Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Deep Freeze of Bartholomew Tullock by Alex Williams - ESSENTIAL

The Deep Freeze of Bartholomew Tullock by Alex Williams, 298pgs. Philomel Books, 2008.

Content: G

EL, MS - ESSENTIAL

Pinrut has been taken over by a tyrannical ruler, Bartholomew Tullock. Bartholomew turned Pinrut into a giant glacier. Everything is covered in snow. The Breeze family have always been fan makers. Fans do not exactly come in handy in a snow covered village. Desperate, the father and their daughter, Madeline have to set out to a new area to try to sell fans. Rufus, the son, and the mother are stuck at the house. But, something goes wrong on both sides. Can anyone really escape Bartholomew's greedy, cruel hands?

This book is really adventurous and interesting to read. I was curious all the way through this book.

Student Reviewer: CW

My New Best Friend by Julie Bowe - ESSENTIAL

My New Best Friend by Julie Bowe
, 181 pgs. Harcourt, inc., 2008.

Content - G

EL-ESSENTIAL

Ida May loves to play with her new best friend, Stacey Merriweather. Things get interesting, though, when they find a special mermaid night light that seems to grant wishes and Stacey seems to be using it to tell some big lies. Can Ida stop Stacey from causing big problems but still keep their friendship?

I liked this book. They do some pretty silly things in this book that make me laugh. I would highly recommend it.

Student Reviewer: MB

Painting the WIld Frontier by Susanna Reich - ESSENTIAL

Painting the Wild Frontier: The Art and Adventures of George Catlin by Susanna Reich, 133 pages. Clarion, 2008. NON-FICTION.

EL, MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

George Catlin trekked all over the world, painting Indians of every tribe. He dedicated himself to painting the Indian tribes before they “died out”, knowing that westward expansion would wipe many of their cultures from the earth. He painted hunts and ceremonies, chiefs and women. He befriended the king of France and was the talk of London with his art exhibit, and is one of the best-known artists of the 19th century.

This is a good book. It’s very informative, and it’s interesting as well. It’s easy to understand and fun to read. It is a good resource, well organized and with a good balance of pictures and information.

Student Reviewer: RG

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Last Best Friend by Julie Bowe - ESSSENTIAL

My Last Best Friend by Julie Bowe
, 146 pgs. Harcourt (Houghton), 2007. 

Content-G

EL-ESSENTIAL

Ida May’s best friend has moved away and she promises not to make a new one. That doesn’t seem so hard with Jenna Drews running the fourth grade, until she meets the smiley Stacey Merriweather. Has she found a new friend in Stacey?

I liked this book. The characters are very fun. I love Stacey’s character.

Student Reviewer: MB

Rosetta’s Daring Day by Lisa Papademetriou - ESSENTIAL

Rosetta’s Daring Day (Disney Fairies) by Lisa Papademetriou
, 118 pages. Random House, 2009. 

Content-G

EL-ESSENTIAL

Rosetta makes a deal with Fawn that if Fawn goes to the queens fancy dinner she will spend a whole day doing whatever Fawn wants. When that day comes Rosetta is not sure that she wants to keep her promise. Can their friendship last the day?

This was a very fun book. I loved seeing their opposite personalities. It was a very silly book that made me laugh.

Student Reviewer: MB

Sneaky Weasel by Hannah Shaw - ADVISABLE

Sneaky Weasel by Hannah Shaw
. Knopf (Random), 2009. PICTURE BOOK. 

EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE

Weasel is fabulously wealthy and he knows it. He’s also very sneaky and kind of mean. When he throws himself a party to show off his possessions, no one comes. Now he is going to go out and find out why his party was a bust – but he may not like what he has to do to be the kind of person people want to hang out with.

Sneaky Weasel may seem like an unlikely character to teach the importance of being kind, but I think he is a wonderfully fun role model. There are lots of fun details in the illustrations to keep you busy even after you’ve memorized the text!

Cindy, Library-Teacher

The Dragons of Spratt Ohio by Linda Zinnen - OPTIONAL

The Dragons of Spratt, Ohio by Linda Zinnen, 232 pages. Harper Collins, 2004.

Content: G

EL, MS – OPTIONAL

John Salt loves the newborn dragons on his parents’ wildlife reserve. Nobody else really seems to care that much, but then one day his makeup scientist aunt, whom he’s never met, arrives from Paris. She’s never shown any interest in wildlife before, but now seems really interested in the dragons, and Salt gets an odd feeling about his aunt.

This was an okay book, but it was also pretty unoriginal. It was well written with decent character development, but I just couldn’t really get into it.

Student Reviewer: RG

You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! by Jonah Winter and Andre Carrilho - OPTIONAL

 
Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! by Jonah Winter and Andre Carrilho
. NON-FICTION PICTURE BOOK. Schwartz and Wade (Random), 2009. 

EL – OPTIONAL

Sandy Kofax didn’t want to be a baseball player, but the scouts kept hanging around the field where this Jewish left-hander played with his friends. After two bad seasons, Kofax finally figures out the problem and goes on to being one of the best all-time pitchers in baseball. Then, after only six years, he retires.

Winter packs a lot of information in a small package. Baseball crazy kids will be happy – as will their dads.

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chee-Lin: A Giraffe’s Journey by James Rumford - ADVISABLE

Chee-Lin: A Giraffe’s Journey by James Rumford
. PICTURE BOOK. Houghton, 2008.

EL – ADVISABLE

Hundreds of years ago, a young giraffe was captured in Africa and through many hardships was brought to the court of the emperor of China, where they believe that he is the legendary Chee-lin: a mythical character of great fortune.

This is a sweet telling of the possible life and journey of a giraffe that did live in the imperial court back in the 1400’s. It’s a beautiful book that would add flavor to a unit about China or about giraffes.

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Stanley’s Beauty Contest by Linda Bailey and Bill Slavin - OPTIONAL

Stanley’s Beauty Contest by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Bill Slavin
. PICTURE BOOK. Kids Can Press, 2009. 

 EL (K-3) – OPTIONAL

Bath or not, Stanley finds himself entered in a local dog beauty contest – competing against some of his best friends for a delicious dog bone. Try as he might, Stanley can’t seem to win a prize, so he must use his doggie smarts to get himself a piece of the action. Stanley and his friends know what is most fun – and they will talk about this day for a very long time.

Stanley and his friends are fun to watch and pretty silly to boot.

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Standing for Socks by Elissa Weissman - ADVISABLE

Standing for Socks by Elissa Weissman
, 220 pages. Atheneum (Simon), 2009. $16. 

EL, MS – ADVISABLE

Near the end of 5th grade, Fara accidentally wore two different socks to school. Now, at the beginning of 6th grade, wearing two socks has become her signature and her burden as she struggles to find her place in middle school. Fara decides to at least stay with the bit until after the 6th grade elections, as the notoriety can only help her campaign. But a bit of dirty tricks make pull the dream rug right out from under her.

I found Fara very smart and a lot of fun to get to know. Especially when she realized that being known for one thing is not always that great.

Cindy, Library-Teacher

The Mythology Handbook by Lady Hesta Evans - ESSENTIAL

The Mythology Handbook by Lady Hesta Evans
, 80 pages. 2009. 

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

EL, MS- ESSENTIAL 

This book is about Greek mythology. It’s filled with tales of mighty gods, powerful monsters and titans. It also has ancient Greek myths of heroic heroes. It’s even filled with activities and stickers. I like this book because it has a lot of information of practically all of the interesting Greek myths. I also like this book because it’s filled with adventures of mighty heroes and heroines. 

 Student Reviewer: SO.

Theodosia Throckmorton and the Staff of Osiris by R.L. LaFevers - ADVISABLE

Theodosia Throckmorton and the Staff of Osiris by R.L. LaFevers, 387 pages. Houghton Mifflin, 2008.

Language: G, Sexual Content: G, Violence: G;

EL, MS - ADVISABLE

Theodosia is in trouble again. After she returned the Heart of Egypt to the tomb, she thought the Serpents of Chaos were defeated. But now, mummies have been disappearing from museums around the city and showing up at her museum. And that's not all. She has to get to the bottom of all this before something bad happens! This book was good, and I'm a fan of the series, but I found it a little bit too complicated and convoluted. They introduced a lot of new things, sometimes for no apparent purpose. Otherwise, it was a good book and I would suggest it to anyone.

Student Reviewer: RG

Jack the Tripper by Gene Baretta - ADVISABLE

Jack the Tripper
by Gene Baretta
. PICTURE BOOK. Harcourt, 2008. 

 EL (K-3), EL – ADVISABLE 

 The students of Dizzie Day Elementary School are under siege by a mysterious tripper! He’s tripping students, taking book reports, and eating the candy for the Dizzie Day Parade. Things can’t possibly get any worse, until they do! The Dizzie Day Parade is canceled! What ever will they do? 

 This fun story is similar to the fable of the boy crying wolf with a humorous new spin! 

 Jennifer Rodriguez - YA Librarian

Pendragon: Before the War by D.J. MacHale - OPTIONAL


Pendragon: Before the War: Book One of the Travelers by D.J. MacHale, 228 pages. Aladdin (Simon), 2009. $6.99.

Content: G.

EL, MS - OPTIONAL

Peek into the lives of Vo, Gunny and Kasha before they became Travelers and met up with Bobby Pendragon.

There are three books planned in the particular series and the only thing that changes about the titles is the number - pretty unimaginative. Students will probably love them, because it gives them background knowledge of beloved characters, but none of the stories are well-developed and satisfying.

Cindy - Library Teacher.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Honey Cake by Joan Betty Stuchner and Cynthia Nugent - ADVISABLE

Honey Cake by Joan Betty Stuchner, illustrated by Cynthia Nugent
, 100 pgs. Random House, 2008

 Content G 

 EL - ADVISABLE 

 David’s older sister is part of the Danish resistance and young David also helps the cause proving his bravery. The illustrations detract from this inspirational story. 

Through this straightforward and informative story of Jews in the Danish Resistance during World War II, early chapter book readers learn what life was like under Nazi occupation in a thrilling and age-appropriate way. The faces of the young children look like adults and the sizes of the characters are very inconsistent. But this Stepping Stone Book is just right for children not yet ready for “Number the Stars”. 

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

My Mother Is Mine by Marion Bauer - ADVISABLE

My Mother Is Mine by Marion Bauer
. BOARD BOOK. Little Simon, 2004. 

 Pre-K – ADVISABLE 

 A simply beautiful book that details all the loving things that mothers do and are. Peter Elwell’s illustrations of various animal mothers and babies are soft and sweet. This sweet board book is sure to get lots of use! 

 Jennifer Rodriguez - YA Librarian

The Election-Day Disaster by Ron Roy

 
The Election-Day Disaster (Capitol Mysteries) by Ron Roy
, 87 pages. Random House, Inc. CHAPTER BOOK. 

 EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE 

 KC is one lucky girl. Her stepfather is the president of the United States and this year he is letting her have a big Halloween party at the White House. Everything goes great until the media get a hold of some pictures from the party that could cost her stepfather his re-election. It’s up to KC and her friend, Marshall to discover who is behind the pictures and why someone would want to spoil the president’s re-election. Will they be able to solve the mystery before election day or will KC find herself living somewhere other than the White House? 

 Although not as fast-paced as some of the books for this age group, this is a good, easy-to-read mystery for those who enjoyed reading the A to Z Mysteries series by this author or, in general, like this genre. Drawings are well done and do a good job of complementing the story. This book would make a great addition to any collection, especially if that collection has a large number of mystery readers. I would also recommend White House White-out by Ron Roy (a book that crosses over between the two series). 

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

The Kind of Friends We Used to Be by Frances O'Roark Dowell - ESSENTIAL

The Kind of Friends we Used to be by Francis O'Roark Dowell, 234 pages. Atheneum (Simon), 2009.

EL, MS - ESSENTIAL

Kate and Marylin have rekindled their friendship, but they are not as close as before the troubles of last year in sixth grade. Kate is going to take up guitar and decides that scary black boots is requisite for a guitar-wielding girl. Marylin is a middle school cheerleader and desperately wants to give Kate a makeover so that she will fit in better. Both girls work on their friendship, but they also find unlikely allies and unknown strength.

I did not read The Secret Language of Girls, the prequel to this title, but by the end of this bookI wanted more - I wanted to read the next book right away - and I don't even know if there will be a next book!

Cindy - Library Teacher

The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies by Jane Werner - ESSENTIAL

The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies
by Jane Werner
, 2008. 

 EL (K-3) - ESSENTIAL 

 Enter the world of fairies, pixies, mermaids, and other fantastical creatures. Learn about how they live and what mischief they like to create. 

 A good book for a little bit older group of kids who like to read about fantastical creatures. Entertaining illustrations and enchanting stories make this books a must-have for any teacher or librarian’s collection. 

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

The Snow Show by Carolyn Fisher - ADVISABLE

The Snow Show by Carolyn Fisher. Harcourt, 2008. PICTURE BOOK

EL(K-3) - ADVISABLE

Snow White and Jack Frost are the hosts of a cooking show starring a snowman named Chef Kelvin.

Science facts are included as part of the recipe for how snow is formed. The text and digital art combine to teach the processes of evaporation, deposition, application of heat (or cold), and precipitation. The dynamic and inventive art will help children used to computer graphics learn these concepts. Includes an author’s note with additional information about snow, suggested reading, a recipe for “Polar Pops” and a link to the author’s website, which features an exciting animation of snow-crystal formation and a free activity kit.

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

Friday, March 27, 2009

I’m Your Bus by Marilyn Singer and Evan Polenghi - ADVISABLE

 I’m Your Bus
by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Evan Polenghi
. PICTURE BOOK.  Scholastic Press, Inc., 2009. 

 Pre-K, EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE 

 From picking up the kids to bedtime, this bus’ work is never done. Follow him as he goes throughout his day doing his job and see what life would be like as a school bus. 

 Illustrations are well done and do a great job complementing the story. The text is easy to understand and fun to read. This book would work well for preschool and kindergarten teachers as well as children’s librarians. 

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

Return of the Emerald Skull by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell - ESSENTIAL

Return of the Emerald Skull (Barnaby Grimes) by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
, 203 pages. 2008 

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

 EL, MS- ESSENTIAL 

 Barnaby Grimes is a tick-tock lad who delivers things. The school master of Grassington hall asks if Barnaby can deliver a package to him. Barnaby delivers it, and after he delivers it he notices weird things start going on. What do you think happened? Will he be the hero? I enjoyed reading this book because it had both mystery and action in it. It was also very exciting to read. 

 Student Reviewer: SO

The Brimstone Network by Tom Sneigoski - ESSENTIAL

The Brimstone Network
by Tom Sneigoski
, 293 pages, 2008

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

 EL, MS - ESSENTIAL 

13yo Abraham, Bram for short, is hidden away in the Himalayan mountains. His dad runs a network to protect the world from paranormal monsters. His dad and his network gets killed, so when he dies his dad sends him a bizarre man named Mr. Stitch to help him. Bram is the only one left. He has to start a network before it's too late. Bram and his network also have secret powers. 

 I liked this book because the big adventure and the suspense pulls you into the book. 

Interest Level: Student Reviewer: SO.

Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell - ADVISABLE

Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell, 183 pages. Delacorte (Random), 2009.

Content: G

El, MS - ADVISABLE

Iris wants something different to happen this summer - she's tired of hot, sticky, boring. While she and her best friend are messing around in the graveyard, Iris hears a voice. Over time she begins to think that she's hearing from Elijah - a teenager who disappeared many years earlier. But if so, Elijah is very angry and has a bone to pick with Iris and her family.

Though it has lots of tension and quite a bit of danger, its portrayed without gratuity. I hope Mitchell has as many books in her head as Mary Downing Hahn or Betty Ren Wright.

Cindy - Library Teacher.

Delicious: The Life and Art of Wayne Thiebaud by Susan Goldman Rubin - ESSENTIAL

Delicious: The Life and Art of Wayne Thiebaud by Susan Goldman Rubin
, 108 pgs. NON-FICTION. Chronicle Books, 2007. 

 EL, MS - ESSENTIAL 

 This tribute to a great American artist is also a very readable biography of Thiebaud that takes him from his birth in Arizona to his Mormon childhood on a ranch in Utah, to California's Sacramento Valley. Along the way we learn how this realistic artist thinks about art, and how he goes about making it. His brightly colored images of cakes and pies and gumball machines are extrememly child friendly making the book an excellent choice for children ages 10 - 14. 

 The beautifully composed book is itself a work of art and is a must purchase especially with Thiebaud's Utah connection.

Janell Mattheus

The Black Stallion and the Shape-Shifter by Steven Farley - OPTIONAL

The Black Stallion and the Shape-shifter by Steven Farley, 263 pages. Random House, 2009. Content: G.

EL - OPTIONAL

The Black Stallion has been injured and is off to Ireland for some recuperation, A mysterious, charismatic horse along the shore has plans for the stallion.

If you have a definite horse-crazy clientele, go for it, but otherwise, the Black Stallion series doesn't draw as much of a crowd as it used to.

Cindy - Library Teacher.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Girl Who Wanted to Dance by Amy Erlich - ADVISABLE

The Girl Who Wanted to Dance by Amy Erlich
. PICTURE BOOK. Candlewick Press, 2009. 

 EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE 

 Clara likes to dance a lot. When she sees a group of dancers she can’t help but be drawn to them. She even follows their wagon. When she is with the dancers she fills very much welcome there and doesn’t want to go home. She finds a surprise there that changes her forever. 

 This was a pretty good book. It was not one of my favorites though. I found it a little bit hard to follow. I did like the plot line very much though. The pictures in this book were very beautiful. I enjoyed looking at them. 

 Student Reviewer: MB

Night of the Spadefoot Toads by Bill Harley - ADVISABLE

Night of the Spadefoot Toads by Bill Harley
, 222 pgs. Peachtree Pub. Ltd. 

Content: G 

EL, MS – ADVISABLE 

Ben has just moved from Arizona to Massachusetts and he misses his friends and the desert. He feels that Massachusetts has nothing on Arizona, and he is lonely with no friends. Then he discovers that his teacher loves wildlife too, and she has rare spadefoot toads on her property, that only come out once a year, and he begins to think Massachusetts isn’t so bad. 

 This was a good book, and it also was well-written. However, the plot was very predictable. 

 Student Reviewer: RG

Ruby’s Imagine by Kim Antieau - ESSENTIAL

Ruby's Imagine by Kim Antieau,
208 pages. Houghton Mifflin, 2008. 

 Content: G 

 EL, MS - ESSENTIAL 

 Ruby is a young girl that lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. She lives there with her grandma as Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans. Many things are being revealed about Ruby as she tries to stay safe as the hurricane hits. 

 I liked this book. I liked the description that was in it. I could really picture what was going on with Ruby at the time. It was a very interesting book to read. 

 Student Reviewer: MB

Toy Dance Party by Emily Jenkins - NO

Toy Dance Party by Emily Jenkins176 pages. Schwartz and Wade, 2008.

EL-OPTIONAL

Lumphy, Stingray, and Plastic are stuffed animals that talk. They are best friends. This book tells of all of their adventures as friends.

I did not like this book. It was very weird. The characters were very strange. I thought that this book was very dull and boring. I was not able to get in to this book.

Student Reviewer: MB

Bro by Robert Newton Peck - ADVISABLE

Bro by Robert Newton Peck
, 150 pgs. Harper Collins. 

 Content – G 

 EL, MS – ADVISABLE

 After a horrible incident on his grandfather’s ranch, Tugwell Dockery hasn’t spoken a word. His brother is in jail for smuggling liquor, and his parents die in a horrific accident. His great-aunt comes to get him, and he goes back to his grandfather’s ranch to live. When his brother Broda hears that he is back on the scene of the accident, he knows he must be with his brother. 

 This was an OK book, but it got a little bit hard to understand sometimes because they used the slang the people speaking would use. Otherwise, though, it was a great book. The characters were pretty well developed and it was a pretty good storyline. I would recommend it to anyone. 

 Student Reviewer: RG

Friendly Tales by Margaret Wise Brown - ADVISABLE

Friendly Tales by Margaret Wise Brown, 213 pages. Golden Books 2008.

EL-ADVISABLE

This book is a collection of many short stories and poems. There are many characters in this book that are doing many different things.

The characters in this book were very fun and I liked them. There were many fun stories in this book. It was kind of weird though, so I didn't like it that much.

Student Reviewer: MB

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Way of the Warrior by Andrew Matthews - ESSENTIAL

Matthews, Andrew The Way of the Warrior, 152 pgs. Dutton Children's Books.


Language: G, Sexual Content: G, Violence: G

EL - ESSENTIAL

When Jimmu was ten, his father woke him up, explained that he had dishonored the family, and then his father committed a form of suicide called seppuku. His father's samurai then told him that his father was framed and the evidence was actually forged. Jimmu was told that he must kill Lord Ankan, the one who forged it. When Jimmu grows up and goes to fulfill this task, he faces a moral dilemma. How can he kill Lord Ankan when he has taken him in and trusts him?

This was a good book, well written. It had a decent plot, and it was enjoyable. I would recommend it to anyone.

Student Reviewer: RG

Dog Lost by Ingrid Lee - ESSENTIAL

Dog Lost by Ingrid Lee197 pages. Chicken House.

Content - G

EL - ESSENTIAL

One day, Mackenzie's father brings home a pit bull puppy, and tells Mac to take care of it. Pit bulls are frowned upon as dangerous in the community, but Mac loves his dog, whom he names Cash. But Mackenzie's father has a mean temper, and one day he takes Cash away and dumps her in the middle of nowhere. Cash has to learn to survive, and Mackenzie is heartbroken.

This was a good book. I think that people who love dogs would really enjoy this book. It was a fun read, and it was pretty well written. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves animals.

Student Reviewer: RG

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Along Came Spider by James Preller - ADVISABLE

Along Came Spider by James Preller, 127 pgs. Scholastic Inc., 2008.

Content-G

EL - ADVISABLE

Spider has a friend named Trey who many think is very weird. Spider doesn't know what to do because Spider wants to be friends with Trey like they always have been, but still wants to make other friends. Others don't like Spider because he is friends with Trey. Spider has to make a decision between being friends with Trey or having many other friends.

I thought that this book was just okay. The characters were very fun though and I enjoyed how they reacted to different things in many different ways. Trey was a very enjoyable character for me to read about.

Student Reviewer: MB

Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains by Laurel Snyder - ADVISABLE


Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains by Laurel Snyder, 240 pages; Random House; 2008; 

Content-G

EL, MS - ADVISABLE

This is a very cute and happy tale of a milkmaid who sets off to find the truth about her mother and where she came from. Her friend, Prince Wynston, thinking she is in trouble sets off to find her. On their adventure they run into a very organized village, a man stuck in a soup pot, and much more.

This is a fun and humorous story that I enjoyed very much.

Student Reviewer: RS

Monday, March 23, 2009

Deck the Halls by Norman Rockwell - ADVISABLE

Deck the Halls by Norman Rockwell. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008. PICTURE BOOK

Pre-K, EL (K-3), EL - ADVISABLE

Fourteen of Norman Rockwell’s winter and Christmas themed illustrations have been selected to accompany the words to the traditional carol. The intimate and humorous illustrations include a jolly Santa, children sledding, and a grandfather cuddling his grandchildren. The combination of the classic song with the classic illustrations creates a true family Christmas treasure. The book is also large enough to share with a group for a festive sing-along. An introduction by John Rockwell, Norman Rockwell’s grandson, and the final pages identifying the source and date for each illustration add to this high quality book.

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

The Doghouse by Jan Thomas - ADVISABLE

The Doghouse by Jan ThomasPICTURE BOOK. Harcourt, Inc., 2008. 

EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE

Thomas’ latest offering featuring her familiar animal buddies (A Birthday for Cow, 2008) provides more silly fun. When their ball flies into the doghouse, mouse tries to get each of the animals to go in and get it out. Cow goes in first but Cow does not come out. Oh no! When Pig and then Duck suffer the same fate, mouse yells, “Can’t you come out, Duck?” The big dog yells back, “No! Because I am having Duck for dinner.” Mouse assumes the worst but a happy ending is in store for all.

The bold cartoon illustrations are large enough to work well for a group and set just the right tone for what is an old joke but a good one. Teachers will appreciate the repetitive wording throughout that is perfect for early readers. The simple story also lends itself to creative classroom dramatics.

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

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Our Library by Eve Bunting - ADVISABLE

Our Library by Eve Bunting. PICTURE BOOK. Clarion Books, 2008.

EL (K-3), EL – ADVISABLE

When Miss Goose announces that the library is going to have to close down, the community pulls together to try to save it! Raccoon and his friends learn how to help save the library by reading books. They paint the roof, raise money, and even find a way to move the building!

This story raises the awareness of the importance of libraries in our community, as well as the benefits of working together.

Jennifer Rodriguez - YA Libraria

Martha Doesn't Say Sorry by Samantha Berger - ADVISABLE

Berger, Samantha Martha Doesn’t Say Sorry! PICTURE BOOK. Little, Brown and Company, 2009.

Pre-K, EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE

Martha doesn’t say sorry, even when she does something really naughty. When Martha spends the day doing not so nice things to her family and refuses to apologize, she realizes the importance of being sorry.

This delightful story may not coax your little ones to apologize, but it will for sure invoke smiles and laughs.

Jennifer Rodriguez - YA Librarian

Saturday, March 21, 2009

No Hugs Till Saturday by Julie Downing - ADVISABLE

No Hugs Till Saturday by Julie Downing. PICTURE BOOK.  Clarion Books, 2008.

 Pre-K, EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE 

When a young dragon is sent to quiet time and deprived of a toy, he becomes determined to deprive his mother of all his wonderful hugs for a week. Unfortunately a week is very long for both the young dragon and his mom. Soon the young dragon realizes that a single day without a hug is just too much.

This is a fun book that also teaches the days of the week. It is sure to have all your little dragons feeling huggable!

Jennifer Rodriguez - YA Librarian

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox - ADVISABLE

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox. PICTURE BOOK. Harcourt, 2008.

Pre-K – ADVISABLE

This sweet poem celebrates babies around the world. Helen Oxenbury’s illustrations are timeless and enjoyable for both adults and children. This book is one that will have your youngster cuddly in your arms. I enjoyed the thought behind the poem, but as a mother of a specially-abled baby this poem did not celebrate all babies.

Jennifer Rodriguez - YA Librarian

Friday, March 20, 2009

Panda Kisses by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and Kay Widdowson - ADVISABLE

Capucilli, Alyssa Satin Panda Kisses by Alyssa Capucilli, illustrated by Kay Widdowson. Step into Reading - Random House, 2008. EARLY READER

EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE

This Step 1 title features a rhyming text with a bouncy rhythm and illustrations that are almost too cute. When a young panda asks each of his parents for a kiss, they give him choices: "A soft kiss? / A sweet kiss? / A sticky bamboo treat kiss?" In the end the young panda determines that "There are many kisses that will do! / But the best kiss is-from both of you!"

A large font, rhythm and rhyme, picture clues and a a low word count per page will help emergent readers succeed.

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

My First Book About Airplanes and Rockets by Karma Einhorn - NO

Sesame Subjects: My First Book About Airplanes and Rockets by Karma Einhorn, illustrated by Christopher Moroney. Random House, 2008. PICTURE BOOK.

EL (K-3) - NOT RECOMMENDED

In this latest entry to the Sesame Subjects library, Grover and Elmo tell kids about all kinds of airplanes and rockets. The book is filled with terrific photos, simple facts, and Sesame Street characters. The information is above the interest level of toddlers and preschoolers and the Sesame Street characters are too young for elementary age children. I'm not sure who the audience for this book would be. 

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

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ten Sleepy Sheep by Phyllis Root - ESSENTIAL

Ten Sleepy Sheep, by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Susan Gaber. Candlewick, 2009. BOARD BOOK.

Pre-K - ESSENTIAL

One by one, ten little lambs stop what they are doing and drop off to sleep. Can you find all of the lambs in the final picture and match them where they feel asleep?

What a great book for a bedtime story.

Cindy, Library-Teacher.

How to Make a Cherry Pie and see the U.S.A. by Marjorie Priceman - OPTIONAL

How to Make a Cherry Pie and see the U.S.A. by Marjorie Priceman. Alfred A. Knopf, 2008. PICTURE BOOK

EL - OPTIONAL

In this companion story to How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (Knopf, 1994), a young baker takes a folksy trip across the U. S. A. in search of items to make a cherry pie. She travels to New Mexico to get clay for making a mixing bowl and to Hawaii for sand to make a glass measuring cup. She arrives back home in time to make the pie for the fourth of July.

It seems strange that the actual ingredients for the pie are not collected, just the raw materials needed to make the cooking equipment. And while the art work is fun and lively, there are many random distractions that make the story somewhat hard to follow. Purchase if the companion book is popular in your library. The story could be included in a unit on the United States.

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

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Donut Chef by Bob Staake - ADVISABLE

The Donut Chef by Bob Staake. A Golden Book, 2008. PICTURE BOOK

EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE

Colorful geometric art with a retro feel illustrates this cautionary tale of two bakers vying to have the most successful donut shop. As the feud escalates, their donuts get stranger and stranger with flavors like Peanut-Brickle Buttermilk and shapes like stars and macaroni. Soon the donuts had “lost their taste. They’d lost their soul. They’d even lost their donut hole!” All is saved when little Debbie Sue asks for an old fashioned glazed donut reminding them that simple is best.

It would be fun to read the story and then let the children decorate their own donut. (paper or real)

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

Akiko and the Missing Misp by Mark Crilley - ESSENTIAL

Akiko and the Missing Misp by Mark Crilley, 186 pgs. GRAPHIC NOVEL. Delacorte Press, 2008.

Content-G

EL- ESSENTIAL

Akiko travels to her favorite, but strange, planet of Smoo. When she gets there she realizes that she went back in time. While she is there she gets launched into adventure as somebody tries to steal the vital misp and she has to help get it back.

I thought that this was a great book and I loved how it was so action packed the whole way through. I was able to feel really connected to the characters and what was going on with them.

Student Reviewer: MB.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wombat and Fox - Tales of the City by Terry Denton - ESSENTIAL

Wombat and Fox- Tales of the City by Terry Denton, 124 pages. Kane/Miller Book Publishers, 2006.

Language-G, Sexual Content-G; Violence-G;

EL - ESSENTIAL

Wombat and Fox have many adventures in the city with their good friend Croc. They go everywhere in the city and meet many new people. 

I thought that this book was very cute. The author was very clever about the adventures that Wombat and Fox go on. There are many fun characters that do silly things. I loved it.

Student Reviewer: MB

The New Girl by Meg Cabot - ADVISABLE

The New Girl (Allie Finkle series) by Meg Cabot, 222 pages. Scholastic Inc., 2008.

Content-G

EL - ADVISABLE, MS-OPTIONAL

Allie Finkle just moved in to a new neighborhood and has to go to a new school. Allie has a few people in her school that really like her and one girl that doesn't like her that much. It talks about how she deals with being the new girl.

I really liked this book. It was very enjoyable for me to read. It was a very good book and I would highly recommend it.

Student Reviewer: MB

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...