Saturday, July 31, 2010

Newsgirl by Liza Ketchum

Ketchum, Liza Newsgirl 327 pgs. Viking, 2009. Violence-G; Sexual Content-G; Language-G. $17.99. Amelia Forrester is one spunky girl. But it is her spunk that enables her to survive the rough-and-tumble town that early 19th century San Francisco proves to be. After Amelia, her mother, and dear family friend, Estelle, move from the East Coast to the West Coast, Amelia finds out that being a girl comes with disadvantages in this town. But despite the fact that she is a girl, Amelia finds a way to make her way as a newsgirl...by dressing as a boy! With her newfound freedom, more opportunities open up for Amelia, as well as more adventures! After surviving an accidental hot-air balloon launch, nearly being shanghaied and surviving one of San Francisco's fires, Amelia realizes the good news for her is that she is loved and alive! 
Personally, I had a hard time really getting into this book. It moved a little bit slow, but I think that younger girls in the 10-15 age range would really like this book. The book jacket cover is fabulous though and the book is well written. EL/MS-ADVISABLE. Whitney, Library-Teacher. 

Friday, July 30, 2010

Night of the Living Lawn Ornaments by Emily Ecton


Ecton, Emily Night of the Living Lawn Ornaments, 229 p. Aladdin (Simon), 2009.  $5.99.  Thanks to Mr. Boots, her depressed, deranged Chihuahua, Arlie is up a tree with her best friend Ty, hiding from the neighborhood mean old lady.  When the group discovers a beautiful dragonfly pendant in the tree, they have no idea that all heck is going to break loose.  How about a walking Happy Hog, an orange kangaroo, a flock of lawn ornaments and a large variety of other characters.  Ecton’s book is a total, wild romp and I need to get my hands on the others on the series ASAP!  EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

The Wonderful Book by Leonid Gore

Gore, Leonid The Wonderful Book.  Scholastic Press, 2010.  $16.99.  PICTURE BOOK.  The forest animals find a strange object in the forest and find different, creative ways to use it, until a different creature comes along and teaches them what the object is really for.  The drawings of the forest creatures are charming.  I can hear the giggles from a crowd of pre-schoolers at story time now.  Pre-K – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Noman’s Island by Lesley Hauge


Hauge, Lesley Noman’s Island, 243 p.  Henry Holt, 2010.  $16.99.  Violence: PG.  Keller is more than happy with her life as an apprentice Tracker for Foundland.   Their island home is populated only by women and Trackers work hard to keep the women safe.  But one Tracker has found a secret place – and none of the others can resist the glimpse into life before the devastation – a tantalizing life of luxury and privilege.  Can the girls keep their secret as the leader of Foundland and her Patrol come to their village to seek out that place for themselves – and seek out rebels at the same time. Not my favorite post-apocalypse novel, but there are some very compelling moments within. If Noman’s Island is the beginning of a series, it will be a much better book.  As a stand alone, however, it needs more depth and detail.  I will cross my fingers for it!  MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

A Troubled Peace by L.M. Elliott


Elliott, L.M. A Troubled Peace, 304 p. Katherine Tegan (Harper), 2009.  $16.99.  World War II is not quite over, but Henry Forester has returned safely home to Virginia.  Stress and angst still have Henry is their clutches and Henry is willing to brave war-torn Europe in order to find Pierre, the French boy who saved his life.  Luck, divine intervention, heartache and danger await Henry in his epic journey, back through the places he already escaped.  Elliot has created a beautiful follow-up to her previous masterpiece.  Share this far and wide.  MS – ESSENTIAL.  

Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow by Robert D. San Souci


San Souci, Robert D. Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow, illustrated by E.B. Lewis.  Orchard Books (Scholastic), 2010.  $17.99.  PICTURE BOOK.  San Souci and Lewis lends their talents to a retelling of how Robin Hood fooled the Sheriff of Nottingham and won a golden right arrow right from under his nose.  The illustrations are rich and detailed and are a good away to introduce a new generation to these classic stories.  EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Song for a Princess by Rachael Mortimer


Mortimer, Rachael Song for a Princess, illustrated by Maddy McClellan.  Chicken House (Scholastic), 2010.  $17.99.  PICTURE BOOK.  The birds of the forest use the words on the wind from the princess and her best friend, who have spent many happy days chatting in the garden.  Now the princess is alone and her words are full of sorrow.  The birds try everything they can think of to cheer her up and bring happiness back to their world.  McClellan has a funky, colorful style of illustration that I have not seen before – and thoroughly enjoyed. The story would be a great addition to any elementary collection, either to show a wider range of story illustration or to read aloud for story time.  EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

And I Love You by Ruth Krauss


Krauss, Ruth And I Love You, illustrated by Steven Kellogg.  Scholastic Press, 2010.  $16.99.  PICTURE BOOK.  A Mother Cat shows her little kitten how big and little, the whole world works together in a necessary bond.  I can see this book being read by mother to child or given as a gift from a faraway grandparent.  Pre-K – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Mad at Mommy by Komako Sakai


Sakai, Komako Mad at Mommy.  Arthur A. Levine (Scholastic), 2010.  $16.99.  PICTURE BOOK.  A little bunny is so mad at his mother that he decides to leave – and then come back and see if his mother missed him.  Sakai’s illustration shave a quirky quality that I really enjoy.  Little ones will really enjoy laughing at little bunny, while their mothers nod knowingly at their side.  Pre-K – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Emberley


Emberley, Rebecca and Ed Emberley If You’re a Monster and You Know It.  Orchard Books (Scholastiv), 2010.  $16.99.  Watch out parents everywhere.  One peek at this book will unleash a torrent or snarks, snarls, growls and grunts throughout the library, bookstore, classroom and home wherein this books resides. I can’t wait to see children acting this one out!  Pre-K, EL (K-3) – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Spaceships, Aliens, and Robots You Can Draw! by Nicole Brecke and Patricia M. Stockland

Brecke, Nicole and Stockland, Patricia M, Spaceships, Aliens, and Robots You Can Draw! Millbrook Press, 2010. INFORMATION BOOK.

Learn how to draw easy spaceship, aliens, robots, and more with easy tips for drawing, step-by-step instructions, and pictures. This book is well-done. The pictures are helpful, the instructions are simple, and the tips make a big difference. The things the artist-in-training learns how to draw are unique and complement each other well. Readers who like art, drawing books, and science fiction will love this book. EL (4-6). ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

Ivy Loves to Give by Freya Blackwood


Blackwood, Freya Ivy Loves to Give.  Arthur A. Levine (Scholastic), 2010. PICTURE BOOK.   Little Ivy loves to go around giving presents, but lots of times the present is just not quite right.  As Ivy puts everything back, she is not quite sure that she wants to return them all.  Ivy’s story is sweet and highly recognizable to the sibling, parent or caretaker of happy little children.  It would be a great opener to talk to younger ones about respecting other people’s property and asking to borrow something instead of just taking.  Pre-K – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

The Reason by Marley Gibson


Gibson, Marley The Reason (Ghost Huntress book 3), 230 p. Graphia (Houghton), 2010.  $8.99.  Language: R (85 swears, no ‘f’); Other Content: G.  Kendall and her ghost hunter friends are the real deal – in fact, Kendall has had a vision about her own death – and it looks like it may be happening soon.  She is only getting vague, non-answers from her spirit guide Emily and so decides to research Emily’s past.  And the mayor of their town has asked the ghost hunters to research the haunt in her home – and this one seems to be particularly angry.  Kendall and her friends are about to stir up more questions than answers – and a whole lot of danger.  As fond as I am of the Ghost Huntress, I am not fond of the mouth on her and her friends.  HS – OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher.

Goldstrike by Matt Whyman


Whyman, Matt Goldstrike, 262 p. Atheneum (Simon), 2010.  $16.99.  Language: PG, Violence: PG-13.  Carl Hobbes and Beth managed to survive their escape from a maximum, super-secret detention facility – and the extreme arctic conditions surrounding them, and they have even managed to evade any and all CIA, FBI, domestic and foreign agents who may be after them.  But just as Carl settles into a dream job, working in a high-security cargo company with the world’s smartest computer, where he may be able to cover their tracks forever, Beth gets itchy feet and itchy fingers.  Now, instead, their lives are in danger – caught between a bounty hunter who wants the price on their heads and an assassin who wants the price fore them dead.  For the life of me, I can’t understand why Carl keeps saving Beth’s skin – she doesn’t appeal to me as a character at all.  But Carl’s brains, nerve and feats of derring-do more than make up for Beth.  The set-up takes a bit, but the action is non-stop heart-pounding once it gets going.  MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

This is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee


Dee, Barbara This is Me From Now On, 259 p. Simon, 2010.  $5.99.  Evie new neighbor is crazy, funny, compelling and ready to direct Evie’s life.  Evie kind of likes her joie de vive, but Evie’s best friends feel alienated.  Evie really wants a change, so she is willing to put up with Francesca’s antics.  What she doesn’t realize is that change can bring great joy or great sorrow – and it will always leave you different.  While this is not my favorite of the Mix imprint, it has definitely grown on me – I actually read it twice.  I think it  is a great book for the miidle ages – for those who are still trying to find themselves and those who are trying to find out what being a friend means.  MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Rise of the Darklings by Paul Crilley


Crilley, Paul Rise of the Darklings (The Invisible Order book 1), 352 p. Egmont, 2010.  $16.99.  Content: G.  Emily and her little brother William are barely surviving the mean streets of London in the late 1860’s.  Their parents are dead and Emily is trying as hard as she can to scrape money together for food, shelter and clothing.  Then she runs headlong into the other side of London – the secret side – where fairies live and war against those who are trying to remove them for London forever.  Emily is the key – the one whom both sides want for themselves.  The Queen of the Fairies will do whatever it takes to ensure Emily’s cooperation – even kidnapping William.  I really enjoyed Crilley’s vision of fairies and London and I loved the end – or should I say the clues to what is coming next.  EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Magic Below Stairs by Caroline Stevermer


Stevermer, Caroline Magic Below Stairs, 199 p. Dial (Penguin), 2010.  $16.99.  Content: G.  Frederick Lincoln lives in an awful orphanage – the director seems bent on making his life miserable.  But help comes one night from one of the little folk – Billy Bly, who seems to bring luck to Frederick.  When Frederick catches the job as a servant for a great wizard, Billy follows.  And despite the wizard’s reservation, Billy helps not only Frederick, but also the great man and his heir-to-be.  Very cute fantasy – fun to read aloud at bedtime.  EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

The Shadows by Jacqueline West


West, Jacqueline The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere), 241 p. Dial (Penguin), 2010.  $16.99.  Content: G.  Olive, 11, and her parents have moved into a cheap, but creepy old house that really gives Olive the willies.  Everything from the former occupants was left behind – including the cats.  And when she finds a pair of really old glasses she also finds out that she can step inside the strange paintings on the walls.  There she finds another place – an Elsewhere – and a mystery – and danger.  With the help of Morton, a little boy from one of the paintings; the cats; and a beautiful young woman also from a painting, Olive may be able to solve the mystery – or she may be betrayed.  So much great young fantasy!  I don’t know where the next book in the series is going to go, but I am excited to read it when it is published!  EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

The Falling Raindrop by Neil Johnson and Joel Chin


Johnson, Neil and Joel Chin The Falling Raindrop.  Tricycle, 2010.  $14.99.  PICTURE BOOK.  A little raindrop is consumed with anxiety as he heads from the clouds above to the earth below.  Very simple, but very sweet illustrations make this look at the water cycle understandable for even the very smallest, but it is a book for parent and child to enjoy together also.  PreK, EL (1-3) – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

The Firehouse Light by Janet Nolan


Nolan, Janet The Firehouse Light, illustrated by Marie LaFrance.  Tricycle Press, 2010.  $15.99.  PICTURE BOOK.  Content: G.  Since 1901, a little four watt bulb has burned in the firehouse in Livermore, California.  Surviving even a move to a brand new station, the little bulb has seen many changes in the town and in firefighting.  A great story to share with a class in a throwaway society.  EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The ElseWhere Chronicles Book One: The Shadow Door by Nykko


Nykko The ElseWhere Chronicles Book One: The Shadow Door 46 pgs. Graphic Universe 2009. GRAPHIC NOVEL Language- G, Sexual Content - G, Violence - G. At a funeral for Grandpa Gabe, Max, Noah and Theo meet Rebecca and embark on a journey they had not anticipated on. They go and explore Grandpa Gabe's haunted house. There they find a mutt named Bruiser, and tree that may or may not be talking to them. Rebecca finds an old movie projector and turns it on. She is transported into another world and Max dives in to save her. The graphic novel ends as a cliff hanger, you must wait for book two to see how or if they are saved by their friends. EL, MS - OPTIONAL. Anna M, Teacher.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Noah Webster Weaver of Words by Pegi Deitz Shea


Shea, Pegi Deitz Noah Webster Weaver of Words 40 pgs. Calkins Creek Books 2009. PICTURE BOOK $18.95. Noah Webster is most commonly known for writing and creating the dictionary, but that is only a small part of him. What you may not know is that he was a champion for public education, helping reduce class size, stop corporal punishment, and advocating free education to all. He was a Patriot, and wanted to unite the people of the United States. He thought that by making a universal language, it would be easier to communicate. Throughout his lifetime he was a lawyer, teacher, farmer wordsmith, political author and speaker, as well as a father of eight. This is a great picture book biography and is fun to read. The illustrations are fun to look at as well. EL, MS- ESSENTIAL. Anna M, Teacher.

The Moon by Laura Hamilton Waxer


Waxer, Laura Hamilton The Moon 48 pgs. Lerner Publications 2010. PICTURE BOOK $26.60 Did you know that nearly fifty Moons could fit inside Earth? If we wanted to know how far away the Moon was, we would have to imagine a rope that was long enough to wrap around the Earth nine times. If it weren't for Earth's gravity, the Moon would float away like a balloon. This is just a taste of what you can learn about the Moon. This expository text for kids is a fun way to get a lot of information about the Moon. It is divided into small chapters with excellent pictures and diagrams to help explain hard concepts like the phases of the Moon. EL- ESSENTIAL. Anna M, Teacher.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Gift by Yong Chen


Chen, Yong A Gift 32 pgs. Boyd Mills Press 2009. PICTURE BOOK $16.95. Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in the Chinese culture. Amy's mom becomes homesick during the Chinese New Year since they are living in the United States and her family is still living in China. She misses her family and wishes that her daughter, Amy, could have the chance to meet them. One day, they receive a package for Amy from her family. It is a present they sent for Chinese New Year. It is a beautiful stone that has been turned into a dragon, that Amy can wear as a necklace. Although the dragon used to signify the emperor of China, now it is the symbol of China itself. The paintings in the book are beautiful. Although a short and cute story, there wasn't really a plot. Most of the information is found within the author's note. EL - OPTIONAL. Anna M, Teacher.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Are You Ready for Spring? by Sheila Anderson




Anderson, Sheila Are You Ready for Spring? 32 pgs. Learner Classroom 2010. PICTURE BOOK. $25.26. Are you ready for Spring? Spring means splooshy, squishy mud and baby birds hatching. Spring weather includes rain, so don't forget your umbrella! With plants growing and baby deer laying in the grass, who wouldn't want to go play outside? This is a great expository text that is filled with many facts about Spring for young readers. The pictures are colorful and grab the readers' attention. It goes into depth on how chicks hatch and provides a glossary of science words that kids can reference. This is a fun read. EL(K-3) - ESSENTIAL. Anna M, Teacher.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chasing Brooklyn

Schroeder, Lisa. Chasing Brooklyn, 432 pgs. Simon Pulse, 2010. Language: PG-13 (about 30 swears), Sexual Content: PG, Violence: PG.

Brooklyn is still struggling with the death of her boyfriend, Lucca, a year later. On top of that her deceased friend Gabe begins haunting her dreams. About this time Lucca's brother, Nico, begins to reach out to Brooklyn, becoming the lifeline she needs to move forward.

I don't usually read books written in verse but I'd heard good things about this book so I gave it a try. I liked it. It's told in alternating chapters from Nico and Brooklyn's point of view. HS - ADVISABLE. Rebekah, youth services librarian.

Plain Kate by Erin Bow

Bow, Erin, Plain Kate, 336 pgs. Arthur A. Levine, 2010. Language: G, Sexual Content: G, Violence: PG

Plain Kate is young but she is a masterful carver. So skilled that her town thinks she can work deep magic. Which is dangerous since in her world witches are burned. When a stranger offers her escape from town and her one hearts desire in exchange for her shadow, Plain Kate accepts the bargain. Which was a bad idea.

This book had interesting magic with shadows and blood. It had good pace and great writing. But I didn't find it all that interesting. I got bored. MS, HS - OPTIONAL. Rebekah, youth services librarian

The Summer of Moonlight Secrets by Danette Haworth

Haworth, Danette, The Summer of Moonlight Secrets, 273 pgs. Walker Books for Young Readers, 2010. Content - G

Allie Jo lives in an antebellum Florida hotel during the summer of 1988. Chase is visiting for a few weeks with his father. They come together to solve the mystery of Tara, the teenager hiding in a hotel closet. It makes for a summer they will never forget. 

Cute story. I liked the two main characters and how they interacted with each other and their respective families. The mystery of Tara was fun to discover. There was a hint of romance, but it was mild and well done. EL (5-6) - ADVISABLE. Rebekah, youth services librarian.


The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez

Gonzalez, Christina, The Red Umbrella, 288 pgs. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2010. Content - G (one accidental swear word).

In 1961 Lucia is an averange fourteen-year-old girl living in Cuba. But as Castro rises in power many of her freedoms are taken away. Her parents are afraid of what the Communist revolution will do to tear their family apart and decide to send Lucia and her younger brother to America, alone.

Really well-written and very interesting. Lucia is a great character. She grows a lot from the beginning of the book to the end. Not only do we get her perspective, but the perspective of her parents, her uncle, her best friend still in Cuba, and her American classmates. I liked the book. MS - ADVISABLE. Rebekah, youth services librarian



Countdown by Deborah Wiles

Wiles, Deborah, Countdown, 400 pgs. Scholastic Press, 2010. Content - PG

It's 1962 and Franny has a lot to worry about: her uncle's crazy behavior, her sister's secret letters, her best friend not being her best friend anymore. But on top of all that, it's the Cuban missle crisis and the whole US is worried about an atomic bomb falling.

Not only is Franny's story told, but interspersed throughout the book are pictures, song lyrics, speeches, and short biographies about key historical figures of the time. Which was a lot of fun to read through.

I liked this book and mostly it was because I really liked Franny. She grew a lot during the novel and learned how to stand up for herself. EL (5-6) MS - ADVISABLE. Rebekah, Youth Services Librarian

Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony

Anthony, Joelle, Restoring Harmony, 307 pgs. G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2010. Content - PG.

Ten years after the Great Collapse, Molly leaves her Canadian home to travel to Oregon in an attempt to find her grandfather and bring him back home with her. He is a doctor and her mother is in the middle of a difficult pregnancy. Travel is difficult and expensive and things are not what she expected once she arrives. She must rely on her talent and wit to get back home.

 I really like this book. It's clean. It's interesting. It's a realistic, dystopic, future with a strong female heroine who is brave and likable. Good book. HS, MS - ADVISABLE. Rebekah, Youth Services Librarian




Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Leprechaun in Late Winter by Mary Pope Osborne

Osborne, Mary Pope, Leprechaun in Late Winter. Random House Children’s Books, 2010. Pgs. 113. Language: G, Violence: G, Sexual Content: G

Jack and Annie have been sent back in time again by Merlin. This time they’re sent back to 1862 to inspire a young girl named Augusta. When they try to inspire her by helping her to see the Irish Shee (fairies), she gets swept back into the world of the Shee. Can Jack and Annie rescue Augusta and inspire her?

A fun adventure story that is filled with fairies, magic, and friendship. The text is age-appropriate, the illustrations complement the text well. Readers who like adventure, fairies, Magic Treehouse series, and fantasy will enjoy reading this book. EL (K-3). ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

Bag in the Wind by Ted Kooser

Kooser, Ted, Bag in the Wind. Candlewick Press, 2010. PICTURE BOOK.


When a bag gets thrown away for no reason, the wind picks it up and it goes on an adventure, getting recycled and reused. Until one of the people who picked up and used the bag gets it back when they go to the store.

This book has simple text and it conveys a good message about recycling, but hammers the point a little too much. The illustrations are beautiful, but probably wouldn’t appeal to most kids reading the story. Although this book might help introduce kids to recycling, I would not generally recommend this book. EL(K-3). NO. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

The New Jumbo Book of Easy Crafts by Judy Ann Sadler

Sadler, Judy Ann, The New Jumbo Book of Easy Crafts. Kids Can Press, 2009. NON-FICTION


This book covers a wide range of crafts for teachers or kids and their parents to do together. From doorknob hangers to paper bag puppets, this book has a lot of different options.

Each craft is simple, cute, and has easy-to-follow instructions. The illustrations complement the instructions and make them easier to understand. Young preschool and elementary-age children and teachers/parents will probably enjoy the crafts in this book. Pre-K/EL(K-3). OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet by Alexandra Siy

Siy, Alexandra, Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet. Charlesbridge, 2009. NON-FICTION.

In January 2004, NASA started sending robots to explore the surface of Mars. They had problems, however, with software, the functioning of the robots, and how best to explore the surface of Mars. Through trial and error and flying by the seat of their pants at times, NASA was able to get some great pictures of Mars and be able to understand the Red Planet better.

A unique informational book that takes a variety of resources to tell this NASA story. Readers will appreciate the usefulness of the information and the photos and documents provided throughout the book to enhance this non-fiction book. Readers who like science, Mars, space, and NASA will enjoy reading this book. EL(4-6)/MS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.


Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World by Marilyn Nelson

Nelson, Marilyn, Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World. Dial Books, 2009. NON-FICTION.

Told through poetry, readers learn about the International Sweethearts of Rhythm girl swing band and the struggles they faced as the first integrated girl band during an era where segregation and Jim Crow laws were rampant.

A beautifully illustrated, well-researched informational book. The poems are heartwarming and inspirational. The text has a catchy tune and the information is presented in a way that readers can enjoy. Readers who like non-fiction, band books, and inspiring true stories will enjoy reading this book. EL (4-6)/MS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library

The Adventures of Jack Lime by James Leck

Leck, James, The Adventures of Jack Lime. Kids Can Press, 2010. Pgs. 126. Language: G, Sexual Content: G, Violence: G


Jack Lime, a self-styled detective, loves to solve cases. In this book he solves three cases that take him into a world full of pimply gangstas, atomic wedgie givers, and all the dangers associated with high school

An excellent detective novel for older readers. For readers who have been caught reading Encyclopedia Brown and other such detective novels at some point in their life, this book is a great. The main character is entertaining and the plots are fast and well-developed for short stories. Readers who like adventure, mysteries, and humor will like reading this book. This is a must-have for any collection. EL(4-6)/MS. ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Kira, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

Uncle Andy's Cats by James Warhola


Warhola, James, Uncle Andy’s Cats. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2009. PICTURE BOOK.
Uncle Andy started out with one cat named Hester that he got from a movie star. Later, when he got a second cat named same to keep Hester company, the cats had two litters, for a total of 26 cats. Soon the cats rule the roost. Can Andy find a way to have less cats?
A funny, cute story from a part of Andy Warhol’s life.  An eccentric man that never had a simply solution to anything.  Readers will like the crazy places you find the cats in the book and will enjoy trying to find out where Hester and Sam are. The text is simple, but fun to read. The illustrations truly add another layer to the story. This book is a must-have for any collection. EL (K-3). ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Kira, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

Feivel's Flying Horses by Heidi Smith Hyde


Hyde, Heidi Smith, Feivel’s Flying Horses. Kar-Ben Publishing, 2010. PICTURE BOOK.
In hopes of a better life, Feivel leaves his family in his homeland to come to America. When he reaches Coney Island, he finds a job as a furniture maker, but it doesn’t make that much money. When a friend of his offers to take him to Coney Island, Feivel has a great time and wishes his family was there with him. When he finds a job at the island as a wood carver making a new carousel, he soon discovers a way to put a little piece of his family into his masterpiece.
A cute picture book about a father and his love for his family. Through all his trials and setbacks, his mind is never far from his goal. The illustrations are beautiful, the background story is well incorporated into the text, and the story is simple but gets a great message across. Readers who like horses and family stories will enjoy reading or having this book read to them. EL (K-3). ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

A Child's Garden: A Story of Hope by Michael Foreman


Foreman, Michael,  A Child’s Garden: A Story of Hope. Candlewick Press, 2009. PICTURE BOOK.
When a small boy’s home is reduced to rubble and a barbed wire fence separates him from the hills he like to play on with his father, the boy gets sad and lonely. Until one day when he finds a small plant still living in all of the rubble. With a surge of hope, the young boy nurtures the plant and it grows and grows until it covers the whole fence.
An inspiring story that strikes hope into the hearts of its readers. The illustrations are in black and white, but still bring the story to life. The text is simple, but heartwarming. Readers who like historical fiction and inspirational stories will enjoy reading this book. EL (K-3). ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

Evolution by Daniel Loxton


Loxton, Daniel. Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be. Kids Can Press, 2010.
A good introduction to the theory of Evolution and the evidence scientists have discovered to back it up. With simple text and applications to real life, this book engages the reader in a simple and easy to understand way. The facts are accurate, the illustrations are complementary, and the author is fairly objective. Readers who are learning about Evolution in science will appreciate this book. EL (4-6). ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.


Maggie's Amerikay by Barbara Timberlake Russell


Russell, Barbara Timberlake, Maggie’s Amerikay. Melanie Kroupa Books, 2006. PICTURE BOOK.
Coming across with her Irish family to America, Maggie struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. When her little sister catches Yellow Fever and her mother can’t work, Maggie picks up a job helping an elderly black man to write down his story and learns a valuable lesson.
An endearing story about a young girl and her struggles in America. The story is well-done, the illustrations are befitting of the story. Readers who like Irish stories and historical fiction will probably enjoy this book. EL(K-3), OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.


The LIttle Piano Girl by Ann Ingalls and Maryann Macdonald


Ingalls, Ann and Macdonald, Maryann, The Little Piano Girl. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009. PICTURE BOOK.
Mary Lou Williams loved to watch her mom play the organ and loved to play the piano. When the family has to move and leave the instrument behind, Mary finds a woman who lets her play on her piano. Soon everyone is coming to hear her play and even pays her a bit. When she breaks her arm, however, things change.
A true story about a Jazz legend named Mary Lou Williams, this book is simple, but informative. The illustrations are complementary to the text.  A good read for anyone who need to read or like to read biographies. EL (K-3). ADVISABLE.  Reviewer: Kira, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

The Handkerchief Quilt by Carol Crane


Crane, Carol, The Handkerchief Quilt. Sleeping Bear Press, 2010. PICTURE BOOK.
In a little town where every day begins at 7, a town school’s pipes break and everything freezes over. With little money to replace school books and supplies, a teacher comes up with the idea to make a handkerchief quilt. Using the handkerchiefs students had given her over the years, she enlists the help of the community to make a quilt. With determination and loving care, the quilt is bought up by a museum and a school is saved.
An endearing, true story about a teacher and her love for the community. The illustrations are well-done, the story is inspiring. A good read aloud for parents and teachers who wish to inspire their students. EL (K-3). ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

My Shoes and I by René Colato Laínez


Laínez, René Colato, My Shoes and I. Boyds Mill Press, 2010. PICTURE BOOK.
A young boy and his father are immigrating from El Salvador to the United States. They will take transportation, cross mountains, and wade rivers to come. With one pair of shoes and his determination to see his mom again, he will face the dangers and problems associated with immigrating.
The illustrations are beautiful in this book and the story is endearing. This book, however, seems specific to a Latino audience and will probably not appeal to a general audience. EL(K-3). OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

Emma's Poem by Linda Glaser


Glaser, Linda, Emma’s Poem. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books, 2010. PICTURE BOOK.
Emma Lazarus was a wealthy young lady. She lived in a large, comfortable house in New York with her family as a child where she learned to read and write. When she grew up, she became a well-known writer. One day while walking past Ward’s Island in the New York Harbor, she sees recently arrived immigrants and how warn, tired, poor, and sick they look. Inspired by their story, she volunteers her time helping them learn English and get training for jobs.  One day, Emma learns about a stature being constructed in France and how America needs to raise money for its pedestal. When asked to write a poem for a book for the fundraiser, her experience with the immigrants inspires her to write a poem about poor, hungry, and huddled masses. This message was the only poem read at the Statue of Liberty fundraiser and still outlives the poet to this day engraved on the lady’s pedestal.
An easy biography about the famous poet who helped to raise money for the Statue of Liberty. The text is simple, but informative. The illustrations complement well the text. Readers who need an easy biography for school or are interested in America’s history will enjoy this book. EL(K-3.  ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

Sometiimes We Were Brave by Pat Brisson

Brisson, Pat, Sometimes We Were Brave. Boyds Mill Press, 2009. PICTURE BOOK.
When a his mother sets sail with the Navy, a young boy and his dog have trouble dealing with her absence. From wetting the bed to getting trouble in school, he has problems, but can he turn his problems into being brave like his mother asked him to be before she left?
The illustrations are well-done, but the book has setfalls. The text is too simple and doesn’t seem to fit the apparent age of the young boy or his wetting the bed.  Although the story would be good for a child having trouble with a parent being at war, this book would not be recommended for the general collection.  Pre-K/EL(K-3). OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Kira, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

Harry Houdini by Elizabeth MacLeod

MacLeod, Elizabeth, Harry Houdini. Kids Can Press, 2009. EARLY READER.
Born Erik Weisz in 1874 in Hungry, Ehrie (later changed to Harry), became the most famous escape artist in history. When he was a boy, his father moved to America, but didn’t have the money to bring his family over for two years.  When he was eight, he saw his first magic show which started his love for magic. When his magic shows as an adult weren’t bringing in enough money, he and his assistant Bess moved to escape tricks. From there, the rest is history.
A great easy biography to introduce people to Harry Houdini. The information is accurate, the illustrations are befitting of the time period Harry lived in, and the text is simple enough to understand. Beginning readers who aren’t quite ready for chapter books who like magic, magicians, and/or famous people will enjoy reading this book. EL (K-3). ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Zombiekins by Kevin Bolger


Bolger, Kevin, Zombiekins. Razor Bill, 2010. Language: G, Violence: PG, Sexual Content: G
When  Stanley Nudelman goes to a witch’s yard sald in Dementedyville with his friend, he purchases a stuffed toy called “Zombiekins.” Before he leaves, the witch gives him a mysterious warning to read the instructions and to take the taffy since “You never know when it might come in handy” (p.19). When the doll suddenly comes to life and children and teachers are turning into zombie, Stanley starts wishing he had read the instructions. Can Stanley stop the spreading of becoming a zombie or will he turn into one himself?
A great adventure for Halloween or anyone in need of a fun, scary story. The characters are entertaining, the toy is almost cute, and the illustrations are well-done and complement the text. Reluctant and avid readers who like humorous books, off-the-wall stories, zombies, or Halloween will enjoy reading this book EL(4-6). ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Animal 123 One to Ten and Back Again by Various Authors

Various Authors, Animal 123 One to Ten and Back Again illustrated by Kate Sheppard 18 pgs. Kingfisher, 2010. BOARD BOOK. $6.99. Rabbit has trouble delivering a birthday card to his fellow rabbits, but with the help of his other animal friends, he is able to retrace his steps and find the card! This is a great book to help introduce counting forwards and backwards to kids. It has cute, bright illustrations and fun, rhyming text. PRE-K-ESSENTIAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher.