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Author Archives: jbrandy

About jbrandy

I like to read!

Read the Book, Lemmings!

Title:   Read the Book, Lemmings!
Author:   Ame Dyckman
Series:    —
Recommended for:  kids in kindergarten and up, either as a readaloud or for independent reading.  Some preschoolers might enjoy it, but they’ll miss some nuances.
Pages:   unpaged  (probably 32 pages)
Call Number/Link:   E DYCKMAN, A.

Rating:   **** 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A literate fox attempts to teach a trio of overzealous lemmings to read in order to save them from their habit of jumping off cliffs.

Comments:

It made me laugh.  Also, Ditto was my favorite lemming.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on November 9, 2017 in Funny, Picture Books

 

Thanks for Thanksgiving

Title:    Thanks for Thanksgiving
Author:   Julie Markes
Series:   —
Recommended for:   Individual and group reading to toddlers, preschoolers and kindegarteners
Pages:   32 p.
Call Number/Link:  E MARKES, J.

Rating:    ****

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

At Thanksgiving time, children express their gratitude for the people and things in their lives.

Comments:

It can be very frustrating to try to find a Thanksgiving book that is a good choice for Toddler Time and/or Preschool Storytime.  Hurray!  I was thrilled to discover this one!

While it is a Thanksgiving book, it is also a book about thankfulness.  It talks about seasonal reasons the kids are grateful (turkey, pie, golden leaves) and everyday things like school, swings, slides, puppies, puddles and MOST of all, the family they love.

The book has a brief rhyming text and large striking illustrations that will be easily visible at Storytime.

I am sooo thankful for Thanks for Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

The Library Book

Title:   The Library Book
Author:   Tom Chapin and Michael Mark   Illustrator:   Chuck Groenink
Series:   —
Recommended for:  anyone who needs an awesome book for a school visit, library visit or library themed storytime.  Would be good for grade school kids and older preschoolers. 
Pages:   40 p.
Call Number/Link:  E CHAPIN, T.

Rating:   ****

 

Synopsis:

Using the lyrics to Tom Chapin and Michael Mark’s “The Library Song,” this picture book celebrates the magic of reading and of libraries.

Comments:

It has been decades since I first heard “The Library song”.  I loved it immediately.  I’m so glad that they decided to turn it into a book!

After presenting the book to a group, it could be fun to ask the kids which book characters they heard mentioned in the song.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2017 in Picture Books

 

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That Pup!

Title:   That Pup!
Author:   Lindsay Barrett George
Series:   —
Recommended for:   toddlers and preschoolers as a readaloud, but is also a good choice for early readers due to the large print.
Pages:   32 p.
Call Number/Link:  E GEORGE

Rating:   *****

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

After having fun digging up acorns, a little dog decides to bury them all again.

Comments:

I love this book!  Even though you would never guess this based on the cover and OPAC, it is a book about fall.  One of my favorite books about fall, in fact.  More accurately, it is one of my favorite books takes place in fall but has an actual plot.  The reader can see apple trees, autumn leaves, acorns, a squirrel and pumpkins within the illustrations.  However, the story is about a little dog who has fun hunting for acorns.  When the little dog learns that she has raided squirrel’s winter acorn stash, she plays a new game called Put Back the Acorn.

The book is an excellent readaloud.  The large colorful illustrations can definitely be seen from either the front or the back of a storytime room.  The book’s only downside is that now I want my own cute little dog.  It would be best if it looked exactly like the one in the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2017 in Picture Books

 

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Best Friends

Title:   Best Friends
Author:   Margery Cuyler
Series:   —
Recommended for:   very early readers
Pages:   32 p.
Call Number/Link:   READER CUYLER, M.

Rating:   *****

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:    

When his best firend Sue finds a new friend at school, Pete feels dejected until Sue invites everyone to play together.

Comments:

This sweet story is an excellent choice for early early readers.  While Pete feels dejected, it is not the result of anyone being mean or intentionally leaving him out.  Sue just got excited about having a new friend and it didn’t occur to her that she could play with both of them at the same time.

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2017 in Readers

 

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Thornhill

Title:   Thornhill
Author:   Pam Smy
Series:   —
Recommended for:  older tweens and teens who like creepy books
Pages:   533 pages
Call Number/Link:   J FICTION SMY, P.

Rating:   ****

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Parallel plotlines set in different times, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.

1982:  Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it’s shutting its doors.  When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she’s left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary and on Thornhill itself.

2016:  Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one.  From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window.  Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s shadowy past.

Comments:

Some colleagues were surprised that I chose to read this book since I don’t usually read creepy, scary books.

As it works out, I was less scared than horrified by the book.  I was really troubled by the cruelty of the bullying that the girl from the eighties experienced, and that the orphanage’s primary caregivers truly didn’t care.  The girl obviously needed psychological help, as did the bully.

I did not get a complete picture of the contemporary girl’s situation.  I could see that she and her father had moved to a new place where she didn’t have any friends.  Her mother isn’t with them and the father works so many hours that the girl is, for all intensive purposes, an abandoned child.

There was no way that this book could end well….

 

But now for the biggest mystery of all:  should we move to book to Teen Fiction or keep it in J Fiction?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Historical, Historical, Horror, Juv, Scary, Teen

 

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Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True

Title:   Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True
Author:   Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Series:   Uni the Unicorn
Recommended for:  kids in preschool and early elementary school, especially if they love unicorns
Pages:   32 pages
Call Number/Link:   E ROSENTHAL, A.

Rating:   ****

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A powerful, shared wish helps Uni the unicorn and the little girl who believes in him to save the land of unicorns from seemingly endless rain.

Comments:

Unicorns, cute little girl, flower-full meadows, rainbows, a wish granted.  This is obviously my type of book!

The illustrations are beautiful.  I was pleased to learn how unicorns get their strength and magic:  from the golden sun, magnificent rainbows and the sparkle of believing.  I should have known that instinctively.

This is definitely a book that could brighten a dark, gloomy day.

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2017 in Picture Books

 

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