Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Marveltown by Bruce McCall - ESSENTIAL


Marveltown by Bruce McCall. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008. PICTURE BOOK. 


This town of inventors and genius is rather unique! From sky skiing to 80 MPH car washes, this futuristic town is truly a marvel. Everything goes smoothly until a mouse chews through some wires and scrambles the robots in the town into thinking that they are supposed to crush Marveltown. With adults out of ideas on what to do, it’s up to the town’s children to figure out to save their town. 

The pictures are wonderful and realistic in this book. The text is simple, but fun to read. Overall, this book is a great read aloud for adults to share with their children, a teacher to read to their students, or for a non-reader to enjoy the pictures. 

Reviewer: Kira, Children's Librarian-HUN Public Library

Secret Spies by Adrienne Mason - ADVISABLE

Secret Spies by Adrienne Mason. Kids Can Press, Inc., 2008. EARLY READER. 


When Lu and Clancy find a map labeled “Top Secret” and note written in code in their Aunt Izzy’s truck, they go on a spy adventure to try and find out if their aunt is a spy. What they find out will surprise them, though. 

A fun, easy reader for those who are around the middle level of easy readers. Fun story, easy to read, and illustrations that supplement the text well. 

Reviewer: Kira, Children's Librarian-HUN Public Library 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat by Muriel Harris Weinstein - OPTIONAL

When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat by Muriel Harris Weinstein. Chronicle Books, 2008. PICTURE BOOK. 


Follow the main character as she learns how to scat from her mom and then Louis Armstrong, the master himself. Follow her as she dreams about scat, dances scat, and even teaches some others how to scat. 

Fun illustrations, but they do not supplement text well. Text is hard to follow and a little confusing. Would work well in a classroom setting with a teacher who is trying to teach the students about the different types of music or about rhythm. 

Reviewer: Kira, Children’s Librarian, HUN Public Library.

Elliot's Park: The Walnut Cup by Patrick Carman - OPTIONAL

Elliot’s Park: The Walnut Cup by Patrick Carman, 80 pages. Scholastic, Inc., 2009. CHAPTER BOOK. 


The Walnut Cup, the only American Stop on the World Squirrel Soccer League tour has come to Elliot’s Park this year. Everyone is excited to try and win the cup. In order to play however, the home team has to provide a perfectly round walnut or neither team gets to play in the tournament. The only problem is, perfectly round walnuts are hard to find and the one Elliot found has gone missing. Now he and his friends must find the walnut before the tournament ends or they won’t be able to play. 

Fun story, the periodic illustrations are done well. The text is a little too simple for the target audience of 2 to 3 grade, but does not detract from the story itself. Great reluctant reader story for soccer and animal lovers alike. May also wish to buy other books in series. 

Reviewer: Kira, Children’s Librarian, HUN Public Library. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pillage by Obert Skye - ADVISABLE

Skye, Obert. Pillage. 312 pages. Shadow Mountain, 2008.

Language: G, Violence: PG, Sexual Content: G.


When Beck Phillips’ mom dies, he is sent to live in Kingsplot with his eccentric uncle who spends most of his time in a tower. As time goes on, Beck discovers that dragons really do exist and live within the grounds of his uncle’s house. He also discovers that not everyone in his uncle’s house or the surrounding areas can be trusted. With the help of some friends and an ability to make things grow, Beck must discover who he can really trust and how to stop the dragons from destroying the town of Kingsplot.

Not a real fast action story until towards the end, but the author does a great job of keeping you wanting to turn the page. His mystery will enthrall readers and keep them wanting to know Beck’s family’s past has as well as wondering what characters can be trusted. A great story for mystery and fantasy lovers alike.

Review: Kira-Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library

Berkeley's Barn Owl Dance by Tera Johnson - ADVISABLE

Berkeley’s Barn Owl Dance by Tera JohnsonKids Can Press, 2008. PICTURE BOOK.


Berkeley is an owl who comes from a family who loves to dance. When it’s time for her to find a place of her own, however, she longs for a friend that can dance with her. Text and illustrations work well together. The story is fun and heartwarming. Good read-aloud book for preschoolers and kindergartners.

Reviewer: Kira, Children’s Librarian, HUN Public Library. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bee-Wigged by Cece Ball - ADVISABLE


Bee-Wigged by Cece Bell. Candlewick Press, 2008. PICTURE BOOK.


Jerry is a big bee who longs to have friends, but when people see him, they run away, because he is such a big bee. With the help of a wig, Jerry starts going to school and making friends. He soon realizes, however, that being yourself is the best way to make friends.

Cute illustrations, cheesy, fun text. Extremely cheesy, but a good read aloud to read to young children who are learning about friends and being yourself.

Reviewer-Kira, Youth Services Librarian-HUN Public Library.

Magic Lilly and The First Magic Spell - ESSENTIAL

Lilly and the First Magic Spell by Magic Knister. Penguin Young Readers Group. EARLY READER.


Lilly finds a magic book and becomes a witch. On her first spell, she turns her brother’s ears into animal ears. To make matter worse, his ears change with every animal mentioned. On top of that, the witch whose book Lilly has is looking for it. Will she be able to change her brother’s ears back to normal before her mom comes back? Will the witch find out Lilly has her book?

A cross between an easy reader and an early chapter book, this book will be great for helping kids transition into chapter books. With colorful illustrations and fun and easy text, this book is a have must in your library’s collection.

Reviewer: Kira-Youth Services Librarian-HUN Public Library.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Someone for Mr. Sussman by Patricia Polacco - ADVISABLE

Someone for Mr. Sussman by Patricia Polacco. Philomel Books, 2008.


Jerome’s bubbie(grandmother) is a matchmaker. She has been successful in making many matches, except for Mr. Sussman. The reader soon finds out, however, that Mr. Sussman’s perfect match may be the one right in front of his eyes. With funny ways of trying to get this man to notice her, bubbie soon becomes frustrated and sick of trying to get Mr. Sussman to notice her. She’ll soon find out, however that, “No pot is so crooked that there isn’t a lid to fit it(last page of the book).

True to the plot and illustrations of previous Polacco’s books, this book in itself would be worth buying. The funny story and interesting observation Jerome makes about his bubbie’s attitude, however, are priceless. A great book to add to any collection.

Reviewer: Kira, Youth Services Librarian-HUN Public Library.

The Tale of Two Mice by Ruth Brown - ADVISABLE


The Tale of Two Mice by Ruth Brown. Candlewick Press, 2008. PICTURE BOOK.


Bo and Billy have gone in search of food, but Billy is scared of what is out there in the big house. Through adventure and bravery, the two are able to get more food, but they’re in for a surprise! 

Great story about bravery. Beautiful illustrations and fun lift-the-flaps. Kids will enjoy reading this story or having it read aloud to them.

Reviewer-Kira, Youth Services Librarian-HUN Public Library

Friday, February 13, 2009

Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems - ESSENTIAL

Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems. EARLY READER. Hyperion, 2008.


In this story, Gerald, the usually cautious and pessimistic elephant reverses roles with Piggie who is usually optimistic and sometimes reckless. When Piggie is sad and disappointed about the rain, Gerald saves the day. As Piggie says, “Elephants make the best friends!”

Mo Willems has done it again with his newest title in the Elephant & Piggie series. His endearing characters take their place alongside “Frog and Toad” in this sure to be classic beginner reader series.

Janell Pearce-Mattheus, Youth Services Librarian, Whitmore Library.

Chester's Back! by Melanie Watt - ADVISABLE


Watt, Melanie Chester’s Back!, Kids Can Press, 2008. PICTURE BOOK


Fans of Chester will like this sequel. Chester the cat again takes over the telling of the story interrupting the author by re-writing and drawing with his red marker. The use of color and font to indicate the speakers adds clarity to this story-within-the-story where Chester is determined to be the star with surprising and hilarious results.

The little gray mouse is back as is the fun and silliness of the first book. Elementary children will enjoy this clever story which could also be used to teach writing, characterization and voice.

Janell Pearce-Mattheus, Youth Services Librarian, Whitmore Library.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Footprints in Time by Petru Popescu - ADVISABLE

 Popescu, Petru Footprints in Time, 245 p. Laura Geringer Books (Harper).

Content: G


When Jack goes to visit his dad, who studies lions, at his research center, his dad takes him on a lion tagging trip in the crater (which is surrounded by high speed, dangerous winds). But when the plane crashes, he is the only survivor, and he will have to survive in the wild with only a mysterious, ape-like stranger to help him.

This was a pretty good book, drawing on the classic survival story. However, I enjoyed the twist on that, and I would refer this book to anyone who likes survival stories.

Student Reviewer: RG

Monday, February 2, 2009

Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston - ESSENTIAL

Weston, Robert Paul Zorgamazoo, 192 pgs Razorbill

Language~G, Sexual Content~G; Violence~G


“Are You a Believer in Fanciful Things? In Pirates and Dragons and Creatures and Kings?
Then sit yourself down in a comfortable seat, with maybe some cocoa and something to eat, and I’ll spin you the tale of Katrina Katrell, a girl full of courage (and daring, as well!), who down in the subway, under the ground, saw something fantastical roaming around . . .
What was it she saw? I’d rather not say. (Who’s ever heard of a Zorgle, anyway?)
But if you are curious, clever and brave, if intrepid adventure is something you crave, then open this book and I’ll leave it to you to uncover the secret of ZORGAMAZOO!” 

In a zany book that begs. . . no screams to be read aloud! In complete verse, like the product description above, Weston has created a novel that rivals Dr. Seuss’s tongue twisters and Roald Dahls odd characters and is almost 200 pages long. This is the story of a girl, Katrina Katrell, and a Zorgle named Morty who fate throws together in an adventure to save the Zorgels of Zorgamazoo. Readers will delight in Weston’s ingenious use of language and his brilliant rhythmic verse. A must read-a-loud for all!

Allison Madsen~Teen Librarian-SJO Public Librarian

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...