

Small Walt and Mo the Tow by Elizabeth Verdick - ADVISABLE


Small Walt and Mo the Tow by Elizabeth Verdick, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal.  PICTURE BOOK Paula Wiseman Book (Simon and Schuster), 2018.  $18.  9781481466608  

BUYING ADVIORY: EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE  

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE  

Walt is a little plow who is driven by Gus.  While out clearing the roads, they see a car slide on the slick road and end up in a ditch.  Gus calls a tow truck named Mo, with his driver Sue and together they pull the car out of the ditch.  Walt clears a way and the tow truck follows along and so does the car that had been pulled from the ditch.  

The illustrations are really what makes this cute book work.  This is great for those who like to see how trucks work.  Mo and Walt are adorable and the story is simple and interesting.  

C. Peterson

I Don't Want to go to Sleep by Dev Petty - OPTIONAL


I Don’t Want to go to Sleep by Dev Petty, illustrated by Mike Boldt.  PICTURE BOOK Doubleday (Random House), 2018.  $17.  9781524768966  

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE  

Frog does not want to go to sleep for the winter.  He wants to go ice skating, take naps by the fire and play.  However, as Owl nicely explains, frogs freeze in the cold temperatures.  Frog convinces all of his friends to burrow in the mud with him so he can go to sleep.  

This is a cute story about not wanting to hibernate.  I was very interested to learn that frogs burrow into the mud to sleep out the cold weather, but when I researched a little further I think this book has a faulty explanation.  The explanation in the book says that frogs sink to the bottom of ponds and burrow into the mud, but the internet explains that they only burrow into the mud, or if they are aquatic they only sleep at the bottom of ponds.  They don’t do both.  Anyway, that made the book optional for me.  The illustrations are bright and attractive and I think kids will want to pick this book up.  

C. Peterson

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner - ADVISABLE


Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner, 334 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL  Simon and Schuster, 2018.  $22.  

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

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS – ADVISABLE  

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH  

AJ really likes a girl named Nia Winters, but he feels like he is too boring for a cool girl like Nia.  AJ can tell that Nia is interested in vampires, so to make himself more interesting to Nia, he starts to alter his appearance in an attempt to look more like a vampire.  When AJ and Nia get paired together for a project, they both realize they have a lot in common and become friends.  What AJ doesn’t know is that Nia is a vampire slayer and she has been noticing his changes, so in a funny twist AJ has to convince Nia to like him for himself.  

This graphic novel was a fun quick read which was totally enjoyable. The humor added to the creative story about being true to ourselves and not changing for other people.  The illustrations are bright and attractive and the cover will grab reader’s attention.  

C. Peterson

How We Got To Now: Six Innovations That Made The Modern World by Steven Johnson - ESSENTIAL

How We Got To Now: Six Innovations That Made The Modern World by Steven Johnson, 152 pages. NON-FICTION. Viking (Penguin), 2018. $20

Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: PG; Violence: G.

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS, HS - ESSENTIAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

This book is a young reader adaptation from a New York Times bestseller and covers the discoveries and innovations surrounding glass, cold, sound, cleanliness, time, and light. Each chapter covers one of these topics and includes a comprehensive history with the logistical details embedded in the timeline. The chapters also contain a number of photographs and illustrations. There are a lot of attention grabbing anecdotes in each section.  

My entire family loved this book. We jumped around the book, each taking a turn picking a topic, and learned a lot in the process. One of the anecdotes that we have retold to other people we read in the chapter on light and it tell the story of how whale oil was used to make cheaper candles. To get the oil, or spermaceti, they had to send a small person, often a child, inside the body of the whale to scoop out gallon after gallon of the substance. Gross. This would be a fun informational text to read aloud in a science, history, or English classroom.        


Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher

Squares, Rectangles, and other Quadrilaterals by David A. Adler - OPTIONAL

Squares, Rectangles, and other Quadrilaterals by David A. Adler, illustrated by Edward Miller. PICTURE BOOK. Holiday House, 2018. $19. 97808234337597

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

The narrator, implied to be a dog and a cat, talk to the reader, directing them to look and point at different parts of the illustrations. The illustrations and text explain terms like “quadrilateral” and “vertex” and use these to teach how the degrees in a square add up to 360. At the end of the text there are several hands on activities explained that support the ideas in the book. 

I struggled with this book because the illustrations are so young looking, but the ideas seem quite advanced. I’m sure a teacher could guide young readers through this text, but I don’t think a young reader would get much out of it alone.  


Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher

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 ...