Friday, March 23, 2018

Seven Ways to Trick a Troll

Seven Ways to Trick a Troll 
By Lise Lunge Larsen
Illustrated by Kari Vick
University of Minnesota Press, 2017.
Informational Picture Book.

Trolls are unfortunately a pesky part of our day to day life.
If you have ever wondered how to trick those trolls, this book is for you!

Here are some need to know basics on trolls and their weaknesses.
1. Trolls hate loud noises, especially the sound of bells.
2. Trolls burst if they get too mad.
3. Sunlight turns trolls into stone.
4. Reflected sunshine turns trolls to stone.
5. Trolls are easily distracted.
6. Trolls cannot swim.
7. Trolls are heavy and clumsy.

"To defeat a troll, you must draw on the very best of your humanity: you must have courage, patience, intelligence, kindness, the ability to work with others, and plenty of moxie.

This book includes an introduction of trolls in Norse mythology, a story that coincides with each troll weakness showing how to use their weaknesses against them and some really lovely illustrations throughout.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Learn to Draw Disney's Classic Animated Movies

Learn to Draw Disney's Classic Animated Movies
Illustrated by The Disney Storybook Artists
Walter Forest Jr., 2016. Informational.

I was lucky enough to go to Disneyland this year. I miss it. My family misses it. It was a lot of fun. One of our favorite activities we did in Disney's California Adventure was the drawing classes offered in the animation studio. We ended up going to two different hands-on classes taught by Disney artists. They describe shape by shape and step by step how to draw a character in 30 minutes.

When I saw this library edition of Learn to Draw Disney's Classic Animated Movies I immediately brought it home. There are several characters broken down by shape with steps to guide a beginning artist to draw these famous characters. The whole family is excited to pretend we are in our class, in Disneyland, but from the comfort of our own home. There are several different volumes. Check them out from the informational section.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


by Supriya Kilkar
Lee & Low Books, 2017, Fiction. 307 p.
Anjali lives as a Brahman in a smallish town in India during the time of Gandhi. Her father is a professor and her mother works as a translator for the top British official in her village. One day her mother realizes she can no longer support the injustices she sees in her employer's service and instead joins the resistance movement. At first Anjali is reluctant to join her mother in wearing only homespun cloth and serving the "untouchables" but soon she comes to adopt the principals of Ahimsa (non-violence) and the brotherhood of all people.  Here is a book that allows the reader to get a glimpse into another time and culture. Ghandi's vision of a world where there is freedom and equality for all people is especially relevant today.  Kilkar shows how one girl's small sacrifices for the cause of good really can make a difference.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Raid of No Return

Raid of No Return
Nathan Hale
Amulet Books, 2017. Graphic Novel, 124 p.

In the latest book in Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales Nathan Hale tells Hangman and Provost all about a raid in WWII where American’s dropped bombs on Japan in retaliation for the devastation in Pearl Harbor. Once again Hale (the author not the character in the book) peppers humor with the historical facts and details of this dangerous mission. (I dare any of you to not laugh as Hangman pretends to be an airplane.) Even though this raid was not as successful as hoped, it was an important part of WWII and this book sheds light as to why. This book is another great addition to this series.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

From Story Time: The Letter "W"

Read in Book Babies

Written by Anna Kang
Illustrated by Christopher Weyant
Two Lions, 2017.  Picture Book.

Two fuzzy friends go to an amusement park. They try to convince each other that there are much scarier things than the roller coaster. Hairy spiders! Aliens! Fried ants! They soon discover that sometimes being scared isn’t as “scary” as they thought. With expressive illustrations and simple text, this giggle-inducing tale about (not) being scared features the endearing characters from the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award­ winner You Are (Not) Small.  --Publisher

Read in Toddler Time

Squeak, Rhumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!
Written by Wynton Marsalis
Illustrated by Paul Rogers
Candlewick Press, 2012.  Picture Book.

Squeak.  Eek.  Speak.  What's that sound?  The back door, accompanied by a nosy mouse and a sister's sax!  Join world-renowned jazz musician and composer Wynton Marsalis and acclaimed illustrator Paul Rogers for a rollicking, clanging, clapping tour of a busy neighborhood.  Ringing with exuberance and auditory delights, this book will open kids' ears to the infectious rhythms and rhymes of the sounds all around us.  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

By James Proimos
Scholastic Press, 2015.  Picture Book.

What's a penguin to do when he can't find his new best friend?  Yesterday he made a friend who was an absolutely spectacular dancer, but now he can't find him anywhere!  Waddle...waddle...belly slide! along as his search takes him high and low, to surprising new friends and unexpected dangers.  Acclaimed creator James Proimos brings his zest and zany humor to this charming story about appreciating our friends--and ourselves.  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

I'll Wait, Mr. Panda
By Steve Antony
Scholastic Press, 2016.  Picture Book.

Mr. Panda is making a surprise.  What is it?  The animals must wait and see.  But waiting is boring.  Mr. Panda shows that good things come to those who wait!  --Publisher

Read in Monday Cuentos

By Frann Preston-Gannon
Lata de Sal, 2017.  Spanish Picture Book.

Pepper es un gato que vive plácidamente y que adora todos los días de la semana hasta que un día de la semana llega una sorpresa inesperada (como todas las sorpresas) ... llega un nuevo gato, un gato que será ... su hermano! Con él tendrá que compartir juguetes, mimos, comida ... eso es demasiado para Pepper y antes de que el nuevo gatito diga "miau", Pepper ya lo detesta completamente. Pero el gatito no desiste en su empeño por agradar y Pepper termina rindiéndose por completo a sus encantos ... aunque sin pasarse! Un libro que trata de manera súper divertida el momento de la llegada de un hermano/a o de un nuevo miembro de la familia que puede desestabilizar tu mundo en un momento.  --Publisher

Read in Friday Cuentos

El paseo del elefante
By Hirotaka Nakano
Lata de Sal, 2016.  Spanish Picture Book.

El paseo del elefante es una historia sencilla que esconde la complejidad del optimismo y de la actitud ante la vida. Cada uno de los animales que acompañan al elefante en su paseo le aportan compañía pero también un peso que aunque puede ser a veces insoportable ... con una actitud positiva se supera.  --Publisher

Friday, March 16, 2018

Something Very Sad Happened

Something Very Sad Happened: A toddler's guide to understanding death
By Bonnie Zucker
Illustrated by Kim Fleming
Magination Press, American Psychological Association, 2016.
Informational picture book

When my youngest siblings were a pair of particularly energetic 4-year-olds, a harrowing adventure resulted in the untimely death of one of the new kittens. I recall them realizing, for the first time, what dying actually meant, and it was kind of traumatic. 

It's difficult to teach young children the impact death has, but this book tries to. With some sweet simple words that can be tailored to your particular situation, Zucker walks the child through what death might mean to them and those they love. There is also some helpful guidelines for parents of young children.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Boo-Boos that Changed the World

The Boo-Boos that Changed the World
By Barry Wittenstein
Illustrated by Chris Hsu
Charlesbridge, 2018. Informational picture book.

I remember reading a book in elementary school with interesting stories of how household items were invented. The Band-Aid was included and I have always remembered the basics of the story. The inventor's wife was constantly getting cuts. He wanted a way for her to bandage the cuts easily and by herself while he was at work. I liked the story. Truly, all Band-Aids have some kind of magic power that takes away pain, because my kids have always been appeased by having a Band-Aid placed on their little scrapes.

Wittenstein has created an informative, funny, true story of Earle Dickson and his wife Josephine. I learned more details to the story I remembered from my childhood. Wittenstein goes through the beginnings of Band-Aids and the stumbling blocks that were overcome. The product was great, but getting the public to learn about Band-aids and their endless uses was tricky. It is crazy to think of a time when Band-Aids were not found in every home medicine cabinet. Readers will be inspired through the invention and marketing process of an everyday household product and the way it came to be.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hero is a Four Letter Word

Hero is a Four Letter Word
(Recess Warrior, #1)
By Marcus Emerson
Roaring Brook Press, 2017 (2014 c). Comics. 133 p.
Scrap, AKA Bryce, is the playground superhero. His best friend, Yoshi, is the toughest girl in school. Together they face down cootie ridden zombies and crazed female pirates. This is an amazingly clever comic book about the imaginary life on a school playground. Emerson includes the classic stereotypes; the girl that is always trying to kiss everyone, the boy who acts like a cowboy, the kid who talks like a TV narrator, the science nerd kid. There is a lot of talk about bases, and territories, and getting cooties. I am always impressed when an adult author taps into their younger self and captures what it is like to be a 4th grader again.  I honestly chuckled all the way through this one. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Her Right Foot

Her Right Foot
By Dave Eggers
Illustrated by Shawn Harris
Chronicle Books, 2017. Informational.

The worst way to start a book review is to say that it is cool, but this book is cool. This book tells the story of the Statue of Liberty in a way that is humorous, interesting, and informative - to say this text is well-written would undersell how enjoyable it is to read. Because not only does this book tell the story of how the Statue of Liberty came to stand in New York - it tells us why. It reminds us that the Statue of Liberty has welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States and will continue to do so.

This book is timely, to say the least, and though it is longer than many picture books it never feels too long. The text is highlighted by construction paper collage in solid colors that provide lots of views of the Statue of Liberty and of immigrants in America. This book is different from so many children's informational books and it stands out in its uniqueness. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Something's Fishy

Something’s Fishy 
Jean Gourounas
Phaion Press Limited, 2017. Picture Book. 

This is a humorous book to read in the wintertime—although I do understand that all the various animals would not be together in friendly terms nor would a penguin be randomly hanging out with other arctic animals… A penguin is ice fishing. Along comes an arctic hare and asks what the penguin is doing. The response of “Shh!”does not deter the hare from sticking around to see what the penguin might catch. Next comes a walrus followed by a seal, a reindeer, a human, a polar bear, and a moose. Gourounas throws in a clever twist with the ice fishing (that is just as unlikely as a penguin hanging out with the arctic animals) but is fun to read. This will be a great book for kids who are all about the joy of anticipation only to discover it isn’t quite what they expected.