Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Seekers by Hari and Deepti - OPTIONAL

The Seekers: The Legend of the Silver Fox and the Fire Wolf by Hari and Deepti.  PICTURE BOOK.  Knopf (Random), 2019.  $19. 9781524701529

BUYING ADVISORY: EL - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Mio and Nao and brave gatherers for their small village.  When something goes wrong with their food and water supply, the pair lead an expedition to find the source of the trouble.

The illustrations in this book are GORGEOUS! Each jumps of the page with glowing colors.  The environmental message is quite heavy-handed, however.  There are good factual picture books about this topic already, like Moth and Wasp, Soil and Ocean by Sigrid Schmalzer or Lily William’s If Sharks Disappeared, that I would use first. But you can’t beat those illustrations!

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Snack Attack by Terry Border – OPTIONAL

Snack Attack by Terry Border. PICTURE BOOK. Philomel, 2019. $18  9781524740115

BUYING ADVISORY: EL(K-3) - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

This book features three snacks who discover their days are numbered, they will be eaten as snack time by a monster child. They wildly try to come up with survival plans, like hiding and more. Will they survive?

A darkly funny story with memorable characters, a horror version of his other food books. It would be fun for younger readers to brainstorm how the snacks could get away and what their favorite snacks are. The ending is a surprise that is both fun and well, dark. The illustrations are dark and grim and a bit creepy. Save this book for 1-2 graders who are brave.

Reviewer: Stephanie MLS & Author

If Pluto Was a Pea by Gabrielle Prendergast –ADVISABLE

If Pluto Was a Pea by Gabrielle Prendergast.  PICTURE BOOK. McElderry Books (Simon), 2019. $18. 9781534404359

BUYING ADVISORY:  EL(K-3) - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

This book is a size that repeats the phrase “if Pluto was a pea” then gives an example for all of the planets and the sun and moon, one by one. For example Saturn would be a pumpkin and so on. The illustrations are simple and feature two children and a host of little animals.

Well, this book is full of nice real life objects like food and beach balls as comparisons for planets, which students will relate to and it could easily be made into a hands on lesson for students. The illustrations are nicely made in harmonious colors.

Reviewer: Stephanie MLS & Author

Nature Has Spots by Katie Peters - OPTIONAL

Nature Has Spots by Katie Peters, 15 pages. EARLY READER. NON-FICTION. Lerner, 2019.  $17. 9781541558489

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Meet six animals which all have spots.  Change the animal at the end of the introductory sentence.  A simple, quick way to introduce more difficult words to a beginning reader.  The photographs will help them with the new word of each page. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Elephant by Peter Carnavas - ADVISABLE

The Elephant by Peter Carnavas, 164 pages. CHAPTER BOOK. Pajama Press, 2020. $18.

BUYING ADVISORY: EL - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Olive has watched the big, grey elephant follow her dad around all the time, and she wishes the elephant would just go away. When Olive’s friend Arthur helps give Olive an idea, she’ll need a lot of help to carry out her plans.

The imagery and simple, child view of this story are amazing. I love how Carnavas illustrates sadness and happiness in a clear and uncomplicated way. While solutions to sadness and challenges might now always be overcome by one event, I think Olive’s attitude and approach to cheering others up should be spread to people everywhere. Olive is an inspiring girl, and I found the charming illustrations to be the perfect complement to her story.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo - ADVISABLE

How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo, 216 pages. NON-FICTION. Workman Publishing, 2019. $20.

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

BUYING ADVISORY: ADULTS - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Paul and Russo go through the stages of human development -- book style. These women, with lots of personal and professional experience, give tips, tricks, and book suggestions to be used with the beloved children around you of any age.

While this book’s primary purpose is being informative, it’s easy to read with its conversational tone, and it’s full of great ideas to implement -- and even tweak to make your own! The suggestions made can be used as a guide and a springboard to meet the needs of individual children and unique families. I only mark this book as “optional” and “low appeal” because I don’t think teenagers are the most interested audience for this book.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill - ADVISABLE

The Tea Dragon Festival (Tea Dragon #2) by Katie O’Neill, 131 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL. Oni Press, 2019. $16.

Content: G

BUYING ADVISORY: EL - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

When Rinn stumbles upon a sleeping dragon and accidentally wakes him up, their first reaction is to run. But, as Rinn and the dragon Aedhan start to become friends, they come to see the best in each other, aiding each other in their desires to belong.

Rinn's story is gentle and floats along like a dream. While Rinn and Aedhan’s experiences don’t have a lot of action, the story is compelling because of the heart -- the characters are easy to love and support. For me, the best part was being a beholder of the marvelous illustrations.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

The Brave Princess and Me by Kathy Kacer - ADVISABLE

The Brave Princess and Me by Kathy Kacer, 32 pages. PICTURE BOOK. Second Story Press, 2019. $19.

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Tilde and her mother are Jews trying to hide from the Nazi who would hurt them during World War II. After nearly being discovered at their last hiding spot, Tilde’s mother knocks on the door of their last hope -- Princess Alice’s door.

Kacer was able to simplify this incident based on a true event in such a way that children will understand the urgency and fear without going into a lot of the Holocaust's horrors. Tilde and Princess Alice’s story shared here gives an uplifting message and encourages readers to help others. I found the illustrations to complement the story wonderfully, though I was a little confused by the random white auras that seem random and out of place in several of the pictures.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Gift that I Can Give by Kathie Lee Gifford - ADVISABLE

The Gift that I Can Give by Kathie Lee Gifford, 32 pages. PICTURE BOOK. Tommy Nelson (Thomas Nelson), 2018. $14.

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

This little girl simply wants to know what gift God has given her. What gift can she share with those around her? How will she know?

A simple question that helps kids talk about God and our role in His plan. I think the message is a good one, and Gifford made the cute story rhyme, making it more enjoyable and memorable to read. The illustrator and author both put this book together in a way that is appealing to kids and their religious parents.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

Welcome to Mandarin Chinese with Sesame Street - ADVISABLE

Welcome to Mandarin Chinese with Sesame Street. PICTURE BOOK NON-FICTION.  Lerner, 2019.  $28 (HC) $7 (PB). 9781541574960

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

The entire Sesame Street gang introduces the reader to the look of and pronunciation of simple words in Mandarin Chinese.

Just looking at the Sesame Street characters is always fun. A couple of word bubbles don’t have translations, which is a bit frustrating.  And some of the pronunciations are a bit complicated. Lerner is usually so good about web content – I wish there were a website for this series to help with the actual sounds. Otherwise, I would love to have this entire series to share with kids to learn together. There are more books in the series – while they are similar, they are thankfully not identical.

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

The Dessert That Wouldn’t Wobble by Angela Mitchell and Sarah Horne - OPTIONAL

The Dessert That Wouldn’t Wobble by Angela Mitchell, illustrated by Sarah Horne.  EARLY READER.  Lerner, 2019.  $28 (HC), $8 (PB).  9781541542327

Content: G 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: LOW

Princess Lolly is 89 years old and she wants a wobbly dessert for her birthday.  No one can get the angry dessert until the youngest guests suggest they add ice cream.

While some might find it funny to anthropomorphize the dessert and carry on a conversation with it before you eat it, I was not amused.

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Big Grassland Animals by Katie Peters - OPTIONAL

Big Grassland Animals by Katie Peters, 15 pages. EARLY READER. NON-FICTION. Lerner, 2019.  $17. 9781541558625

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Peters uses a very short, simple sentence to introduce 6 animals of the African savannah.  Early readers will enjoy seeing the photographs and changing the animal name at the end of each sentence.

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...