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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

 

Fairy Bad Day

Title: Fairy Bad Day
Author: Amanda Ashby
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Ages 12 and up
Pages: 352
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION ASHBY

Synopsis: While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairy and it’s invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she’s going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it’s going to be a fairy bad day?

Comments: A YA paranormal with a female heroine, dragons, and fairies? Sounds fun. It’s a great quick read for anyone looking for light magic book. Don’t expect a super unique setup, there is a boarding school for those that can see magical creatures, the main character, Emma, is mad at a cute boy who “stole” her dragon slaying spot, and the mysterious elements are pretty easy to figure out. There is a little bit of romance, that culminates in some kissing. The real fun of this book is how Emma interacts with the fairies and figures out how to combat them with candy and household items.

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in Fantasy, Teen

 

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Puddles!!!

Title: Puddles!!!
Author: Kevan Atteberry
Recommended for: Preschool – 3rd Grade
Pages: 32
Call Number/Link:  E ATTEBERRY, K.

Synopsis: RAIN! PUDDLES! MUD! Squish, squish, squish. Declan loves rain and splashing and mud! But the bunnies? Not so much! The perfect companion to the delightful Bunnies!!! Spare text, loads of fun, and heaps of emotion make Puddles!!! extraordinary for toddler read-alouds.

Comments: An excellent book for storytime with bright colors, fun characters, and only a few words per page! So simple, the kids can read and act along: waving hello to the sun and clouds, chanting “Rain, rain, rain,” and pretending to splash in puddles. Best of all, a beautiful rainbow on the last page. I am so excited to read this book for the next storytime about rain or rainbows.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2017 in Funny, Picture Books

 

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You Don’t Want a Unicorn!

Title: You Don’t Want a Unicorn!
Author: Ame Dyckman, Illustrated by Liz Climo
Recommended for: Preschool – 3
Pages: 40
Call Number/Link:  E DYCKMAN, A.

Synopsis: When a little boy throws a coin in a well asking for a pet unicorn, he has no idea what kind of trouble he’s in for. Unbeknownst to him, unicorns make the absolutely worst pets: they shed, they poke holes in your ceiling, and they make a big mess. 

Comments: The tag line to this book is “Be careful what you wish for!” It’s a funny look at what it’s really like to have a magical pet. Did you know unicorns poop cupcakes with sprinkles? At the end, there is a funny twist, and the little boy doesn’t learn his lesson and gets another magical pet. It would make a great pre-school read aloud.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2017 in Fantasy, Funny, Picture Books

 

Forest Life and Woodland Creatures

Title: Forest Life and Woodland Creatures
Author: DK
Series: Practical Facts For Little People
Recommended for: Preschool – 3rd grade
Pages: 32
Call Number/Link:  E 591.73 FOR

Synopsis: Packed with fun activities, crafts, reading games, and amazing facts, kids can meet all the cuddly creatures and amazing sights found in the woods—from bunnies to bears to bugs—in this educational project book.

Comments: This book is marketed towards parents looking for nature information and crafts to read together with their children. It has all the great DK illustrations that make it appealing to kids, with facts that make it educational enough for parents. I even learned a new word; squirrel nests are called dreys. There are usually a few pages of illustrations, with small chunks of information, then a spread on doing a nature craft like pine cone owls. The “reading games” are things like “count the bugs in the log” and “help the bunny through the maze. It does make it a bit more interactive, but is more of a one on one reference book than something you would read aloud to a group. My only caveat is that we’ve only had a the book for a few months and pages are already pulling apart from the spine. Also, it is easily confused with another Easy Non-Fiction DK book, Woodland and Forest, that has many of the same pictures, but is smaller and for slightly older kids.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2017 in Non-Fiction, Picture Books

 

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Pupunzel

Title: Pupunzel
Author: Maribeth Boelts
Series: Dog Fairy Tales (unofficial title I just made up)
Recommended for: K-3rd Grade
Pages: 48
Call Number/Link:  READER BOELTS, M.

Synopsis:  In this Step 3 send-up, a cocker spaniel named Pupunzel grows long golden fur when a witch takes her from her family and locks her in a tall tower. Will Pupunzel’s mama and brothers and sisters ever be able to rescue her from the tower? Or does Pupunzel have some tricks up her fur?

Comments: This story is a VERY cute and clever version Rapunzel retold with puppies. The beginning of the story is pretty faithful to the original tale, with the mother puppy eating some rapunzel plants from a witches garden. The witch takes a golden haired cocker spaniel puppy and her family tries to rescue her. The ending is actually sweet, with the puppy kissing the witch to break a spell that had turned a princess into a witch. This is a great early reader for kids who have read all the Disney books, and a nice read-aloud for pre-school children with a good attention span.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Princess, Readers

 

A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans

Title: A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans
Author: Laurence Yep & Joanne Ryder
Series: Dragon’s Guide
Recommended for: Grades 3-7
Pages: 192
Call Number/Link:  J Fiction YEP, L.

Synopsis: Crusty dragon Miss Drake has a new pet human, precocious Winnie. Oddly enough, Winnie seems to think Miss Drake is her pet—a ridiculous notion!

Unknown to most of its inhabitants, the City by the Bay is home to many mysterious and fantastic creatures, hidden beneath the parks, among the clouds, and even in plain sight. And Winnie wants to draw every new creature she encounters: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But Winnie’s sketchbook is not what it seems. Somehow, her sketchlings have been set loose on the city streets! It will take Winnie and Miss Drake’s combined efforts to put an end to the mayhem . . . before it’s too late.

Comments: In searching for source material for my dragon program, I picked up this book based solely on the title. It’s told from the point of view of a three thousand year old dragon, grumpy Miss Drake, who has always had a human companion. When her last human dies, the dragon is surprised to discover that she has sent for her great neice, 10 year old Winnie, to be her new companion. Miss Drake doesn’t like Winnie at first and their relationship slowly grows as they get to know eachother better. She starts to grow fond of Winnie and introduce her to the magical world. Of course something goes wrong ang they have to work together to solve it. My favorite part of this book was that it dealt with relationships, grief, and loss in a relistic way, and it was cool for a kid to read about how they might seem to a dragon.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Adventure, Fantasy, Juv

 

Bliss

blissTitle: Bliss
Author: Kathryn Littlewood
Series: A Bliss Novel (Bliss Bakery Trilogy)
Recommended for: Grades 3-7
Pages: 375
Call Number/Link:  J LIT

Synopsis: Rosemary Bliss’s family has a secret. It’s the Bliss Cookery Booke—an ancient, leather-bound volume of enchanted recipes like Singing Gingersnaps.

Rose and her siblings are supposed to keep the Cookery Booke locked away while their parents are out of town, but then a mysterious stranger shows up. “Aunt” Lily rides a motorcycle and also whips up exotic (but delicious) dishes for dinner. Soon boring, non-magical recipes feel like life before Aunt Lily—a lot less fun.

So Rose and her siblings experiment with just a couple of recipes from the forbidden Cookery Booke. A few Love Muffins and Cookies of Truth couldn’t cause too much trouble . . . could they?

Kathryn Littlewood’s culinary caper blends rich emotional flavor with truly enchanting wit, yielding one heaping portion of hilarious family adventure.

Comments: This book was recommended to me by a child here at the library and I really enjoyed the entire series. It has a bit of humor when each magical recipe has unexpected reactions, things get worse and worse for the small town, and the siblings have to come up with solutions. Some antics get sillier and sillier, like when they have to speak backwards to get people under a spell to understand them. There is a slight core moral of “be careful what you wish for,” without being overbearing. I also really liked the believable actions of the siblings in the story. They are well drawn out individuals and the main character really feels torn when faced with family dilemmas urged on by a slightly shady “Aunt.” This book is great for anyone looking for a fun fantasy with a tween main character, that also focuses on family.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2017 in Adventure, Fantasy, Juv

 

Pigs to the Rescue

Title: Pigs to the Rescuepigs-to-the-rescue
Author: John Himmelman
Series: To the Rescue books
Recommended for: Preschool – Grade 3
Pages: 32
Call Number/Link:  E HIMME

Synopsis: Farmer Greenstalk and his family have the darnedest luck. Broken-down tractors, kites stuck in trees―they’re always having problems! It’s a good thing they have such helpful farm animals on hand. This time around, the pigs want to pitch in, and boy, do they ever! The Greenstalks soon find, though, that life might just be a little easier without their help…
Pigs to the Rescue is a 2011 Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year.

Comments: This book was recommended for toddler story time and it is funny! The pigs mess everything up while trying to help and it gets worse and worse. This is a sequel to Chickens to the Rescue, where the chickens help, but get everything right. It’s just not as funny. I can easily see the kids shouting “Pigs to the rescue!” and doing a lot of oinking on the appropriate pages.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2017 in Funny, Picture Books

 

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