Sunday, February 7, 2010

Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli - Advisable

Patricelli, Leslie Higher!Higher!, 32 pgs.Candlewick, 2009.


How far can a little girl go on a swing with her dad and wild imagination? To the stars! This delightful picture book is sure to expand a toddler’s imagination and invoke a few giggles. The images are bold and full of fun surprises. A definite read for storytime!

Jennifer Rodriguez - YA Librarian

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ancient Egypt Explorer by Philip Steele - ESSENTIAL

Steele, Philip Ancient Egypt Explorer (Spotlight), 23 p. Silver Dolphin (Nat'l Geo), 2008. $16


Roam the dark corridors of an Egyptian pyramid, through ruins and tombs and the banks of the Nile with this engaging book. Five spinning wheels make you feel as if you are really shining a flashlight into the hidden corners, while filling your mind with worthwhile facts and tidbits of knowledge. 

I know that there are more books in the series. They would be highly popular, especially at the elementary level or as gifts for a budding explorer. 

Cindy, Library Teacher

The Wish Stealer by Tracy Trivas - ADVISABLE

Trivas, Tracy The Wish Stealer, 281 p. Aladdin (Simon), 2010. $17 

Content: G. 


Through a petty bit of trickery, Griffin Penshine has been burdened with a curse - she must find the original owners of several wish-pennies, or find a way to fulfill that kind of wish, if she doesn't want to become a wish stealer. From world peace to the desire for a puppy, she has a variety of wishes to fulfill, all while juggling the pressures of 6th grade, a huge science fair project and the enmity of the school's queen bee. Griffin will need the love and support of many around her in order to un-fulfill this destiny. 

Very cute, very fun and a delight to read. Great for a high-traffic fantasy collection. 

Cindy - Library Teacher

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February Friend by Ron Roy - ADVISABLE

Roy, Ron. February Friend, illustrated by John Steven Gurney EL – ADVISABLE  69 pgs. Random House, 2009. $4.99. 

Content: G

The second book in the Calendar Mystery Series, celebrates Valentine’s Day at school by bringing cards and treats. Their teacher Mr. Vooray finds a surprise in his closet. Someone has left a rabbit named Douglas to the class. Douglas is scared and won’t open his eyes. Bradley and Brian’s mom Mrs. Pinto takes Douglas to the veterinarian who explains that nothing is wrong except that the rabbit misses his owner. Douglas won’t eat, so the twins and their friends use clues to find out who the real owner is. 

A gentle mystery with lively illustrations that young readers will enjoy.

Samantha, Public Librarian

Red Ted and the Lost Things by Michael Rosen - ADVISABLE

Rosen, Michael Red Ted and the Lost Things illustrated by Joel Stewart PICTURE BOOK/GRAPHIC 40 pgs. Candlewick Press, 2009. $17


Written in comic book style, this book is about Red Ted, a teddy bear who gets lost from his owner. Put on a shelf with other "lost" items, he decides that he must go and find Stevie (his owner). Crocodile, another lost item, goes with him on this crazy adventure through the city. On the way, they meet Cat who is willing to help, but only because there is cheese involved! All is well when in the end they find Stevie and the cheese!

The illustrations are so unique and highlight all of the right details in the story.

Whitney, Library-Teacher

Mr. Putter and Tabby Run the Race by Cynthia Rylant - ESSENTIAL

Rylant, Cynthia Mr. Putter and Tabby Run the Race illustrated by Arthur Howard EARLY READER 44 pgs. Sandpiper, 2008.  $6.


Rylant's books are some of my favorites! She creates fun and creative stories that kids will love reading; and I absolutely love Howard's illustrations! This particular story is about Mrs. Teaberry trying to convince Mr. Putter to run a senior's marathon with her, but Mr. Putter can't even remember how to run! She convinces him to do it because the second place prize is a train set, and Mr. Putter loves train sets. He does what training he can (touching his knees!) and the day of the race arrives. With lots of trips and turns, the race doesn't turn out how expected, but everyone is happy in the end!

The only thing I didn't like about this story was the fact that everything turned out perfectly even though Mr. Putter didn't work for his goal nor did the race really happen "fairly." Might give kids the wrong message.

Whitney, Library-Teacher.  

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

When the World Is Ready for Bed by Gillian Shields - ADVISABLE

Shields, Gillian When the World Is Ready for Bed illustrated by Anna Currey PICTURE BOOK. Bloomsbury, 2009.  $15


This little rabbit family settles down for the night after having dinner and cleaning up toys. The rhyming text, although not my favorite-it seems a little forced- has a gentle rhythm that makes it sound like a quiet lullaby. The last page is my favorite as it makes a promise that "Always lovely, always new, tomorrow's waiting just for you."

Great for kids before bed.

Whitney, Library-Teacher.

Charles Darwin and the Beagle Adventure by A.J. Wood - ADVISABLE

Wood, A.J. and Clint Twist Charles Darwin and the Beagle Adventure, 30 p. Templar Books (Candlewick), 2009. $20


If your students like the “-ology” books, they will also enjoy this biographical work. There are so many details of Darwin’s voyage – I can’t imagine that this wouldn’t be useful at almost any grade level. The format is perfect for the younger crowd, but the detail is also engrossing for the olders. There are a few small parts that might get lost, but on the whole it is well worth the risk. 

Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli - ESSENTIAL

Napoli, Donna Jo Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya illustrated by Kadir Nelson PICTURE BOOK/NON-FICTION 40 pgs. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2010. $17


An amazing story of Wangari Maathai, the first African American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. Wangari had a love for nature and peace. This is how she transformed Kenya, tree by tree. Each time a village woman came to Wangari seeking help, she gave them a seed and told them to plant the mukinduri trees. Each time, these seeds proved to be the things these women needed for their children, wood for fire, medicine for sick cattle, timber for buildings. After a time, the trees that had been gone so long from Kenya finally returned. It was again as it had been before, strong and peaceful. 

The illustrations in these books are so unique in that each page is a collage of brightly colored paper. The collages are so seamless that on you have to look very closely to see how things are put together. This is an inspiring, true story of a woman that changed the world one tree at a time.  

Whitney, Library-Teacher

January Joker by Ron Roy - ADVISABLE

Roy, Ron. January Joker,
illustrated by John Steven Gurney. 77 pgs. Random House, 2009. $5 

Content: G


The first book the Calendar Mysteries Series, author Ron Roy highlights the younger siblings of his popular A to Z Series. Bradley Pinto sees a bright light and finds unusual snow tracks in his backyard. He alerts his twin Brian and their friends Lucy and Nate. The four go to investigate and find that their dog and horse are missing. They go back to the house and their older siblings are gone too. Are they being abducted by aliens? What should they do? 

Young readers will enjoy solving the mystery with the characters. The illustrations are truly "out of this world."

Samantha, Public Librarian.

Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace by James Proimos - ESSENTIAL

Proimos, James Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace 40 pgs. PICTURE BOOK Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009  $16 


Paulie Pastrami is just an ordinary seven year old. He gets picked last in sports, his socks don't always match, and he can't whistle. What makes him unique though is that he achieved world peace before he turned eight years old. How you ask?! By simple acts of kindness. He started out just being kind to animals. He read to trees. He apologized for being mean to his sister. He offered compassion to those in need. He listened to his teacher. But when he had achieved peace at his school, he realized it wasn't enough....he wanted to achieve world peace! So off he and his parents went to deliver peace (in the form of a cupcake!) to stores around town. 

With bright illustrations and pages, kids will laugh and be delighted by the things Paulie does...and will hopefully be inspired to spread a little world peace (or cupcakes) themselves! This would be a great book to use during a class lesson about kindness and/or character. 

Whitney, Library-Teacher 

How to Build Your Own Country by Valerie Wyatt - OPTIONAL

Wyatt, Valerie How to Build Your Own Country, illustrated by Fred Rix. 39 p. Kids Can Press, 2009. 


This tongue-in-cheek book delivers some real-life facts about the nitty-gritty of building, running, growing and leading a country. 

Children might be entertained with the thought of setting up their own sovereign space. However, as a Geography teacher, I actually talked my students through the logistics of creating their own countries and we actually did this project as a culminating project. If I had had this book in hand, I wouldn’t have had to create a lot of things from scratch. 

Cindy, Library-Teacher

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner - ADVISABLE

Messner, Kate. The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z., 195 pgs. Walker & Company, 2009. $17

Content: G


Gianna Z. won’t be able to run in sectionals unless she completes her 25 leaves identification project for science class on time. The project seems doomed by her grandmother Nonna’s increasing forgetfulness, the sabotaging of a peer, and the death of a schoolmate’s grandmother. Gianna has to find a way to do her homework, deal with life and death, while being driven to school in a hearse.

Author Kate Messner creates warm and realistic characters that tween and young teens will fall for.

Samantha, Public Librarian

Come Back Soon by Daniel Schallau - ADVISABLE

Schallau, Daniel. Come Back Soon. PICTURE BOOK Houghton Mifflin, 2009. $17.


The penguins of Icetown invite Mr. Elephant the architect for the dedication of his creation. Elephant packs quickly and takes a boat, but forgets to bring his suit. He arrives at Icetown where he goes to a restaurant, a hotel, and to Tailor Guin’s for a new suit. Elephant wears his new suit to the ceremony but his weight causes part of the ice to crack. Elephant and many penguins are stuck floating on a piece of ice until a postwhale comes along and pushes them back to Icetown where Elephant makes everything right. 

The story is a little long, but the illustrations are detailed, original and fun.  

Samantha, Public Librarian.

Little Blue Truck Leads the Way by Alice Schertle - ADVISABLE

Schertle, Alice. Little Blue Truck Leads the Way, illustrated by Jill McElmurry. PICTURE BOOK Harcourt Children’s Books, 2009. $16


Little Blue Truck drives into the big city and thinks the buildings are pretty, but the other cars aren’t very nice. No one will wait their turn. There’s a big traffic jam and the mayor’s limo dies. Blue offers the mayor a ride. The mayor stands in the back of the truck and invites all to take their turn one at a time following Blue in a line. The traffic clears and everyone goes their way.

The simple rhymes and meter make this book fun to read aloud. The painted illustrations capture the beauty of an urban city and both the motion and emotion of the vehicles.

Samantha, Public Librarian

1 2 3 I Can Build! by Irene Luxbacher - ESSENTIAL

Luxbacher, Irene 1 2 3 I Can Build! PICTURE BOOK NON-FICTION 24 pgs. Kids Can Press, 2009. $15


Kids learn the basics about architecture in this fun and creative book. The book defines terms such as foundation, structure, function, interior, exterior, pillar, tower, and architect. 

The book goes through the step-by-step process of creating different buildings included a breezy birdhouse, a mushroom mansion, a fabulous funhouse, and a perfect palace! Also included are some helpful hints for parents and teachers as they help their young architects build. With its bright illustrations and unique ideas, kids will definitely be entertained by this fun and imaginative book!

Whitney, Library-Teacher.

1 2 3 I Can Collage! by Irene Luxbacher - ESSENTIAL

Luxbacher, Irene 1 2 3 I Can Collage! PICTURE BOOK, NON-FICTION. 24 pgs. Kids Can Press, 2009.  $15


What an equally fun and creative book! In this book of the Starting Art collections, kids will be inspired to create something unique on their own. The book explains different collage techniques including cut paper collage, torn paper collage, decoupage, patterns, weaving, and mixed media collages. It focuses on using those techniques to create different sea creatures including a flying fish, an awesome octopus, a whopper of a whale, and a cute crab! 

Given the step-by-step process of making different collages, kids will feel a sense of accomplishment as they create their own sea creature! Also included are helpful ideas and hints as parents and teachers help their young artist-in-the-making.

Whitney, Library-Teacher.

Passing By by Yona Tepper - Advisable

Tepper, Yona Passing By illustrated by Gil-Ly Alon Curiel PICTURE BOOK 40 pgs. Kane Miller, 2010.  $16


Yael, like any other child, is curious about the world around her and loves to watch things come and go on her street. She watches from her second story balcony as different things come and go...a dog, a cat, a red car, a tractor, and a man riding his bike. But the best things is yet to come at the end of the day...her dad! 

Sweet story that uses repetition on each page for children. The illustrations are fabulous and help depict things unique to the life of the Israeli author. 

Whitney, Library-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 ag...