Archive for April, 2014

Weasels by Elys Dolan

Weasels!

“What do you think they do all day?” asks the author.

Scurry around the woods? Eat twigs? Engage in generally wild-animal-y tasks?

Think again!

Secretly, weasels are bent on WORLD DOMINATION!

In this hilarious book, you’ll find yourself inside the weasels’ secret, high-tech command center, full of computers, interactive (for them) maps, giant drills, and, of course, THE MACHINE. There are weasel scientists and weasel engineers, and even a weasel criminal mastermind with both a monocle AND a pet mouse (suitable for stroking in a dastardly fashion).

Things are looking pretty bleak for those of us who like our world un-taken-over.

But wait–do you think weasels are organized enough to take over the world?

And do you think that they’re particularly skilled with machines? (Or MACHINES?)

Who turned out the lights? Is the MACHINE BROKEN? What will the weasels do now?

Scurry your way over to the library to get your own paws on the book to find out–this book would be great for any reader who likes animals, humor, great illustrations, thought bubbles, look-and-find stories, and, of course, WORLD DOMINATION.

Posted by: Sarah

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This Little Piggy by Tim Harrington


This little piggy went to market.
This little piggy went home.
This little piggy had roast beef.
This little piggy had none.
This little piggy went wee! wee! wee! wee! wee!
All the way home.

You know the story, right? But, did you ever wonder if those little piggies might want to do something more…interesting? Like fly planes? Or have a costume party? Or race a go-kart? Or change into Super Toe, the world’s greatest superhero!? In Tim Harrington’s book, This Little Piggy, adorable little toes do all these things and more. The bright, colorful digital illustrations of smiling toes performing amazing feats will make readers giggle, and parents and kids will be inspired to play along and send their own little piggies on wild adventures. Debut author Tim Harrington is also the front man of rock band Les Savy Fav, and he’s created an equally fun and quirky song to go with the book. It’s available for free at the publisher’s website. Two big piggies up for This Little Piggy by Tim Harrington!

Posted by: Parry

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Get Real! A Non-Fiction Video Book Review

This month, Sarah shares the fascinating book Buried Beneath Us by Anthony F. Aveni.

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Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin

Ling and Ting are twins. They have the same hair, same smile and same eyes, but don’t let those similarities fool you – they are not exactly the same. Ling likes books about dogs, but Ting loves fairytales. Ling struggles with using chopsticks, while Ting finds chopsticks to be very easy to use. Ling is very good at sitting still and concentrating, but Ting has a tendency to be a bit more fidgety and forgetful. Each chapter of this amusing episodic book tells a different story to illustrate just how not the same these two twins really are.

Grace Lin manages to create adorable, relatable characters and place them into entertaining situations while maintaining a reading level appropriate for those who are still honing their reading skills. The cheerful, clear illustrations add charm to the story, provide helpful clues for decoding potential trouble words and, thanks to a mishap while at the barbershop in the first chapter, knowing which girl is Ling and which is Ting. Fans of Biscuit, Henry and Mudge, and the Elephant and Piggy books who are looking for a bit more of a challenge should definitely give Ling and Ting a try. If you like this one, make sure to read Ling and Ting Share a Birthday as well.

Click here for a link to a book trailer on Grace Lin’s website for Ling and Ting.

Posted by: Staci

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Good Night, Trucks!: a Bedtime Book by Brian Biggs

I have discovered that little boys’ interest in trucks begins at a very early age. Right now, one of my toddler’s favorite books is Everything Goes: Good Night Trucks by Brian Biggs. He loves to look at the colorful, cartoon illustrations of all of the trucks. The story consists of one or two trucks per spread, and it includes old favorites as well as some less familiar trucks to build a toddler’s vocabulary. I always know when my toddler finds the ice cream truck because he starts smacking his lips, and he does his best monster impression when he gets to the monster truck page. Little ones will love saying good night to all their favorite trucks.

Posted by: Liz

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Ribbit! By Rodrigo Folgueira

We all know that pigs say “oink” – or do they?

One morning the most adorable pink pig is discovered by the frogs sitting on a rock in their pond. Seeing a pig in their pond is very confusing to the frogs. When asked why he is sitting in their pond the pig answers “RIBBIT!” The frogs don’t know what to make of a pig in their pond who says “RIBBIT!” Is he making fun of them? What exactly does he want from them?

When other animals arrive to see the pig for themselves, they begin to laugh which only upsets the frogs more than ever. The chief frog decides that they must go find the wise old beetle who will surely know what to do about a ribbit-ing pig. When the animals, along with the wise old beetle, return to the rock in the pond, the pig is gone. In all his wisdom the beetle says, “Maybe he just wanted to make new friends.” Oh no! the frogs and other animals hadn’t thought of that!

Sure enough, the adorable pink pig has found himself some new friends. What a delight to discover who all his new friends turn out to be!

This is a wonderful book about acceptance, friendship, as well as confidence. The charming illustrations draw the reader into the story. I read it over and over – it’s just that much fun!

Posted by: Wendy

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Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

“Holy Unanticipated Occurrences!” is a favorite phrase in Flora and Ulysses and one I uttered after I read it. Perhaps I should have anticipated loving Flora and Ulysses as much as I did. After all, I have enjoyed every other book I have read by this prolific juvenile fiction author, Kate DiCamillo was recently named and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and the book won this year’s Newbery Award. But I had trouble getting excited about reading a book about a squirrel and a girl from a broken home. Was I ever wrong! This book is a delight.

The story begins with a vacuum, a brand new Ulysses Super-Suction Multi-Terrain 2000x vacuum that Mrs. Tickham is exploring in her backyard. When she flips the switch, a squirrel is in the vacuum’s path and is sucked inside. Mrs. Tickham screams until her neighbor and the book’s heroine, Flora Belle Buckman arrives on the scene and rescues the squirrel and changes her and the Tickham’s forever. You see, being vacuumed did something to the squirrel. It made him feel awake, special; it even gave him special powers. He could understand Flora, he had super strength, he could fly, and he could type…poetry! Flora names the squirrel after the vacuum that transformed him, Ulysses. She immediately equates her squirrel’s ability with that of her favorite comic book superhero, The Amazing Incandesto and uses the comic as a guide for maneuvering through life with a super squirrel. Told mostly in prose, the story is enhanced with comic-style vignettes that mostly give a visual depiction of Ulysses accomplishing amazing feats.

Perhaps the most amazing feat is that this book is about more than a superhero squirrel. It is about Flora dealing with her parent’s recent divorce, her parents dealing very badly with their recent divorce and their melancholy daughter, the Tickhams taking in their nephew William Spiver since he cannot deal with this mother’s new boyfriend, and a very wise neighbor dealing with the loss of her husband. All of this is packed into an extremely quick read that would be an appropriate read aloud for the whole family as long as everyone can see the pictures. The plot is exciting, the deeper issues are layered so that they are accessible to mature readers, but not disturbing to younger readers, and the character are easy to identify with. All in all, Flora and Ulysses is not a book to be missed.

Posted by: Kelly

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