Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Scaredy Squirrel at Night by Melanie Watt - ESSENTIAL

Scaredy Squirrel at Night by Melanie Watt. PICTURE BOOK. Kids Can Press, 2009. $17


Scaredy Squirrel illustrates the important reasons for a good night’s sleep as our friend tries to stay awake in order to avoid scary dreams. 

This cute picture book makes the point brilliantly – and would be great for children of many ages. The Teen Living teacher will be using it at my school! 

Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Gettysburg Address illustrated by Michael McCurdy - ESSENTIAL

The Gettysburg Address, illustrated by Michael McCurdy. PICTURE BOOK. Houghton, 1995 (reissued 2009). $14.95.  


The Gettysburg Address is actually a very short speech that Lincoln gave at the dedication of the Soldiers’ Cemetery at Gettysburg. Michael McCurdy has paired powerful black and white drawings with Lincoln’s words to create a book well worth sharing with any unit on Lincoln, the Civil War or war in general. 

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mary Had a Little Lamp by Jack Lechner and Bob Staake - OPTIONAL

Mary Had a Little Lamp by Jack Lechner, illustrated by Bob Staake. PICTURE BOOK. Bloomsbury, 2008. $15.95. 


An eccentric girl named Mary carries her favorite lamp with her wherever she goes. 

The rhyme and meter of the story doesn’t really fit the well-known song, but the vibrant pictures are fun and Mary is delightfully odd. 

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Bus Ride That Changed History by Pamela Edwards - OPTIONAL

The Bus Ride That Changed History: The Story of Rosa Parks by Pamela Duncan Edwards, illustrated by Danny Shanahan. PICTURE BOOK. Sandpiper (Houghton), 2005 (paperback 2009). $6.99. 


In the style of “This is the House that Jack Built,” follow the journey of Rosa Parks as she decides not to stand up to make room for a white man on her bus. 

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Stanza by Jill Esbaum and Jack E. Davis - ADVISABLE

Stanza by Jill Esbaum, illustrated by Jack E. Davis. PICTURE BOOK.Harcourt (Houghton), 2009. $16.00. 


By night Stanza terrified the streets of his town with his brothers, Dirge and Fresco. By night however, Stanza wrote beautiful poetry and was afraid that he secret might be discovered. Then one day he can’t resist entering a jingle contest – how will his brothers react of Stanza turns out to be more than just a thug?

Stanza and his world is pretty cute and he send s a message about bring more than what others label you as.

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Friday, June 19, 2009

Winter Wood by Steve Augarde - ADVISABLE

Winter Wood by Steve Augarde, 504 pages. David Fickling (Random House), 2009. $18

Content: G


Who knew that after all these years that Midge’s great-great aunt Celandine was still alive. The Various need Celandine to keep her promise, but she cannot, or will not, rememeber the tiny people – or what she did with the Orbis. Without the Orbis, the Various will not survive much longer in this world. It is up to Midge to pursue the secret and put together the pieces of the puzzle. 

It’s been awhile since Celandine (number 2 in the series) was published – and since then the covers have been reworked – THANK GOODNESS! It was so hard to sell these books to students with the bland covers! Now the covers match the adventures MUCH better! If you ahven’t bought the series before, do it now, making sure you get the new covers. 

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Robot and the Bluebird by David Lucas - ADVISABLE

The Robot and the Bluebird. by David Lucas. PICTURE BOOK. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. $17


A robot who is sure that his heart is broken, finds purpose in helping a bird who is late starting on its trip to the south. 

I actually didn’t expect to be so touched by this little book, but it reminds me of the Giving Tree. Sweet, without being sickly! 

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Most Loved in all the World by Tonya Hegaman - ADVISABLE

Most Loved in all the World by Tonya Hegaman, illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera. PICTURE BOOK. Houghton, 2009. $17 


Every night, after she finished her work in the cotton fields, a slave mother stitches the pieces of a quilt for her daughter to remember her – after mother sends daughter on a trip to freedom on the Underground Railroad. 

While this book is not based on any one particular event, the book adds to what might be true about slaves, quilts and the Road, though much has been lost to history. It is a very loving story. 

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Down, Down, Down by Steve Jenkins - ESSENTIAL

Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea by Steve Jenkins. PICTURE BOOK. Houghton, 2009. $17.00. 


Using cut-paper art, the author dramatically illustrates the variety of life at the different depths of the ocean – from above to surface to the depths of the Marianas Trench. While just the words on each page would make this a valuable book for sharing with any class, there is even more information at the back of the book. 

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Monday, June 15, 2009

Button Up! Wicked Rhymes by Alice Schertle and Petra Mathers - no

Button Up! Wicked Rhymes by Alice Schertle, illustrated by Petra Mathers. PICTURE BOOK. Harcourt (Hougton), 2009. $16.00. 


Shoes and jimmies, shirts and undies – many pieces of clothing are explored in this book of rhymes. 

What I don’t understand – the picture on the cover is nowhere in the book. While it’s fun, I don’t really get it.  

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan - ESSENTIAL

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan, 381 pages. Disney Hyperion, 2009.

Violence: PG


Percy and his friends are gearing up for the final battle against Kronos and his minions. The Gods themselves are struggling against Typhon, a Titan let loose on America’s heartland, but Percy and his friends are sure that the final battle will center around New York City and the entrance to Olympus itself. The will gather what forces they can and make their final stand. But according to the prophecy, one hero will die.

The identity of the Last Olympian is not whom you may think, and I actually enjoyed the concept very much – it’s a sweet idea that makes you fell as if the whole struggle and the death and destruction is well worth it.

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Come to the Castle, by Linda Ashman, illuminated by S.D. Schindler - NO

Come to the Castle by Linda Ashman, illuminated by S.D. Schindler. PICTURE BOOK. Roaring Brook (Macmillan), 2009. $17


A bored Lord decides to host a celebration and the different members of his court react as they must to prepare every needful thing. 

Ashman’s book looks at life in the Middle Ages in a sarcastic, derogatory way – it does not read as humor to me. 

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Friday, June 12, 2009

The 3 Bears and Goldilocks by Margaret Willey and Heather M. Solomon - ADVISABLE

The 3 Bears and Goldilocks by Margaret Willey, illustrated by Heather M. Solomon. PICTURE BOOK.Atheneum (Simon), 2008. $16.99. 


If Goldilocks were to really walk into the homes of three bears, what she be most likely to find? 

I found Willey’s retelling of the classic tale entertaining and charming – it makes the original versions look antiseptic.

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex - ESSENTIAL

Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex. PICTURE BOOK. Putnam’s (Penguin), 2008. $15


Rex takes the classic Goodnight Moon and recreates it as a wonderfully ghoulish bedtime story. Vivid, spooky illustrations add to its draw and will be a great tale to read aloud come Halloween – or any time of year, for those who really love their creepies! 

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yuki’s Ride Home by Manya Tessler - OPTIONAL

Yuki’s Ride Home by Manya Tessler. PICTURE BOOK.  Bloomsbury, 2008. $17

A little girl is excited about the first night she gets to ride her bike all the way home alone. But when the fog rolls in, she is not so sure that alone is how she wants to be. 

It may be hard for an adult to remember those first childhood steps of independence, but the spirit of this book captures that feeling again. 

EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Watcher in the Woods by Robert Liparulo - ADVISABLE

Watcher in the Woods by Robert Liparulo, 290 pages. Thomas Nelson, 2008.


The King family is desperate to find their missing mother, but every time they go through one on the mysterious doors in their house, their lives end up in danger. A dangerous stranger from within the worlds and another strange man from their own world make every move impossible. Will they never be able to rescue their mother?

Book #2 is a bit weirder and while it is packed with action and danger, it is very short on plot development. All of the action takes place within only three days – not much time to tell us about our characters, but plenty of time to almost get them killed several times, I guess. From what I have read on the web, the following books are more of the same – great for kids who love dangerous books – perfect for the young and others with short attention spans. They should do well in upper elementary and middle schools.

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Monday, June 8, 2009

Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn - ADVISABLE

Violence: PG


When Logan moves into a new town, the first kid he meets, Arthur, is a bit younger and definitely weird. But as the two explore the town, they find a mystery to solve and become good friends. Everything is connected to Logan’s new home and the deteriorating, closed-up amusement park on the outskirts of town. And someone may be willing to kill to keep their secret. I think Hahn just gets better as she keeps writing. 

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make you a Pie by Robbin Gourley - OPTIONAL

Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make you a Pie: a story about Edna Lewis by Robbin Gourley. PICTURE BOOK. Clarion, 2009. $16


A young girl rejoices through the seasons as each crop ripens and her family can enjoy the new flavors – and set some aside to save for the winter. 

Modern children who are used to grocery store food, where pretty much everything is available all year long, may get a kick out a book that reminds them that not everyone can have strawberries in the depth of winter. 

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spirits in the Park by Scott Mebus - ADVISABLE

Spirits in the Park (Gods of Manhattan 2) by Scott Mebus, 372 pages. Dutton (Penguin), 2009. $18

Content: G (some tension and a small amount of violence).


For the last month, Rory Hennessy has been secretly protected from danger by the M’Garoth Clan, but his idyll is about to end. The Trap around Central Park that is holding the spirits within is becoming more violent in its attempts to loosen. Rory must combine efforts with the Rattle Watch and trust his little sister, too, if he not only wants to lower The Trap safely, but also wants to ensure that the Park spirits and the City Spirits don’t kill each other on sight.

The cast of spirit characters gets larger and the plot gets more complicated in this sequel. The danger and adventure are even greater; the only thing I worry about is that kids who are too young to know much history won’t be as amused by the names and titles of the Mannahattan Gods and other characters. It really is a fine adventure.

Cindy, Library Teacher

Friday, June 5, 2009

Monsters on Machines by Deb Lund - ADVISABLE

Monsters on Machines by Deb Lund. Harcourt, Inc, 2008 PICTURE BOOK. 


Mix backhoes, front loaders and bulldozers with monsters and what do you get? A bunch of young monsters working on a construction site. 

It would seem that the combination of monsters and tractors would be magical; instead Monsters on Machines is only serviceable. Told through sometimes clunky rhyme, this tale might leave some cold. 

Laura Berube ~ Youth Services Librarian, Draper Library

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Forget Me Not by Coleen Murtagh Paratore - ADVISABLE

Forget Me Not by Coleen Paratore, 194 pages. Scholastic Press, 2009.

Content: G


Willa has a great life. Her boyfriend, JFK and her were voted most compatible couple at Bramble Academy, she has a great step-father, and now she gets to plan her Aunt Ruthie’s wedding! Thing take a turn for the worst, however, when Willa and her boyfriend seem to be drifting apart. With baseball season starting and new girls to draw his interest away, Willa seems to be taking a backseat! Even her friends are starting to hang out with other people who are intolerable. When Aunt Ruthie turns out to be Bridezilla, Willa has to use all of her determination to keep herself from going crazy. When a dog appears in her life, however, things start to look up when a mysterious boy starts appearing out of nowhere and making JFK jealous. Who is the mysterious boy? Who does the dog belong to? Does JFK still like her?

Filled with humor and observations that are true to teenage life, this book is a great addition to any library. Girls will enjoy the unique perspective and mishaps Willa has to face. They may also enjoy the prequels to this series (Wedding Planner's Daughter, The Cupid Chronicles, and Willa at Heart)

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

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Very Curious Bear by Tony Mitton - ESSENTIAL

A Very Curious Bear by Tony Mitton. PICTURE BOOK. Random House Children’s Books, 2009.


Why does the sun come and light up the day? Why does the wind rush around in the air? Why does the rain come and wet the world through? These are all questions a young, curious bear asks his mother. Her answers back are unique and heartwarming. 

The story is in a simple question and answer format and the pictures only add to the story. Young children everywhere will enjoy having this story read to them. 

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

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...