Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Buddy and Earl Go to School

Buddy and Earl Go to School
By Maureen Fergus
Groundwood Books, 2017. Picture book.

In this latest installment of the Buddy and Earl books, the two friends decide they need some education so that they can reach their dreams (which include becoming a dentist for Earl and a hot dog vendor for Buddy). So after a nutritious breakfast of Dad’s slippers and gathering their school supplies of smelly blankets and chew toys, Buddy and Earl attend an improvised classroom.

As usual, there is lots of adventure, wit, and warm friendship. Buddy and Earl get better and better.

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting 
By Joe Ballarini
Katherine Tegen Books, An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2017. 338 p.

Alright, who knows kids that like reading books about monsters that are pretty creepy? You know, the kind that likes Goosebumps or Mary Downing Hahn books. Well, this is another book for those readers who love the spooky feeling that comes every October when the world thinks of ghosts and goblins and all things Halloween. The only thing is this book also might appeal to kids who like the Babysitters Club and books about kids who have to figure out relationships of friends and potential boys they like. This is a mix of those two worlds. And it was pretty fun to read.

Kelly wants to save money so she can go to a fancy summer camp. So she starts babysitting. On Halloween. And she loses the kid to a monster. Yup, her life is totally not going the way she planned. Kelly soon learns that there are babysitters and then there are babysitters who are more like warriors who save the world from monsters. The kind of monsters that come out from under the bed or from darkened closets and live off of the screams of little children. And Kelly also realizes that she can do more than she thinks she can (just wait until the climax when she has to outmaneuver the main monster with a less-than-ideal weapon). Yeah, give this to the kids who like being scared. And who want a little character/relationship development to go along with their monsters and action.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

From Story Time: The Letter "F"

Read in Book Babies

Written by Dianna Hutts Aston
Illustrated by Julie Maren
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2007.  Picture Book.

Biting into a plump, juicy orange is one of the great pleasures of winter.  But how has that snack found its way to you?  This glowing, lyrical book tells the tale of an orange's life journey--from spring blossom to bright, round fruit, from tree to truck to grocery store.  And perhaps then, into the hands of a child, who takes it from its shelf in the produce section, saves it for school the next day, and then shares it with friends at recess.  Oh, the sweetness of an orange in January!  --Publisher

Read in Book Babies

By Juana Medina
Viking, 2016.  Picture Book.

1 Avocado Deer.  2 Radish Mice.  3 Pepper Monkeys.  Are you hungry yet??  Counting from one to ten, 1 Big Salad fills a bowl with the most delicious and delightful vegetables.  Here is a truly scrumptious way to learn numbers...and eat them, too!  --Publisher

Read in Toddler Time

Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance
By Keith Graves
Chronicle Books, 1999.  Picture Book.

Frank was a monster who wanted to dance.  So he put on his hat and his shoes made in France...and opened a jar and put ants in his pants!  So begins this monstrously funny, deliciously disgusting, horrifyingly hilarious story of a monster who follows his dream.  Keith Graves' wacky illustrations and laugh-out-loud text will tickle the funny bone and leave readers clamoring for an encore.  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

My Friend
By Beatrice Alemagna
North-South Books, 2005.  Picture Book.

I am a most unusual animal.  I have fur like a dog and I'm shaped like a sheep.  But no one seems to know just what I am.  Everyone tries to categorize the remarkable creature, but while he may not know what he is, he knows very well what he isn't--a cat, a rat, a lion, a wild boar, or a hippopotamus.  Then one day he meets an equally unusual animal and together they make a very important discovery.  This sweet story will bring comfort and reassurance to any child who has ever felt "different."  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

The Wizard, the Fairy, and the Magic Chicken
Written by Helen Lester
Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1983.

Jealousy and reckless competition send the Wizard, the Fairy, and the Magic Chicken fleeing from hairy, bumpy, and dotted monsters.  Now they must run for their lives--or learn to work together!  --Publisher

Read in Monday Cuentos

Written by Lemony Snicket
Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Translated by Pilar Armida
Oceano Trevesia, 2015.  Spanish Picture Book.

Laszlo le teme a la oscuridad, pero la oscuridad no le teme a él.  Laszlo vive en una casa y la oscuridad vive en el sótano.  Pero una noche, la oscuridad visita a Laszlo en su habitación.  --Publisher

Read in Friday Cuentos

Written by Aaron Reynolds
Illustrated by Peter Brown
Translated by Joana Delgado
Picarona, 2015.  Spanish Picture Book.

Al conejito Jasper le encantan las zanahorias, y siempre que le apetecen, va al campo de los Saltamontes Locos y elije las más grandes y crujientes. Bueno, eso era así hasta que empezaron a perseguirle...  --Publisher

Friday, October 13, 2017

Bailey School Kids Mysteries

Vampires Don't Wear Polka Dots
by Debbie Dadey
Scholastic, c1990. Intermediate. 78 pgs.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY! To the year I was born: 1991. The popular Bailey School Kids series published it's first installment, and I've loved them ever since. If you're looking for a great intermediate series and haven't managed to run across this one yet, do. Four friends from Bailey School Elementary's third grade class are surprised when their new teacher exhibits features of vampirism. This is the beginning of their Scooby-Doo type investigative club that carries them through countless cases as they believe (but can't quite prove) that their town is filling up with friendly monsters.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Goodnight, Hockey Fans

By Andrew Larsen
Illustrated by Jacqui Lee
Kids Can Press, 2017. Picture Book.

Hitting the shelves just in time for the hockey season, Goodnight, Hockey Fans tells the story of a little boy who can't fall asleep so he pulls out his dads old radio to listen to the game broadcast of his favorite hockey team. Soon he drifts off to sleep, and finds himself playing (and scoring!) for his team.

A cute bedtime story to share with your little hockey fan.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Sand Warrior

The Sand Warrior
(5 Worlds Book 1)
by Mark Siegel
Random House, 2017. Comics. 248p.
Oona is the least proficient of all the sand dancers.  Her aniforms are always getting away from her.  While chasing one she overhears a council meeting and discovers that her world is in great danger.  The "Chosen One" needs to relight the five beacons before they all parish.  Oona believes her long lost sister is the chosen one,  and with the help of some unlikely friends,  she goes on a desperate quest to find her and bring her back to Crystalia.

This is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel fantasy.  It got some starred reviews and will be popular with the "Amulet" crowd.  There is nothing terribly original in the plot line, but the setting is well imagined, and somehow we never get tired of the stories of the underdog who discovers hidden potential and uses it to save the world.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

This Is How We Do It

This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids From Around the World
By Matt Lamothe
Chronicle Books, 2017. Informational.

This beautifully illustrated book explores the daily lives of seven real children from seven different countries - Italy, Japan, Uganda, Russia, Peru, India, and Iran. We see what these kids like to do for fun, what they like to eat, where they live, and how different and similar their lives are. This book is a  simple celebration of diversity with beautifully detailed pages for readers to pore over. I'm especially a fan of the graphic layout of this book which leaves space for the reader to think about how they spend their own day.

Real photos of the families featured in this book are included at the end, which makes it even easier to compare the similarities between children all over the world. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Scariest Book Ever

The Scariest Book Ever 
Bob Shea
Disney Hyperion, 2017. Picture Book.

There is a ghost who is a spooky and scary ghost. (Who tends to also be afraid of things…) The ghost “accidentally” spills orange juice on his white sheet so he now has to stay at home while the reader goes into the spooky woods to see what is out there. So begins the story of where the brave readers keep going in the woods and back to the ghost to tell him what they saw. This is a fun little book to read that is about “scary” things…but really isn’t all that “scary”. So, if there is a little one out there who wants to read The Scariest Book Ever around Halloween—but is too afraid to really want to read those type of books—then this is the perfect book for them!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

From Story Time: The Letter "E"

Read in Book Babies

Written by Teresa Duran
Illustrated by Elena Val
Translated by Elisa Amado
Groundwood Books, 2019.  Picture Book.

Benedict, also known as Benny, is tired of living in such a hot place.  And so he cleverly springs on his coiled tail from one habitat to another.  He visits the North Pole, the desert, the jungle, and finally the ocean in search of perfection....This is a witty, very droll book about trying to find that elusive place where everything is just right.  But is anywhere ever really perfect?  --Publisher

Read in Toddler Time

By Jennifer Adams
Gibbs Smith, 2015.  Picture Book.

Once upon a midnight dreary... 

Little Edgar the Raven is having a tough time minding his mother.  Dinnertime, cleanup-time, and bedtime are all met with one word -- "NEVERMORE!"  From drawing on his bedroom walls with crayons to chasing his sister with a scarecrow, this mischievous and disobedient little bird would much rather do anything than behave.  But as the evening winds to a close, Edgar's mom knows just what to do to get her son into bed.

Charmingly simple text paired with captivating gothic-era illustrations give a sly wink to Edgar Allan Poe's popular poem "The Raven," Edgar Gets Ready for Bed wilL have little literature lovers saying, "MORE!  MORE!"  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

Have You Seen Elephant?
David Barrow
Gecko Press, 2016.  Picture Book.

Elephant wants to play hide and seek.  You can play too, but you'll have to try your best -- he's VERY good!  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

The Day Louis Got Eaten
John Fardell
Andersen Press USA, 2012.  Picture Book.

GULP!  When Louis gets eaten up by a Gulper, his big sister Sarah knows she has to act fast, and she sets off in hot pursuit.  But rescuing a boy from a Gulper's tummy isn't so simple -- especially when other strange and scary creatures are looking for their dinner too...  --Publisher

Read in Monday Cuentos

Written by Susanna Isern
Illustrated by Daniel Montero Galán
Cuento de Luz, 2016.  Spanish Picture Book.

Un cartero silencioso y solitario.  Unas cartas.  Un secreto.

Cartas en el Bosque es una entrañable y sorprendente historia que va a emocionar a pequeños y mayors, porque muchas veces lo más maravilloso se encuentra donde menos imaginamos.  

Read in Friday Cuentos

Cuando un Elefante se Enamora
Written by Davide Calì
Illustrated by Alice Lotti
Translated by Ana Sancho Rosales
Anaya, 2016.  Spanish Picture Book.

¿Qué ocurre cuando uno se enamora?  Cuando un elefante se enamora hace de todo para llamar la atención, se baña todos los días y escribe cartas que nunca envía.  Pero cuando menos se lo espera…  --Publisher

Friday, October 6, 2017

A True Home

Written by Kallie George
J Intermediate, 2017. 162 p.

Mona is a small mouse with no family and no home to speak of. She gets swept downstream during a terrible storm and finds herself at the Heartwood Hotel -- a huge tree in the middle of the woods that acts as a luxurious, grand hotel for all kinds of forest creatures. Mona becomes Heartwood’s newest maid. Her kind nature and quick wit come in handy as she cares for the animal guests and solves problems big and small.

A True Home is the first book in the Heartwood Hotel J Intermediate series. Very cozy and full of delicious details (but touched with a little danger!), it’s perfect reading for the changing seasons.