Friday, April 24, 2015

Aqualicious by Victoria Kann - OPTIONAL

Kann, Victoria  Aqualicious  Harper, 2015.  $17.99  PICTURE BOOK  Content: G.   

Pinkalicious is at the beach when she finds a miniature mermaid hiding in a shell named Aqua.  Aqua doesn’t appreciate Pinkalicious putting her in a bucket with crabs and asks to be taken home.  Pinkalicious and her brother decide to build Aqua a castle and take her to the concession stand for human food.  Aqua is taken by a seagull, but Peter gets her back and then they throw her into the ocean, only to learn that she doesn’t live in the ocean but in a big aquarium.   

The storyline of this book is all over the place and at times it feels like Pinkalicious is kidnapping Aqua and controlling her just because she is little which didn’t seem like a good message.  That said, the illustrations are bright and attractive and I think little girls will love the mermaid.  If your readers like Pinkalicious they will like this book as well.   

EL (K-3)-OPTIONAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.

Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafron - OPTIONAL

Zafron, Carlos Ruiz  Marina, 326 pgs.  Little Brown and Company, 2013.  $19.00  Content: Language: PG-13 (12 swears); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG-13.   

Oscar Drai is a lonely boarding school student who wanders the streets of Barcelona.  He comes across a house that seems haunted, but he quickly falls in love with the two inhabitants-German (a famous artist) and his daughter, Marina.  Marina takes Oscar to the cemetery where she has been watching a woman’s weekly visit to an unmarked grave with a black butterfly on the gravestone.  As Marina and Oscar try to uncover the mysterious woman’s story they are drawn into a dark and ghostly unsolved mystery.   

Zafron is a magical author and his Gothic story is spooky because it feels like it could be real.  I enjoyed this adventure and loved the characters, but I think young adults would get discouraged and quit reading.  There are too many sides stories that have to be pieced together to make the overall mystery and it leaves the book feeling disjointed.  As much as I enjoyed this I don’t think there would be too many kids who would get into it.  The violence is grotesque including mutilation.   

MS, HS-OPTIONAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.

Planes Fly! by George Ella Lyon - ADVISABLE

Lyon, George Ella  Planes Fly!  Illustrations by Mick Wiggins  Simon and Schuster, 2013.  $16.99  PICTURE BOOK  Content: G.   

This book gives a brief look at different kinds of airplanes-prop planes, jet planes, etc.  It goes over the different things that planes are used for—putting out fires, hauling cargo, transporting people.  Then it takes the reader through a flight on an airplane until the landing.   

Told in rhyme, the short and simple airplane descriptions make for a great read aloud.  The illustrations use soft colors and are retro but match the text great.  This is a fun addition for those boys who love trucks, planes and cars. 

EL (K-3)-ADVISABLE.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.