Saturday, October 21, 2017

From Story Time: The Letter "G"

Read in Book Babies

Written by Cheryl Willis Hudson
Photographs by John-Francis Bourke
Candlewick Press, 2003.  Picture Book.

Photographs and simple rhyming text present different things that hands can do, such as hold things, mix things, and wave goodbye.  --Publisher

Read in Toddler Time

Written by Aaron Reynolds
Illustrated by Peter Brown
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017.  Picture Book.

Jasper Rabbit is NOT a little bunny anymore.  He can pick any pair of underwear he wants.  And every big rabbit knows Creepy Underwear are the coolest.  Even if they give off a ghoulish, greenish glow.  It's NOT like Jasper is scared.  He just might be done with his Creepy Underwear...  But are they done with him?  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

Written by Lemony Snicket
Illustrated by Lisa Brown
Roaring Book Press, 2017.  Picture Book.

Goldfish Ghost was born on the surface of the water in a boy's room.  Feeling lonely, he sets out to find some company.  As he floats over the neighborhood, past the fishing pier, and into a cheerful seaside town, he discovers that not many people pay attention to ghosts.  Off he floats, searching for the perfect home and the perfect friend...and then he hears a voice...  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

By Greg Foley
Viking, 2009.  Picture Book.

Can you find luck?  That is what Bear wants to know as he looks high and low for a four-leaf clover.  Monkey says there's no such thing.  Elephant can't remember where he saw one.  Just when Bear is about to give up, his friend Mouse sees something.  But it's not exactly what they were looking for.  Here's a story that reveals that luck isn't always good or bad.  Sometimes luck is a surprise. --Publisher

Read in Monday Cuentos

By Patrick McDonnell
Oceano Travesía, 2014.  Spanish Picture Book.

¡Zas! ¡Pum! ¡Cataplum! ¿Qué hemos hecho? Habia una vez tres pequeñas sabandijas que se consideraban los monstruos más GRANDES y MALVADOS del mundo. Entonces llegó un monstruo aún más GRANDE que los hizo cambiar de opinión.  --Publisher

Read in Friday Cuentos

By Dominque Jolin
Translated by Anna Juan Cantavella
Edebé, 2011.  Spanish Picture Book.

Toupie y Binou celebran juntos la fiesta de Halloween.  Será…¡terroríficamente divertido!  --Publisher

Friday, October 20, 2017

Chilling Interactive Adventures

Chilling Interactive Adventures
by Various Authors
Capstone Press
Informational 100s

As the person who buys all the informational ghost books, I was so excited to find this fun new series. Each book is set in an actual place that's believed to be haunted. Drawing on the stories and folklore surrounding the hauntings, each story casts you as a character on a night time adventure with multiple paths and possibilites. So, yes, this is just basically a Choose Your Own Adventure series... but they're spooky!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

All's Faire in Middle School

All's Faire in Middle School
By Victoria Jamieson
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017. Comics. 248 p.

Imogene's family has been a part of the Renaissance Faire her entire life. This year, for the first time she is going to be an actor in the Faire, instead of just running the shop with her mom! She has also been home schooled her entire life, but she decides she wants to start 6th grade in public school, her first year of middle school. She encounters the tricky business of making friends and finding out middle school can be hard. Sometimes people who you think are your friends, really aren't.

This graphic novel is a true telling of the middle school experience. The emotions, awkwardness, and insecurities are perfectly portrayed. Imogene has to realize who the important people are in her life and who she really is. The extensive amount of artwork is incredible. The reader is brought into the life of Imogene. The description and detail of the inner workings and people involved in a Renaissance Faire is interesting. Imogene is able to endure her problems, learn some lessons and have a little fun throughout the story.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Tumble & Blue

Tumble and Blue
by Cassie Beasley
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017. Fiction. 309 p.
Blue Montgomery is taken to his grandmother's house in the Okefenokee  swamp and unceremoniously dropped off by his race-car-driving father. The Montgomerys each have an unbreakable fate, either good or bad, and Blue's is that he always looses.  Once every 100 years an opportunity arises for one of the Montgomerys to change their fate, and Blue is determined he will be the one.  While waiting for the appointed day, Blue meets Tumble, a girl who is obsessed with being a hero.  When Tumble discovers Blue's curse, she is determined to help him break it.  Things are not as straight forward as they seem, and soon both children find themselves in more danger than they could have imagined.

This book is getting starred reviews all over the place.  It is by the author of Circus Mirandus, which got a lot a attention a few years ago.  It is an interesting fantasy with very complex emotional elements.  It explores the nature of good and evil, fate and self determination, and emphases that there are always reasons behind other's behaviors.  This is a great book for a fantasy reader who wants something different or for parent/child book club. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Buddy and Earl Go to School

Buddy and Earl Go to School
By Maureen Fergus
Groundwood Books, 2017. Picture book.

In this latest installment of the Buddy and Earl books, the two friends decide they need some education so that they can reach their dreams (which include becoming a dentist for Earl and a hot dog vendor for Buddy). So after a nutritious breakfast of Dad’s slippers and gathering their school supplies of smelly blankets and chew toys, Buddy and Earl attend an improvised classroom.

As usual, there is lots of adventure, wit, and warm friendship. Buddy and Earl get better and better.

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting 
By Joe Ballarini
Katherine Tegen Books, An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2017. 338 p.

Alright, who knows kids that like reading books about monsters that are pretty creepy? You know, the kind that likes Goosebumps or Mary Downing Hahn books. Well, this is another book for those readers who love the spooky feeling that comes every October when the world thinks of ghosts and goblins and all things Halloween. The only thing is this book also might appeal to kids who like the Babysitters Club and books about kids who have to figure out relationships of friends and potential boys they like. This is a mix of those two worlds. And it was pretty fun to read.

Kelly wants to save money so she can go to a fancy summer camp. So she starts babysitting. On Halloween. And she loses the kid to a monster. Yup, her life is totally not going the way she planned. Kelly soon learns that there are babysitters and then there are babysitters who are more like warriors who save the world from monsters. The kind of monsters that come out from under the bed or from darkened closets and live off of the screams of little children. And Kelly also realizes that she can do more than she thinks she can (just wait until the climax when she has to outmaneuver the main monster with a less-than-ideal weapon). Yeah, give this to the kids who like being scared. And who want a little character/relationship development to go along with their monsters and action.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

From Story Time: The Letter "F"

Read in Book Babies

Written by Dianna Hutts Aston
Illustrated by Julie Maren
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2007.  Picture Book.

Biting into a plump, juicy orange is one of the great pleasures of winter.  But how has that snack found its way to you?  This glowing, lyrical book tells the tale of an orange's life journey--from spring blossom to bright, round fruit, from tree to truck to grocery store.  And perhaps then, into the hands of a child, who takes it from its shelf in the produce section, saves it for school the next day, and then shares it with friends at recess.  Oh, the sweetness of an orange in January!  --Publisher

Read in Book Babies

By Juana Medina
Viking, 2016.  Picture Book.

1 Avocado Deer.  2 Radish Mice.  3 Pepper Monkeys.  Are you hungry yet??  Counting from one to ten, 1 Big Salad fills a bowl with the most delicious and delightful vegetables.  Here is a truly scrumptious way to learn numbers...and eat them, too!  --Publisher

Read in Toddler Time

Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance
By Keith Graves
Chronicle Books, 1999.  Picture Book.

Frank was a monster who wanted to dance.  So he put on his hat and his shoes made in France...and opened a jar and put ants in his pants!  So begins this monstrously funny, deliciously disgusting, horrifyingly hilarious story of a monster who follows his dream.  Keith Graves' wacky illustrations and laugh-out-loud text will tickle the funny bone and leave readers clamoring for an encore.  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

My Friend
By Beatrice Alemagna
North-South Books, 2005.  Picture Book.

I am a most unusual animal.  I have fur like a dog and I'm shaped like a sheep.  But no one seems to know just what I am.  Everyone tries to categorize the remarkable creature, but while he may not know what he is, he knows very well what he isn't--a cat, a rat, a lion, a wild boar, or a hippopotamus.  Then one day he meets an equally unusual animal and together they make a very important discovery.  This sweet story will bring comfort and reassurance to any child who has ever felt "different."  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

The Wizard, the Fairy, and the Magic Chicken
Written by Helen Lester
Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1983.

Jealousy and reckless competition send the Wizard, the Fairy, and the Magic Chicken fleeing from hairy, bumpy, and dotted monsters.  Now they must run for their lives--or learn to work together!  --Publisher

Read in Monday Cuentos

Written by Lemony Snicket
Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Translated by Pilar Armida
Oceano Trevesia, 2015.  Spanish Picture Book.

Laszlo le teme a la oscuridad, pero la oscuridad no le teme a él.  Laszlo vive en una casa y la oscuridad vive en el sótano.  Pero una noche, la oscuridad visita a Laszlo en su habitación.  --Publisher

Read in Friday Cuentos

Written by Aaron Reynolds
Illustrated by Peter Brown
Translated by Joana Delgado
Picarona, 2015.  Spanish Picture Book.

Al conejito Jasper le encantan las zanahorias, y siempre que le apetecen, va al campo de los Saltamontes Locos y elije las más grandes y crujientes. Bueno, eso era así hasta que empezaron a perseguirle...  --Publisher

Friday, October 13, 2017

Bailey School Kids Mysteries

Vampires Don't Wear Polka Dots
by Debbie Dadey
Scholastic, c1990. Intermediate. 78 pgs.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY! To the year I was born: 1991. The popular Bailey School Kids series published it's first installment, and I've loved them ever since. If you're looking for a great intermediate series and haven't managed to run across this one yet, do. Four friends from Bailey School Elementary's third grade class are surprised when their new teacher exhibits features of vampirism. This is the beginning of their Scooby-Doo type investigative club that carries them through countless cases as they believe (but can't quite prove) that their town is filling up with friendly monsters.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Goodnight, Hockey Fans

By Andrew Larsen
Illustrated by Jacqui Lee
Kids Can Press, 2017. Picture Book.

Hitting the shelves just in time for the hockey season, Goodnight, Hockey Fans tells the story of a little boy who can't fall asleep so he pulls out his dads old radio to listen to the game broadcast of his favorite hockey team. Soon he drifts off to sleep, and finds himself playing (and scoring!) for his team.

A cute bedtime story to share with your little hockey fan.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Sand Warrior

The Sand Warrior
(5 Worlds Book 1)
by Mark Siegel
Random House, 2017. Comics. 248p.
Oona is the least proficient of all the sand dancers.  Her aniforms are always getting away from her.  While chasing one she overhears a council meeting and discovers that her world is in great danger.  The "Chosen One" needs to relight the five beacons before they all parish.  Oona believes her long lost sister is the chosen one,  and with the help of some unlikely friends,  she goes on a desperate quest to find her and bring her back to Crystalia.

This is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel fantasy.  It got some starred reviews and will be popular with the "Amulet" crowd.  There is nothing terribly original in the plot line, but the setting is well imagined, and somehow we never get tired of the stories of the underdog who discovers hidden potential and uses it to save the world.