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The Great Art Caper

Title:   The Great Art Caper
Author:   Victoria Jamieson
Series:   Pets on the Loose
Recommended for:   early chapter book readers, reluctant readers, children ages 4 and up as a readaloud, kids who love art
Pages:   62 p.
Call Number/Link:    GN J Jamieson, V. 

Rating:   *****

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A cuddly class hamster, GW endeavors to make a gift for his new human friend to show support for her participation in a school art show before hearing about a dastardly mouse plot to sabotage the event.

Comments:

This book is the second book in the Pets on the Loose series.  As much as I liked the first book, I thought The Great Art Caper was even better!  Rather than trying to plot their escape from the elementary school, the pets went on an adventure to the art room so that GW could make a piece of art for his human friend.  They thought the art room was such a wondrous place…  until they saw the library.  Ooooh.  Ahhhh.

Once again, GW and his friends defeated Delores and her mouse minions and saved the day.  Hurray!

 

 

 

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Posted by on February 1, 2018 in Funny, Graphic Novels, Juv

 

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Not So Different

Title: Not so different : what you really want to ask about having a disability
Author: Shane Burcaw
Recommended for: Grades 1-4
Pages: 40
Call Number/Link:  E 362.43 BUR

Synopsis: Shane Burcaw was born with a rare disease called spinal muscular atrophy, which hinders his muscles’ growth. As a result, his body hasn’t grown bigger and stronger as he’s gotten older—it’s gotten smaller and weaker instead. This hasn’t stopped him from doing the things he enjoys (like eating pizza and playing sports and video games) with the people he loves, but it does mean that he routinely relies on his friends and family for help with everything from brushing his teeth to rolling over in bed.

Comments: This is a great book to start a conversation about disabilities with grade school kids. The photographs by Matt Carr are funny and engaging, which perfectly matches the text by Shane. The book is both realistic and lighthearted. My favorite story is about how he flipped out of his chair while playing soccer with friends (remember to always strap in!) and my favorite picture is the side view of his motorized wheelchair with labels like “joystick” and “rocket boosters.” 

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2018 in Picture Books

 

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Cici’s Journal

Title:  Cici’s journal : the adventures of a writer-in-training
Author: Joris Chamblain (Author),‎ Aurélie Neyret (Illustrator)
Series: Cici’s journal
Recommended for: 8-12 year olds
Pages: 160
Call Number/Link:  GN J CHAMBLAIN, J.

Synopsis: Cici dreams of being a novelist. Her favorite subject: people, especially adults. She’s been watching them and taking notes. Everybody has one special secret, Cici figures, and if you want to write about people, you need to understand what’s hiding inside them. But now she’s discovered something truly strange: an old man who disappears into the forest every Sunday with huge pots of paint in all sorts of colors. What is he up to? Why does he look so sad when he comes back?

Comments: This book is gorgeous. I was immediately drawn to the cover. On the inside, there are a couple of journal style pages with drawing and clippings done in a childlike style, then the story unfolds in graphic novel format. The book is about a 10-year-old girl who is maybe too into “mysteries” that she notices around her. Prompted by her friendship with an elderly local author, she takes notes and follows people until she figures out what’s going on in their lives, in hopes of becoming an author herself. Besides the beautiful illustrations, the best part of this book is the relationships explored. Cici has two close friends her own age, lives with her mother, and is friends with an elderly woman. When she gets obsessed with the mysterious people in her town, it starts to strain all her other relationships. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever wanted to be a writer or loved mysteries.

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2018 in Graphic Novels, Juv, Mysteries, Realistic

 

I am not your perfect Mexican daughter

 

Title: I am not your perfect mexican daughter

Author: Erika L. Sanchez 

Series: n/a

Recommended for: Teen

Pages: 344

Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION SANCHEZ, E.

 

 

Synopsis: Wow, what a refreshing book that I can relate to as a young woman that grew up in the US with parents that were immigrants.  A little sad but it hits upon what the feelings are for a girl that grows up as first generation in America.  This is a great book for grades 8th or 9th grade and up.

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.

But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.

Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2018 in Realistic, Romance, Teen, Uncategorized

 

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Hawk Mother: The Story of a Red-tailed Hawk Who Hatched Chicks

Title:   Hawk Mother:  The Story of a Red-tailed Hawk Who Hatched Chickens
Author:   Kara Hagedorn
Series:   —
Recommended for:   students in grades K-4, either as a class read-aloud, one-on-one sharing or for independent reading
Pages:   unpaged
Call Number/Link:  E 598.944 HAG

Rating:   ****

 

Synopsis:

What happens when two baby chickens find themselves in a nest with a hawk? Don’t hawks usually eat chickens? Sunshine, a red-tailed hawk, can no longer fly free. But her instinct to be a mother is so strong that she builds a nest in her aviary every spring and lays two infertile eggs. One year, Kara, her caretaker, decides to try something different. She gives Sunshine two chicken eggs. Join zoologist Kara Hagedorn and Sunshine to find out what happens in this delightful story of interspecies cooperation.

Comments:

This book is both informative nonfiction for children and an interesting read-aloud.  Win-Win!  I think kids in kindergarten and up would be able to understand it best.  (And enjoy it most due to “getting” it.)

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2018 in Non-Fiction, Picture Books

 

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Blue vs. Yellow

Title:   Blue vs. Yellow
Author:   Tom Sullivan
Series:   —
Recommended for:   older preschoolers, children in early elementary school
Pages:   unpaged
Call Number/Link:  E SULLIVAN, T.

Rating:  ****

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the clash of the colors! Blue vs yellow. Which one will be declared the best color of all? Will they join forces and be mightier together? Or will another color challenge them for the title? Ding! Ding! Let the battle begin!

Comments:

I hadn’t realized that colors were so competitive!  This book could easily be presented as a dramatic reading, with one person portraying yellow and the other portraying blue.  That is how I read the book to myself.  It also would work well as a more traditional solo read aloud and would be a good choice for independent reading.

While it could work well to teach colors, I think that kids who were already aware of the colors would find it more entertaining.

 

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2017 in Concepts, Funny, Picture Books

 

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Ninja Claus!

Title:   Ninja Claus!
Author:   Arree Chung
Series:   Ninja!
Recommended for:  Preschoolers and children in early elementary school, readers who wish they were ninjas
Pages:   unpaged
Call Number/Link:  E CHUNG, A.

Rating:   ****

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“In this third book in the Ninja! series, Maxwell pits his ninja skills against Santa Claus“– Provided by publisher.

Comments:

I’ve read enough Christmas books over the years that it makes me very happy to find one that is unique.  Hurray!  It’s not every day that you find out that Santa is (secretly) a ninja.  However, it makes total sense.  How else could Santa sneak in and out of houses without being detected?

And that’s not all!  The protagonist of the book is a creative boy who used his critical thinking skills to try to figure out how to catch Santa.  I’m thankful that he didn’t achieve his goal, but appreciate his well thought out attempt.

My favorite sentence was:  “The Ninja Claus is sneaky, quick, clever and kind.”  That also describes a more traditional Santa.

This cute, humorous book was fun to read!

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2017 in Funny, Holidays, Picture Books

 

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