Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Nature Girls by Aki - ESSENTIAL

The Nature Girls by Aki. PICTURE BOOK. Godwin Books (Macmillan Publishing), 2019. $17. 9781627796217

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ESSENTIAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

A group of young girls explore the world together. They journey to five different biomes and have a variety of adventures. After the narrative there is a spread explaining the elements of the different biomes. 

The illustrations in this book are fun and lighthearted. I love that the language frames the girls as “nature girls” and sets up readers to feel a sense of belonging in nature. 

Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher

Mario and the Aliens by Carolina Zanotti - ADVISABLE

Mario and the Aliens by Carolina Zanotti, illustrated by Tamypu. PICTURE BOOK. Happy Fox Books, 2019. $15. 9781641240277

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

A young boy is playing on a computer when a spaceship lands on his lawn outside. The aliens ask to be entertained and are disappointed when the boy suggests video games, so he shows them how to play recess games. The aliens are thoroughly entertained until their mom calls them back home for dinner. 

This narrative opens up a timely conversation about how we “play” and the effect electronics can have on our free time. The book even includes a set of questions to discuss at the end of the book.   

Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher

Mr. Posey’s New Glasses by Ted Kooser - OPTIONAL

Mr. Posey’s New Glasses by Ted Kooser, illustrated by Daniel Duncan. PICTURE BOOK. Candlewick Press, 2019. $17. 9780763696092

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Mr. Posey finds that his life has become a little dull. On a visit to the thrift store, he realizes that the bin of used glasses can allow him to have different experiences. A pair of star shaped glasses, for example, allows him to see the night sky. Ultimately he realizes that his own glasses are best, they just need a good cleaning. 

I found this story a little bit slow, although it could have worked if it wasn’t also long. The narrative describes everything in great detail which in unnecessary for the tone of this story. The message of the story felt simplistic, especially given the length. All that said, the illustrations are charming.   

Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher

Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed and Anoosha Syed - ESSENTIAL

Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed, illustrated by Anoosha Syed.  PICTURE BOOK.  Simon and Schuster, 2019.  $18. 9781534418103

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ESSENTIAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

Bilal is excited that today his dad is cooking daal and his friends want to help and join in the feast. But daal looks different than anything they are used to and smells kind of different.  Plus it takes a long time to cook.  But Bilal distracts his friends with all kinds of activities as they wait for the dinner treat to finally be ready.

I had no idea that daal is actually lentils!  I love Saaed’s look at the daal process.  Not only the emphasis on patience and slow cooking, but also the friendship and trying new flavors together. A great book for a class lesson before a cultural activity or just a friendly shared meal.

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

The Great Santa Stakeout by Betsy Bird and Dan Santat - ESSENTIAL

The Great Santa Stakeout by Betsy Bird, illustrated by Dan Santat.  PICTURE BOOK.  Arthur A. Levine (Scholastic), SEPTEMBER 2019.  $18.  9781338169980

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K, EL (K-3) - ESSENTIAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

Freddy loves everything Santa – his Valentine’s are even Santa themed.  He has big plans to get his long-sought selfie with Santa this year. He’s pretty confident that all of his plans are fool-proof.

Hooray! What a great first Christmas book of the year!  I am looking forward to sharing this with many others!

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Bruno, the Standing Cat by Nadine Robert - OPTIONAL

Bruno, the Standing Cat by Nadine Robert, illustrated by Jean Jullien. PICTURE BOOK. Random House, 2019. $18. 9780525647140

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Bruno is no average cat. Peter finds him on his doorstep and realizes quickly Bruno does things very differently than other cats. He stands and skateboards and serves tea. But the best thing about Bruno is that he is a good friend to Peter. 

I am a big fan of Jean Jullien’s board books, so I had high hopes that this book would have the same dry humor as those, but I didn’t find this book particularly funny.  I think that dry humor is what they were going for, but it just didn’t land for me. 

Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher

Fearsome Giant, Fearless Child: A Worldwide Jack and the Beanstalk Story by Paul Fleischman - ADVISABLE

Fearsome Giant, Fearless Child: A Worldwide Jack and the Beanstalk Story by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Julie Paschkis. PICTURE BOOK/NON-FICTION. Godwin Books (Macmillan), 2019. $18. 9781250151773

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: LOW

Essential elements of the Jack and the Beanstalk Story are gathered from around the world and woven together to make one story. The story changes characters and details and it moves around the world. The part of the world represented in written in the illustration that accompanies the text. 

This does not read like an engaging story, instead it becomes more like a quilt in which the pieces are roughly patched together. I think this book works in an academic setting, in which talking about the ways stories change and move around time and space is applicable. But I would skip this if you just looking for plot. 

Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher

Ella May Does it Her Way! by Mick Jackson - OPTIONAL

Ella May Does it Her Way! by Mick Jackson, illustrated by Andrea Stegmaier. PICTURE BOOK. Words & Pictures (Quarto), 2019. $18. 9781786039057

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

In an effort to get her daughter to eat a new food, Ella May’s mom tells her it is good to try new things. Ella May runs with this idea and decides to try walking backward. Before long, walking backward catches on with other people and Ella May switches to cartwheels instead of walking. 

I am usually on board with books about doing your own thing and owning it, but this one just didn’t feel very relatable or interesting. This reminded me of the book Stephanie’s Ponytail, but without the humor. 

Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher

The Incredible Cabinet of Wonders by Lonely Planet Kids - ESSENTIAL

The Incredible Cabinet of Wonders by Lonely Planet Kids. PICTURE BOOK/NON-FICTION. Lonely Planet, 2017. $22. 9781787011045

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ESSENTIAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

In the style of a museum exhibit, this book is a collection of the “weirdest, strangest, and most incredible objects on Earth”. Each two page spread has a theme and then a collection of flaps to lift and look at. 

This book is a lot of fun. Flaps for older readers are a bit of a novelty and I believe this will engage readers. The objects are sometimes boring or confusing, but on the whole, the collections are fun to look through and read about.  

Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher

The Brain is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk - ESSENTIAL

The Brain is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk.  NON-FICTION/PICTURE BOOK.  Orchard Books (Scholastic), OCTOBER 2019.  $18. 9781338167009

BUYING ADVISORY: EL - ESSENTIAL; MS - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

After his tour de force with the Sun, Seluk moves on with his trademark mix of humor and facts to teach us about the brain.  A bit harder to understand than the Sun book, but still filled with lots of humor. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

The Squirrels Who Squabbled by Rachel Bright and Jim Field - ESSENTIAL

The Squirrels Who Squabbled by Rachel Bright, illustrated by Jim Field.  PICTURE BOOK. Scholastic Press, SEPT 2019.  $15.  9781338538038

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K, EL (K-3) - ESSENTIAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

When party squirrel Cyril realizes he’d better store something for the winter, he comes in direct conflict with Bruce who has been collecting everything all spring and summer. As the two pursue the last pinecone, hilarity ensues.

Bright has filled her book with bouncy rhymes that are complemented by Field’s bouncy illustrations. The lesson on sharing and friendship is easy to see, but the laughter as the story unfolds is the best part!

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Friday, June 28, 2019

Ocean: Secrets of the Deep by Sabrina Weiss - ESSENTIAL

Ocean: Secrets of the Deep by Sabrina Weiss, illustrated by Giulia De Amicis. PICTURE BOOK/NON-FICTION. What on Earth Books (White Star), 2019. $20. 9781999968076

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

Every two page spread delves into different elements of life in and around oceans. One spread talks about the size of ocean animals, and another about caring for the ocean. Most of the information is provided in captions to illustrations and small text boxes scattered around the pages.  

This book covers a great breath of information and this keeps it fresh and interesting for readers. The topic vary widely enough to engage readers with different perspectives. The art is simple and aesthetic, but not cutesy. 

Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher

Ultimate Guide to Surviving in the Wild by Clive Gifford - ESSENTIAL

Ultimate Guide to Surviving in the Wild by Clive Gifford. NON-FICTION. Quarto Publishing, 2018. $17. 9781786033604

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ESSENTIAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

This book is divided up into seven dangerous situations such as “Missing in the Rockies” or “Adrift at Sea” and in each section there are different tutorials and educational material about that situation. Most of the text is in bullet points and small boxes interspersed through the pages with photographs and illustrations.

This book is so much fun to read. It is full of fun tips that you will never need, but will indeed enjoy imagining needing. Building a raft and collecting rainwater are fun to imagine doing.   

Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher

Buck's Tooth by Diane Kredensor - OPTIONAL

Buck's Tooth by Diane Kredensor. EARLY READER. Aladdin (Simon & Schuster), 2015. $13. 9781481423822

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Buck likes a lot of things about himself, but he can't stand his one huge tooth. It seems to ruin everything. It's especially annoying now that he wants to participate in the upcoming talent show, because no matter what he does, that tooth is in the way. By the day of the show, he still has no idea what talent he wants to display. And then the perfect opportunity presents itself.

The beginning of this one is cute, and it's always nice to see a book that encourages self-acceptance, but other than that, this story fell pretty flat for me. The plot about finding a skill for the talent show is pretty over-done, and it made the story feel predictable. In addition, Buck's self-acceptance comes at the cost of someone else's art, and while he discovers something he's good at, it's not something he's particularly passionate about.

Sydney G., K-6 Library Media Specialist

What Will Fat Cat Sit On? by Jan Thomas - OPTIONAL

What Will Fat Cat Sit On? by Jan Thomas. PICTURE BOOK. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007. $10. 9780544850040

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K, EL (Lower) - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Fat Cat is looking for a comfy place to rest, but all around him are animals who refuse to be his chair. Once he does finally find a good spot, he has a new question: What will he have to eat?

This is a cute but ultimately unmemorable picture book. Sensitive kids will likely worry about the fate of the poor mouse long after the last page.

Sydney G., K-6 Library Media Specialist

The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham - ADVISABLE

The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham. PICTURE BOOK. Hyperion (Disney), 2018. $9. 9781368005647

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K, EL (Lower) - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

All the dinosaur friends have itches to be scratched, but there's just one problem: A sign posted nearby declares, "Dinosaurs Do Not Scratch." They're determined to follow the rule, but when when they get a better look at the sign, they realize they were missing out on a very important bit of information.

This cute book is sure to get kids empathizing with the itchy characters, and they will enjoy the surprise ending. It would work well for whole-class use, as the dialogue lends itself well to a read-aloud. I look forward to sharing it with my first-graders next year in a lesson on following directions -- ALL the directions!

Sydney G., K-6 Library Media Specialist

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Order of the Majestic by Matt Myklusch - ADVISABLE

Order of the Majestic by Matt Myklusch, 421 pages.  Aladdin (Simon), 2019.  $19

Content: G 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Joey, 13, just aced the state standardized test and he’s been called to take a special test for a special school.  Instead, he is given a box of magic tricks and told to master as many as he can in one hour.  When he masters them all, he finds a key which transports him to a derelict theater where he finds Redondo the Magnificent, a magician who has been missing for 20 years. Joey is in contention with two other kids to see who will inherit Houdini’s Wand and be the next keeper of the magic for the almost defunct Order of the Majestic, a group that was devoted to letting everyone in the world experience magic. But the Invisible Hand, magicians who want to keep all magic to themselves, send someone to sway Joey to their side.

While Joey’s waffling plays into the finale of the story, it can get very annoying as a reader. I wanted Joey to embrace magic as real, not just tricks.  I guess that means I became emotionally invested!

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

The Griffins of Castle Cary by Heather Shumaker - ADVISABLE

The Griffins of Castle Cary by Heather Shumaker, 306 pages. Simon and Schuster, 2019.  $18.

Content: G 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Meg, Will, and Ariel are spending a week with their aunt in the north of England while their parents are in London at a conference.  While just being in the country is exciting, the stories of ghosts in the town and the castle close-by are even more interesting.  As the older two chase down the castle ghost, little Ariel is in danger, because the closer ghost has more dire plans for 
her.

Wow!  At first I thought this was going to be a cute ghost story, but instead Shumaker ramps up the tension and the danger, rivaling Mary Downing Hahn and Betty Ren Wright.  Will there be more ghost stories to come?

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Galloglass by Scarlett Thomas - ADVISABLE

Galloglass (Worldquake #3) by Scarlett Thomas, 418 pages.  Simon and Schuster, 2019.  $18

Content: G 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Just as she is strengthening her connection with the Library, Effie has been kicked out of Otherwold for supposedly being a galloglass – the most selfish of the magical shades.  As she goes back to her world to figure out what’s going on and now to get back to Otherworld,  she also has to deal with the Diberi – the evil group that are plotting to get control over both worlds.  Her friends seem to be scattered with their own problems and shady characters are gathering for their town’s Midwinter festivities.  Can the children bring it all back together and protect everyone and everything they hold dear?

Just like book #2, Thomas takes us in five different directions in order to give each of the five friends their time on the page, which makes this confusing.  One of the children encounters what can only be described as a child predator – ultra-creepy to watch him grooming her.  My favorite part is when Wolf takes an ethics test in the middle of the book (page 200-ish); you’ll have to read that part for yourself.

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Batting Order by Mike Lupica - ESSENTIAL

Batting Order by Mike Lupica, 293 pages.  Simon and Schuster, 2019.  $18.

Content: G 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ESSENTIAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

Matt loves baseball, even though he is the smallest boy on his team.  Plus, when he is hitting balls and running bases, no one cares about his stuttering.  The biggest kid on his team, Ben, may have a home run swing, but it rarely connects.  Matt knows that Ben needs help, but as he reaches out, Matt finds out there is much more to Ben’s story than he ever knew. Just like maneuvering life around his stutter is sometimes like a minefield, Ben’s life is a bit of a minefield too – but both roadblocks are worth overcoming.

Lupica very neatly wraps in Matt’s story about his stuttering, including his work with his therapist, into his baseball story in a very believable and engaging way.  Ben’s story on and off the field contains great baseball and life lessons. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

A Drop of Hope by Keith Calabrese - ESSENTIAL

A Drop of Hope by Keith Calabrese, 305 pages. Scholastic Press (Scholastic Inc), 2019. $16.99

Language: PG (1 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG; Violence: G

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS – ESSENTIAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

The people of Cliffs Donnelly have fallen upon hard times—illness, friendships, job security, stress, family issues, you name it and someone is struggling with it. As everyone struggles with their own problems and insecurities, three sixth graders end up in the middle of it all. When these kids find a secret spot near the town’s magic wishing well, amazing things start happening and maybe everything will turn out alright.

This book is the definition of heart-warming. Readers are reminded that we all have issues, and the hope is found in reaching out; if everyone simply reaches out with the intention to help some else, then, collectively, we are able to do more than we can alone. Burdens are lighter when they are shared between family members, friends, student and teacher, neighbors, even someone sitting by themselves at lunch. While this book is geared toward a younger audience, I recommend this book to everyone.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Diggersaurs by Michael Whaite - ESSENTIAL

Diggersaurs by Michael Whaite. PICTURE BOOK. Random House, 2017. $18. 9781984847799.

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K - ESSENTIAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

Combining two childhood obsessions, this book features construction vehicles reimagined as dinosaurs. "Diggersaurs" of various designs are humongous and they dig, dump, excavate and more in this silly, super fun rhyming book.

This is a fantastic little book that will appeal to any kid who loves dinosaurs or trucks. The illustrations are colorful, bright and fun, and they work perfectly with the rhyming text. This is a book that will be a big hit with the preschool audience!

Reviewer: TC

Baby Bird by Andrew Gibbs - ADVISABLE

Baby Bird by Andrew Gibbs, illustrated by Zosienka. PICTURE BOOK. Francis Lincoln Children's Books, 2018. $18. 9781786035912.

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Baby Bird is a bit different from his brothers and sisters in that he has one wing that's smaller and a bit crippled. When it comes time to fly, he can't seem to make it work. Upon hitting the ground, Baby Bird meets a very different bird who who helps him embrace his differences and find his own way of flying.

I liked the general message of this story about diversity and achieving our dreams in our own unique way. The story felt a little long for what it was and didn't do a great job keeping my kids' attention. I think this is a book that could be utilized well in a classroom setting, however, in teaching citizenship skills/individuality/etc.

Reviewer: TC

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

New Shoes by Sara Varon - OPTIONAL

New Shoes by Sara Varon, 205 pages. First Second (Roaring Brook Press/Holtzbrinck Publishing), 2016.  $18.

Content: G

BUYING ADVISORY: EL -- OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Francis loves his job crafting shoes for the locals in his village and has made quite a name for himself. When he finds out that his idol, singer Miss Manatee, wants a pair of his kicks, he's ecstatic. Unfortunately, he can't find one of his suppliers, and without him, Francis can't make the shoes Miss Manatee requested. Francis is not willing to let a little thing like that stop him, though, so he goes off to find the missing merchant, and has a nice little adventure along the way.

Graphic novels are extremely popular in my library, but I have trouble seeing this one really taking off. It's cute, but not particularly funny or gripping -- two qualities that make the most popular of our library's graphic novels, well, popular. My nine-year-old agrees; she is generally a voracious reader of graphic novels, but she did something she never does: she put this book down partway through and never bothered to come back to it. Honestly, this says a lot. That said, there's a tidy little lesson and a satisfying ending for those who read all the way through (which some undoubtedly will).

Sydney G., K-6 Library Media Specialist

Monday, June 17, 2019

Science Comics: Polar Bears: Suvival on the Ice by Jason Viola - ADVISABLE


Science Comics: Polar Bears: Survival on the Ice by Jason Viola, illustrated by Zack Giallongo.  120 pages.  GRAPHIC NOVEL/ NON-FICTION  First Second (Roaring Brook Press), 2019.  $20.  

Content: Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG.  

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS – ADVISABLE  

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE  

A mother polar bear is teaching her two bear cubs about how to survive.  As she teaches them to hunt and build dens, she also explains different parts of the eco-system that affect their survival, such as the ice.  Mama polar bear explains interactions polar bears have had with humans and how the climate change is affecting their lives.  

I enjoyed this non-fiction glimpse into the lives of polar bears and their interesting habits.  Some of the Science Comic graphic novels have concepts that are too hard for elementary readers to understand, but this one is perfect for upper elementary or middle school.  I think this is an effective way to show how climate change is impacting the animals of our world and why the ice maters to our planet.  I put the violence as PG because when the bears are eating a whale it is bloody.  

Reviewer, C. Peterson.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Freya and the Magic Jewel by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams - OPTIONAL

Freya and the Magic Jewel (Thunder Girls #1) by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams, 257 pages. Aladdin (Simon & Schuster), 2018. $17.

Content: G

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS -- OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Freya, the young Norse goddess of beauty and fashion, is off to a boarding academy in Asgard. And she's not happy about it, since she's leaving behind her popularity in order to attend school with her sworn enemies. Freya vows not to be away for long, though. She just has to rescue her grandmother, who has disappeared, and then she's out of there. Well, that's the plan, at least. If only it were as easy as that...

I was excited to read this one, since I've heard a lot about the Goddess Girls series, and Norse myths have long been of interest to me, but there was SO MUCH telling instead of showing in this book that it was hard to feel truly invested. In addition, Freya's goals kept shifting; it felt as if the authors hadn't really nailed down her character and what she truly wanted. Although there was plenty of action (highlighted with over-generous use of exclamation marks), by the end of the book, it felt as if very little of value had happened.

Sydney G., K-6 Library Media Specialist

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Star Wars: Alien Archive, illustrated by Tim McDonagh - ESSENTIAL

Star Wars: Alien Archive, illustrated by Tim McDonagh, 151 pages.  Disney, 2019.  $25. 9781368027359

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS, HS - ESSENTIAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

I wish this book had a table of contents to go with the great index.  The creatures are separated by the planet in which we encounter them – and each alien has at least a paragraph of information with their picture. I recognize many of the aliens (human-ish and creature-like), but I feel the urge to re-watch all the movies so that I can see the creatures that I didn’t notice during my watchings.

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Woods by Rob Hodgson - ADVISABLE

The Woods by Rob Hodgson. PICTURE BOOK.  Frances Lincoln (Quarto), 2019.  9781786032744

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Three foxes are on the hunt through the woods for tasty rabbits.  They search high and low, bickering, not even thinking about who put up the signs they are following.  Too bad for those foxes!

The foxes are great caricatures and their ultimate fate is justly deserved (for anyone who prefers cuddly rabbits over wily foxes). I’d love to pair this with Road Runner cartoons!

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Wish by Chris Saunders - ESSENTIAL

Wish by Chris Saunders. PICTURE BOOK.  Words and Pictures (Quarto), 2018.  $18. 9781786033468

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) – ESSENTIAL; EL - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

When three wishes lands at his feet, Rabbit asks his best friends, Mouse, Fox, and Bear, what they would wish for, asking himself each time “Is this wish for me?” When he finally makes the choices for his wishes, he wonders if he did it right and his friends show him how right he was.

Saunders' dreamy illustrations are the biggest seller – kids who love day-dreaming over illustrations will fall in love.  Sauders’ poetry follows a rhyme scheme, but no particular meter, which helps it read aloud smoothly without turning into a sing-song recitation.  Rabbit is a kind friend – a great example!

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Croc and Turtle: The Bestest Friends Ever! by Mike Wohnoutka - ESSENTIAL

Croc and Turtle: The Bestest Friends Ever! by Mike Wohnoutka.  PICTURE BOOK.  Bloomsbury, 2019.  $18. 9781681196343

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K - ESSENTIAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

Croc is having a fun time showing off for Turtle, but every time he does something, another animal comes along and does the trick better. The friends are sad, until they come up with something that the pair really are best at.

The super cute twist at the end is just a last charming touch to this delightful book! Pre-school story time needs this quick!

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison - ESSENTIAL

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, illustrated by Vashti Harrison.  PICTURE BOOK.  Kokila (Penguin), 2019.  $18. 9780525553366

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K, EL (K-3): ESSENTIAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

Zuri’s hair kinks and curls like it has a mind of its own. Today is a big day, but only Daddy is around to help her do something with her mane. Together they try different styles with various levels of failure.  Thankfully YouTube comes to their rescue!

Anyone (men?) who hasn’t had much to do with styling little girls' hair will empathize with the father struggling to tame his daughter’s hair.  It doesn’t matter what your hair texture is – this is super fun to read! Here’s a link to a short video by the author and illustrator.


Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Fish and the Cat by Marianne Dubuc - ADVISABLE

The Fish and the Cat by Marianne Dubuc. PICTURE BOOK.  Princeton Architectual Press, 2018. $17. 9781616895051

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K. EL (K-3)- ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

The Fish and the Cat is a fun, action packed story that will delight even the youngest readers.  This wordless picture book outlines a playful pursuit between a cat and a pet fish.  In the beginning of the book readers will wonder whether the cat is up to mischief.  The ending to this delightful book is sweet and a little unexpected.  The illustrations are simple yet detailed.  The story format allows children to add their own ideas to the mix.

We loved the illustrations as well as the playfulness displayed between cat and fish with activities such as hide and seek and a chasing game. Illustrations are in black and white with fish being displayed in a bright splash of red. 

Reviewer: SL

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...