Thursday, June 17, 2021

Bear is a Bear by Jonathan Stutzman and Dan Santat - ESSENTIAL

Bear is a Bear by Jonathan Stutzman, illustrated by Dan Santat
. PICTURE BOOK. Balzer + Bray (Harper), SEPT 2021. $16. 9780062880512 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

Bear is everything a little girl needs to love – a friend ready for every adventure, every joy, every sorrow. But little girls grow up. 

Ready to cry? If you and your kids/students can make it through the Toy Story movies, then you can make it through this. Sad, yes, but also hopeful. Santat adds the just the right tone with his lovely illustrations, showing Bear as a bigger than life companion – truly thru the eyes of a child. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Baz and Benz by Heidi McKinnon - ADVISABLE

Baz and Benz by Heidi McKinnon
. PICTURE BOOK. Simon and Schuster, 2019. $18. 9781534468023 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Baz and Benz are two little owls that are best friends. Baz wonders if Benz will always be his friend. Benz assures him that they will always be friends. Benz is a good friend to Baz, even when Baz get really annoying.

 Super cute story! Sometimes children do not like some things that their best friend does. but when all is over, they are still best friends. Cute story and darling, vibrant illustrations.

 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Alley Cat Rally by Ricky Trickartt - OPTIONAL

Alley Cat Rally by Ricky Trickartt
. PICTURE BOOK. Flying Eye Books, JULY 2021. $17. 9781838740306 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Astra Alley Cat sees a poster for a rally car race and decides to enter. The other competitors are a wide variety of cats and vehicles. Can Astra win? 

The bold, linear illustrations are very eye-catching. It’s one of those books that I may be too old to “get”. I probably need to find a 5yo to try it on. Hs someone else read it? 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Ten Animals in Antarctica by Moira Court - ADVISABLE

Ten Animals in Antarctica by Moira Court
. PICTURE BOOK. Charlesbridge, 2021. $17. 9781623542320 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

Court takes us on a counting trip of some of the animals of Antarctica. 

I love Court’s collage illustrations, which sine on the page. The back matter includes a bit more info about Antarctica and about each animal. Cute and informative. It will definitely be reread for the illustrations. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

The Joy in You by Cat Deeley and Rosie Butcher - ESSENTIAL

The Joy in You by Cat Deeley, illustrated by Rosie Butcher
. PICTURE BOOK. Random House, 2020. $19. 9780593181416 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

 The book follows a little koala bear as he discovers the joy of being alive. He can do anything, there are so many possibilities already inside of him. He finds joy and happiness in everything he does. If things should go wrong, someone will be there to catch him and he can be on his way again.

 A most delightful and happy story, with the most beautiful illustrations. It teaches children to explore new things, new feelings, new ideas, just try new things and never be afraid to be who you are. Just keep being awesome and wonderful you!

 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Summertime Sleepers: Animals that Estivate by Melissa Stewart and Sarah S. Brannen - ESSENTIAL

Summertime Sleepers: Animals that Estivate by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen
. NON-FICTION PICTURE BOOK. Charlesbridge, 2021. $17. 9781580897167 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

We all know about hibernation for some animals during the winter. But did you know that during the summer, some animals ESTIVATE? That’s right. Whether a few days or a few weeks, during the hot, dry summer, there are some animals which sleep away their time. 

 Stewart introduces us to several such animals and Brannen brings the illustrations to create a very interesting look at this entirely new (to me and to my middle grade science teachers) concept! My 7th grade and my Biology teachers both want to share this book next year. 

 Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Branches of Hope: The 9/11 Survivor Tree by Ann Magee and Nicole Wong - ESSENTIAL

Branches of Hope: The 9/11 Survivor Tree by Ann Magee, illustrated by Nicole Wong
. PICTURE BOOK. Charlesbridge, 2021. $17. 9781623541323 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

In the rubble of the Twin Towers, a lone pear tree survived. For a decade it rested and regrew at a nearby plant nursery. When it was replanted at the new memorial site, it became a symbol of hope for people around the world. 

I have read one other book about this tree – I can sincerely say this is a much better, a much more accessible book - both visually and textually. An important addition to a 9/11 collection. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Where Do You Poop? by Agnese Baruzzi - ESSENTIAL

Where Do You Poop? by Agnese Baruzzi
. BOARD BOOK. Mineditions, 2021. $12. 9781662650420 

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K, GIFT - ESSENTIAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

Seven animal friends tell and show a little person what it feels like when they need to poop and where they go. AND the pull tab shows us what that looks like! 

OMG! What an utter delight! I showed this to every adult I could get me hands on around my school building today. It will definitely be read and reread by little friends! 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Liberty’s Civil Rights Road Trip by Michael W. Waters and Nicole Tadgell - ADVISABLE

Liberty’s Civil Rights Road Trip by Michael W. Waters, illustrated by Nicole Tadgell
. PICTURE BOOK. Flyaway Books, OCT 2021. $18. 9781947888197 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Liberty and her family, plus several friends are on a bus trip around the American South. They are on their way to Selma Alabama to march across the Selma bridge. Along the way they will be stopping at other important landmarks of the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement, included the motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered. Seeing this trip through the eyes of Liberty takes a little of the heavy edge off trip. 

 Waters has recreated in miniature the actual trip he and his family, along with faith leaders from Dallas, Texas, took in 2018. The back matter includes a paragraph of information about each stop. While I am not enamored with the illustrations, I do love the quick look through important places in the Civil Rights Movement. A teacher could limit the discussion to just the back matter, or use this as a springboard to researching the places in more depth and/or finding more significant sites. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Rocket Says Clean Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola - ADVISABLE

Rocket Says Clean Up! by Nathan Bryon, illustrated by Dapo Adeola
. PICTURE BOOK. Random House, 2020. $18. 9780593118993 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Rocket is full of excitement and energy as it is time to leave for vacation. They are going to the beach. When they arrive it isn't exactly as wonderful as Rocket thought. She finds a baby sea turtle stuck in some plastic. She bring it to her grandma hoping the turtle can be helped. As she looks around the beach, she notices all the trash around her. She quickly organizes a clean-up crew and they get the beach cleaned up in no time. They are hoping that by keeping the beach clean, and keeping the plastic out of the ocean, that more wild sea creatures will come back to the island. 

It is important to teach children, and adults too, that you pick up after yourself. It is easy to organize a clean-up crew to clean up the park, the street you live on, the beach you go to. Let us teach our children to be aware of the environment and how important it is to properly dispose of trash. Reading this book out loud to your class, your children, is a good way to start a quick clean-up in the halls at school, around the house, in the park or the beach. This book teaches a great lesson. I loved it!

 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Little Bird Visits the Big City by Dominico Granata - ADVISABLE

Little Bird Visits the Big City by Dominico Granata
. PICTURE BOOK. Minedition, 2020. $18. 9789888342037 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Often small children feel the need to take off on their own and explore. they do not understanding the dangers they sometimes will encounter. Little Bird is tired of just staying within the boundaries of his small forest where he lives. He wants to explore the big city he can see in the distance. The trees have been pruned back, it is noisy and confusing. He gets a little scared. Lucky for him, his friends have been keeping an eye on him. 

 A wonderful story about exploring, yet emphasizing that it is good to go with some friends. Things are less scary then. Children like the safety of home and their home surroundings even when they explore new things and new places. A really cute book with cool illustrations.

Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Welcome to Arizona by Asa Gilland - ADVISABLE

Welcome to Arizona by Asa Gilland
. NON-FICTION PICTURE BOOK. Doubleday (Random), 2021. $10. 9780593178218 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

 A non fiction book about Arizona written in easy to read language. Good information on Arizona. It made me want to visit there and see the sights the book talked about.

 I like the book and think it would be helpful to children learning about the different states in the United States. It opens possibilities of more research into all the different things the book talks about, like the Grand Canyon, Monument Vally, The Saguaro cactus, the cactus wren and much more. I would keep a copy of this book in my classroom library.

 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All by Johnson, Council, Choi, and Ashley Seil Smith - ADVISABLE

IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi, illustrated by Ashley Seil Smith
. PICTURE BOOK. Dottir Press, 2020. $19. 9781948340083 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3), EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE; ADULTS - ESSENTIAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

With poetic stanzas, the authors explore many different aspects of intersectionality. The illustrations are the right amount of exuberant and there is lots of great backmatter. Perfect for a talk about supporting each other and the back matter provides an education for parents, teachers, and students alike. My middle school teachers are looking forward to sharing it when school starts in August.

 Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet - ESSENTIAL

Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet
. BOARD BOOK. Handprint (Chronicle), 2020. $9. 9781797207605 

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K - ESSENTIAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

Tullet’s tour de force makes a perfect board book. The sturdy pages will stand up to many page turns. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall - ADVISABLE

Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall.
PICTURE BOOK. Candlewick Press, 2020. $17. 9781536207163 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Jabari is determined to build a machine that will fly clear across the yard. Time after time his machine crashes. Jabari has stick-to-it-ness and does not give up, even though he gets a little frustrated. He finally accepts help from his little sister. 

 What a fun book! It made me think of one of my sons who loved to make airplanes and rockets. He, like Jabari kept at it until their inventions worked, even if they both needed a little help sometimes. A great book for children that like to invent and make things and for teaching grit. I loved this book and I highly recommend it.

 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Friday, June 11, 2021

The Rock From the Sky by Jon Klassen - OPTIONAL

The Rock From the Sky by Jon Klassen
, 96 pages. PICTURE BOOK. Candlewick, 2021. $19. 9781536215625 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL - OPTIONAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Turtle is sure that he has the best spot to stand, but Bear is not convinced – for very good reasons it turns out. 

In four vignettes, Klassen explores irony, muleheadedness, vivid imagination, and then back to irony. The humor is more sophisticated than the previous books, with the same muted color palette. Adults will be very entertained, children only marginally so. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Habitats (Turn-Seek-Find) by Bea Newman - HIGH

Habitats (Turn-Seek-Find) by Bea Newman
. BOARD BOOK. Twirl (Chronicle), 2020. $15. 9782408019693 

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K, GIFT - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

Newman takes us thorugh 5 habitats with a very clever seek and find. Choose and object or animal, then pick a color and then find it! Then change the object and/or change the color and do it again. 

 While not really great as a way to talk about habitat, it is a perfect seek and find fun, especially because there is such a large variety and so much interaction. 

 Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

The Imperfect Garden by Melissa Assaly and April De La Noche Milne - ADVISABLE

The Imperfect Garden by Melissa Assaly, illustrated by April De La Noche Milne
. PICTURE BOOK. Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2019. $20. 9781554554089 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

 A mom and her son plant a vegetable garden. The boy is really excited to help plant, watch the plants grow and then harvest the vegetables. he marvels at the strange shapes of the vegetable, and realizes that they taste the same as the ones found at the store. He loves the carrots with their crazy shapes, and the curly cucumbers and the lumpy apples. 

 A great introduction to gardening. A good way to get children excited to help by first getting the garden area ready, planting seeds and harvesting, eating, baking and cooking the vegetables and fruit. It made me remember when my children and had a big garden and we all worked in it to produce our own vegetables. We had so much fun. Now is a good time to read this with your child and then you can start your own garden with your children. 

 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Welcome to Florida by Asa Gilland - ADVISABLE

Welcome to Florida by Asa Gilland
. NON-FICTION PICTURE BOOK. Doubleday (Random), 2021. $10. 9780593178256 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Great information about Florida. It talks about places to go, things to see, animals to watch for and good food to eat. I loved it. I just visited Florida and got to see a lot of the animals and the sights that are described in the book. Full of good information and helpful if studying about the states in the United States. Librarians may want to choose certain states important to their region or get the whole set for beginning state reports.


 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Way Past Jealous by Hallee Adelman and Karen Wall - ADVISABLE

Way Past Jealous by Hallee Adelman, illustrated by Karen Wall.
PICTURE BOOK. Albert Whitman, 2021. $17. 9780807586785 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

When Debby’s picture gets a lot of attention from the teacher and from other students, Yaz is jealous. So jealous that she does something that really hurts Debby’s feelings. Now on top of her jealousy, Yaz feels awful about her behavior and isn’t sure what she can do to make things better, because she really only wants Debby to be her friend again. 

A good issues book for a face to face or classroom discussion about what fuels jealousy and also about how to apologize. Kids may not pick this up on their own, but it is excellent for a much needed attitude talk. 

 Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Peekaboo: Sun by Camilla Reid and Ingela P. Arrhenius - ADVISABLE

Peekaboo: Sun by Camilla Reid, illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius
. BOARD BOOK. Nosy Crow (Candlewick), 2021. $10. 9781536217216 

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Nine cute peekaboos await little readers to find and reveal. The tabs and pop-ups are sturdy; the illustrations are fun and bright. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Jules vs. the Ocean by Jessie Sima - ADVISABLE

Jules vs. the Ocean by Jessie Sima
. PICTURE BOOK. Simon and Schuster, 2020. $18. 9781534441682 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Jules goes to the beach with her family. Her sister likes to surf and play in the water. Jules loves to build sandcastles. She wants to build the biggest and best sandcastle ever. She starts building a sandcastle but the waves wash it away. she starts over many times, but each time the water has other plans and washes it away. Jules gets frustrated and her sister tell her the ocean isn't doing it on purpose. Read to find out what happens when the two girls work together.

Now I want to go to the beach and build a most fantastic sandcastle. A most delightful book with darling illustrations. Jules does not give up easily, and she learns some valuable lessons along the way. This was a fun book and I highly recommend it. Then see if you can build a sandcastle with a child, even if it is in the sandbox in the back yard or at the park. 

Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Dear Librarian by Lydia M. Sigwarth, illustrated by Romina Galotta - ESSENTIAL

Dear Librarian
by Lydia M. Sigwarth, illustrated by Romina Galotta
PICTURE BOOK Farrar Straus Giroux (MacMillan), 2021. $19. 9780374313906 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ESSENTIAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

5 year old Lydia moved from Colorado to Iowa with her 5 sisters, baby brother and her parents. While they were homeless, they lived with family - their grandmother, an aunt and their cousin, but none of those places were home. They didn't have their own things, it was crowded, and it was temporary. But one day, Lydia's mother took the family to the library. It was everything she needed at the time - so many things to do, lots of space to do it in, and best of all, a wonderful librarian who became a good friend. 

Children's librarians will love Dear Librarian. Sigwarth tells a heartwarming story in a beautiful love letter to her librarian, and to all the librarians who make the safe places the children can feel "at home" in. Romina Galotta's illustrations are realistic and charming. I loved the author's note talking about children's challenges and homelessness.

Lisa Librarian

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Beaver and Otter Get Along . . . sort of by Sneed B. Collard III and Med Sodano - ADVISABLE

Beaver and Otter Get Along . . . sort of
by Sneed B. Collard III, pictures by Med Sodano
PICTURE BOOK Dawn Publications (Sourcebooks), 2021 

EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

When a Beaver moves into the valley, he builds a dam which creates a pond and becomes a healthy environment for lots of other wildlife. Otter moves in, too. He uses the resources too, he fishes in the pond and invites other otters. Even in the winter, Otter and his friends are very active, sliding down the Dam and making a lot of noise. They also made trouble, all the playing on the Dam broke it, and as often as the beaver would fix it, the otters would break it again, and they weren't helping with the repairs. 

In nature (just like in real life) everything doesn't go smoothly, and we still need to get along with our neighbors even though we do thing differently. The beavers turning a stream into a pond and all the different animals benefitting from it was great. I loved the illustrations. Includes an appendix with information about both otters and beavers, more details on the environment, plus literacy connections, social emotional learning ideas, STEAM activities and a short science lesson. This is more than a story about neighbors.

Lisa Librarian

Monday, June 7, 2021

The Traveler’s Tale by Luther Tsai and Nury Vittachi - OPTIONAL


The Traveler’s Tale (Magic Mirror #2)
by Luther Tsai and Nury Vittachi
, 131 pages. Reycraft Books (Newmark Learning), 2019. $8.

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

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Miranda (12yo) and her brother Marko (10yo) are still alone after a month of their parents and grandfather, Ye Ye, disappearing. When half a letter is delivered by some odd men from Ye Ye, they tear it open for clues of where he is and read that he’s in danger! Once again traveling through the magic mirror, Mira and Marko hope to save their grandfather.

This adventure takes Miranda, Marko, and readers into the 1200s on a journey through the desert with Marco Polo. While the information about how to survive in the desert was interesting, the actual history part about the Khans in China and about Marco Polo was dry and harder to read than the historical information in the prequel. I still like the concept and hope that the following books in the series are more like the first one.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The Big Bad Wolf in My House by Valerie Fontaine - NOT RECOMMENDED

The Big Bad Wolf in My House by Valerie Fontaine illustrated by Nathalie Dion translated by Shelley Tanaka. PICTURE BOOK. Groundwood Books, 2021. $19.

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - NOT RECOMMENDED 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: LOW

A young girl describes what happens in her home when the Big Bad Wolf comes to stay. Fear and pain enter her life while she hopes to find a way to safety again.

Trigger Warning: This book contains writing about domestic violence. A sensitively written book, with lovely accompanying illustrations, that tells the story of a young girl’s experience with domestic violence. When her mother meets a new friend that moves in and brings fear and pain with him, the young girl chooses to view him not as a person, but as the monster that he is. A heartbreaking, but important, read that does end on a note of hope. Young readers should not read this book on their own. 

Reviewer: AEB

While You're Sleeping by Mick Jackson - OPTIONAL

While You’re Sleeping by Mick Jackson illustrated by John Broadley. PICTURE BOOK. Pavilion Children’s, 2021. $20.

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3)—OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

When you go to sleep at night there’s so much activity that goes on beyond your cozy bedroom. People are hard at work, animals are flying and scuttling around the neighborhoods, and in other parts of the world there are children learning and playing. Settle down to rest in the darkness while others awaken to set to motion until the dawn.

Uninspired writing is greatly improved by fantastic illustrations. What could be a charming bedtime read is instead bland and unmemorable with oddly specific detail about babies’ nighttime routines and descriptions of other mundane activities. This book could work if read aloud by a reader who is dedicated to bringing much needed energy to the prose. Young readers, however, will delight in the beautifully rendered illustrations.

Reviewer: AEB

Monday, May 31, 2021

Except Antarctica! by Todd Sturgell - ESSENTIAL

Except Antarctica! by Todd Sturgell
. PICTURE BOOK. Sourcebooks eXplore (Sourcebooks Kids), 2021. $15. 9781728233260 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

Turtle and a few other animals are on their way to Antarctica, despite the narrator’s frustrated warnings to stay back. There is some problem solving along the way to the coldest continent, but the animals quickly realize why they don’t live in Antarctica. 

The students generally enjoyed this book, citing its humor and the anthropomorphism as their favorite parts. Even though I struggled to separate out the various voices on the page, the students immediately caught on to the implied warnings and frustration of the narrator. One student remarked, “It was really funny because the animals did the exact opposite of what the book said to do.” Their favorite phrase of the book was “This is ridiculous,” because it really was. Although one student stated that there were “too many facts,” the rest of the class stayed completely engrossed in reading the last pages of the book where a few facts about the animals and Antarctica were listed. I heard many of them say, “I didn’t know that;” they were quite happy to learn from this book. 

Mrs. V, and her third grade class https://amzn.to/2SRyFFt

New in Town by Kevin Cornell - ADVISABLE

New in Town by Kevin Cornell
. PICTURE BOOK. Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers (Macmillan), 2021. $19. 9780374306090 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

The bridge in Puddletrunk has collapsed--AGAIN!! Bridge #273 must be built, but funds are scarce, and there is a worry about the continual termite infestation. Luckily someone new is in town. Hopefully they will be able to help. 

Student reviewers had this to say: “It is a book that can be good for kids and for grown-ups,” “It is entertaining and funny but also teaches a good lesson (which is to not lie because of money)”, and “I loved this book because of its humorous problems and solutions.” As noted by the students, there is a lot to laugh about and to learn from this imaginative story and its illustrations. There are scores of fun details hidden in the busy artwork, prompting more than one visit to the pages of Puddletrunk. 

 Mrs. V, and her third grade class 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Beaver and Otter Get Along...Sort Of by Sneed B. Collard III and Meg Sodano - ESSENTIAL

Beaver and Otter Get Along...Sort Of: A Story of Grit and Patience Between Neighbors by Sneed B. Collard III, illustrated by Meg Sodano.
PICTURE BOOK. Dawn Publications (Soucebooks eXplore), 2021. 9781728232249 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL - ESSENTIAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Beaver moves to a valley where he finds running water, trees, and a mate--it is beaver heaven! But eventually some new neighbors make their way into the beavers’ habitat, making life a bit more difficult for Beaver. Will they be able to live peacefully in the same place? 

This is a great look into how animals act and interact within the natural world, creating habitats where living things both survive and thrive. This book consists of a perfect balance of literary features, making it easy to read and relate to, and informational text. It is an excellent book for a broad understanding of animal habitats, adaptations, and commensal relationships. The story is enhanced by the additional information shared in the back of the book where content connections and activities are printed. 

Keri, elementary school teacher 

Every Day, Chemistry by Julia Sooy and Bonnie Pang - ESSENTIAL

Every Day, Chemistry by Julia Sooy, illustrated by Bonnie Pang
. PICTURE BOOK. Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan), 2021. $19. 9781250768698 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Science is all around us, and this book allows us a glimpse into the chemical changes that are taking place throughout the day, in regular ways. 

This book introduces the reader to chemistry, chemical changes, and chemical reactions in an easy to understand way. The illustrations and simple text display a world where chemistry is a common, and even delicious occurrence, rather than being intimidating or separate from our everyday lives. 

Keri, elementary school teacher 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

The Boy Who Loved Everyone by Jane Porter and Maisie Paradise Shearring - ADVISABLE

The Boy Who Loved Everyone by Jane Porter, illustrated by Maisie Paradise Shearring. PICTURE BOOK. Candlewick Press, 2021. $17. 9781536211238.

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

On Dmitri's first day of preschool, he is eager to make friends. At every turn, Dmitri is telling kids and teachers that he loves them, but nobody responds to him with the same line. He is disappointed and suggests to his mom that he not go back the next day. Dmitri's mom helps him understand that people express their love in different ways--a smile, a hug, an invitation--and he feels better. 

This is a sweet story and absolutely ideal for a Pre-K audience. The pictures are colorful in a basic way and the story is a good one for life lessons. 

Reviewer: TC

Three Lines in a Circle by Michael G. Long and Carlos Velez - ADVISABLE

Three Lines in a Circle: the exciting life of the peace symbol by Michael G. Long, illustrated by Carlos Velez
. PICTURE BOOK. Flyaway Books, AUGUST 2021. $18. 9781947888326 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS, HS - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Long gives a short, bright look at the history and proliferation of the peace symbol. I would have rated it “essential”, but you don’t actually learn about the meaning of the symbol until the back matter, so the introduction lacks the real punch for a more enthusiastic embrace. But highly worthy for any school that covers social justice, nuclear disarmament, the 1960’s or protest movements. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

I is for Immigrants by Selina Alko - ESSENTIAL

I is for Immigrants by Selina Alko
. PICTURE BOOK. Christy Ottoviano Books (Macmillan), 2021. $19. 9781250237866 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

From abuelas to ziti, falafel to quinceaneras, I is for Immigrants lists and illustrates a cornucopia of wonderful things the United States has inherited from its immigrant populations. Each page is filled with a multitude of words and pictures that demonstrate the richness of the combined cultures in America. 

This is a fun, unusual take on traditional A-Z books, and a colorful, educational introduction to a vast array of interesting aspects of American life. It is inclusionary without being overt, and extraordinary in the way that it combines pieces and cultures of so many people and places, as an ideal American life could do, as well. 

Keri, elementary school teacher https://amzn.to/2SMTWA4

The New Kid Has Fleas by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Eda Kaban - ESSENTIAL


The New Kid Has Fleas
by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Eda Kaban
. PICTURE BOOK. Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan), 2021. $19. 9781250245243 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

A new kid has come to school, and she is really different. But once the other kids find out what she’s like, it’s really great to have the new kid in school! 

A beautiful message of inclusion and the need to withhold judgement is shared in an insightful, subtly crafted way through minimal words and excellent illustrations. 

Keri, elementary school teacher 

Friday, May 28, 2021

The 12 Days of St. Patrick's Day by Jenna Lettice and Colleen Madden - OPTIONAL

The 12 Days of St. Patrick's Day
by Jenna Lettice, illustrated by Colleen Madden
. PICTURE BOOK. Random House, 2021. $6. 9780593175019 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

 The story is a poem, and follows the pattern for The 12 Days of Christmas. It tells about what you find the twelve days leading up to St. Patrick's Day. It was a cute idea and the illustrations go right along with the story. 

 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Welcome to California by Asa Gilland - ADVISABLE

Welcome to California by Asa Gilland
. NON FICTION PICTURE BOOK. Penguin Random House, 2021. $10. 9780593178232 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

 The story tells about California with easy to read text and bright illustrations. It has lots of interesting facts about California. A fun read, and lots of good information. This would be a good book for children learning about different states in elementary school. I highly recommend this book.

 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Art with Heart by Rachel Alpine and Addy Rivera Sonda - ADVISABLE

Art with Heart (The Invincible Girls Club #2) by Rachel Alpine, illustrated by Addy Rivera Sonda
. 139 pages. CHAPTER BOOK Aladdin (Simon & Schuster,) 2021. $18

Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: G 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL – ADVISABLE 

 AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

Emelyn is dismayed to find out that someone has put up pictures and mean messages about students in the school. She is especially concerned because one of those messages was about her! Emelyn works with her friends and the grown ups in her life to find a solution to this bullying at school. 

Book 2 in the Invincible Girls Club series, this can be read as a stand-alone. A highlight of the book is the way that Emelyn and her friends look to each other and the trusted grown ups in their lives to solve their very real problems, demonstrating how they, and hopefully all of us, can be invincible in the face of difficulties. Additionally, the book ends with multiple short biographical sketches of women who have shown their own ways of being invincible. 

 Keri, elementary school teacher 

Are You a Cheeseburger? by Monica Arnaldo - ADVISABLE

Are You a Cheeseburger? by Monica Arnaldo
. PICTURE BOOK. Katherine Tegen (Harper), JUNE 2021. $18. 9780063003941 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Raccoon is rummaging through the garbage, searching for cheeseburgers, when he finds a friendly seed. The seed thinks that it might be a hamburger plant, but it doesn’t know for sure. The two keep each other company through the long nights as the seed grows. 

Kind of silly, very sweet, with a lovely message about friendship. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Balletball by Erin Dionne and Gillian Flint - ADVISABLE

Balletball by Erin Dionne, illustrated by Gillian Flint
. PICTURE BOOK. Charlesbridge , 2020. $17. 9781580899390 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

 Nini loves ballet. She loves her tutu, her ballet shoes and the smooth floor where she dances. She loves the ballet moves. Ballet is over for the season and mom has signed Nini up for baseball. Nini does not want to play baseball, she wants to dance ballet. She has a bad attitude about baseball. Coach tells her that sometimes professional athletes take ballet lessons. Ballet helps them play ball better. Will Nini try doing better at baseball?

Such a cute story. Nini has great support from her mother, the coach and the other kids on her team. I loved the book and the story of Nini. Sometimes we do things we really do not want to do and we might even enjoy it, if we just try. A good motivational book to help children try new things. 

Ellen-Anita, Librarian https://amzn.to/3hsR062

Finding Home by Esteli Meza - ADVISABLE

Finding Home by Esteli Meza
. PICTURE BOOK. Orchard Books, 2021. $19. 9781338648218 

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K - ADVISABLE

 AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

 Conejos's house blew away in a gust of wind. He liked his house, it was his home. He sets out to find his house. Along the way he meets friends that try to cheer him up and they give him small gifts to take with him. Finally he comes to a stream and decides to rest for a while. He looks at his reflection in the water and can see how sad he looks. He sits for awhile, feeling sad, before he continues his journey. He does not find his old house, but he find a new home. Sometimes we move, or lose a home to natural disasters, or for a number of reasons. It makes us sad, and that is OK. 

Meza shows us that it is OK to be sad for a while, but that the sadness does not last forever. We will get through this and things will look up and get better - a great lesson. We need to take time to acknowledge out feelings before we go on. A great read aloud for children, and so many things to talk about. Darling illustrations, too.

 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

GIVE IT! by Cinders McLeod - ADVISABLE

GIVE IT! by Cinders McLeod
. BOARD BOOK. Nancy Paulsen Books, 2020. $17. 9781984812438 

BUYING ADVISORY: Pre-K - ADVISABLE

 AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

 Chummy is a little bunny and he lives in Bunnyland. His grandma gives him a lot of carrots for his birthday. Chummy wants to be a superhero and save Bunnyland from dangers like dragons. His grandma reminds him that there are no dragons in Bunnyland. After much thought and consideration he decides how to best help Bunnyland.

 A very simple and cute book. I think this book is a great read-aloud for young children. I do not think it is ever too early to teach children to be wise with money and also teach them how they can help others. We might not always help the way we thought. Sometimes we need to find out what someone needs and then help them that way. We can get the chance to be someones superhero even without a costume. I thought this books was delightful and it has cute illustrations, too.

 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Terrific! by Sophie Gilmore - OPTIONAL

Terrific! by Sophie Gilmore
. PICTURE BOOK. Greenwillow (Harper), JULY 2021. $19. 9780063025189 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: LOW 

The jungle animals are trying to find something to do. As each animal proposes an activity, only a few of them can participate. When they collapse from exhaustion after all their trials, the snake has nefarious ideas of its own. 

The story in this is just fine – actually kind of cute. I didn’t find the muted illustrations very appealing, however. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Swing by Michael Hall - ESSENTIAL

Swing by Michael Hall
. PICTURE BOOK. Greenwillow (Harper), 2020. $18. 9780062866172 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

The letter L is a little worried when a letter from the far end of the alphabet comes to the swings too. Other letters with other differences arrive and all the letters are worried until the newest letter starts to play. In their play, they forget their differences and enjoy the day together. 

A sweet little book about accepting and enjoying each other for who we are. Darling illustrations add to the joy. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Dear Abuelo by Grecia Huesca Dominguez and Teresa Martinez - ADVISABLE

Dear Abuelo by Grecia Huesca Dominguez, illustrated by Teresa Martinez
. PICTURE BOOK. Reycraft Books, 2019. $7. 9781478868897 

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

 Juana moves with her family from Mexico to New York. She will miss a lot about living in Mexico, but especially she misses her grandfather, her Abuelo. She writes him letters telling him about all her new experiences, strating with the plane taking them to New York. We get to know Juana through her letters to her grandfather.

 I loved this book. It is hard to move from one country to another, even harder when you do not speak the new language. I liked reading about her experiences at school, meeting her teacher and meeting children. She also meets a girl that speaks both Spanish and English. They become fast friends. The illustrations are bright and colorful and the story is told in pictures, too. A fun book to read. 

Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Neighbors by Kasya Denisevich - ADVISABLE

Neighbors by Kasya Denisevich.
PICTURE BOOK. Chronicle Books, 2020. $19. 9781452177755 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

 A little girl moves to a new apartment. She knows her address and how to get there. she wonders who her neighbors are and if they are like her or different. 

The illustrations go well with the story and shows clearly what the girl is thinking. An interesting book, and something we have all wondered about when we move to a new place. I would think this book would help a child when moving, and it would be fun to bring treats to all the neighbors and get to know the people that live around you, whether you live in an apartment building or a house. It has some good things to talk with children about. I recommend this book. 

Ellen-Anita, Librarian https://amzn.to/2QhVyRo

Shadow Hills by Jordan Quinn and Ornella Greco - ADVISABLE

Shadow Hills (Dragon Kingdom of Wrenly #2) by Jordan Quinn, illustrated by Ornella Greco
, 139 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL Little Simon (Simon & Schuster, Inc), 2021. $18

Content: G

BUYING ADVISORY: EL– ADVISABLE 

 AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

Ruskin, the kingdom’s only scarlet dragon, is back from his most recent adventure. But it turns out that the enchanted lava rocks are missing, and must be recovered in order to prevent the firestorm that’s coming. Ruskin and his friends must work together to get the rocks back before it’s too late to protect the Kingdom of Wrenly. 

Readers of the Wrenly series are sure to enjoy this graphic novel rendition of the adventures these dragon characters enact. The story is simple--classic problem and solution/hero’s journey--all with a little help from good friends. Some of the pictures are a little freaky (a poop pile for good elementary school humor, and pupils missing from eyeballs on occasion), and those who enjoy this book will be glad for the cliff-hanger ending hinting at more to come. 

 Keri, elementary school teacher 

Stink and the Hairy Scary Spider by Megan McDonald and Peter H. Reynolds - ADVISABLE

Stink and the Hairy Scary Spider (#12) by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. 151 pages. CHAPTER BOOK Candlewick Press, 2020. $15

Content: G

BUYING ADVISORY: EL – ADVISABLE 

 AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

Stink loses his new origami frog in the grass, but finds something creepy instead when he goes looking for it. Stink has help identifying and finding the big spider AND his origami frog! 

Book 12 in the Stink series, this still reads as a stand-alone text for those who aren’t familiar with or who don’t want to read any other books about Stink and his adventures. The book is filled with illustrations that both enhance the storyline, and also do a bit of on-the-side teaching, including step by step directions for making one’s own origami frog. 

Keri, elementary school teacher https://amzn.to/3txgD7Y

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

C is for Country by Lil Nas X and Theodore Taylor III - OPTIONAL

C is for Country by Lil Nas X, illustrated by Theodore Taylor III
. PICTURE BOOK. Random House, 2021. $19. 9780593300787

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

A new twist on alphabet books. This book takes you through the adventures on the farm from sunrise till sunset. Delightful story and fun and bright illustrations. I like alphabet books and love the way author come up with so many new and unusual ways to write one. This book takes place on the farm and the story is happy and bright. A fun book to read with young children. 

Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

LillyBelle A Damsel NOT in Distress by Joanna Pastro and Jhon Ortiz - OPTIONAL

LillyBelle A Damsel NOT in Distress by Joanna Pastro, illustrated by Jhon Ortiz.
PICTURE BOOK. Boyds Mills Press, 2020. $24. 9781635922967

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

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

 Lilly Belle is learning to be a damsel but decides she never wants to be damsel in distress. She will not sit around and wait to be rescued when she is in trouble. She figures out a way to get out of trouble on her own and makes some surprising friends in the course of her adventures. LillyBelle is spunky and brave. She is a problem solver and a doer. 

The book is beautifully illustrated and the vibrant illustrations help make the story come to life. It is a fun read, all the way to the surprising ending. 

 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Welcome to Kiss the Book Jr.!

Welcome! Kiss the Book Jr. is for board books, picture books, early readers, and chapter books.  Also, any novels and non-fiction that we ag...