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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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The Wizard

the-wizardTitle: The Wizard
Author: Jack Prelutsky & Illustrated by Brandon Dorman
Series: N/A
Recommended for:  Kindergarten – Grade 5
Pages: 32 pages
Call Number/Link:  E PRELU

Synopsis: In a spooky tower on a cozy suburban cul-de-sac lives a wizard pondering evil deeds. He uses “elemental sorcery” to turn a bullfrog into a flea, which becomes a pair of mice, which emerge as a cockatoo, and so on, until the wizard brings back the frog and banishes it. Contemplating his next trick, the magician peers from his tower window to the street below, where children play: “He may pluck someone off the spot / and turn them into . . . who knows what?” Prelutsky’s rhyming text, adapted from a poem originally published in Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (1976), combines well with Dorman’s sumptuous, full-page digital art, featuring a grandfatherly wizard “tall and thin with wrinkled skin, a tangled beard hangs from his chin.” Children will particularly like the way the wizard’s spells glow and splash across the pages, and the creepy feeling that evil may lurk even on their own street. Consider this somewhat eerie, but not over-the-top scary.

Comments: I grabbed this book off the shelf because of the beautiful cover and the inside illustrations were even better! Each page is incredibly detailed, colorful and full of action. The poem might be a bit scary for toddlers, but would be another great read around Halloween or for family story time. If you read the book one-on-one there are so many things to find in each picture that you could spend a long time together searching for hidden objects.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2017 in Fantasy, Holidays, Picture Books, Scary

 

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Fairy Tales I Just Made Up!

fairy-tales-i-just-made-upTitle: Fairy Tales I Just Made Up: Snarky Bed Time Stories For Weirdo Children
Author: Ray Friesen
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Grades 3-7
Pages: 80
Call Number/Link:  J Fiction Friesen, R.

Synopsis: All the beloved fairytale classics are kinda… broken. I mean, they don’t have ANY Dinosaurs, Robots, Zombies or Space Aliens in them. I don’t know what those guys from olden days were thinking. So! I took all those cherished children’s stories, added some crazyness, and vastly improved them! Probably!
Fairy Tales I Just Made Up is jam-packed with weirdo fun, including The Dumbest Love Story Ever, Magical-Science, and Bacon Helicopters.

Comments: I grabbed this book because of the funny title and it was exactly as advertised. It is illustrated by the author of Pirate Penguin and Ninja Chicken. The first story made me laugh out loud (literally!). It is an odd retelling of tales that reminds me of the ways that younger kids think, full of non sequiturs, silly jokes, and very literal interpretations (goldilox can turn things into gold, Robin hood is a bird). Each story is illustrated by a different artist, one is done in clay (IlluClayted), and in “The Princess and the Whatever” all the artists drew a different princess. The only problem with this book is that it might be too wacky! There are some recurring characters to look out for throughout the stories that are drawn in the different styles. This might be a funny read aloud book for an older kid’s bedtime.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Funny, Juv

 

Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean

Coral ReefsTitle: Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean
Author: Maris Wicks
Series: Science Comics
Recommended for: Grades 4-9
Pages: 120
Call Number/Link:  GN J 577.789 WIC

Synopsis: As the series title suggests, this introduction to coral is given the graphic-novel treatment. The panel illustrations are bright and colorful; a clean design makes the information accessible. The content is somewhat advanced, making this appropriate for upper-elementary-age readers. The lighthearted text, narrated by a fish, includes humorous asides along with a solid presentation of the facts.

Comments: Did you know that a coral reef has more biodiversity than a rainforest? Did you know that even if you lived far from the ocean, you still depend on coral reefs? Did you know that coral is not a plant but an animal?  This book is an excellent introduction to the topic of coral reefs. It is bright, colorful and tries to use a little humor to keep the reader engaged. It is narrated by a cute bespecticled yellow fish and covers ocean life, biodiversity, scientific names, the water cycle and more.

This would be a great read for a reluctant reader in junior high or a advanced middle schooler. It skews for older kids just because of the scientific jargon, but it does sound out a lot of the scientific words and has a glossary in the back. It is broken up into five chapters, but refers back to the main points learned in previous chapters, which helped me remember things like: coral gets it’s color from a symbiotic relationship with an algae. The final chapter talks about climate change, and it’s impact on coral reefs, and how people can help.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2016 in Graphic Novels, Non-Fiction