I’ve been a fan of Emily Gravett’s work for a long time, and I was excited to see her new book on our shelves. Dogs is a simple story, describing all of the kinds of dogs that the unseen narrator loves. Readers expecting a subversive tale, like Gravett’s The Odd Egg, will find that Dogs is more akin to her Orange Pear Apple Bear – perfectly illustrated, soft and sweet. The genius of the work lies in the illustrations, which characterize the dogs so thoroughly that one could almost tell an individual story about each dog. Their postures, facial expressions, and demeanor will be instantly familiar to anyone who owns or spends time with dogs. And lest you think that the book is staid, there’s a tiny little twist at the end, sure to evoke a chuckle from both adults and children.
Posted by: Sarah
Four small bears are happy sitting on their chairs until a big bear comes along and wants a place to sit too. His adorable, big bear stare makes the little bears want to share. Can the little bears find a solution so they can all find a place to sit? A great story about counting and sharing for little ones.
Posted by: Liz
I am not usually a fan of Neil Gaiman’s work, but this is a quirky little book which reads like a Norse folktale and I really liked it. Odd is a little boy whose father has died. Odd has had an accident while using his father’s axe to chop down a tree and he is lame. His stepfather is a mean man but Odd is oddly happy. He always has a smile on his face and is always positive. This year spring is late and Odd finally decides that he will go to the forest, to his father’s cabin, to try to bring spring to his village. He meets a fox and an eagle and frees an enormous bear. These events begin an adventure involving gods and frost giants and tales of mischief and trickery. Odd is a wonderful hero and uses his smile, ability to know the Frost Giant’s wants, and his cleverness to help the gods and his village. This is a charming adventure.
Posted by: Fran W.
The sequel to White Giraffe, Dolphin Song continues the tale of Martine, who is the heroine of the tale and has amazing powers with animals. She is the rider of the white giraffe(as described in the first book). In this book, she is on an ocean voyage with her class. She has interactions with water animals and learns that she can communicate with them as well. But, when a horrible storm sinks their ship, Martine and some of her classmates must learn to survive on a deserted island. Packed with action, Dolphin Song is just as engaging as White Giraffe. This is an Australian import. Several more volumes are out in Australia and will hopefully soon be available here!
Posted by: Kate
Life is downright boring for Popeye; not much of anything happening. He lives in a small town in South Carolina with his grandma and dog Boo. His Uncle Dooley lives in an old trailer in the backyard and sometimes he works and sometimes he doesn’t. Uncle Dooley is responsible for the accident that has forever damaged Popeye’s eye. Popeye’s grandma spends her days exercising her brain by reciting the kings and queens of England in chronological order. She also works on crossword puzzles and she teaches Popeye a new word every week. These words and definitions are included in the text of the book.
Then something happens; something big; something exciting. While passing through town, the Jewel family’s recreational vehicle gets stuck in the mud and is trapped for days. The six lively Jewel children, especially Elvis, are a happy respite to Popeye’s boredom. Elvis is a rule breaker. He is good at tossing out insults and swearwords. Popeye has never met anyone quite like Elvis, and he hopes that the recreational vehicle never gets out of the mud! He wants the Jewel family to stay around forever.
Popeye and Elvis become constant companions. Elvis is not one to be bored, so before long he is off looking for adventure with Popeye in tow. Searching everywhere. Then there it is – just floating down the creek . . . a small adventure!
Posted by: Wendy
Are you ready to read about Colorado in the 1940s, complete with rattlesnakes, a flash flood, and the adventure of riding in a rodeo? Now add in fifteen year old Will and his mentally handicapped twin brother Denny. You can really become involved in the coming of age adventures of this cowboy whose father, brother and a small white scar keep pulling him in a different direction. Girls and boys in sixth to eighth grade can appreciate the adventure and the family emotions that shadow the action.
Posted by: Iris
Bridget Fidget has a wonderful imagination, so when a very big box arrives at her home, she just knows that it must be the pet-shop man delivering a pet for her – probably the pet unicorn that she has always wanted. What she finds packed in “snow” is a very small box, maybe a mouse, but NOT a penguin. Finally after jiggling and rolling and shaking the small box, it makes a noise, a ZZZZZZZZ noise. She decides it must be a sleepy little secret pet in the box, and of course she needs to wake it up. She thinks she might put her pet in the shower to wake it up, but Daddy is already in there, and then she settles on tucking the pet box in with Mommy until it wakes up. Mommy wakes up with a start when Daddy makes a LOT of noise when he finds “snow” all over the kitchen. BRIDGET FIDGET!! Needless to say, her parents are not happy. Finally, Daddy opens the little box, and Bridget finds it is a pet in its own house and there’s a clock on the house and its going to live on her bedroom wall and then . . . . DING! The door opens up and cuckoo! cuckoo! cuckoo! Well, Bridget couldn’t help but be a little disappointed. She wanted a REAL LIVE PET, not a cuckoo clock! But just then when the world seems so unfair, she hears a small noise from a little window on the side of the clock and out flies a real live ladybug! Bridget decides that this pet is perfect — much less skittery than a pet mouse and can fly much higher than a pet penguin, and as for dancing is easily as good as a pet unicorn. Oh happy day, her perfect pet has arrived!
Posted by: Mary
You all know the story of Helen Keller, a deaf-blind girl who learned to speak and read and became a household name for her accomplishments. However, if it were not for a little girl in New Hampshire by the name of Laura Bridgman, Helen Keller would have just been another child with a disability lost to the outside world.
You have probably never heard of Laura Bridgman, but you will really want to! She was born in 1829 and contacted scarlet fever at age 2. Upon recovery, she was left both blind and deaf, and with weakened senses of smell and taste, too. She had been a bright and inquisitive child before her illness and her parents tried to include her in their everyday life as much as possible. She had an amazing sense of touch and learned to identify people, sew and knit simply with her fingertips, but her family wanted more for her. Laura was soon discovered by doctors and educators and enrolled at the Perkins Institute for the Blind under the tutelage of Dr. Samuel Howe. At the Institute, Laura was a star pupil and later, teacher (one student was named Anne Sullivan!). She learned to read, write, do math and fingerspell (sign language and teaching the Deaf to speak not yet being in fashion) at a time when everyone thought that a person with such disabilities could only ever be a burden.
But Laura proved them wrong. People across the US and even Europe knew her name and what people with physical disabilities could accomplish if only given the chance. She stayed with Perkins for most of her life and was even written about by Charles Dickens. And it was this account of her name and accomplishments that Kate Keller, a mother in Alabama in the late 1880s, read and wondered if Perkins Institute’s teachers could help her young deaf-blind daughter Helen. And the rest you know!
Posted by: Cindy