Monthly Archives: August 2013

Last of the Gullivers

Michael Pine is an orphaned 12-year-old living with his uncle in a town called Moss-on-Stone.  He often skips school in order to hang out with older boys, who are trying to recruit and groom him as one of their gangmembers.  … Continue reading

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H.I.V.E. 4 Dreadnought

Wow!  This book is pretty amazing!  Lots of non-stop action and twists and turns; I could see it all play out in my mind like a movie.  (is there a movie deal for this series?)  This is the fourth installment … Continue reading

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The Fire Horse Girl

Life in rural China is excruciatingly painful for Jade Moon.  Without her mother and under the Zodiac sign of the Fire Horse, she is a quick to speak, hot tempered, feisty young woman in a society that would never let … Continue reading

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Rainforest

Beginning with a definition of a rainforest or jungles near the equator where the sun shines hottest, one is taken on a journey around the world.  Each floor of a rainforest is home to a variety of plants and animals … Continue reading

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Bugs

What an eye-catcher!  Large, colorful, magnified images fill every page in this engaging book.  Bugs can be grouped into six categories: insects (beetles, flies, bees, ants), arachnids (spiders, scorpions, ticks), centipedes and millipedes, wood lice, worms, and slugs and snails.  … Continue reading

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Jackie Robinson: American Hero

This brief biography of Jackie Robinson is written by his daughter.  It is filled with many back-and-white photographs from childhood throughout his life.  He excelled in many sports but wanted to play professional baseball.  Segregation was strong within the country … Continue reading

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How Honest Are You?

This is an interesting topic about being truthful.  Most kids like quizzes found in magazines and social sites. Fifteen scenarios present a variety of situations in which one can choose one of three responses.  Most people probably feel they are … Continue reading

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Shoot-Out

Jake loves playing on his championship soccer team but a family move results in him playing on the worst team in the league.  As in many of Mike Lupica’s books, the main character seems to have more maturity than most … Continue reading

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Pip’s Trip

Strictly a book for the youngest audiences.  Three hens try to work up the courage to go for a ride in the farm truck, but they are scared of the noise it makes and of the unknown world beyond the … Continue reading

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Cooking with Grandma

The fun illustrations are as charming as in the other grandma and grandpa books by this author.  The text follows a day-of-the-week pattern, describing something different each day that Anya cooks with her grandma, and what they do with what … Continue reading

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The U.S. Senate

It’s trying to cover too much information in a too simplified format for that information.  The result is shallow, surface statements, that seem a bit disjointed and unorganized. It’s bound to leave young readers with more unanswered questions that any … Continue reading

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How Long Is a Day?

I don’t like it when books make statements as fact that are really over-simplified generalizations.  In describing parts of a day, this one says, “In the afternoon the bus takes you home from school.” Yet not all kids ride busses. … Continue reading

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Dig Those Dinosaurs

The simple text has lots of rhyme, rhythm, and repetition to help emergent readers, and the illustrations add meaning to the text, to share with young dinosaur fans the processes involved in digging them up, jigsawing them to make sense, … Continue reading

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Chick’s Works of Art

The illustrations are cute, and it’s great that when Chick get’s fired from the egg factory for not conforming to the plain-white-oval requirements, she continues with her passion of creating uniquely shaped and painted eggs, gets discovered and becomes famous … Continue reading

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Ten Blue Wrens and what a lot of wattle!

The illustrations are nice, the simple counting text rhymes, and I would probably recommend it for Australian audiences, whose young children would appreciate having a counting book that featured familiar images.  But the images and vocabulary are “absolutely Australian,” as … Continue reading

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Risseldy, Rosseldy

The stated mission of the group publishing this series of books is to preserve our heritage of children’s folksongs.  If you share this mission, this may be a worthy addition to your library, but as a stand-alone picture book, it … Continue reading

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The Other Side of Town

It might get recommended for libraries in New York, but kids who are unfamiliar with New York landmarks are going to miss a lot of the references in this book.  The illustrations are fun, and the story is cute:  it … Continue reading

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When Dads Don’t Grow Up

A fun read-together for kids and dads to share, it points out all the ways kids are lucky if there dad is the kind who never grew up.  The silly illustrations accompany a long list of indicators of dads who … Continue reading

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Mr. Whistler

Well, when it comes down to it, this is the story of a not-too-bright man doing a strip-tease at the train station, in an effort to find the ticket that he’s got in his mouth. When he gets down to … Continue reading

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Happy Christmas, Little Bear

It’s rather pedantic and cheesy.  It tells of a selfish, whiney, demanding little bear who has created a long list of all the things he wants from Santa, insisting that if he can’t have them all it won’t be a … Continue reading

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The Great Magician of the World

The illustrations for this book are bright and interesting and unusual and intriguing.  I just wish the story lived up to the artwork.  There’s not really a plot.  It basically tells about someone who loves magic so much they imagine … Continue reading

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Spirit Seeker

Though a picture book, this title is really better for older students.  The bright, somewhat abstract paintings that illustrate it are beautiful, and draw one in to this biography of jazz musician John Coltrain.  It describes how his music was … Continue reading

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Let’s Go, Hugo!

The illustrations are absolutely charming!  Hugo is a small yellow bird, living in Paris, who doesn’t like to fly.  One day he meets a new friend who wants to take him to the Eiffel Tower, but Hugo keeps making excuses … Continue reading

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Fly, Chick, Fly

The illustrations are soft and charming.  The text is rhythmic and rhyming and repetitive.  The story tells the simple tale of a young owl who watches his older siblings fly away and leave the nest, but is afraid to attempt … Continue reading

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Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman, Olympic high-jump champ

This is the second picture-book biography of Alice Coachman I’ve read in the last year, and though very different, they’re both fabulous in their own way.  This one has the advantage of offering the reader more detailed information about this … Continue reading

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