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Books for Kids and Teens Book reviews of titles for children and young adults. Books are received from Library Thing publishers and NetGalley publishers. Books are also read and reviewed from the local library. All reviews are subject to reviewer's opinion and not the publisher or author
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1. #646 – Alphabetabum: An Album of Rare Photographs and Medium Verses by Chris Raschka & Vladimir Radunsky

Alphabetabumx

Alphabetabum: An Album of Rare Photographs and Medium Verses

written by Chris Raschka
Photography collection by Vladimir Radunsky
New York Review Children’s Collection        10/01/2014
978-1-59017-817-1
Age 4 to 7        80 pages
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“An ALPHABET book?
“An ALBUM of old photos?
“We named it ALPHABETABUM.

“Here celebrated artist and author Vladimir Radunsky and Chris Raschka put a delightful new old-fashioned spin on the alphabet book. Radunsky has selected portraits off children from is spectacular collection of antique black-and-white photographs. Raschka has given the children names and written deliciously teasing rhymes about them. The result is ALPHABETABUM, a book of letters and pictures to which readers will happily return to again and again both to look and to learn.”

Opening

[A picture of a young girl in a short dress with a sash.]

                   “Aa
Awkward Agnes Alexandra
Shows her ample ankles
Although her knees are grander.”

Review

Vladimir Radunsky writes, “If these photos were taken in the late-nineteenth or early-twentieth centuries, then the children in them could have been our great-great-great grandparents! So we have an extraordinary chance to see what our great-great-great grandparents looked when they were children.”

There are 26 photographs of children of varying ages in Alphabetabum; the first original book from New York Review Children’s Collection (all others are reprinted classics). I looked closely at the eyes after reading Radunsky’s thoughts that one of these could be a great-great-great-grandparent, aunt, or uncle. I have never seen any pictures of my parents as children, so seeing what they might have worn captivated my attention as well.

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Some of the portraits are comical, like young Baby Beulah Bridget who wears a huge white bow upon her tiny head. The bow is too big for her small head and looks to topple at any moment. From the clothing, it is obvious these children are from all over the world. One young boy, named Quiet Quentin Quint, wears long white pants under a black pair of knickers with an ornate jacket and cummerbund. Atop his head is a stocking cap (today, we call these skullcaps) and leans on a cricket bat. Quentin is a serious child.

The photographs in Alphabetabum range from the casual to the formal, though it would not have been a casual friend taking the casual picture. In all cases, the person behind, or next to, the lens would have been a professional photographer. Photographs back then took quite a while to develop and many people had to hold that smile for several minutes. In today’s instant world, I wonder if such portraits are possible.alphabetabumworkaround.indd

Alphabetabum is an interesting and quite curious ABC book. It is really more for older kids and adults, not the young child trying to learn their ABC’s, though it could be done. These ABC’s are for those who love poetry, old photographs, and funny verses that try to define the child based on their clothing, they way they pose, and maybe a smile or lack thereof. The names are all alliterated and interesting. I like Alphabetabum because of it’s quirkiness and because I love old photos and photography. I don’t think you need to have those interests to find Alphabetabum worth your time. Alphabetabum will become endearing, leading you to want to share this unusual ABC picture book.

ALPHABETABUM: AN ALBUM OF RARE PHOTOGRAPHS AND MEDIUM VERSES. Text copyright © 2014 by Chris Raschka. Photographs copyright © 2014 by Vladimir Radunsky. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, New York Review Children’s Collection, New York, NY.
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Buy Alphabetabum at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryNew York Review of Booksyour favorite bookstore.

Learn more about Alphabetabum HERE

Meet the author, Chris Raschka, at his twitter:   https://twitter.com/ChrisRaschka

Meet the photography collector, Vladimir Radunsky, at his website:    http://www.vladimirradunsky.com/

Find classic children’s books at the New York Review Children’s Collection website:  http://www.nybooks.com/books/imprints/childrens/

The New York Review Children’s Collection is an imprint of New York Review of Books.   http://www.nybooks.com/

Also by Chris Raschka

If You Were a Dog

If You Were a Dog

Whaley Whale (Thingy Things)

Whaley Whale (Thingy Things)

Give and Take

Give and Take

 

 

 

 

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Also by Vladimir Radunsky

Advice to Little Girls

Advice to Little Girls

Hip Hop Dog

Hip Hop Dog

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

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Review HERE

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Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Historical Fiction, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book, Poetry Tagged: ABC Book, alliteration, children's book reviews, Chris Raschka, classic photographs from early 20th century, formal portraits of children from long ago, New York Review Children’s Collection, New York Review of Books, poetry, Vladimir Radunsky

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2. #645 – Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle

Flora and the Penguin                    2014

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Flora and the Penguin

Written and illustrated by Molly Idle
Published by Chronicle Books 2014
978-1-4521-2891-7
Age 4 to 8 (+) 32 pages
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“Flora is back and this time she partners with a penguin. Twirling, leaping, and gliding on skates and flippers, the duo mirror each other in an exuberant ice dance. But when Flora gives the penguin the cold shoulder, the pair must figure out a way to work together for uplifting results.”

Opening

As Flora ties her right skate, she notices something poke out of a hole in the ice. What could it be?

Review

Flora is back at the ice rink, getting ready to glide and twirl when she sees something odd in the hole across from where she sits lacing her skate. Flora extends her hand, offering it to Penguin. He accepts (I am assuming Penguin is a he, I really do not know). Flipper in hand, the pair glide in perfect harmony. Left foot glide to the right; turn and right foot glide to the left. In absolute harmony, Flora and Penguin take off and then LEAP into a perfect twirl.

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Oh, NO! Penguin misses his landing, falling onto his rotund rear. Flora glides away . . . laughing. Penguin belly slides to her with a twinkle in his eye. This is not Flora and the Flamingo. The grace and style are present. The harmonious duet is there. The serious business of skating is not. Penguin brings the smiles and laughs out of Flora. He also spoils his partner, or, rather, he tries. Flora rejects Penguin’s gift. Sure, it is a small fish he has brought her; a snack Penguin chased below the ice—in synchronicity with Flora’s skating. Flora flips the fish over her head. Penguin looks mortified as his gift somehow lands into the hole in the ice and swims away.

The beautiful illustrations once again capture the elegant characters gliding, twirling, and leaping. At quick glance, one might believe this is the Caldecott Honor Book Flora and the Flamingo, only with a penguin. That person would be wrong, terribly wrong. In Flora and the Flamingo, Flora is the student learning from Flamingo, the teacher. In Flora and the Penguin, Flora is no longer the student, nor is she the teacher. She and Penguin are friends skating together and having fun. When Penguin misses his landing, no one turns away in admonition. No, Flora happily laughs and Penguin giggles as they join back together. These two are playmates.

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Playmates have fights, as you are sure to remember. Flora turns away in a pout, checking on Penguin when he looks away. Penguin is also pouting in anger and keeping an eye on Flora. These two friends need to find their way back and Ms. Idle does this in grand style. A four-page grand spread. Flora and the Penguin is a gorgeous, wordless picture book that will wow anyone lucky enough to turn the pages. Some pages contain flip-up, -down, or –sideways, always changing the scene and promoting a smile.

Flora and the Penguin is an easy choice for anyone who loves ballet. Yet this gorgeous, should-win-lots-of-awards picture book will attract a wider audience. Like her throngs of admirers, I cannot wait for her next release, though I am secretly hoping for new characters in a new story. Whatever direction she takes, parents and young children will love the finished product. Ms. Idle has perfected the art of wordless storytelling.

FLORA AND THE PENGUIN. Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Molly Idle. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

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Buy Flora and the Penguin at AmazoniTunesB&NBook DepositoryChronicle Booksyour favorite bookstore.

Learn more about Flora and the Penguin HERE

Meet the author/illustrator, Molly Idle, at her website:  http://idleillustration.com/

Find more picture books at the Chronicle Books’ website:   http://www.chroniclebooks.com/

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Also by Molly Idle

Camp Rex

Camp Rex

Tea Rex

Tea Rex

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flora and the penguin

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Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Series, Top 10 of 2014 Tagged: ballet, children's book reviews, Chronicle Books, Flora and the Penguin, gorgeous illustrations, ice skating, Molly Idle, penguins, picture books, wordless stories

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3. #644 – The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #5: Lobo Goes to the Galapagos by C.L. Murphy

Lobo cover

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The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #5: Lobo Goes to the Galapagos

Written and illustrated by C.L. Murphy
Published by C.L. Murphy         8/22/2014
978-0-9883187-5-5
Age 4 to 8        32 pages
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“Lobo returns in this adventure, sweeter and a bit salty this time. This lil’ wolf pup finds that there’s nothing like a little sea air to bring out the best in him and his unlikely tag-alongs. Take a trip to the Galapagos with Lobo and his right-hand raven, Roxy, as they help an injured, new feathered friend return home. Lobo faces some fears and witnesses the joy that comes from helping others in this “birds of a different feather DO flock together” tale.”

Opening

 “Ohh …….Rooooxxxyyyy . . . Roxy…..Roxy?”

The Story

After a stormy night, Lobo finds a bird lying upside down in the grass. It has blue feet, which worries Lobo, but it turns out the bird, named Bobby is a blue-footed booby. The storm blew Bobby all the way to Lobo’s home, hurting his wing in the process. Lobo’s friend Roxy the raven splints Bobby’s wing and then the two take Bobby home. He lives by the ocean, but none of the beaches Lobo arrives at is the correct beach. Bobby lives on Wolf Island—wolf population zero—an island of the Galapagos Islands. The islands are across the ocean rom Lobo’s forest. Lobo does not swim well and is afraid a sea creature might attack the group—or him. What does he do know? How will he get the injured Booby back home?

Review 

I have loved The Adventures of Lovable Lobo ever since Lobo ventured into a barnyard full of animals trying to make friends. He was a cool wolf pup when he refused to hunt and kill in his first adventure. Lobo was wonderful with a young Bigfoot. In Lobo Goes to Galapagos, Lobo must be maturing. He takes the lead, transporting an injured boobly bird, a depressed seagull, and a lonely crab by himself. Roxy helps by flying most of the time instead of landing on Lobo’s back for a free ride. Lobo never complains. These are his friends (even the sad seagull and the blue-footed boobly both of which he just met) so he steps out.

I loved the unexpected bits of humor, such as when Sandra popping onto the beach with the perfect timing of a great comedian One f the best lines is this one,

LoboGalapagos_page33_image38

“The water was so clear that if Lobo looked down he could see many things swimming around,   so he tried not to look down.”

Poor Lobo, he endures one fear to take a new friend, injured in the storm, home. The nice thing about Lobo’s stories is the lack of a message. Lobo is a good wolf, a wolf to aspire to be, and a friend to every animal without prejudice. This is Lobo’s makeup, not his message. Still, I take friendship, honesty, loyalty, and courteousness away from Lobo’s adventures.

LoboGalapagos_page33_image10

I was disappointed that Lobo Goes to the Galapagos was only to drop off a new friend. I thought he would go there to explore and show me creatures I did not know existed. True, I had never heard of a blue-footed boobly—and yes, it is real—but I wanted more.

The illustrations are once more fantastic. My favorite and one that Ms. Murphy will find hard to top, is her gorgeous sunset, sunrise beaches. I have been to the Caribbean many times and have seen many outstanding sunsets and rises, but none were as magnificent as the ones in Lobo Goes to the Galapagos. Ms. Murphy the magic touch. All of her illustrations are bold, bright, beautiful renditions of her stories. If the images are not hopping off the page at you, they bathe you in phenomenal patterns of color. She is a fantastic artist.

LoboGalapagos_page33_image18

Lobo’s latest adventure, Lobo Goes to the Galapagos, will not disappoint his loyal fans. Young children new to the lovable wolf pup will enjoy the story’s soft humor and awesome tale of friendship. As of this tale, Kindle readers can finally enjoy Lovable Lobo. Once again, Lobo and his friends captivated me. I hope one day, Lobo will make a longer trip to the Galapagos Islands. He would make the perfect ambassador.

THE ADVENTURES OF LOVABLE LOBO #5: LOBO GOES TO THE GALAPAGOS. Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by C.L. Murphy. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, C.L. Murphy.

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Purchase Lobo Goes to the Galapagos at AmazoniTunes—Ms. Murphy’s Website.

Learn more about Lobo Goes to the Galapagos HERE

Meet the author/illustrator, C.L. Murphy, at her website:     http://lovablelobo.com/

Pop in on the author at her Twitter, Facebook, or Blog.

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Also by C.L. Murphy

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #1:  Lobo & Popo Fool the Pack

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #1: Lobo & Popo Fool the Pack

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #2:  Lobo Visits the Barnyard

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #2: Lobo Visits the Barnyard


The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #3:  Lobo Finds BigfootBarnyard

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #3: Lobo Finds BigfootBarnyard

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #4:  Lobo's Howliday

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #4: Lobo’s Howliday

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Review of Lobo #1

Review of Lobo #2

Review of Lobo #3

Review of Lobo #4

 

 

lobo galapagos
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Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 4stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Series Tagged: Blue-Footed Boobly, C.L. Murphy, children's book series, childrens book review, friendship, Galapagos Islands, helping friends, Lovable Lobo, loyalty, picture book, wild creatures

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4. #643 – The Pushcart War: 50th Anniversary Edition by Jean Merrill & Ronni Solbert

PushcartWar
The Pushcart War: 50th Anniversary Edition

Written by Jean Merrill
Illustrated by Ronni Solbert
The New York Review Children’s Collection   9/16/2014
978-1-59017-819-5
Age 8 to 12             230 pages
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“Do you know the history of the pushcart war? The real history? It’s a story of how regular people banded together and, armed with little more than their brains and good aim, defeated a mighty foe.”

Opening

“The Pushcart War started on the  afternoon of March 15, 2026, when a truck ran down a pushcart belonging to a flower peddler.”

The Story

The Pushcart War began on a normal New York City day. The streets were jammed with cars, taxis, and delivery trucks that ranged from the normal size to the mammoth trucks with tires large than your car. It was taking up to four hours to travel four city streets. Tempers are running high, especially for Mack, a truck driver, who, despite his parents being pushcart peddlers, hated pushcarts. That day, with pure intention, deliberately ran into Morris the Florist (no known relation). Thanks to Marvin Seeley’s photo of the onset of the Daffodil Massacre, we know how the war started.

THE PUSHCART WAR. Text copyright © 1964/1992 by Jean Merrill. Illustrations copyright © 1964/1992 by Ronni Solbert. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, New York Review of Books, New York, NY.The trucks don’t want the pushcarts on the road and blamed them for the congestion. For some reason, these light, tiny, carts bothered the heavy, huge trucks. The peddlers couldn’t let the attack of Morris the Florist go unanswered, but lacked the funds the truck companies enjoyed. instead of a major affront, the peddlers decided to use pea shooters and pins to deflate the trucks tires, causing mass congestion and anger people to the point of voting trucks off city streets. For a while it worked and no one could figure out how the tires all went bad within minutes of each other. Until a mechanic found a pin.

A single pin, or many pins does not reveal the culprit. One the newspapers ran the story, children began shooting truck tires for fun, unwittingly taking up the cause for the pushcart peddlers. Unfortunately, Frank the Flower was spotted and arrested for killing a truck tire with a pea shooter. He confessed to all 18,991 flattened tires.

“All 18,991?” asked the Police Commissioner as if he had not heard correctly the first time.

“I cannot be sure down to the last tire,” said Frank the Flower. “But I have been at it several days now.”

“But 18,991 tires!” Aid the Police Commissioner.

“It was nothing,” said Frank the Flower.

Well, kids took up the cause and to stop them the city began taxing tacks, which made the British upset since they are the world’s top producers of tacks. This got Washington involved. New York City becomes embroiled in the Pushcart War, though this name is not used yet. The Big Three Truck Companies: Leaping Lemas, Mighty Mammoths, and Tiger Trucking held a secret meeting to wipe out the pushcarts and the Pushcart King. What will happen to New York City in 2026? Will the pushcarts survive? Will the British calm down? Will Frank the Flower, who single-handedly killed 18,991 truck tires, ever leave his jail cell? What will happen to Mack, the trucker who put Morris the Florist into the hospital and started the war?

THE PUSHCART WAR. Text copyright © 1964/1992 by Jean Merrill. Illustrations copyright © 1964/1992 by Ronni Solbert. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, New York Review of Books, New York, NY.Review

“The Big Three,” comprised of three delivery truck firms LEMA (Lower Eastside Moving Association) also called “Leaping Lemas,” and Tiger Trucking or “Tiger Trucks,” and Mammoth Moving, which used three sizes of trucks: Baby Mammoth, Mama Mammoth, and the Mighty Mammoth. These are the bullies of the story. For once, the bullies are not too big to fail.

The Pushcart War is a fun read. The humor is terrific and kept me groaning and laughing every few pages. The pushcart peddlers are a colorful bunch of characters especially The Pushcart King. The name to Maxie Hammerman because he fixes all of the pushcarts or builds new ones from scratch and is the only one in New York City capable of making the pushcarts correctly. When the trucking bullies decide to kidnap and dispose of The King—thinking he is the mastermind behind the campaign to rid the city streets of their trucks—Maxie has a surprise of his own. This is one of the best scenes of the story. It felt like I was reading the script from the movie called The Sting.

THE PUSHCART WAR. Text copyright © 1964/1992 by Jean Merrill. Illustrations copyright © 1964/1992 by Ronni Solbert. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, New York Review of Books, New York, NY.

Kids will enjoy this futuristic farce of a “true tale.” The author casts herself as the futuristic novelist reporting on The Pushcart War ten years after the dust has settled and people are ready to hear about the war once more. City kids play a large part in the war, keeping the mayor and police commissioner completely puzzled. Written in 1964, the author envisions a New York City sixty years down the road. I find it interesting that there is no grand technology like cell phones and computers. The biggest difference is the extremely crowded streets, excess number of delivery trucks, and prices remaining similar, if not lower than the prices of her current time. (Apples are 5 cents).

The Pushcart War has style. The illustrations are black and white line art similar to what one would find in a newspaper only upgraded several times over. I love the illustration of Frank the Flower shooting his peashooter for the first time and Mr. Jerusalem who, after struggling over the morality of shooting truck tires, finds he is not only a terrific shot but enjoys his mission. Mr. Jerusalem quickly becomes the top tire executioner.

THE PUSHCART WAR. Text copyright © 1964/1992 by Jean Merrill. Illustrations copyright © 1964/1992 by Ronni Solbert. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, New York Review of Books, New York, NY.The Pushcart War is a classic tale of the big bully taking on the little guy and finding the littlest guy can outsmart, outthink, outwit the big dumb bully with grace and class. It should be required reading for every middle grade student. There is a little sociology, psychology, criminology, and a few other “ologies” worth reading. I love The Pushcart War.

THE PUSHCART WAR. Text copyright © 1964/1992 by Jean Merrill. Illustrations copyright © 1964/1992 by Ronni Solbert. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, New York Review of Books, New York, NY.

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Buy The Pushcart War at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryNew York Review of Booksyour favorite bookstore.

Learn more about The Pushcart War HERE

Meet the author, Jean Merrill, from New York Times:   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/books/jean-merrill-childrens-book-writer-dies-at-89.html?_r=0

Meet the illustrator, Ronni Solbert, from NYRB:  http://www.nybooks.com/books/authors/ronni-solbert/ 

Find more classics at The New York Review Children’s Collection website:  http://www.nybooks.com/books/imprints/childrens/

The New York Review Children’s Collection is an imprint of The New York Review of Books:   http://www.nybooks.com/

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Also by Jean Merrill and Ronni Solbert

The Elephant Who Liked to Smash Small Cars 3/10/2015

The Elephant Who Liked to Smash Small Cars
3/10/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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pushcart war

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Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 5stars, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade Tagged: bullies, children's book reviews, Jean Merrill, middle grade novel, mighty trucks, New York Review of Books, outwitting an opponent, pushcarts, Ronni Solbert, standing up for what is right, The New York Review Children’s Collection

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5. #642 – Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt & Vin Vogel

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Maddi’s Fridge

Written by Lois Brandt
Illustrations by Vin Vogel
Flash Light Press              9/01/2014
978-1-9361612-9-1
Age 4 to 8          32 pages
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“Sofia and Maddi live in the same neighborhood, play in the same park, and go to the same school. But while Sofia[s fridge is full, Maddi’s fridge is empty—white empty—just a small container of milk.

“Why doesn’t your mom go to the store?” Sofia asks

“We don’t have enough money”

“But what if you get hungry?”

“We have some bread,” says Maddi. “Please don’t tell anyone.”

“Sofia promises Maddi she won’t tell, but is determined to help her best friend. She sneaks food for Maddi in her bag and discovers that, while fish and eggs are good for kids, they aren’t very good for backpacks. Despite Sofia’s very best efforts, Maddi’s fridge is still empty. Sofia promised not to tell. Now what does she do?”

Opening

“When Sofia and Maddi played at the park, they stretched their toes to the sky.”

Review

Best friends Sofia and Maddi play in the park every day. Sofia runs faster than Maddi, but Maddi climbs the rock wall quicker than Sofia does. Somehow, that evens things out for the two friends. Their food situation is far from even. Sofia discovers Maddi has only milk in her fridge—less than full. Sofia’s fridge is loaded with food—good food. Maddi has a lot of energy for a girl barely eating, but then, hunger knows how to mask itself, usually through embarrassment and shame. Embarrassed, Maddi makes Sofia promise not to tell anyone. Sofia goes home to eat. (Why didn’t she invite Maddi?)

MF layout 3

Sofia keeps her promise not to tell; still she must help her best friend. That night, Sofia’s mom makes fish and rice for dinner. There is enough food that even Pepito, the dog, had some fish and rice mixed into his dog food. Sofia got a great idea. She asks her mom if fish is good for kids and mom says it iss perfect. That night, Sofia put some fish in a baggie and dropped it into her backpack. The following day, Sofia’s backpack stunk of inedible fish.

“Yuck,” said Maddi

“Double Yuck,” said Sofia.

The following night, Sofia’s mom makes frittatas for dinner. Again, even Pepito has frittata mixed into his bowl. Sofia asks if eggs are good for kids . . . see where this is going. Yeah, Sofia tries to help her friend and keep her promise at the same time, but backpacks filled the night before, and sit outside the fridge waiting for the morning to arrive, do not make good transportation when sneaking food for a friend.

MF layout 9

Sofia knows she needs help. Can she break her promise to Maddi? Kids will understand this story; laugh at the funny moments, and leave wanting to help others, as kids are prone to do. In Maddi’s Fridge, Sofia’s brother offers his favorite food and Pepito offers his bowl and a can of dog food (what a happy dog—I thought it was a cat).

The illustrations add humor with the comic-like characters and a neighborhood setting that could be your neighborhood. Randomly open the book and odds are good you will see a positive spread and probably humor. Only three pages express Maddi’s situation and her embarrassment. The author kept Maddi’s Fridge a story kids will enjoy and understand.

In the end, the two girls must work out what it means to break a promise. Will Maddi be upset with Sofia? What is more important: promises or people? (Or best-friend people?) Maddi’s Fridge could easily have been a message story or had the lack of food a constant talking point. Instead, Maddi’s Fridge is a sweet story about two best friends taking care of each other.

Mf layout 5

Oh, there is another side story where Maddi helps Sofia, but I can’t fit it all in. Sorry, you will need to read Maddi’s Fridge. The story is perfect for story time, teachers of grades K to 2, and homeschoolers. Maddi’s Fridge is a sweet story that remains positive, refusing to become sad or gloomy, though the subject of hunger can certainly be both.

MADDI’S FRIDGE. Text copyright © 2014 by Lois Brandt. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Vin Vogel. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Flash Light Press, Brooklyn, NY.

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Buy Maddi’s Fridge at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryFlash Light Pressyour favorite bookstore.

Learn more about Maddi’s Fridge HERE.

Meet the author, Lois Brandt, at her website:    http://www.loisbrandt.com/

Meet the illustrator, Vin Vogel, at his website:    http://www.vinvogel.com/

Find more picture books at the Flash Light Press website:    http://www.flashlightpress.com/

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Also by Vin Vogel

The Thing About Yetis! (Fall, 2015)

Music Class Today! (Fall 2015)

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maddis fridge

Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Debut Author, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: childhood hunger, children's book reviews, Flash Light Press, hunger, Lois Brandt, picture book, social issues, Vin Vogel

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6. #641–We’re Going to the Farmer’s Market by Stefan Page

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We’re Going to the Farmers’ Market

Written and Illustrated by Stefan Page
Chronicle Books        3/04/2014
978-1-4521-1834-5
Age 1 to 3          14 pages
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“TO MARKET! TO MARKET! We are on our way! Visit local farmers, fill baskets with fresh fruits and vegetables, and then head home to coo a healthy feast all with your goodies from the farmer’s market!”

Opening

“To market, to market, we are on our way.”

Review

What little one does not like going to the store with mom and dad? Farmer’s Market takes young children to an open farmer’s market where they can pick out the day’s groceries from assortment of fine stalls with fresh fruit and vegetables. Start at the dairy and pick up eggs, milk, and a slab of cheese. Next pick out fresh vegetables like lettuce, radishes, onions, celery, and potatoes. Now add those fruits. Choose from tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, black berries, mushrooms, and kiwi. With a full basket you are ready to head home.

“To kitchen, to kitchen, we, chop, stew,and bake.”

All that is left now is to wait for our feast and watch Daddy ice the cake. Ready? Let’s eat!

Pages from ToMarketToMarketBB_stalls

Farmer’s Market is a nice board book for younger children interested in grocery shopping, food, or spending time with mom and dad on errand—this time grocery shopping. The view is that of the child as seen in the line waiting for something, the view is of adult legs and hands holding shopping baskets. Oddly, none of the people with stalls to sell food from have a smile. Their looks are one of disinterest.

The pages are thicker than normal so little fingers have a much harder time tearing them. The pages also have a nice finish that let’s things like peanut butter and jelly wipe off the surface without leaving a stain.  And the book is the perfect size (6” x  6”) for little ones to carry and read.

Pages from ToMarketToMarketBB_Fruits and Veggies

The illustrations in Farmer’s market are basic, making it easier for young kids to understand and know what is illustrated. Each spread has a basic color in the background, such as yellow, green, and orange. The items pictures are large and easy to recognize. Kids will enjoy finding the item you ask them to find, or simply pointing to each and telling you hat it is. They could also then find the same item in your refrigerator or the next time you go to the grocer.

Young children will enjoy reading Farmer’s Market with mom and dad. It can prepare them for an actual trip or help them understand what each item you buy looks like. I think this is sturdy little book for little fingers can help kids learn about basic food, grocery shopping, and enjoying the entire process—especially the cake Dad is icing. Farmer’s Market is Stefan Page’s debut. Also available to enhance the child’s experience are a Farmers’ Market Mobile
and ABC Flash Cards. (images below)

“To table, to table, it is time to dig in!”

WE’RE GOING TO THE FARMER’S MARKET. Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Stefan Page. Reproduce by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

Buy Farmer’s Market at AmazonB&NChronicle Booksat your favorite bookstore.

Learn more about Farmer’s Market HERE.

Meet the author/illustrator, Stefan Page, at his twitter page:    https://twitter.com/StefanPage

Find more board books at the Chronicle Books website:    http://www.chroniclebooks.com/

ABC Farmers' Market Flash Cards

ABC Farmers’ Market Flash Cards

Farmers' Market Mobile

Farmers’ Market Mobile

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Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 4stars, Board Books, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, NonFiction Tagged: board book, children's book reviews, Chronicle Books, dairy, fruits, groery shopping, meal pereparation, Stefan Page, vegetables

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7. #640 – Jackpot: An Aldo Zelnick Comic Novel (#10) by Karla Oceanak & Kendra Spanjer

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Jackpot: An Aldo Zelnick Comic Novel (#10)

Written by Karla Oceanak
Illustrated by Kendra Spanjer
Bailiwick Press                   6/10/2014
978-1-934649-49-7
Age 7+           160 pages
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“Finding a dinosaur bone is like hitting the jackpot, right? Dino fossils are worth millions! Plus you get to b famous! You’re minding your own kid business when bam!—out of the mud pop fortune and glory. Ka-ching! That’s how I thought it would go, anyway, after my best friend, Jack, and I found a fossil in our neighborhood ditch. But as usual, grown-up rules made things way too complicated.”

Opening

“I wish we could play outside. This morning, I said that. I mean, I actually heard my own voice speak those exact words. Me. Aldo Zelnick.”

The Story

Aldo and his best friend, Jack, actually did go outside to play. It was cold and muddy causing the boys to slip and slid right into a neighborhood ditch. This is when Jack finds a big rock that, when cleaned, is much better than a rock. It is a fossil—a dinosaur fossil, right from their own backyard.

Aldo believes the fossil is worth millions of dollars and holds this hope out to the very end. Jack is thinking only of fame. A famous paleontologist, a famous middle grade paleontologist, would be cool, he thought. Jack holds out this hope to the very end. This is the only contention between Aldo and Jack: fame or fortune, but why not both!

The boys head to the natural history museum to find out what kind of fossil they found and, for Aldo, how much it is worth. Aldo thinks the museum will pay him on the spot—they do not. But, it is a dinosaur bone and the ditch might just have more bones. Now the boys must get the neighborhood to consent to digging up the ditch, and then find the rest of the dinosaur. Once done, Aldo and Jack will go on tour with their fame and fortunes. If only they can keep everyone out of the ditch until excavation day.

Jackpot_AldoZelnick_Denver_Museum

Review

When we last read about Aldo he was skiing in Ignoramus. Since then, Aldo and Jack have changed only incrementally, as they normally would. I like that the authors are not maturing the characters quickly. Of course, with twenty-six books, they have lots of room to let the characters blossom slowly. Still, Aldo may be in college by the time “Z” hits the shelves. Aldo is still using his diary to write about his life and then—oh, I meant his journal, so sorry. Sometimes a good character just sticks with you and Aldo is one of those characters. He also wants you to know he is an artist and draws some terrific scenes that help readers visualize his stories.

In “J,” for Jackpot, Aldo and his best friend Jack finally go outside to play. They do not pick the best day, as it is cold and the ground is muddy and slippery. Aldo and Jack slip and slide into a neighborhood ditch. In the ditch Jack loosens a great looking rock. The rock turns out to be a dinosaur bone and more could be in that ditch. Aldo thinks this is great fortune, as in money. Jack thinks this is fortunate, as in fame. He would love a dinosaur named after him. Aldo would probably like a bank, or at least the largest vault, named after him. They have hit the JACKPOT!

As in books A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I, J (for Jackpot) is crazy and funny with loads of mishaps, misunderstandings, and a girl interfering—or trying to—with Aldo and his journals. Jackpot is not a graphic novel. It contains enough text to keep the story on track and moving, but not so much as to crowd out the wonderful illustrations meant to be from Aldo. I love the detailed illustrations that greatly enhance the story. Aldo and Jack both sport Indiana Jones hats (fedoras). Kids will love the black and white “doodles” Aldo draws on nearly every page.

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I enjoyed Jackpot, reading it in one sitting. Middle grade kids—especially reluctant readers—will love this series. The characters are believable, multi-dimensional, likable and in many ways familiar to everyday life. Reluctant readers will appreciate the story staying on track and the short chapters. Kids can stop reading at any point, and when ready, easily reemerge back into the story. This is most terrific for reluctant readers who are at a distinct disadvantage with continuing a book midway through.

As far as the actual writing is concerned, the story stays on point even when Aldo goes off on a tangent. Aldo’s tangential thoughts are about money. In several illustrations, Aldo has made long lists of numbers needing added to project his coming wealth. The characters, especially Aldo and Jack, are easy to care about as the story progresses. If you have been reading the alphabet series known as Aldo Zelnick, you already care about Aldo and Jack, but the author makes no assumptions and brings new readers into the fan club.

Jackpot is the tenth book in Aldo’s series. I like that each of these books introduces new words that begin with that book’s letter. Jackpot, then, has words beginning with the letter “J.” Examples include jabbering, jack squat, jicama, and several French words like Joie de vivre and jugo de naranja. There is a glossary in the back, which defines each “J” word. In the text, the highlighted words are marked with an asterisk (*).

Jackpot_AldoZelnick_BaconBoy_IndianaJones

The Aldo Zelnick series is similar to The Wimpy Kid except that Jackpot, and every book thus far, have better defined illustrations. I like the “J” words in Jackpot. The glossary defines each of these words. I also like reading the comic Bacon Boy by Aldo Zelnick. How often do you get two books in one and both books are terrific? Aldo and Bacon Boy have a lot in common. I think Bacon Boy is Aldo and a safe, funny way for Aldo to document his childhood. Kids will laugh their hinnies off, no external exercise needed.

JACKPOT: AN ALDO ZELNICK COMIC NOVEL (#10). Text copyright © 2014 by by Karla Oceanak. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Kendra Spanjer. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Bailiwick Press, Fort Collins, CO.

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Purchase Jackpot at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryBailiwick PressYour Favorite Bookstore.

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Learn more about Jackpot HERE.

Meet the author, Karla Oceanak, at her website:  http://www.karlaoceanak.com/

Meet the illustrator, Kendra Spanjer, at her website:   http://www.kendraspanjer.com/

Find more Aldo Zelnick books at the Bailiwick Press website:   http://www.bailiwickpress.com/

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Also by Karla Oceanak & Kendra Spanjer

Ignoramus:  An Aldo Zelnick Comic Novel (#9)

Ignoramus #9

Hotdogger  (#8)

Hotdogger (#8)

Read Hotdogger Review HERE.

Read Ignoramus Review HERE.

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Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 5stars, Books for Boys, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, Reluctant Readers, Series Tagged: Aldo Zelnick, Bailiwick Press, children's book reviews, comics, Karla Oceanak, Kendra Soanjer, middle grade books

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8. #639 – Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole by Irene Latham & Anna Wadham

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Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole

Written by Irene Latham
Illustrated by Anna Wadham
Millbrook Press                             8/01/2014
978-1-4677-1232-3
Age 4 to 8             32 pages
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“Welcome wildebeest
and beetle,
oxpecker and lion.
This water hole is yours.
It offers you oasis
beside its shrinking shores.

“Spend a day at a water hole in the African grasslands. From dawn to nightfall, animals come and go. Giraffes gulp, wildebeest graze, impalas leap, vultures squabble, and elephants wallow. Irene Latham’s gorgeous poems are accompanied by additional facts that provide further details about the animals and their environment. Imaginative illustrations from Wadham complete this delightful collection.”

Review

Dear Wandering Wildebeest, is composed of 15 poems about wild African animals, a glossary of possibly unusual words, and a section of advanced reading, enhanced by beautiful illustrations of the animals and the African land in which they live.

If you like giraffes, monkeys, lions, and elephants, you are in luck. There are also rhinoceros, small nightjars, vultures, marabou storks, oxpeckers, and, of course, wildebeest. Don’t worry, there are many more animals than that in this wonderful book. The pages look like the African Plains have jump onto the paper, leaving nothing bare. The beautiful skies change with the day, sometimes the dark blue of midnight or the rosy shade of dusk.

Some of the poems rhyme and some do not, but all are easy to read aloud. Impala Explosion swiftly jumps off the reader’s tongue.

“Wind lifts
grass shifts

eyes search
legs lurch

twig pop
grazing stops

ears twitch
tails hitch

peace shatters . . .”
—Impala Explosion, (partial poem) by Irene Latham © 2014

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Kids will love the poems. They will understand them all, and any word that is foreign to them is most likely sitting in the glossary waiting to spread some understanding. If you like the aforementioned giraffes, Ms. Latham wrote a triptych in its honor. What is a triptych, you ask? I have no idea, but the glossary knows. Let’s check.

“triptych: a work of art divided into three sections”

That would be correct. The giraffe’s poem is divided into three sections:

Craving,

Caution, and

Courage.”

Feeling parched, the giraffe craves a drink. Giraffe’s must be cautious, as it has no idea what other animals will be at the water hole. It could be dangerous. To quench its thirst, the giraffe must be courageous and confident because other animals will pounce on a weak animal. Giraffes are cool creatures. If the poem does not convince you of this, read the information box in the lower left side of the spread.

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Each spread has an information box containing interesting things about the animal or animals illustrated. I really like the information the author/poet adds to the spread, much of it new information that I found fascinating. For instance, did you know the impala could jump as high as eight feet? Eight feet! That is high enough to clear the privacy fence in your backyard, if you have one, and have two feet between the top of the fence and the impala’s belly. How about this, in one year, the wildebeest travels—looking for food—more than 800 miles across the Serengeti. This is equivalent to you traveling across the state of Kansas, east to west (or west to east) twice, or the state of Rhode Island from north to south (or south to north) a whopping 20 times! The extra information is very interesting.

The illustrations are simply gorgeous. The African animals depicted in detail and the landscapes of various colors are easily as beautiful as the animals—except maybe snakes. I do not like snakes. If you do, they are covered and you will think they are beautiful. Check out each animal’s eyes. There is always something going on that draws their attention. (I think that darn snake is looking at me!) There is so much to see on each spread.

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Dear Wandering Wildebeest is one of those picture books that will delight nearly 99% of those most who read its poems and view its lovely art. Kids, you will love the animals, the sometimes-quirky poems, the illustrations, and all the interesting side information about life at an Africa watering hole for the wild creatures that need it for survival. If you love poetry and animals, Dear Wandering Wildebeest is a book is for you. It is really that simple. With school right around the corner, Dear Wandering Wildebeest is perfect book for show and tell or light research for a book report on an African watering hole and the animals that depend upon it.

DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST: AND OTHER POEMS FROM THE WATER HOLE. Text copyright © 2014 by Irene Latham. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Anna Wadham. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Millbrook Press, Minneapolis, MN.

Purchase a copy of Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryMillbrook Pressyour favorite bookstore.

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Learn more about Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole HERE.

Meet the author/poet, Irene Latham, at her website:    http://www.irenelatham.com/

Meet the illustrator, Anna Wadham, at her website:    http://annawadham.blogspot.com/

You can find more poetry at the Millbrook Press website:    https://www.lernerbooks.com/

Millbrook Press is a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.

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Also by Irene Latham

The Sky Between Us

The Sky Between Us

Don't Feed the Boy

Don’t Feed the Boy

 

 

 

Read Review HERE.

 

Also by Anna Wadham

The Ant and the Big Bad Bully Goat

The Ant and the Big Bad Bully Goat

Dingo Dog and the Billabong Storm

Dingo Dog and the Billabong Storm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book, Poetry, Top 10 of 2014 Tagged: African animals, Anna Wadham, children's book reviews, Irene Latham, Lerner Publishing Group Inc., Millbrook Press, picture book, poetry

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9. Interview with 16-Year-Old Artist Reyes Rosa

Today, Kid L it Reviews is pleased to bring you an interview with Reyes Rosa, a sixteen-year-old, up-and-coming illustrator. He is here to also showcase some of his work which I think you will enjoy.  (All art copyright © 2014 by Reyes Rosas.)

 

Hi, Reyes. Let’s start at the beginning. How old were you when you began seriously drawing?

I’m 16, now.   And I began seriously drawing last year.

The illustrations here, how old were, Reyes when you created them?HNI_0094

I drew most of them recently.

What is it about illustrating that you like so well?

I find it fun and exciting to give characters life.

 Is there anything you don’t like?

I love everything I do.

Reyes, who is your favorite artist and why?

I do not have a favorite artist. I don’t watch other illustrators.

 

Has a piece of art or character that influenced your art?

This is Kirby and he was my inspiration to start drawing when I was younger.

Kirby is your muse. How does Kirby influence you? 

At the time, he seemed so fun and lively. And he could become anything he wanted, simply by inhaling it!

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How old were you at the time?

I really don’t remember, but I think I was about 11

Until Kirby came along, how much did you draw?

Before that I really didn’t draw at all.

I love the interesting character study you did of a Kirby. I really like all the expressions and positions you included.

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I love your art I have seen. The digital illustrations are fantastic an on the level of much I see today in picture books. How did you learn to make digital art?

I am a self taught artist and the program I mostly use is Colors 3D for digital art.

Did you have any help? Maybe a book on drawing?

I didn’t use any outside sources, I just started drawing.

Some of those art programs have a large learning-curve. No one helped you learn any of it?

No. I have done everything on my own, thru trial and error.

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Color 3D is a new one for me. What are the advantages/disadvantages of using Color 3D?

Some of the advantages are that it is a very comfortable, easy to use program. It isn’t cluttered by any unnecessary options. And some of the disadvantages are that the program is a little limited in terms of image resolution and tools.

Was Color 3D difficult to learn?

The program itself did not take long to get comfortable with, but acquiring  the skills took quite some time.

HNI_0008_JPGHave you tried using any of the usual programs illustrators like? (Illustrator, Photoshop, Manga 5, Corel Draw, or the open source Gimp)

I have not used any others because this one is the most comfortable for me to use. I have tried Gimp, but found that it is a little overcomplicated. And the others, I just don’t have the funds for.

Do you use a graphic pad?

I do not have a graphic pad, but I have wanted to try one. I use a stylus.

 

What is your normal process when creating illustrations?  Do you sketch and then scan, paint and then scan to finish other areas? How do you get such great looking illustrations?

I usually just sketch within the program and then build the drawing from there.

Which part of the process do you enjoy most – sketching, painting, or digital illustration?

I love sketching and digital illustration. I don’t like the initial starting process of getting a rough sketch down, but I love the process of coloring and shading.

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I know you would like to illustrate children’s books. Have you any experience? 

I have worked with my mother on her kids cookbook doing the illustrations for it.

What you interests you about a career illustrating children’s books?

I like working in the children’s market because it’s more creative and less limited and lets me have more freedom in what I create.

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Reyes you are a young man with lots of time ahead of you. Have you decided the life path you will take? Will it include art?

Yes, it will definitely include art and I would like to do 3D rendered animation in the future.

Have you thought about college and the art programs they have?

I have not thought about it yet, because I am only 16. But, my mom has thought about sending me to the Art Institute Of Chicago.

HNI_0009You’ve got to love moms. They are always one step ahead.

What do you do to relax?

I like to play video games.HNI_0011

 

 

 

 

 

What would be the most important advice you would give to young artist following you?

Never give up on any drawing, it might look bad at the start, but that’s only part of the process.

 What would you like to get out of this interview?

 I would like for you to share my art with others.

What is the next step for you and your art?

 I want to take my art to where I can do this professionally and have someone represent me.

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Thank you for stopping by Kid Lit Reviews. In kids lit, an up and coming new artist interested in creating children’s books is exciting. Your innate talent is inspiring. I hope you become and accomplish all you wish to achieve.

 

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Reyes is a self-taught digital artist and
pencil illustrator with a focus on character
art for video gaming and children’s literature.
He has been drawing since he was old enough
to hold a crayon. Reyes is a passionate guy who is
ready to take the next leap by pursuing art as a career.
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Reyes is off the grid, but as been encouraged to build a blog so others may find him and his art.
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Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: Children's Books, Debut Illustrator, Favorites, Illustrator Spotlight, Interviews Tagged: artist, children's books, digital medium, illustration, kidlit, Reyes Rosas

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10. Technical Difficulties

WordPress made an update and I am having technical problems. Instead of posting the actual post, I am getting the formatting showing through. Hopefully you will get this message in one piece since I have not added any bold, or italic, or copied anything into the post. If you are looking at formatting, then there is no need to explain ny further.

I will get a hold of WordPress and work on this today. Hopefully, I’ll be back in order for Tuesday’s post.

I am so sorry.

Sue

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Filed under: Children's Books

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11. #638 – Benny Breakiron #2: Madame Adolphine by Peyo

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Benny Breakiron #2: Madame Adolphine

by Pierre Culliford aka Peyo
Papercutz                           9/24/2013
978-1-59707-436-0
Age 7 +                        54 pages
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“Madame Adolphine is a kind, gentle old lady, and a good friend of the super-strong Benny Breakiron. So why is she robbing a bank, banging a man on the head with a mallet, and being thrown in the trunk of a car, with no memory of what happened? It’s up to Benny to get to the bottom of it . . . and stop it if he can.”

Opening

“Vivejoie-Grande, a cute, little city with provincial charm, that’s where Benny Breakiron lives.”

The Story

Benny has super-strength that works abominably well as long as he does not catch a cold. Colds knock Benny’s super-strength right out of him. Odd, but true. He can leap over buildings in one bound, out run any racecar, and is molding a rather interesting logical mind that he uses to solve many of the situations he faces.

Benny_endpapers

Today, Benny plays a game of cowboys and Indians with Madame Adolphine, an older woman who looks to be in her eighty’s. When she runs out of steam, Benny carries her home and calls the doctor, who is not amused. Madame does not have a pulse and the good doctor figures out the trouble. Finally, Benny finds her identification and a phone number of a friend, who is glad to have the wondering woman back.

Later, Madame Adolphine frees herself with Benny’s help. He thinks her friend is abusing her and helps her get away from his home. This time, Madame Adolphine robs a gun store, a bank, and several people before hijacking a taxi and skedattling out of town. She is on to bigger heists. Her friend is frantic, as is Benny. The police arrest the real Madame Adolphine, placing her directly in jail due to the preponderance of evidence and witnesses, no passing go, no going home. Benny breaks her out of jail, then goes on the hunt for the robber, planning to bring her back and clear the real Madame Adolphine.

Review

The Benny Breakiron comics are funny and kids, probably more boys than girls, will like the stories. I am amazed at Benny’s naivety and trust level considering this is not his first outing with criminals. When he asks the robot to return and she agrees, he believes her, returning on a train alone, convinced she will follow as soon as she “cleans up” her business. She has a major heist to pull with her criminal gang. Until Benny hears of the latest burglary, he is calmly riding home. Quickly he hops off the train, scaring a man who he had terrified so much while breaking the real Madame Adolphine out of jail he is close to a nervous breakdown. I was surprised that the law-abiding Benny would break anyone out f jail. I guess when he is sure of the person’s innocence it is okay. Not a great message but then comics are not about messages they are about fun.

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Benny consistently dupes adults, especially the gang of strong criminals who think they can toss Benny out of the club, but are grossly mistaken when Benny beats them all to a pulp—in bloodless, humorous ways that is as safe as the roadrunner is for a seven-year-old. Even after Benny catches a cold causing the shutdown of his super-strength, the men are afraid. When they figure out Benny lost his powers they go after him but, thanks to the barkeep charged with keeping Benny locked up and who nurses Benny’s cold, Benny has recovered enough to restore his powers and shock the gangsters once more when he pulverizes them all.

In the end, police drop all charges against the real Madame Adolphine and the robot returns to its maker for disassembly. There is a twist, leaving the robot to her own devises once more and the real Madame Adolphine returning for disassembly. Does this mean the story will continue? I do not know and don’t see a new edition with Madame Adolphine in the story-line. I guess we must wait and see.

Kids who like lighter-fare comics, without a lot of violence and anger, will love Benny Breakiron. Benny is an everyday kid who happens to have strength unknown to man. He is a nice kid, a little naive, and maybe too trustworthy, but he always tries to do what is right, even if it means he must use his powers. Benny Breakiron is a good old-fashioned comic by the comic genius of his time—Peyo.

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BENNY BREAKIRON, #2: MADAME ADOLPHINE. Text and illustrations copright © 2013 by Peyo. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Papercutz, New York, NY.

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Purchase Benny Breakiron #2: Madame Adolphine at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryiTunesPapercutzyour favorite bookstore.

Learn more about Benny Breakiron #2: Madame Adolphine HERE.

Meet the author / illustrator, Peyo, at the XX wiki:     http://smurfs.wikia.com/wiki/Peyo

Find more great comics at the Papercutz website:     http://www.papercutz.com/

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Also by Peyo

The Smurfs #15: The Smurflings

The Smurfs #15: The Smurflings

The Smurfs Anthology #1

The Smurfs Anthology #1

Benny Breakiron #1: The Red Taxis

Benny Breakiron #1: The Red Taxis

 

Review of Smurflings #15 HERE

Review of Smurf Anthology #1 HERE

Review of Benny Breakiron #1 HERE

 

 

 

 

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copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 5stars, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Graphic Novel, Library Donated Books Tagged: Benny Breakiron, children's book reviews, comics, graphic novel, Madame Adolphine, Papercutz, Pierre Culliford aka Peyo, super-powers

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12. #637 – Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

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Flora and the Flamingo

by Molly Idle
Chronicle Books        2013
978-1-4521-1006-6                             CALDECOTT HONOR BOOKtop-10-use-eb-trans
Age 4 to 8       32 pages
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“Friendship is a beautiful dance. In this innovative wordless book, a tentative partnership blooms into an unlikely friendship between a girl named Flora and a graceful flamingo. With a twist, a turn, and even a flop, these unlikely friends learn at last how to dance together in perfect harmony. Artist Molly Idle has created a story full of humor and heart, with emotions that leap off the page, and memorable characters who are worthy of countless standing ovations.”

Opening

A flamingo, peacefully standing one-legged in the water, turns its head to look behind it and eyes one little girl, named Flora, standing one-legged in the water, imitating the flamingo, who then turns her head to look behind her.

Review

Do you remember repeating everything your older sibling said or mimicking every movement, just because you could? Flora mimics the flamingo, but not to get the flamingo’s goat. The little girl, in her pink one-piece swimsuit and pink flowered swim cap, takes on the flamingo’s graceful movements and the two begin a beautiful duet.

Words would undeniably be a distraction in the story of Flora and the Flamingo. Movement flows from a variety of flip pages attached atop Flora or the flamingo on several of the pages. For example, Flora imitates the flamingo’s stance:  standing on one leg, head tucked under a wing. Flip down the flaps and the stances change. Both dancers remain on one leg, but now each twists her head toward the other, possibly checking to ensure the other is still there.

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The flamingo is Flora’s mirror, or maybe Flora is the flamingo’s mirror. Each bend, each stretch, each turn, and each look magically appear on both characters at the same time. Flora and the Flamingo will make you giggle and grin. Young girls will love the mystical dance between these two unlikeliest of friends. Before a friendship can be established, the flamingo LETS Flora have it! The shock of flamingo’s sharp bleat flips Flora over and up, landing her on her rear, unhappy. Flora turns her back, refusing to play any longer, but the flamingo finds this worse than being shadowed. It offers Flora a wing, which Flora thinks about before allowing flamingo to help her to her feet.  (Are these two friends or siblings?)

At the moment of friendship, when Flora and the flamingo become dancing partners instead of solo acts, the spread takes on a drastic change. The two begin together on one page. They had begun their awkward dance with the flamingo firmly staying on the left page and Flora on the opposing right page of the spread. Now both are on the right page, figuratively and physically. Their movements become wider, and joyous. The two fly across the spread, smiling as they float, as if on ice. Then there is a big finale, as all great ballets should have. The finale is a wonderful dance only Flora and her flamingo can perform, together in the same spotlight, four pages in length. BRAVO!

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Girls will love this graceful dance between friends, especially those little girls starting their first ballet lessons, wearing their pink tutus, and pink leotards, and some with pink ballet shoes, while others still will have pink ribbons in their hair. Flora is at her first class and flamingo is the instructor. This makes a wonderful baby-shower gift, when the parents-to-be know they have a girl on the way.  Flora and the Flamingo is a beautiful book, with brilliant illustrations that float across the pages. It is no surprise Flora and the Flamingo became a Caldecott Honor Book. The medal winner must have been an amazingly illustrated picture book to beat out these two graceful dancers.

FLORA AND THE FLAMINGO. Story and Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Molly Idle. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

Purchase  Flora and the Flamingo at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryiTunesChronicle Booksyour favorite bookstore.

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Learn more about Flora and the Flamingo HERE.

Meet the author / illustrator, Molly Idle, at her website:      http://idleillustration.com/

Find more books that are luscious at the Chronicle Books website:    http://www.chroniclebooks.com/

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Also by Molly Idle

FLORA AND THE PENGUIN     2014

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Flora and the Penguin                    2014

Flora and the Penguin
2014

 


Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Top 10 of 2014 Tagged: ballet, birds, Caldecott Honnor Book, children's book reviews, Chronicle Books, dance, flamingo, girl's picture book, Molly Idle, penguins, picture book, poetry in motion

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13. #636 – Jesper Jinx, Book 1 by Marko Kitti

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Jesper Jinx, Book 1

by Marko Kitti
published by Marko Kitti            4/28/2014
978-1-4974-5822-2
Age 7 to 9               152 pages
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“Jesper Jinx is eleven, and probably the unluckiest person in all of Puffington Hill. Everything he touches seems to end up in sweet disaster. Hence his nickname “Jinx.” In this first book of Jesper Jinx’s wonderfully wicked adventures you’re going to meet Jesper’s family and Snowy the Cat. Also, there’s a mysterious new classmate with a moustache. And it‘s up to Jesper to launch his famous Boredom Breaker. What harm would it do to have a little fun?”

Opening

“Jesper Jinx watched as his older sister Melinda popped her soda an open and took a small sip from it.”

The Story

Jesper Jinx loves his pranks but the pranks have earned him a nickname. Even some of his best pranks are jinxed, like the time he switched his sister’s beloved energy drink, Guaraná Antarctica, with a horrible homemade concoction. She deserved it. She snooped at his diary. At dinner, dad took a swing of Melinda’s “energy drink” and about gagged, no, wait, he did gag and so did Melinda. She was well worth it, but not dad. Jesper ran out of the house before anyone could accuse him and ran into the author of this book. Sworn to secrecy, the author agreed to write a book only Jesper’s eyes would see. This is that book.

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Two short stories are included in book 1: Jesper Jinx and the Colourful Cat and Jesper Jinx and the Spanish Shenanigans. For animal lovers, the first story will amuse you, especially if you are owned by a dog. Jesper accidentally causes Snowy, the cat, to turn several shades of red moments before his mother is to show her off to a disliked neighbor. To make matters worse, the cat, named for its pure white coat of fur, disappears, like magic. One minute, she was under a towel and the next, gone. Of course, this is when the dreaded neighbor rings the doorbell.  Is it really magic? Is Snowy a magical cat? Mom believes so, if only for a short minute. Then she realizes Jesper is involved and has him bathe Snowy. Everyone knows cats do not like bathes. Jinxed! page94_Jesper_Oliver_TeachersWith claws!

 

In the Spanish Shenanigans, it is not Jesper pulling the shenanigans. There is a new kid in class, and he has a moustache on his upper lip. His name is José Maria, and he has a moustache, a real one, and a deep voice. José claims everything grows faster in the hot Spanish sun, but Jasper is not inclined to believe him, well, he is inclined enough to show José all of his best pranks. School will not be the same for Jesper and his best friend Oliver. Their teacher, Miss Parrot, who likes to repeat what she hears, has a life-changing experience and leaves school—for good. Jesper and Oliver will get a new teacher. A short-for-his-age teacher who has a deep voice (girls will swoon over), and a real moustache on his upper lip. The new teacher now knows all of Jesper and Oliver’s favorite pranks. Jinxed!

Review

I read Jesper Jinx in one sitting and enjoyed the crazy antics of both Jesper and the author. The author begins by explaining how he came to Puffington Hill, home of Jesper, and how he acquired Jesper’s stories— and the secrecy by which he swore to handle his stories. There is even a certificate of secrecy readers must sign. Running out of the house after dad takes a swing of Melinda’s tampered Guaraná Antarctica energy drink, Jesper runs into the vacationing author. Then page72_Mum_Washerthe stories begin. Oh, yes, Jesper Jinx is Finnish author, Marco Kitti’s first English language chapter book.

I like the story of the red Snowy cat and its disappearance from under the towel. The cat’s portrayal is realistic. I cannot count the number of times my cat is not where he was only moments before and then suddenly shows up where he could not possibly be at. The behavior is enough to drive a person to dogs. The humor is well timed and Jesper’s reactions are convincing. I love that mom is going to show off a cat she otherwise wants nothing to do with. Snowy belongs to Jesper when the litter box needs cleaned or the cat is in mom’s space. But bring the snooty neighbor comes around Snowy becomes mom’s treasure. I like how the author includes bits of life that are true for many readers. Like dad, engrossed in his newspaper, only coming up for air when he wants something, but don’t try to talk to him.

In the shenanigans story, it is confusing why this new kid is suddenly in class and why the teacher swooned whenever she said his name. The teacher is wacky, repeating what the student said, before answering.

“Yes, Jesper?” said Miss Parrot. “Do you have something to share with us all?”

“No,” said Jesper.

“No,” said Miss Parrot. “Is there something . . . ?”

“No, Miss Parrot,” said Jesper.

“No, Miss Parrot,” repeated Miss Parrot. “Then how about you, Oliver?”

“I can’t think of any questions, Miss Parrot,” said Oliver.

“Think of any questions, Miss Parrot!” said the teacher.

Yes, it can get tiring, but then Miss Parrot quickly disappears. She is busy driving her souped-up Mercedes. The story is about José Maria, Jesper, and Oliver’s budding friendship. It is odd that José has a moustache but then, I can remember certain boys tended to get their hairy lip early. So, I believed this. The deep voice at eleven I also believed. Maybe he is older and flunked a few grades. You must believe or the story cannot go on. Poor Jesper, he is jinxed the moment the man-boy walks into his classroom. Trying to be a nice kid, Jesper and his friend Oliver befriend José. José asks Jesper about pranks, so Jesper shows him the best pranks he an Oliver pull on teachers.

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Jesper is a likable character, kids age 7 and up will enjoy, along with all of his the crazy stories. The stories are short, and the vocabulary basic, so a reluctant reader can enjoy Jesper’s antics. Jesper Jinx will entertain both boys and girls who like crazy plot twists you don’t expect. The antics are similar to those in the the Aldo Zelnick alphabet book series.(Reviewed here: “J” “K”) Just remember one important detail, you must keep the contents of these books a secret. Jesper believes the author is only printing one copy for himself only. If he finds out that is not true, he will stop telling the author his stories. Jesper Jinx is a welcome addition to chapter books and books for reluctant readers.

JESPER JINX.  Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Marko Kitti. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Marko Kitti,

Purchase Jasper Jinx at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryCreateSpaceMarko Kittiyour favorite bookstore.

Check out what a local Gargoyle had to say about Jesper Jinx right HERE.

Learn more about Jasper Jinx HERE.

Meet the author / illustrator, Marko Kitti, at his website:     http://www.markokitti.net/en.html

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copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 4stars, Chapter Book, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, Reluctant Readers, Series Tagged: Chapter book, children's book reviews, family relationships, humor, Jespar Jinx, jinxed, Marko Kitti, pranks, reluctant reaers, Spanish teacher

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14. #635 – A Cool Summer Tail by Carrie A. Pearson & Christine Wald

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A Cool Summer Tail

by Carrie A. Pearson
illustrated by Christine Wald
Arbordale Publishing      3/01/2014
978-1-62855-205-8
Age 3 to 5      32 pages

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“When summer heats up, animals find ways to stay cool. In A Cool Summer Tail animals wonder how humans stay cool too. Do they dig under the dirt, grow special summer hair, or only come out at night? This companion to the award-winning A Warm Winter Tail features many of [the] same animals but this time, with their summer adaptations, offering an important ‘compare and contrast’ opportunity.”

Opening

“How do humans stay cool in the summer, Mama?

Do they hang out their tongues,

like a spring that’s been sprung,

breathing fast in and out like this?”

Review

The cute fox baby continues on panting, as example for its mama, but she tells it no, humans sweat through their skin. Each animal wonders if humans stay cool the same way they stay cool in the summer. I like this for a reason the author may not have intended. I like that these animals assume we might cool down as they do, because we humans have a tendency to think others behave as we do and this can help kids learn not to make those assumptions. For example, a new kid at school may have different holidays or customs and kids should not assume that child celebrates as they do, or knows the same playground games, or even have the same after school activities.

Back on track to the meaning of A Cool Summer Tail, the animals all want to know how humans stay cool in the summer. In the process, kids will learn about the ways various animals stay cool, from panting, as in the example above, or as in “sliding into a pond” as turtles do, to “hang from their hive,” as bees do to stay cool (flapping its wings to cool the Queen Bee) That one I did not know. In each scenario, the Mama animals tell their children no, and then explains why humans would not stay cool as they stay cool.

Cool Summer spreads2

Interestingly, with the bees as an example, instead of explaining that humans do not live in a hive, or that they do not have wings to flap, (or even that humans do not cater to a Queen Human), the mama tells her babies that humans would not “bee” willing to hang by their toes (from a hive). That example, in particular, will have children laughing and laughing children will remain interested in the story. Each four-line question on the left page and three-line answer on the right page rhymes two lines. The flow is easy to read and the change in line size in the first and fourth lines from the second and third keeps the question verses interesting to both read and hear.

The very last animal may surprise you. Young children enjoy learning about animals, especially how they compare to themselves. A Cool Summer Tail does this with creative and fun verses that will entertain as well as teach young children. The illustrations are accurate renditions of the animals in each verse, using lots of color in the natural habitat. Interestingly, and often humorous, is a small black and white child cooling off as the baby animal has described. This too will have children laughing and more than one or two trying to imitate this drawing. The entire book is aid out nicely from the fox babies to the very last animal, which might just surprise you. As might this: The author is from Michigan and the illustrator Ohio yet they cooperated on this second book without any Buckeye-Wol . . . wof . . . whatever the other is called, rivalry.

Cool Summer spreads

A Cool Summer Tail makes a good story time book, and though written for ages three to five, could be used in kindergarten and first grades, satisfying a science common core. The book is also available as a bilingual (English-Spanish) interactive eBook, with flip-pages and audio. After the text, is a section Arbordale Publishing (formerly Sylvan-Dell Publishing), calls For Creative Minds. This section includes fun facts, comparing the story’s animals from summer to winter, and a matching activity that will check retentive skills as kids match the animal to a method of cooling off in the summer, as learned in the text.

A COOL SUMMER TAIL. Text copyright © 2014 by Carrie A. Pearson. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Christina Wald. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Arbordale Publishing, Mount Pleasant, SC.

Purchase A cool Summer Tail a AmazonB&NBook DepositoryiTunesArbordale Publishingat your favorite bookstore.

Learn more about A Cool Summer Tail and find additional activities HERE.

Meet the author, Carrie A. Pearson, at her website:  www.carriepearsonbooks.com

Meet the illustrator, Christina Wald, at her website:  www.christinawald.com

Find more non-fiction at Arbordale Publishing’s website:  http://www.arbordalepublishing.com/

Sylvan Dell Publishing is now  Arbordale Publishing.

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Also by Carrie A. Pearson with Christina Wald

A Warm Winter Tail

A Warm Winter Tail

Un invierno muy abrigador (Spanish Edition)

Un invierno muy abrigador (Spanish Edition)

 

 

 

 

 

Also by Christina Wald

Animal Atlas

Animal Atlas

Macarooned on a Dessert Island

Macarooned on a Dessert Island

The Fort on Fourth Street: A Story About the Six Simple Machines

The Fort on Fourth Street: A Story About the Six Simple Machines

 

 

 

 

Read Review HERE.

 

When Crabs Cross the Sand: The Christmas Island Crab Migration   2015

cool summer tail

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copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

 


Filed under: 4stars, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book, Series Tagged: animals, Arbordale Publishing, Carrie A. Pearson, children's book reviews, Christina Wald, cooling mechanisms of wild animals versus humans, nonfiction picture book, SylvanDell Publishing

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15. #634 – Double Reverse by Fred Bowen

         PEACHTREE BOOK BLOG TOUR

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Double Reverse

by Fred Bowen
Peachtree Publishers               8/01/2014
978-1-56145-814-1
Age 7 to 12                 144 pages
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“READY . . . SET . . . HUT ONE!

“Jesse Wagner has run pass patterns with his older brother Jay since he was a little kid. Now Jay’s heading to college and Jesse’s a wide receiver for the high school freshman team, the Panthers. The season starts off badly, and things get even worse when the Panthers quarterback is injured. Jay suggests that Jesse try out as QB. Jesse knows the playbook backwards and forwards, but he feels that he’s too small for the role. He just doesn’t look the part. Can he play against type and help the Panthers become a winning team?”

Opening

“Ready . . . set . . . hut one!” Jesse Wagner and his older brother Jay were running pass patterns at Hobbs Park, just as they had a thousand times before.”

The Story

Jesse Wagner is finally in high school and the wide receiver for the freshman football team. Quinn (right tackle), and Langston (reserve wide receiver), two of Jesse’s best friends, also play on the Panther freshman football team. Jesse has been running pass patterns with his older brother, Jay and now knows all of the plays the Panthers use without referencing the playbook. Jay, last year’s All-Conference quarterback, is now off to Dartmouth College to play quarterback there.

Henry, the freshman quarterback for the freshman Panthers, poor kid, is confused about every play, cannot seem to remember any of them, and his throws are too short or too long, too high or too wide. Henry looks like an all-star quarterback and will scare the other team . . . until the first play. Jesse nearly suffers a concussion trying to go after a bad pass from Henry. The one who does get hurt is Henry. A Panther lineman stumbles into Henry causing a season ending injury.

Meanwhile, Jay is a good quarterback, but so are many other boys. He does not get the job. His coach wants him to play safety. Home for the weekend to decide if he will quit the team or play safety, Jay talks to Jesse while throwing around a football. Jay agrees to accept safety if Jesse agrees to try out for quarterback, now t hat Henry is gone the position is open. Deal made, Jay returns to Dartmouth and Jesse asks to try out. The assistant coach thinks the shorter than the average quarterback could work. The coach is not buying it. A few practice plays and Jesse has won the position and the nickname “Tark” after Fran Tarkington, a short quarterback that ruled the game in the NFL. Only problem is, with quarterback shored up, another game-busting problem becomes visible: the kicking game sucks. The Panthers sorely need a kicker that can kick beyond midfield.

Savannah, who happens to play the other football game (soccer), as the goalie, can kick the ball with a huge depth and a long hang-time impressing Jesse and his friends, and giving them an outrageous idea. Jesse suggests they ask Savannah to kick for their football team. Savannah is intrigued, but will the coaches? Will the freshman football coaches sign off on a girl football player? Will the girls soccer coach sign off on his best player leaving the team to play football? Can Savannah even make a difference to the plagued freshman Panther football team?

Review

Double Reverse highlights high school football, three stars of the game, and situations that place all three in odd positions. For Jay, a big man on a high school campus, he easily becomes a little man on a college campus, and Jay is having trouble accepting this. He thinks ending his football career is a better idea than taking his talent in another direction. He seriously considers quitting the team—and his Dartmouth education—rather than change his positions and play safety.

From Panther's Playbook

From Panther’s Playbook

Jesse is a great wide receiver, or he would be great if the quarterback could ever get the ball to him. Then injury takes Henry—the quarterback—out during the first game. The Panthers do not have a viable quarterback and Jay thinks Jesse can do it. Jesse believes he is too short to play quarterback—he just does not look the part as Henry did, but Henry couldn’t throw the ball or remember plays so what kind of help was his quarterback looks? The brothers make a pact to try the other positions. Turns out, both are great in their new spots and both are happy.

I enjoyed reading Double Reverse. It has a lot of football action and even gives away some of the panther’s playbook. Double Reverse is also about reinventing yourself when the need or opportunity arises. It is about diversifying yourself, rather than being one set thing all your life. I get how Jay feels, but I do not understand how he could risk his education. Jesse and Savannah both soon learn perception and reality do not always match when they are good at positions neither saw themselves at—Jesse as quarterback and Savannah as goalie (soccer) and then kicker (football).

Jesse's Inspired Change of Play

Jesse’s Inspired Change of Play

Girls will love the character of Savannah who does not want to be the goalie, yet turns out to be a killer goalie. When the boys need her, she reinvents herself as a football player and helps her friends finally win a game. Savanna reflects the change in football with more and more girls playing at the high school level and commend the author for inventing this character and making her so fresh and vibrant. There is a lot of ego in girl’s sports, and girls will enjoy that Savannah’s kicking game is the reason the football team wins a game.

Mainly, Double Reverse shows the importance of growth as children age and experience new things. Sometimes it is good to be the best. Other times it is good to be a team player and sacrifice your glory for the team’s glory. I am not interested in football, yet enjoyed Double Reverse very much, and understand the game better after reading this book. I actually loved all the action during the games. After the story are the true stories of two legends, Fran Tarkington and Cal Ripken, both thought to be wrong to play their respective positions in the pros and the inspiration for Double Reverse.

Dartmouth College "Big Green" Roster

Dartmouth College “Big Green” Roster

No one is expecting a winning season, but the Panthers find ways to overcome the odds against them, some by breaking stereotypes and putting the team before themselves—Henry does this upon his return. Boys and girls that like football, be it the American European, will love reading Double Reverse. The story is much more than a football story, making it appealing to both boys and girls, and it’s a story the reluctant reader can savor thanks to shorter sentences and an uncomplicated vocabulary. Double Reverse is an all-around winning story.

DOUBLE REVERSE. Text copyright © 2014 by Fred Bowen. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by XXXXXXXXX. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, Atlantic, GA.

Purchase a copy of Double Reverse at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryPeachtree Publishersat your favorite bookstore.

Learn more about Double Reverse HERE.

Meet the author, Fred Bowen, at his website:   http://www.fredbowen.com/

Find other great books at the Peachtree Publishers website:  http://peachtree-online.com/

Also Writte by Fred Bowen

The Kid Coach

The Kid Coach

Winners Take All

Winners Take All

Soccer Team Upset

Soccer Team Upset

Off the Rim

Off the Rim

Perfect Game

Perfect Game

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Reviewed HERE.

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double reverse
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copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

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PEACHTREE BOOK BLOG TOUR

Double Reverse

Monday 8/11
The Write Path     http://www.dorinewhite.blogspot.com/

Tuesday 8/12
Kid Lit Reviews     http://kid-lit-reviews.com/
Geo Librarian     http://geolibrarian.blogspot.com/

Wednesday 8/13
Librarian in Cute Shoes     http://www.librarianincuteshoes.blogspot.com/

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Filed under: 4stars, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, Reluctant Readers, Series Tagged: chidren's book reviews, Dartmouth College Big Green, Fred Bowen, girls high school soccer, girls playing high school football, high shool football, middle grade book, Peachtree Publishers, transforming yourself in sports

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16. #633 – I Love You, Too! By Michael Foreman

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I Love You, Too!

By Michael Foreman
Andersen Press U. S. A.            3/01/2014
978-1-4677-3451-6
Age 4 to 8          32 pages
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“Little Bear doesn’t want to go to sleep, so he tries everything he can think of to distract his father, and in the end it’s an exhausted dad who falls asleep!”

Opening

“Dad finished the bedtime story and gently closed the book.”

The Story

Dad Bear tucks his son into bed, reads him a story, and tells his son he loves him. Little Bear has no intentions of going to sleep and so he starts up a back-and-forth he and his dad have done many times: “I love you, I love you more.” It starts out simply and Dad just wants his son to go to sleep.

“I love you three,” said Little Bear, laughing.

“I love you four. Now go to sleep.” said Dad.

“I love you five,” said little Bear.

“I love you even more than that. Now it’s time to sleep,” said Dad.

No, Dad, it is not quite time for bed. Little Bear continues, bringing in his toys, which he loves his dad more than. Dad replies with a simple I love you more, but it will not suffice his son. The boy loves his father more than leaves and birds, all the snowflakes of winter, flowers of summer, colors of the rainbow, and the stars in the sky. To each of his son’s “I love you more than,” Dad replies, “I love you more,” or some variation of this reply. Finally, Dad says,

“You’re only saying that because you don’t want me to go down stairs.”

“No, Dad. It’s because I love you.”

“I love you, too,” said Dad.

“I love you three . . . “

Review

I Love You, Too is a sweet story between a father and son. Picture books need a few more stories involving Dad, who does not get the representation Mom gets in picture books. Poor Dad is usually off to work and, if he is in the book, it is breakfast time and Dad is leaving for work. “Bye kids,” said Dad.

ama new

Little Bear uses his imagination to tell his dad all the ways in which he loves him more than. When Little Bear tells dad he loves him more than all his toys, which are in a corner overflowing out of a toy box, the toys look dejected. The stuffed tiger looks downcast, the donkey appears to have shed a tear, and the others—cat, elephant, panda bear, and bunny,—all look unhappy. Little Bear takes dad up into a tree, into the snow, (where there is a snowbear), into a field of flowers, into the ocean, and onto a sandy beach (where dad is buried under the sand sans his head). In every adventure, Dad smiles and replies that he loves his son and it is time for sleep. Stubborn, but happy, Little Bear ignores his father’s admonitions.

The illustrations, all beautifully done in rich watercolors, welcome the two bears, alone for Little Bear’s love-you-more-than-these adventures. Little Bear’s imagination has these two anthropomorphic brown bears perfectly outfitted in each place Little Bear takes them. As Little Bear finds new ways to love his father more than, the two transport into Little Bear’s imagination to that place, be it a field of flowers,  a rainy day with puddles to play in, or a starry sky to float through, Dad is as happy as Little Bear, wherever Little Bear’s imagination has taken them. I love how Foreman puts the circle of love in motion once more when Dad said, “I love you, too” and Little Bear takes off with his I love you three, but we never find out what those three things he loves dad more than. Dad has fallen asleep on Little Bear’s bed. Little Bear has gotten his wish. Dad is not going back downstairs.  Little Bear picks up the picture book Dad had read him: I Love You, Too!

I Love You, Too_spr

I Love You, Too makes a wonderful bedtime story, though you may find yourself trapped in the “I love you more” merry-go-round, not this is a bad place to be stuck. The story and the illustrations will evoke laughter, smiles, and many “I love you’s” which one can never hear enough. Children will love this story and will soon be using their own imaginations when deciding how much they love a parent more than. I Love You, Too will send many children off to dream land happy and content. If Da Bear is any indication, parents will quickly dose off to their own happy dreamland, maybe even before the last “I love you more than . . . “is said.

I LOVE YOU, TOO! Text and illustrations copyright © 2013 by Michael Foreman. Reproduced by permission of the US distributer, Lerner Publishing Group, Minneapolis, MN.  

.               First published in Great Britain in 2013 by Andersen Press, Ltd.

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Purchase a copy of I Love You, Too! at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryLerner PublishingAndersen Pressat your favorite bookstore.

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Learn more about I Love You, Too! HERE.

Meet the author / illustrator, Michael Foreman, at his wiki page:    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Foreman_%28author_/_illustrator%29

Find more great books at the Lerner Publishing Group website:    https://www.lernerbooks.com/

Find even more books at the Andersen Press U. S. A. website:  http://www.andersenpress.co.uk/

 Andersen Press U. S. A. is an imprint of Andersen Press Ltd.

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Also by Michael Foreman, released in 2014

Moose

Moose

Cat & Dog

Cat & Dog

Classic Christmas Tales

Classic Christmas Tales

Oh! If Only...

Oh! If Only…

Friends

Friends

The Littlest Dinosaur

The Littlest Dinosaur

Fortunately, Unfortunately

Fortunately, Unfortunately

War Game: Village Green to No-Man's-Land (ages 8 to 10)

War Game: Village Green to No-Man’s-Land
(ages 8 to 10)

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copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 5stars, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: Andersen Press Ltd, Andersen Press U. S. A., bears, bedtime story, children's book reviews, fathers and sons, I Love You Too!, Lerner Publishing Group, Michael Foreman, picture books

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17. #632 – Splat!: starring the Vole Brothers by Roslyn Schwartz

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Splat!: Starring the Vole Brothers

by Roslyn Schwartz
Owlkids Books      3/15/2014
978-1-77147-009-4
Age 3 to 7 32 pages
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“The Vole Brothers are back! Flap . . . Flap . . . SPLAT! The Vole Brothers set out for a stroll . . . only to discover the path, and the skies, are not as clear as they expect. How will the bickering yet lovable rodents cope with the ensuing mess? Find out in this hilarious tale of mishap and one-upmanship that starts with a flying pigeon . . . and ends with a splat!”

Opening

“Tum ti tum ti tum . . . Flap . . . Flap . . . Flap.”

Review

The Vole Brothers . . . what can I say about these two little guys, out on stroll, minding their own business, when all of a sudden . . . out of the sky so blue . . . comes a gray mass heading right toward them and . . . it drops a load of, uh  . . . on one brother’s head. How rude is that? But, you cannot trust one brother to always stand up for the other brother and the Vole Brothers are no exception to this bad brotherly rule.

So what happens next? Really, do you really want to know? If you have a sibling close in age or, you poor thing, a twin, you know what happens next. The unharmed Vole Brother laughs at the one who did . . ., and he laughs . . ., and laughs. The slighted Vole Brother, understandably, unhappy with his brother’s reaction and decides to help him understand the situation.

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If you have a sibling, you guessed correctly, he takes the “yuck” from his head and places it on his brother’s head, without violence or anger. Then an odd thing happens. Rather than his brother understanding the situation, he laughs . . ., laughs . . ., and laughs. His brother does understand more clearly and throws the white glop back, but his brother ducks. Standing on the road is the mean-spirited pigeon and he is surprised. Now both Vole Brothers laugh together, a happy, justified laugh. Great story, huh?

Well, Splat has a couple more scenes. The pigeon flies away, but is angry. Soon, an army of vengeful gray birds is on the way. The Cheerful Vole Brothers turned their heads to watch the first bird fly away. They did not see the banana peel. Had they paid attention to where they were going [LESSON], what happened next might not have happened.

Splat will cause belly laughs and giggle-groans. Young children and boys are a great audience for Splat! They tend to like this kind of humor, but some girls will enjoy it, too. I loved it, and laughed until it hurt. The expressions on the Vole Brothers’ faces throughout the entire story are priceless, as is the pigeon’s expression when hit in the head with his own excrement. The story, told with few words and no sentences, is an example of an artist who knows her audience and can engage them with her artistic skills. As an example:   The gray bird attacks:

[The pigeon fires upon Vole1.]

”Splat!”

“Tee hee hee”     “Ha ha ha”     “Ho ho ho”     [said Vole2]

“Splat!”

[Vole1 slops Vole2’s head.]

The scenes are perfect. No extra text needed. Kids will understand exactly what is happening and exactly how the author wants them to react. What does Splat teach kids? We already know it reminds kids to look where they are walking. Kids will also learn compassion; to put themselves in another’s shoes. Splat is also bully story. The pigeon is certainly a bully. The Vole Brothers did nothing to provoke it. Kids learn to stand up to a bully (even though it was accidental, it counts). Kids learn how to outsmart a gang of bullies using their imagination.

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Splat is a confidence builder. Schwartz shows those kids who feel they cannot write another way to tell a story. The illustrations are terrific. The Vole Brothers are 95% expression, which the author/artist expertly shows on the brothers’ faces and physical movements—and on the pigeon. . The illustrations are as sparse as the words, yet this minimalistic style serves the story perfectly. Not once do the brothers lose their cheerfulness. I love the story and the illustrations.

Finally, kids will love Splat for its humor, for the story of two siblings sticking together against a threat, and for the reaction parents will have when asked to read this over and over and over again. Teachers will love Splat because it teaches kids to respect and have compassion for others and to stand up to bullies. Parents will love Splat . . . uh, parents will love Splat . . . secretly, alone at night, when the kids are asleep. Splat contains no violence and is actually a sweet story. I enjoyed it immensely and kids will, too.

SPLAT!:  STARRING THE VOLE BROTHERS.  Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Roslyn Schwartz.  Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Owlkids Books, Berkeley CA.

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Purchase Splat!:  starring the Vole Brothers at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryOwlkids Booksat your favorite bookstore.

Learn more about Splat!:  starring the Vole Brothers HERE.

Meet the author / illustrator Roslyn Schwartz, at  the CCBC:    http://www.bookcentre.ca/directory/roslyn_schwartz

Find great kids book at the Owlkids Books website:    https://store.owlkids.com/

CCBC is the Canadian Children’s  Book Centre:    http://www.bookcentre.ca/

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Also by Roslyn Schwartz

The Mole Sisters and the Question

The Mole Sisters and the Question

The Mole Sisters and the Busy Bees

The Mole Sisters and the Busy Bees

The Vole Brothers

The Vole Brothers

 

 

 

 

 

splat vole brothers

 

copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 5stars, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: books for boys, children's book reviews, Owlkids Books, picture book, pigeions, poop, Roslyn Schwartz, Splat!: starring the Vole Brothers, story time books, The mole sisters, young children's read alone

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18. #631 – Mix it Up! by Hervé Tullet

coverMix It Up!

by Hervé Tullet
translated by Christopher Franceshelly
Handprint Books
978-1-4521-3735-3top-10-use-eb-trans (1)
Age 3 to 5 64 pages
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“With more than 140 weeks on the New York Times picture book bestseller list and 18 foreign editions around the world, Hervé Tullet’s Press Here has encouraged hundreds of thousands of children to press, shake, and tilt their books to experience the magic of a printed page that seems to respond to their command.

“With Mix it Up! Tullet brings that sane sense of wonder and possibility to the alchemy of mixing and creating colors. Follow the artist’s simple instructions and see colors appear, mix, splatter, and vanish in a profound understanding of colors in this satisfying companion to Press Here.

Watch colors splatter, mix, and transform, all at the touch of a finger. Follow the directions and turn the page: magic and fun await”

Opening

“Tap that gray spot. Just a little, to see what happens.”

Review

Tap the gray spot and watch differently colored dots appear on the page. After magically getting all the colored dots together, and placing your hand in the middle of them, turn the page. What a wonderful way to begin this adventure into colors. Tullet’s next instruction is simply,

“Mix it Up!”

Mix It Up_Int_A Little Bit of Blue

Now you are given a red, blue, and yellow dot on the left page of the spread and a lone yellow dot on the right page of the spread. The first order of business is to take a little of the blue and gently rub it into the lone yellow. What happens? Turning the page you will see . . .

Mix It Up_Int_Green

. . . the three original dots of red, blue, and yellow remain on the left page (though it looks like you were a tad messy picking up some of the blue, as the blue dot has some smeary spots).  On the right page, barely visible under the blue you gently rubbed into it, is the original lone dot of yellow, (a small area of the blue is also visible).  The color green is on top of both colors. How did the green get there, you ask. Well, that is a great question and the fun part about colors. When you mix two colors, a third color will appear. In this case, mixing blue with yellow produced the color green. It will happen every time. Blue mixed with yellow equals green.

And so this fun book goes. Page after page kids learn how mixing two colors produces a third color. Mix red with blue and make purple. Mix yellow with red and make orange. After a few more pages to reinforce the concept of mixing red, blue, and yellow (the primary colors), to create purple, green, and orange (the secondary colors), Tullet moves on to adding white.

What happens when Tullet gives you a circle of the primary (red, yellow, and blue), and secondary (green, orange, and purple) colors and then asks you to add white from the left page onto each of those color? What would happen if instead of white, you add black? White will create lighter shades of the color you it mixed into and black will make darker shades. Pretty neat, huh? That is what I thought my first time through the book Mix it Up!

Mix It Up_Int_White makes colors lighterMix it Up is the perfect tool when teaching young children about colors. Kindergarten and first grade teachers will find Mix it Up indispensible, as will home-school teachers. Mix it Up is also less messy than using real paints . . . but of course, real paint will needed at some point. But by then, the concepts of color should be understood and kids can let their imaginations take off from there. The illustrations are hand painted, with textures and smears one expects when using finger-paints. Even the text is done by hand, with the font called HervéTulletWhimsy. The illustrations and font fit the concept of Mix itb Up perfectly. I love it!

In the review of Tullet’s picture book Press Here (read it by clicking HERE), I called Press Here brilliant. Mix it Up is no less brilliant. Through the use of painted circles, some finger smearing across the page, and a bit of printing-magic, and you have transformed one color into another. This is a wonderful way of teaching kids about color, mixing color, and creating any color you want to use all from the six basic colors. Mix it Up also does a great job of teaching kids about those primary and secondary colors, and the role of black and white. One last thing, Mix it Up is a great reinforcement tool for those of us who may have forgotten the concepts, or which colors are primary and which are secondary. Nursing home and rehabilitation occupational therapists may find that Mix it Up is just the right tool for their patients. What amazing picture book will Hervé Tullet bring the children next?

MIX IT UP! Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Bayard Editions. Translation copyright © 2014 by Chronicle Books. Reproducced byb permission of the publisher, Handprint Books, San Francisco, CA.

Originally published in France in 2014 by Bayard Editions and entitled Couleurs.
First published in USA in 2014 by Chronicle Books, LLC.

Purchase Mix it Up! for your little artist at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryBayard EditionsChronicle Booksyour favorite bookstore.

Learn more about Mix it Up! HERE.

Read a kid’s review of Mix it Up! HERE. (third review)

Read a review of Press Here HERE.

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Meet the author / illustrator, Hervé Tullet, at his website:    http://www.herve-tullet.com/en/accueil.html

Find more brilliant books at the Chronicle Books website:  http://www.chroniclebooks.com/

Handprint Books is an imprint of Chronicle Books LLC

Also by Hervé Tullet

Help! We Need a Title!

Help! We Need a Title!

The Big Book of Art

The Big Book of Art

I am Blop!

I am Blop!

Press Here

Press Here

 

 

Review HERE.

 

 

 

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copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book Tagged: balck & white colors, Bayard Editions, children's book reviews, Christopher Franceshelly, Chronicle Books, color shades, Herve Tullet, learn colors, picture book, primary colors, secondary colors

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19. #622 – Eddie and Dog by Alison Brown

9781623701147.

Eddie and Dog

written and illustrated by Alison Brown

Capstone Young Readers      2/01/2014

978-1-62370-114-7

Age 4 ro 8      32 pages

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“Eddie is looking for a friend—a friend who likes adventure. Then Eddie meets Dog. And the fun begins. This wonderful story, with stunning artwork celebrates the excitement of a beautiful relationship.”

Opening

“Eddie dreamed of adventure.

“He imagined flying off to far-off places and doing amazing things. Then one day . . . “

Review

Eddie found Dog. No, wait, Dog found Eddie.

Eddie is at the airport, dreaming of adventures, when he sees Dog in a pet carrier, which Dog opens with his paw. (Dogs can get out of anything.) Dog wants a life of adventure and must see the same in Eddie. Dog asks Eddie if he would like to play. This is the beginning of a unique friendship and a lovely picture book. Eddie and Dog is one of my favorite picture books this year.

What fun the two enjoy together. Their adventures are loaded with suspense, intrigue, and some silliness for good measure. The two hunt crocodiles, sail the seven seas—I’m thinking in alphabetical order—build a grand fort, and traipse through lush jungles. That was day one.

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When Eddie introduced his new best friend to his mother, she said Dog could not stay—the yard is too small.  Poor Dog. Poor Eddie. Eddie keeps thinking about Dog and it is a good bet that Dog thinks a lot about Eddie. The next day, Dog returns to Eddie. Mom stands her ground. Dog needs a bigger yard and a better home. Mom’s imagination and creativity has taken back seat t her larger practical side. She can’t see the blossoming relationship between Eddie and Dog or how important it is to the new friends. Instead of working with the yard, she instantly says it is too small.

Dog is trying as hard as he can to keep his friendship with Eddie alive. Good friendships should never die—they are too hard to cultivate. But Eddie’s mom is consistently saying no to a dog. Do dogs make her nose sneeze and her eyes cry? Maybe mom really is concerned with Dog’s happiness. Hm, I wonder what will happen next.

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I love Eddie and Dog. They must belong together else, Dog would not make such grand gestures, would he? Dogs do love unconditionally. And Dog is a dog. You cannot beat logic. Eddie and Dog belong together. I bet Dog keeps trying until Eddie’s mom runs out of excuses and places for Dog to go.

The story is well-paced and the illustrations hit the mark on each and every page.The final spread is my favorite illustration. Eddie sits behind Dog as Dog flies his shiny red propeller plane to their next awesome adventure.. Dog is a cute, cuddly canine. He is the perfect size for Eddie. Dog loves adventures, just as Eddie wanted! The ending has an unexpected twist that I love. Dog can accomplish many fantabulous things in a short amount of time.

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Children will love Eddie and Dog. They will be sad when Eddie is sent away, but after the first return—a wonderful twist—kids will keep smiling even when mom sends Eddie off several more times. Sometimes knowing the punch line can be fun. Kids will love Eddie and Dog, even to the point of wanting their own Dog (sorry Eddie). Parents can take heart. Eddie and Dog is an easy and fun read with moments needing sound effects only a parent can provide. Will Eddie and Dog become your child’s favorite book? Quit possibly so, at least until the next edition of an Eddie and Dog adventure hit bookstores. Enjoy!

EDDIE AND DOG. Text and illustrations copyright © 2013 by Alison Brown. Reproduced by permission of the US publisher, Capstone Young Readers, North Mankato, MN.

Purchase Eddie and Dog at AmazonB&NCapstone Young Readersyour favorite bookstore.

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Learn more about Eddie and Dog HERE.

Meet the author/illustrator, Alison Brown, at her website:    http://www.littletiger.co.uk/authors/alison-brown

Find more good books at the Capstone Young Readers website:  http://www.capstonepub.com/

Capstone Young Reader is an imprint of Capstone:   http://www.capstonepub.com/

Eddie and Dog was originally published in Great Britain by Little Tiger Press in 12/18/2013.

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Also by Alison Brown

I Love You Night and Day

I Love You Night and Day

Mighty Mo

Mighty Mo

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eddie and dog

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copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 5stars, Debut Author, Debut Illustrator, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: Alison Brown, Capstone, Capstone Young Readers, chidren's book reviews, creativity, determination, Eddie and Dog, friendhip, imagination, Little Tiger Press, persistance, pets, relationships

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20. #623 – Krabat & the Sorcerer’s Mill by Otfried Preussler (translated by Anthea Bell)

81atdzSij8L._SL1500_.

Krabat and the Sorcerer’s Mill

written by Otfried Preussler

translated from German by Anthea Bell

The New York Review Children’s Collection     9/23/2014

978-1-59017-778-5

Age 9 to 13       258 pages

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.“New Year’s has passed. Twelfth Night is almost here. Krabat, a fourteen-year-old beggar boy dressed up as one of the Three Kings, is travelling from village to village singing carols. One night he has a strange dream in which he is summoned by a faraway voice to go to a mysterious mill—and when he wakes he is irresistibly drawn there. At the mill he finds eleven other boys, all of them, like him, the apprentices of its Master, a powerful sorcerer, as Krabat soon discovers.

During the week the boys work ceaselessly grinding grain, but on Friday nights the Master initiates them into the mysteries of the ancient Art of Arts. One day, however, the sound of church bells and of a passing girl singing an Easter hymn penetrates the boys’ prison: At last they hatch a plan that will win them their freedom and put an end to the Master’s dark designs.”

Opening

“It was between New Year’s Day and Twelfth Night, and Krabat, who was fourteen at the time, had joined forces with two other Wendish beggar boys.”

The Story

Krabat has a strange dream he feels he must follow. The next day he slips away from the other two boys in his vagabond group and goes to the mill of the sorcerer. Krabat and eleven other boys work grinding grain for long days and nights. It is hard work and Krabat has a difficult time keeping up, until Tonda, the lead journeyman and Krabat’s new best friend, lightly touches Krabat while uttering a few words under his breath. Suddenly, Krabat can work as if he gained the strength of many men; the work is still laborious, yet Krabat can work with ease. Krabat has been with the mill almost one year when Tonda dies. Days later, Krabat, now three years older, becomes a full journeyman and a new boy replaces Tonda, sleeping in his bed and wearing his old clothes, just as Krabat had done one year earlier, though he did not know this until the new apprentice arrived that he slept in the bed and wore the clothes of the journeyman he replaced.

Year 2 is not much easier for Krabat. He thinks of Tonda regularly, who, in a dream, tells Krabat to trust Michal. Michal is similar to Tonda and helps Krabat when he needs help. The millwork is still long and hard, but he can easily get through it with the magic the Master teaches his little ravens in his Black School. Once a year, the boys mark each other with the sign of the Secret Brotherhood, pass under the yoke at the door, and take a blow to the check delivered by the Master, reaffirming their roles for another year.

Various Covers, pt. 1

Various Covers, pt. 1

Year 3 sees Krabat ready to leave the mill. He tries to leave three times and three times, he finds himself back in the mill. He runs to the east as far as he can run—but is still on the grounds of the mill. Krabat runs to the north—only to be at the mill. Krabat can escape but one way—death. Year three’s new apprentice is one of the friends Krabat left when called to the mill. The young boy recognizes the name Krabat, tells of having a friend by that name, but does not recognize Krabat who is now many years older than the boy is. Krabat takes his friend under his wing; much like Tonda had done for him.

Krabat cannot let go of the voice of a young singer from the village. Girls and journeymen of the Master’s mill tend to end in tragedy for at least the girl—including Tonda’s girl—and often the boy as well. Krabat knows this, yet still wants to meet this girl. She could become his savior, except no one has ever outwitted the Master. With the help of a couple of other journeymen, Krabat sets about a plan to gain not only his freedom, but also that of the other journeymen as well. This would mean the end of the mill, the end of magic, and the end of the Master. The Master has his own plan involving Krabat; an offer Krabat should find hard to resist yet does. Instead, Krabat places his life in the hands of the village girl. Can this girl pull off what no one before her could?

Various Covers, pt. 2

Various Covers, pt. 2

Review

I have never been disappointed by a New York Review Children’s Book and Krabat & the Sorcerer’s Mill is no exception. When originally written in 1971, winning many children’s book prizes, some of the German words were archaic and difficult, especially for American children. The translator replaced those words, never losing the story or its basic scheme of horror, love, and friendship between those held in bondage. It is easy to understand why Neil Gaiman calls Krabat & the Sorcerer’s Mill “one of his favorite books.”

After his dream, when Krabat is walking to the mill, each person he asks for directions or simply meets, tells him to stay far away from the mill. The villagers tell him dark, strange things occur at the mill; yet Krabat ventures on, compelled to find this it. For a beggar boy the mill must seem like Heaven. Krabat gets a warm bed and filling meals that do not scrimp on meat. No more singing for his supper and traveling on foot from village to village is indeed a blessing. But the work grinding grain from dusk to dawn is laborious and leaves Krabat exhausted. Then an older boy, Tonda, steps up to help Krabat. Krabat must keep Tonda’s help secret, as the Master would not be pleased his new apprentice received assistance.

Movie Posters

Movie Posters

The Master is unsympathetic, mysterious, and dangerous. He has secrets of his own. With only one eye, the Master seems to be able to see everything, regardless of where it might occur. Many times, he follows Krabat into town, showing up as a one-eyed raven, or a one-eyed horse, and even a one-eyed woman, all with a black patch over the useless eye—that he cannot disguise. Krabat sees these creatures but never makes the complete connection as to it being the Master.

Krabat & the Sorcerer’s Mill will delight kids who like adventures, mysteries, and magic. Though the Master deals in the black arts, there is nothing in the story that will scare anyone. At times, the writing feels long, and at times, it is long, yet never arduous or out of place. Preussler spins a tale so complete one wonders if such goings on really occurred in seventeenth-century Germany. Krabat & the Sorcerer’s Mill will keep kids entranced as they read this gothic tale of orphaned boys finding a home with a dangerous wizard. I enjoyed every word of this captivating story. Krabat & the Sorcerer’s Mill tends to be best for the advanced reader. Adults will also immensely enjoy this alluring tale.

KRABAT & THE SORCERER’S MILL. Text copyright © 1971 by Otfried Preussler. Copyright © 1981 by Thienemann Verlag. Translatation copyright © 1972 by Anthea Bell. Published in 2014 by the New York Review of Books.

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Purchase Krabat & the Sorcerer’s Mill at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryNew York Review of Booksat your favorite bookstore.

Learn more about Krabat & the Sorcerer’s Mill HERE.

Meet the author, Otfried Preussler, at his website:    http://www.preussler.de/

Meet the translator, Anthea Bell, bio wiki:    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthea_Bell

Find other classic children’s books at the New York Review Children’s Collection website:   http://www.nybooks.com/books/imprints/childrens/

New York Review Children’s Collection is an imprint of the New York Review of Books.   http://www.nybooks.com/

Originally published in 1972, under the title The Satanic Mill.

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Also by Otfried Preussler, (soon to be published by NYRB)

The Little Witch

The Little Witch

The Robber Hotzenplotz

The Robber Hotzenplotz

The Little Water Sprite

The Little Water Sprite

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also Translated by Anthea Bell

Pied Piper of Hamelin

Pied Piper of Hamelin

Inkheart (Inkheart Trilogy)

Inkheart (Inkheart Trilogy)

The Flying Classroom (Pushkin Children's Collection)  3/10/2015

The Flying Classroom (Pushkin Children’s Collection) 3/10/2015

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copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade Tagged: Anthea Bell, children's book reviews, classic tale, journeyman, Krabat & the Sorcerer’s Mill, magic, middle grade book, New York Review of Books, Otfried Preussler, ravens, The New York Review Children’s Collection, wizards

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21. #624-27 – Blow It Up! – Crush It! – Shred It! – Knock It Down! by Erin Edison

coversBlow It Up! Crush It! – Shred It! Knock It Down!

written by Erin Edison

Capstone Press      11//01/2013

978-1-4765-3526-5  /  978-1-4765-3528-9

978-1-4765-3529-6  /  978-1-4765-3527-2

Age 1 to 3   10 pages   8 x 8

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“BOOM! CRASH! CRUMBLE! Lift flaps and pull tabs to make buildings explode!

“CLUNK! CRUNCH! SMASH! Lift flaps, pull tabs, and move levers to crush those cars flat!

“SMACK! WHACK! BASH! Lift flaps, pull tabs, and move levers to knock that building down!

“RIP! CRUNCH! SHRED! Lift flaps, pull tabs, and move levers to shred tires into tiny pieces!”

Opening

“An old building is crumbling and unsafe.” [Pull the tab down and bring the building to its knees, or the ground, if you prefer.”

Review

Collectively, these four books (Blow It Up!, Shred It!, Crush It!, and Knock It Down!), are called the Destruction Group. And what destruction your child can imagine causing—all in the name of safety, not hoodlumism.

9781476535265Today is best called “Boys Day.” Girls can enjoy these interesting activity books, as I did, but it is mostly boys who receive these books. Little boys will love bringing down a building, bridge, and sports arena with dynamite. In the process, the book gives your child, or you, the chance read with unabashed enthusiasm, “Boom, Kah-Pow, and Kaboom,” when your young child makes rubble out of the structure on the spread.

When the kids have exploded structures to their heart’s content, it will be time to Crush It! Let’s start with that beautiful car. Pull up the tab and, “Oh, no! The beautiful car! It is a piece of rusty junk.”

9781476535289Yep, that car is a goner and it is up to the reader to pick up the car with a forklift and dump it into the crusher. That red sports car will soon become a square of steel. I am not sure where the plastic goes (my car is practically all plastic). Never mind that, here comes car number two. This car is ratty, but the engine looks pretty good. Let’s save that engine. Pull it up and out of the car. And the tires, too. We are going to salvage everything possible. Reuse is the motto!

9781476535296Maybe plastic cars are shredded. Those tires shredded. So open up Shred It! One of those tires from that car has a hole in it. Go ahead, shred pick it up and all the other bad tires with your forklift. Drive over and dump those bad tires into the shredder. “Thunk, thunk!” Listen as the rubber is pulverized, “Whirl! Crunch!” Look out, here comes the pieces of rubber ready to be made into all sorts of things. The mat you mom stands on in the kitchen, or the mat she makes you wipe your feet on before coming in the house, is most likely recycled rubber tire. How, cool! You’re not done yet.

9781476535272It is time to Knock It Down! There is a building you can knock down. That big steel ball is called a wrecking ball. When you swings it into the building you will wreck it. Slide the tab and make that ball ram into the building. “Whack!” Pieces are falling, so watch your head. Get that yellow construction hat on, if you got one, or use your bike helmet. Pull the next tab down and whack the lower part of the building with a loader, pulling down what remains.

True story, when my building caught fire a few years back—no, I did not start the fire—the fire department used a loader, with the pick-up container held upside down, just like it Knock It Down! The firemen pulled everything out of the apartments and the rest of the wall, too. It was horrible watching neighbors’ possessions fall to the ground. Okay, back to the job at hand. Swing the tab once more and whack the wall with another wrecker ball. The bricks crumble away. Nice Job!

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Kids will love these four “destruction” books. In addition to pulling, pushing, swiping, and opening tabs, kids will read. It is truly fun to read these books aloud to your child. A couple of times reading to them and they will be reading on their own, even if it is only memorizing what you read—it is a start, a good start. The books are sturdy board books, all with nicely thick pages that will withstand some tugging pulling and pushing. The pages are easily cleaned. Jelly will wipe right off the page. I checked.

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Your active little boy—and girl—will love Blow It Up!, Crush It!, Shred It!, and Knock It Down! The books can be purchased separately, but as a bundled set Capstone has a special price that will save you a bundle (pun intended). These 8 x 8 thick board books are waiting for little hands to have fun pulling, pushing, swiping, and opening up tabs so they can have fun destroying imaginary buildings and crushing imaginary red sports cars. I had fun so I know your child will, too.

BLOW IT UP! CRUSH IT! SHRED IT! KNOCK IT DOWN! Text copyright © 2014 by Erin Edison. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Capstone Press, San Francisco, CA.

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You can purchase any of these books at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryCapstone Press (special bundled price)—at your favorite bookstore.

Crush It! was previously reviewed. You can read that (better) review HERE.

Learn more about the Destruction Board Book Set  HERE.

Meet the author, Erin Edison, at Jacketflap:  http://www.jacketflap.com/erin-edison/263204

Find more great books at the Capstone Press website:  http://www.capstonepub.com/

Capstone Press is an imprint of Capstone.

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Also by Erin Edison

Snow (Weather Basics)

Snow (Weather Basics)

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt (Presidential Biographies)

Franklin D. Roosevelt (Presidential Biographies) 

John F. Kennedy (Presidential Biographies)

John F. Kennedy (Presidential Biographies)

 

Lightning (Weather Basics)

Lightning (Weather Basics)..

 

 

 

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copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Board Books, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Series Tagged: blow, board books, boys books, Capstone, Capstone Press, children's book reviews, construction books for boys, crush, destruction set, Erin Edison, knock, recycle, scrap yards, shsred

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22. #628 – Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption by Mark Myers

virgil creech 1.

Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption

written by Mark Myers

published by Mark Myers                  12/19/2013

978-0-61587615-3

Age 8 to 13     222 pages

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“Welcome to the sleepy little town of Portsong, Georgia where there is a struggle a foot. Unbeknownst to the current owner, Virgil Creech has his selfish eyes set on taking back a dog he considers his. To be fair, as the youngest of nine bickering and bustling brothers, Virgil has always had to fight for the few things he could call his own. In this case, the property in question ran away from Virgil several months prior and now wants nothing to do with the boy, for he has found a happy home with the kindly Colonel Clarence Birdwhistle. Undetered, Virgil teams up with  reluctant friend, Henry Lee, to retrieve the dog.”

Opening

“That was a mark!” yelled Henry as he disappeared behind the row of elm trees to round up the ball.”

The Story

Four friends, Virgil, Henry, Willy, and Joe are playing in the town green (like a park) when Virgil kicks the ball hard and too high hitting Colonel Birdwhistle in the back of the head, knocking him out onto the pavement. The boys cautiously check to see if he is alive and Virgil accidentally causes Birdwhistle to hit his head again, knocking him cold. Later, at the hospital, Willy and Joe check on Birdwhistle and leave believing the boys have caused Birdwhistle to become blind. Willy, Joe, and Henry decide to find a dog, train it as a Seeing Eye dog, and give him to the Colonel.

At the city dump, the boys find a dirty, matted, and awful smelling mongrel. Henry gives the dog a half-hour session in leading the blind, and then takes the dog to the hospital, leaving it in Birdwhistle’s room. The Colonel takes the mutt home, cleans him up, and decides to keep him. The dog, now named Oscar, is now a happy dog.

Virgil realizes Oscar his is dog and is mad that Birdwhistle stole the dog from him. According to Virgil, Birdwhistle came right into his house and took Bertie (same dog, different name). Virgil is determined to get his dog back and enlists the help of his one friend, Henry Lee. Henry is determined to keep Virgil sway from Oscar. To complicate matters, a nationwide contest for a trip to Africa gets the town, including Virgil, up in a tizzy. Virgil knows he is the winner and must just wait for the day his name is called. When he returns from Africa, he will then get his dog back. But Colonel Birdwhistle has been entered hundreds of times by townsfolk who appreciate and admire him. Birdwhistle wins, causing Virgil to believe the Colonel has now stolen two things from him. He is madder than two Creech boys fighting over a chicken drumstick are. How will Henry contain Virgil and keep Oscar safe and with Birdwhistle. Can he do it?

Review

Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption tells the story of two boys, Virgil, Henry, a British transplant, and the man’s dog, Oscar. Virgil is a mean boy, the last of nine boys. Not a day goes by that he is not beat or taken advantage by one of his brothers. In turn, Virgil always has a chip on his shoulder, beats up kids at school, must always get his way, and has no friends. Virgil’s temper is as short as a temper can possibly be. Henry is a kind, well-mannered boy from a fine family. After Virgil kicks a ball that knocks-out Colonel Birdwhistle, the boys, especially Henry and Virgil, are thrown together for survival.

The well-planned and well-written story will keep you turning the pages. The author understands the psyche of the twelve-year-old boy and offers explanations and comments throughout the book. At first, I thought these annoying, but as more and more pages turned, the narrative became more natural, the comments regarding boys in general became interesting, and the story became a smooth ride, except for the Virgil bumps along the way. Packed with humor, tender moments, and upheaval only two young boys can cause, Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption will please adults as well as kids.

I enjoyed the story, which focused more on Henry and his life than on the main character, Virgil. As one reviewer has already pointed out, Henry should be the protagonist. Virgil is a perfect antagonist and causes most of Henry’s stress. Once Henry understands how Virgil treated his dog and how the dog ended up living in the city dump, he vows to keep Oscar with the Colonel. Even Oscar stays away from Virgil, refusing to go anywhere he can smell the boy—which is not hard for anyone to do. At one point, the author states that Virgil is the only Creech that did a selfless act. Not so, the two brothers who rescued Bertie (Oscar in a former life), and cared for the dog, albeit in a dump, thought only of the dog, not themselves. Seems any Creech could have a heart deep within his chest.

There are no illustrations in the story. Oscar is a small dog, one that Henry can easily pick up. The dog on the cover is not small. I do like the angry hate-the-world scowl on Virgil’s face. This accurately portrays the boy’s disposition. While reading the story, Colonel Birdwhistle looked very near the image on the cover. The houses seem out of place for an area of town filled with green grass. Maybe on the other side they would be correct. Having saidall that, for someone who has not read the story, the cover is inviting and makes you want to know what the scamp on the cover has done.

I am not overly fond of the trick Birdwhistle and George, Henry’s father, plays on the town when Birdwhistle decides not to accept the trip he won, without entering himself. I like the first part, but what is the difference, as Henry asks, between leaving for three months and hiding out, without your dog, for three months. The Colonel does not want to leave the town, where he feels accepted and a member of nearly every family, yet he is still gone from the children and the story hour Birdwhistle did not want to miss. It would have made more sense for the Colonel to feign an illness. The author wanted a twist that would delight the reader but I think this failed to hit the mark.

Kids who love adventure or family-spun stories will enjoy Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption. For his first book, Myers offered readers a well-crafted story, less the twist. There is a second Virgil Creech story to be released this Fall. I cannot wait to find out what bothers Virgil enough to make his face “glow red.” It is entitled, Virgil Creech Sings for His Supper. There is no preview, so make of this title as you will. Just the idea of Virgil singing scares me.

For a middle grade boy’s perspective of Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption  click HERE.

VIRGIL CREECH TAKES A SWIPE AT REDEMPTION. Text copyright © 2013 by Mark Myers.

To purchase your copy of Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption go to AmazonB&NBook DepositoryAuthor’s Websiteyour favorite bookstore.

Learn more about Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption  HERE.

Meet the author, Mark Myers, at his website:    https://portsong.wordpress.com/

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virgil creech 1

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copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

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evil fairies love hairm

Don’t forget! Evil Fairies Love Hair releases AUGUST 5th. As a reminder, the review is HERE.

Get it at Amazon   B&N    Book Depository    Clarion 


Filed under: 5stars, Books for Boys, Debut Author, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, Series Tagged: 1920's, boy's book, bullies, children's book reviews, family relationships, friends, Mark Myers, middle grade novel, Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption

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23. #629 – About Parrots: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill & John Sill

PEACHTREE BOOK BLOG TOUR

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About Parrots-page-001About Parrots: A Guide for Children

written by Cathryn Sill
illustrated by John Sill
Peachtree Publishers       8/01/2014
978-1-56145-795-3
Age 4 to 8     32 pages
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“About Parrots is an instructive yet entertaining first glimpse into the world of nature for young children. In this easy-to-read, informative follow-up to the other critically acclaimed books in her About . . . series, author and teacher Cathryn Sill explains what parrots are, how and where they live, and what they do. With the help of beautifully detailed paintings from noted wildlife illustrator John Sill, this book explains the basic characteristics that all parrots share, while offering a closer look into many different kinds of parrots—from the Rosy-faced Lovebirds of southwestern Africa to the rare Blue Lorikeets of the Polynesian Islands. An afterword provides further detail that will inspire young readers to learn more about these colorful birds. About Parrots will accurately answer the first questions of young naturalists and charm readers with the wonder and diversity of these fascinating birds.”

Opening

“Parrots are birds with big heads and thick, curved bills.”

About the Book

Parrots abound in this colorful picture book, which answers many questions young kids will want answered. Begin with, what are parrots? Then move on to what they look like, what they eat, and how they eat. One big question will be why do parrots have have zygodactyl feet (split toes:  two toes in front of the foot and two toes in the back of the foot)?

Where do parrots live: in old climates, warm climates or both? Are all parrots big? Do they live alone or in groups? Can parrots talk? Now, there is a good question. Do any animals consider a parrot food? How does the parrot state safe from these predators? Do parrots sleep in nests like other birds?

GOOD PLATE 9

The answers should help the inquisitive mind of your children, but if they want more, the afterword gives detailed information on a spread-by-spread basis—John Sill calls the spread a “plate.”

Review

About Parrots is full of information about various parrots that is perfect for little minds. The spreads—or plates—are beautiful and extremely detailed. The information flows naturally, not back and forth, which would confuse young minds (and some old minds). Text is minimal, mainly just what needs to be written, and then the illustration on the right takes over.

“Parrots are birds with big heads and thick, curved bills.”

plate 1

On the left side of the spread is an illustration of a Palm Cockatoo. This bluish-grey bird sports a proportionally bigger head as compared to its body, with head plumage that sprays out from its forehead. It has a large grey bill, which looks very sharp, and red blotched cheeks, the only bright coloring on its body. Each page is similarly written and illustrated.

I know kids will learn a lot from About Parrots, as I learned much myself. I love the illustrations. Each bird has fine detail and looks like a photograph, rather than a painting. This realism will help kids understand the information presented, as they can then see the information on the accompanying bird. Included are the natural surroundings. What is missing, and will generate questions from kids who want the answers, are feathers (composition and uses), and babies (including eggs, activities, eating habits, and graduation into adult life. Do they leave the parents or stay as a group?) I can almost hear these questions being asked. They are basic material and should be included.

Birds range from the lovely Blue Lorikeet to the astonishing Hyacinth Macaw, A total of 18 beautiful birds illustrated. There are also many types of green parrots we often see in a pet store. As an OSU fan, I am partial to the African Grey Parrot. It has red under feathers and digs out a nest in a soft wood tree, high above the central African plain. This nest protects themselves and their babies from predators—wolverines—and the weather.

plate 10Kids will enjoy reading About Parrots. Teachers should be able to find various uses for Cathryn Sill’s series. From basic learning about the book’s subject (parrots, raptors, and mammals—also in bilingual edition, and twelve other editions), to the habits, habitats, and the art of each bird’s plumage, teachers can find numerous creative learning materials from the About . . . series. The same applies to home-scholars. The afterword offers in-depth information the text lacks the room to contain. The information is brief, yet informative and interesting. There is also a glossary, a suggested reading list, and additional resources.

The About . . . series currently has fifteen editions, some available in paperback, and, currently, one bilingual English/Spanish. No matter your child’s interest, from parrots to penguins the Sills have created an About . . . series that will peak their curiosity and expand their knowledge of other species. Honestly, there has yet been a Sill created book that I did not like. The illustrations are always stunning and the text teaches things I had not known about the subject. Be it about the desert climate or About Parrots, Sill books are top of the line children’s nature picture books, unsurpassed by any other.

afterword page 1 plates 1 to 6
ABOUT PARROTS: A GUIDE FOR CHILDREN. Text copyright © 2014 by Cathryn Sill. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by John Sill. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, Atlanta, GA.
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Purchase any About . . . series books at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryPeachtree Publishersat your favorite bookstore.
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Learn more regarding the About . . . series HERE.

Meet the author, Cathryn Sill, at her Jacketflap:   http://www.jacketflap.com/cathryn-sill/24246

Meet the illustrator, John Sill,at his website:   http://www.johnsill.com/

Find more non-fiction at the Peachtree Publisher website:   http://peachtree-online.com/


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Also by Cathryn and John Sills

About Mammals: A Guide for Children

About Mammals: A Guide for Children

About Raptors: A Guide for Children

About Raptors: A Guide for Children

About Mammals: A Guide for Children / Sobre los mamiferos: Una guia para ninos

About Mammals: A Guide for Children / Sobre los mamiferos: Una guia para ninos

A Field Guide to Little Known and Seldom Seen Birds of North America (2nd edition)

A Field Guide to Little Known and Seldom Seen Birds of North America (2nd edition)

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Review HERE.

 


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NEW About Parrots USE
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copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

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PEACHTREE BOOK BLOG TOUR

About Parrots:  A Guide for Children

Monday, August 3rd — http://jeanlittlelibrary.blogspot.com/

Tuesday August 4th — http://geolibrarian.blogspot.com/ and http://kid-lit-reviews.com/

Wednesday, August 5th — Chat with Vera

Thursday, August 6th — Blue Owl and Kid Lit Frenzy

Friday, August 7th — The Fourth Musketeer


Filed under: 4stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book, Series Tagged: About Parrots, book blog tour, Cathryn Sill, children's book reviews, John Sill, macaws, parrots, wild parrots, zygodactyl feet

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24. #630 – Twice Told Tales: Cassie and the Woolf by Olivia Snowe & Michelle Lamoreaux

cover.

Twicetold Tales: Cassie and the Woolf

written by Olivia Snowe
illustrated by Michelle Lamoreaux
Stone Arch Books       8/01/2014
978-1-4342-6278-3
Age 8 to 12 128 pages

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“Once (or twice) upon a time, a girl named Cassie brought supper to her grandmother. But in this retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, Cassie doesn’t know that Caleb Woolf gets to her grandmother first. When Cassie finds out what Caleb has done, she is determined to get revenge. Whatever it takes, Cassie is ready. She will fight the Woolf . . . “

Opening

“Cassie Cloak held her red raincoat closed at the neck.”

The Story

Cassie Cloak stops at a deli after school then delivers supper to her grandmother. Caleb’s basketball game with friends breaks up leaving Caleb alone and hungry, but unwilling to go home. He can smell the chicken soup and sandwiches in Cassie’s deli containers as she dodges the rain. He also hears Cassie decline a ride from the deli man and the address of grandma’s apartment complex. Caleb times it so he “runs into” Cassie on the street, but is not the most cordial guy. Cassie is glad when he leaves.

At grandmother’s apartment complex, Cassie checks on grandma but collides with the bathroom door instead, falling unconscious to the floor. Later she unties grandma and realizes the black hoodie left in the bathroom belongs to Caleb. He had ambushed grandma, knocked out Cassie, and left with their supper. Cassie and grandma plan their revenge. Cassie invites Caleb to dinner. He accepts, planning to retrieve his hoodie before anyone else sees it. (He figures Cassie had not seen it else, she would not invite him to dinner. Or was it a trap.) Caleb went back and forth with this debate throughout the day.

Grandma opens up windows so the smell of her soup and roast will flow down the street, enticing Caleb. She knew Caleb could not resist the aroma of her cooking, just in case he was going to stand her up. Promptly buzzed past security, Caleb walks through grandma’s ajar apartment door, which shuts quickly behind him. Caleb announces his presence, but hears nothing in return. He is alone. With the doors are locked—from the outside—and the windows are sealed shut, no one can hear Caleb when he realizes the horror of his mistake.

Review

I read Cassie and the Woolf in one sitting. The story is a mere 128 pages but I couldn’t put it down if broccoli began to burn on my stove, again. It is that good. This modern retelling’s setting is an after-dark dangerous downtown. Most every shop has closed and Cassie and Caleb pass no one on the streets. Add in a fierce rainstorm and the elements are set for a horror showdown. Caleb is a brut of a boy with little manner or social skills. His claim to fame at the middle school he shares with Cassie is his basketball skills. When they meet, Cassie has no idea who Caleb is and it might have turned his anger ugly. He proceeds to bounce his basketball into a puddle, soaking Cassie. It is no secret what Caleb Woolf—the wolf—is going to do at Cassie—Little Red’s grandmother’s home. It is what happens after that will draw readers in the most.

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Both Cassie and her grandma are formidable foes, unlike the original story where the wolf eats them both. In this retelling, the woolf, I mean wolf, will get his due. What happens when Caleb finds himself trapped inside grandma’s apartment will not scare anyone. I quite enjoyed the scheme, not once figuring out what was happening until it happened. Even the ending threw me off. I can’t say much more or story spoils would fill the page. I will say the writing and potting are masterfully done, never letting the reader figure out the next step until Cassie and grandma take it..

The characters are believable and easy to care about, including Caleb Woolf. You have sympathy for him shortly after meeting him, alone, his stomach growling, and unable to go home. He slowly turns into the wolf. As he walks with Cassie, he slowly becomes more annoying. After he has eaten Red’s supper, Caleb’s stomach hurts from over ingestion and he actually feels a bit remorseful, though I think he is confusing gastritis with remorse. I felt bad for Caleb at that moment—a little—and hoped Cassie’s revenge would not hurt him. But then the following day Caleb treats Cassie unkindly and the sympathy waned. Caleb’s character is a rollercoaster between decent and awful.

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Middle grade aged kids will enjoy Cassie and the Woolf. Nothing in the story will spark nightmares or upset kids in the least—unless they are a fan of the wolf. No one dies; no one is shot, knifed, or beat up. Violence is at a minimal level. Suspense rises as slow as possible once Caleb enters grandma’s apartment and finds he is alone. From the moment Caleb sees his washed and folded hoodie, he knows something bad is going to happen; that he had walked into a trap. Readers who open Cassie and the Woolf will find they love the build up, the suspense, the basketball-bouncing walk through downtown streets, and the dinner invite given at school. Cassie and the Woolf is a fun read and an excellent modern retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Middle grade and older kids will enjoy this fairy tale once more. I’d expect nothing less from an author whose last name is Snowe.

TWICETOLD TALES: CASSIE AND THE WOOLF. Text copyright © 2014 by Olivia Snowe. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Michelle Lamoreaux. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Stone Arch Books, North Mankato, MN.

Purchase Cassie and the Woolf at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryStone Arch Booksyour favorite bookstore.

Learn more about Twicetold Tales HERE.
Meet the author, Olivia Snowe, at her website:
Meet the illustrator, Michelle Lamoreaux, at her website:
Find more stories at the Stone Arch Books website:    http://stonearchbooks.blogspot.com/

Stone Arch Books is a Capstone imprint.   http://www.capstonepub.com/

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Also in 2014 by Olivia Snowe & Michelle Lamoreaux.

A Home in the Sky (Twicetold Tales)

A Home in the Sky (Twicetold Tales)

Beauty and the Basement (Twicetold Tales)

Beauty and the Basement (Twicetold Tales)

Dandelion and the Witch (Twicetold Tales)

Dandelion and the Witch (Twicetold Tales)

Hansen and Gracie (Twicetold Tales)

Hansen and Gracie (Twicetold Tales)

The Girl and the Seven Thieves (Twicetold Tales)

The Girl and the Seven Thieves (Twicetold Tales)

The Sealed-Up House (Twicetold Tales)

The Sealed-Up House (Twicetold Tales)

casiie and the woolf

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copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 4stars, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, Series Tagged: Abigail Samoun, Capstone, Little Red Riding Hood retold, Michelle Lamoreaux, Olivia Snowe, retold tales, Stone Arch Books

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25. Ah, Water, the source of All Life & An Urgent Matter for All of Us.

Today is a planned day off, but I wanted to show you the mess in my town, in case you didn’t watch the national news  over the weekend. Toledo has never been on the edge of anything. City council refers to study after study rather than take action. We lost a very nice multiple suburban water park a few years back because of Toledo’s unwillingness to move. The motto here, if a motto was ever agreed upon, and the commissioned study agreed as well, would be “Stagnancy is Good.” Change is not considered good or bad—it is not considered at all.

Now, Toledo has a new type of mayor. For the first time, the mayor makes decisions and acts on them. No $50,000 commissions thus far from Mayor Collins. It is about time, but may be too late. He did handle the toxic water incident as a leader should: he was tough, on top of things, and kept the people informed. Big business was never considered (but, then, big business doesn’t make it to Toledo, unless it is manufacturing. Yeah, not many of those in the US anymore.) My cynicism aside, here was the state of our water, which will return, probably in September.

This is the mess Mayor Collins woke up to and this is going to happen again. The first is a glass of water taken directly out of Lake Erie. The second is blue-green algae at the surface of Lake Erie near the water intake (background), and the third is the color of Lake Erie water. Not the blue of a healthy lake , but a green of an algae infested lake. The microcystis the algae produces could actually burn skin and cause your liver to shutdown  in the high doses of this past weekend. Can you imagine swimming in that water? We once did—when it was a normal blue color.

glass of water taken directly out of Lake Erie

glass of water taken directly out of Lake Erie

blue-green algae at the surface of Lake Erie near the water intake (background)

blue-green algae at the surface of Lake Erie near the water intake (background)

the color of Lake Erie water, one person said it was the color of green paint

the color of Lake Erie water, one person said it was the color of green paint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then there is one more IMPORTANT issue.  It affects everyone who uses the Internet. NET NEUTRALITY, put simply, involves Internet ISP’s that supply us a way to move around the Internet, currently with freedom and everyone moving at close to the same speed, and landing on any website or blog we please. But the major players want Congress to allow them to structure the Internet as they do cable television. Those who can pay the most will get the fast lane and the rest of us will be clogged on the slow lane.

If the company you buy your Internet service makes a deal with XYZ Search Engine and Beer, that will be the only search engine you can use. You can also be kept away from sites, for any reason, and if you have a blog, good luck getting traffic.

Worse, there will be no new businesses started on the Internet. And when a crisis hits and someone or even a country needs immediate help, it will never happen as quickly and efficiently as it can and does now.

This is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE THIS YEAR, and most likely every year until they give up. Since the Supreme Court gave corporations in this country people status—and all the rights that go with being a person in the USA—corporation slight-of-hand has increased. This is another slight-of-hand to take away the Internet and make it a corporate product rather than a form of communication. Internet communication that flows freely and equally will keep the playing fields a bit fairer; publishing easier; and new start-ups forming, with the jobs that come with them. THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW!

“By the People and For the People” representation no longer exists for the 99%. US. Corporations influence laws and bills that are passed in this country—usually in big business’ favor—than any of us could ever influence, just as they are pouring their money into owning the Internet. (The Internet was started by universities to further ease research. Big business had no hand in making it, but now they want it handed to them.)

Please watch this MOCKumentary about getting rid of the Internet as we know it—for our own good—and the progress made by one marketer for the corporations. PLEASE TAKE ACTION after you watch this oft-time humorous video. It last 29 minutes, but you’ll get the idea and why it is so frightening for us very quickly.

 

PLEASE GO NOW TO “We the People” and “Change.org” and sign the petition for Net Neutrality. Please DO IT NOW SO YOU DON’T FORGET. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! (links embedded in organization’s name above)

Tomorrow life at KLR will return to normal and my politics will stay away. Thanks for reading, watching, and looking at our great lake, Lake Erie. It almost died once and Then Clean Water Act saved it. This needs to happen again. I hope someone knows what to do.

Our Internet needs to stay as is: free, equal access; but everyone needs to sign that petition and let congress know. Even better, call your congressperson and representatives. Please sign the petition. If we have another black out demonstration, please take part. Thank you. I know you never would expect this kind of post. Sincerely, thank you.

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photographs copyright Toledo Blade.


Filed under: HELP! Tagged: blue-green algae, Lake Erie, microcystis water, net neutrailty, The Internet Must GO mockumentary, toxic water

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