Monday, June 27, 2016

FABULOUS FINISH: Cake Pop Crush


by Suzanne Nelson
Scholastic Paperbacks, 2016. Fiction. 247 p.

This book is like a fluffy version of Romeo and Juliet--with sprinkles on top. After a new coffee chain opens up across the street, Alicia Ramirez finds her family's bakery in danger of going out of business. Even worse, the cute new boy that just moved into her school--he's the son of the new coffee store's CEO. Dane is doing everything he can at school to promote his family's business. But Ali is not about to give up! She's got some delicious ideas that just might help the bakery drum up some new business--and perhaps a little romance as well. This sweetly light, tale will delight readers who enjoy authors like Wendy Mass, Ann M. Martin, and Maya Gold.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

FABULOUS FINISH: I Loathe You


I Loathe You
Written and Illustrated by David Slonim
Aladdin, 2012. Picture Book.

With great rhyming text like “I loathe you more than chicken pox, more than stinky, sweaty socks.” Little Monster finds out how much his mother “loathes” him. In the end Little Monster is comforted when he asks his monster mom “Suppose someday I lose my stink, what would you say? What would you think?” He learns that no matter what, his mom will always “loathe” him.

Fans of My Monster Mama Loves Me So will love sharing this funny book with someone they “loathe” as they giggle at all the silly comparisons of how much they loathe each other.

Friday, June 24, 2016

FABULOUS FINISH: Peek-a ZOO!






Peek-a ZOO!
By Nina Laden
Chronicle Books, 2014. Board book.

A turn of the page will reveal the secret animal in this fun rhyming board book. The last pages feature a mirror, so I bet you can guess what creature gets the final spotlight in this fabulous finish.

FABULOUS FINISH: Thunder Boy Jr.



Thunder Boy Jr. 
By Sherman Alexie
Illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Little, Brown and Company, 2016.

Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad. But he doesn’t like his name. They call his dad Big Thunder. And they call him Little Thunder and according to him “that nickname makes me sound like a burp or a fart.” Really, he wants his own name that is unique to him. The book then goes on to explain all the different things about Thunder Boy Jr. that are special about him and that he wouldn’t mind being named about. For example, because he can climb mountains he could be “Touch the Clouds”. Or because he likes playing with his dog he could be named “Can’t Run Fast While Laughing.” There are so many things that make Thunder Boy Jr. exceptional that he would rather be named because of those things.

 Of course this book has a Fabulous Finish where Thunder Boy and his father come to an understanding…but it is fun to see what happens (and then to read the book again to see how the ending wasn’t as sudden as it perhaps seemed in the first reading). This is a good book with a family that cares about each other and what makes each individual family member important. This is a great book for any family to read together.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

FABULOUS FINISH: Grandad’s Island



Grandad’s Island 
By Benji Davies
Candlewick Press, 2015. Picture Book.

 Syd loved going to see Grandad who lived nearby. Syd knew where the key was kept and could let himself in whenever he wanted. One day when Syd went to visit, he found Grandad in the attic. Grandad wanted to show him something special: a large metal door behind a hanging sheet. When they opened the door and went through it, they found themselves on the deck of a huge ship making its way through the town out to the ocean. Grandad steered the ship a long distance out to sea until, finally, Syd saw an island. They disembarked and began to explore the island. After finding a shack and having lots of fun in the jungle, Grandad told Syd to head back home alone and that Grandad would be staying on the island from now on.

 This is a sweet story that teaches about the loss of a loved one without ever coming out and saying it. The illustrations are colorful and lively while the interactions between Syd and Grandad are touching. Although the book can be read for the imaginative story and enjoyed by anyone, it could also be a good choice for a soft introduction to death and loss.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Wild Robot


The Wild Robot
by Peter Brown
Little, Brown and Co, 2016. Fiction. 279 p.


In a future world a robot in a shipping crate washes overboard in a storm and lands on a deserted island. The robot, whose name is Roz, is equipped with artificial intelligence.  At first Roz is not well suited to the natural environment and rough terrain of the island, but by careful observation and trial and error, it eventually adapts to life in the wild, and even learns the language of the wild animals.  As Roz "makes friends" with the animals, and comes to be the foster parent of an orphaned goose, it becomes more like a living creature, and less like a robot. This charming modern fairy tale is a cross between Bambi and Wall-E. The relationship between Roz and the gosling is heartwarming, and Brown's message about kindness overcoming prejudice is timeless. This book is available from the Library in print, on CD, as an ebook and as an e-audio download.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

FABULOUS FINISH: What a Treasure!



What a Treasure!
By Jane and Will Hillenbrand
Holiday House, 2007. Picture book.

Little Mole gets a new shovel and starts to dig for treasure. He finds a stick, which turns out to be a treasure to Bird who wants to use it for his nest. So Mole gives it to him. Mole also finds treasures for Snail and Squirrel, but will he ever find a treasure for himself?

This is a sweet, simple story about friendship and generosity with minimal text and gentle illustrations. A warm, happy read for young children about the simple joys in life and how treasure means different things to different people. This title is available in book and big book format.

Monday, June 20, 2016

FABULOUS FINISH: Wabi: A Hero's Tale



Wabi: A Hero's Tale
by Joseph Bruchac
Dial Books, 2006. 198 p.

The white great horned owl, Wabi, discovers he is not like other owls. Not only is he larger and more intelligent but he also has magic abilities, one of which, is the ability to understand and speak the language of any animal--including human. Wabi soon finds himself reluctantly caring for an orphaned wolf pup--and after accidentally falling in love with a human girl--he secretly becomes the guardian of her tribe, protecting them against some of the terrifying, magical monsters of American Indian lore. A little cocky, but still goodhearted, Wabi is an extremely likable character whose outside observations of the human world are laugh-out-loud funny at times. Those who like Wolf Brother and the Guardian's of Ga'Hoole series will absolutely adore this action-packed book.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

FABULOUS FINISH: The Bath Monster


The Bath Monster
By Colin Boyd
Illustrated by Tony Ross
Andersen Press USA, 2016. Picture Book.

Jackson loved playing in the dirt and getting muddy. When he got home, his mom would tell him to hurry to take a bath before the Bath Monster got him—since dirty bath water is the monster’s second favorite food. But when he got older, Jackson stopped believing in the Bath Monster and refused to bathe after a very particular dirty day—only to find out that Bath Monster never stopped believing in Jackson. Jackson soon discovered what the Bath Monster’s favorite food was.

A fun story illustrated by the famous Tony Ross, the illustrator of the Roald Dahl books. Children and adults will love the surprise ending.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Display: Time Travel


It's hard to imagine H.G. Wells knowing what he'd started in 1895 by writing The Time Machine, but his work inspired countless others to speculate on the consequences of fiddling with space and time. Here are just a few (of many!) books to get young readers into this corner of science fiction, which could qualify as a genre unto itself.
by Ray Bradbury
A group of children and a "spirit" go back through time to discover the beginnings of Halloween.

by Dennis Pepper
An Oxford collection of stories, scary and otherwise, about travel through time and dimensions, and the unforseen circumstances therein.

by Penelope Farmer
When she awakens on her second day at boarding school, a young girl finds she has gone back in time to 1918.

by Mark Twain
Nineteenth-century mechanic Hank Morgan suffers a blow to the head and wakes up in King Arthur's Court where he tries to introduce modern technology and political ideas to the inhabitants.

by Rebecca Stead
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

by Madeleine L'Engle
Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.
by Chris Van Allsburg
Left on their own for an evening, two boisterous brothers find more excitement than they bargained for in a mysterious and mystical space adventure board game.

by Suzanne Bloom
An aardvark, an anteater, and an armadillo attempt to travel back in time when they turn a big box into a time machine.

by Jon Scieszka
Joe, Fred, and Sam demonstrate some of their favorite professional wrestling moves, including the "Time Warp Trio Blind Ninja Smackdown," when they're transported to ancient Rome and forced to fight as gladiators in the Colosseum.

by Mary Pope Osborne
Using their magic tree house, Jack and Annie travel back to the time of the American Revolution and help General George Washington during his famous crossing of the Delaware River.

by Mary Pope Osborne
Eight-year-old Jack and his younger sister Annie use the magic treehouse to travel back to the Middle Ages, where they explore a castle and are helped by a mysterious knight.

by Jon Scieszka
Joe, Sam and Fred Are celebrating Joe's Birthday when he receives a present from his Uncle Joe. Soon the boys are transported through time to the 18th century and find themselves prisoners of Blackbeard the pirate