Friday, July 25, 2014

The Only Alex Addleston in All These Mountains

Cover image for The only Alex Addleston in all these mountains
The Only Alex Addleston in All These Mountains
By James Solheim
Illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
Carolrhoda Books, 2014. unpaged picture book

Alex Addleston meets another child named Alex Addleston on the first day of kindergarten.  The boy and the girl with the same name become instant friends. They do everything together and are best friends until the girl Alex suddenly moves to Africa. Can their friendship stretch clear around the world and down through the years? The both boy and girl Alex don't t know how to contact each other, but they keep the memory of the special friend alive. Solheim's text is spare, but lyrical. Ebbler's warm illustrations capture the magic of the two children's relationship.This is a heart warming story of the enduring nature of friendship.

If I Had a Raptor

Cover image for If I had a raptor
If I Had a Raptor
By George O'Connor
Candlewick Press, 2014. unpaged picture book

In this new addition to our Dinosaur picture book section, a little girl with curly pigtails dreams of having a pet raptor. She imagines that raptor would start out fluffy and cute, and she would put a bell around its neck so it wouldn't get lost.  When the raptor got bigger it would stay up all night and hunt little birds, but the little girl would still love it and it would love her. The fun of this story is that everything that is used to describe the raptor could be used to describe a cat.  The raptor in the illustrations is very cat-like while still looking like a dinosaur, yet things done by a little cat become much more ominous when done by a large dinosaur. The perky cartoon illustrations make it clear that the little girl maintains complete control of the situation throughout. O'Connor seems to have a good grasp of a small child's sense of humor.

Norman Speak!

 Cover image for Norman, speak!
Norman Speak! 
By Caroline Adderson
Illustrated by Qin Leng
Groundwood Books, 2014. unpaged picture book

When a family chooses a dog, Norman, from a dog shelter, they are disappointed that he doesn't know any basic commands. The Norman doesn't know to come, sit, or speak on command, so the family decides he must not be very smart. Then one day Norman hears another dog owner giving commands in a different language.  Norman responds, and they discover that their dog understands Chinese.  As the family tries to learn simple commands in Chinese, they realize just how smart Norman is. The heart warming story is illustrated by watercolor and ink cartoons in soft colors. What a great way to teach children not to underestimate people (or dogs) who speak a different language.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cantaba la Rana / The Frog was Singing
Selected and arranged by Rita Rosa Ruesga, Illustrated by Soledad Sebastián
Scholastic en español, Non Fiction.

The creators of this bilingual song book have compiled many of the most popular children's songs from Latin America. This is a well illustrated book with the words and music of songs from different countries. It will take parents back to their childhood, and give them a chance to teach the next generation all the songs that they grew up with.

Este es un libro de canciones bilingüe, que han agrupado canciones populares de niños de  Latino América. Las ilustraciones son apropiadas para este libro de canciones con la letra y música de diferentes países. Esperamos este libro traiga a la memoria de los padres las canciones de su niñez y quieran enseñarlas a la siguiente generación.

Los Diez puntos negros / Ten black dots
By Donald Crews
HarperCollins Children's Books, 28 pg, Picture Book

What do you do with ten black dots? This book gives you many ideas of what you can do with dots, some are obvious and some are funny. It's a great book for preschoolers, to learn the concept of numbers in a clever way.

¿Que se puede hacer con diez puntos negros? Este libro nos da muchas ideas de lo que podemos hacer, algunos son obvios y otros son chistosos. Este libro es fantástico para los niños de edad pre-escolar, pueden aprender el concepto de números en una manera ingeniosa.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Princess Tales:Once Upon a Time Rhyme with Seek-and-Find Pictures
Princess Tales:Once Upon a Time Rhyme with Seek-and-Find Pictures
by Grace Maccarone
illustrated by Gail de Marcken
Feiwel and Friends, 2013. unpaged nonfiction

If you are planning a road trip any time soon, and need a book to keep the kids busy in the back seat, this is the book for you.  It has 10 fairy tale stories, written in rhyme, illustrated with beautifully detailed, brightly colored paintings. The illustrations feature a variety of cultural styles. For example the picture accompaning the "Frog Princess" looks like a scene from Japan, and the artwork for "The Princess and the Pea" is African in style. At the end of each poem/story there is a list of things to find in the accompaning picture. Opposite the table of contents the creators mention even more things that can be found in each picture. This is a lovely collection of short fairy tales, and the seek-and-find activities are just an added bonus.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Tour of Your Nervous System

Cover image for A tour of your nervous system
A Tour of Your Nervous System
by Molly Kolpin
Illustrated by Chris B. Jones
Capstone Press, 2014. Graphic Nonfiction, 25 p.

Here is another series in the growing market of nonfiction books presented in graphic novel format.  There are five in this series that feature the major systems of the human body.  In this volume Nelly Neuron takes the reader on a tour of the nervous system.  She names the parts of a neuron and explains how a message is carried along a neuron to the spinal column and on to the brain. The information, though limited, is good and the graphic format makes it accessible and appealing to a fairly young audience. Others in the series feature the digestive system, the respiratory system, the circulatory system and the skeletal muscular system.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mama Built a Little Nest

 Cover image for Mama built a little nest
Mama Built a Little Nest
by Jennifer Ward
Illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Beach Lane Books, 2014 unpaged informational picture book

Did you know that hummingbirds use cobwebs when they make their nests, and some wrens make their nests in poky cacti? This new informational picture book is full of interesting facts about different kinds of nests.  The primary text is written in rhyme with only a few lines per page.  Secondary text gives more facts about the birds and nests featured.  Each kind of bird and nest is beautifully depicted with Jenkin's incomparable cut paper illustrations. He manages to make birds and environment look both realistic, and artistic. There is good reason that Jenkins has won almost every major children's informational picture book award out there.

My Name is Bob

My Name is Bob
by, James Bowen and Garry Jenkins
Illustrated by, Gerald Kelley
Random House, UK 2014

This is a lovely book based on a true story about a homeless cat named Bob.  He was found and cared for by James, a man just barely off the streets himself.  James was a street performer in England, struggling to make ends meet when he found Bob.  When James found Bob, he'd been injured and James nursed Bob back to health.  Once he was better, Bob decided he was staying with James, for good!  The story of James and Bob has touched the hearts of many around the world.  It's a beautiful story of kindness and unselfish love and at the end of the book you'll find great photos of Bob and James together!

Display - Katherine Marsh

Jepp, a teenage dwarf living in 16th century Europe, leaves home to seek his destiny.

In an effort to impress a female classmate, high school sophomore Jack Perdu endangers both of their lives by taking her to New York City's Underworld, where those who died in New York reside until they are ready to move on.

 After fourteen-year-old classics prodigy Jack Perdu has a near fatal accident he meets Euri, a young ghost who introduces him to New York's Underworld, where those who died in New York reside until they are ready to move on, and Jack vows to find his dead mother there.