Thursday, May 18, 2017


Jack lives in a land of mystical creatures. When one of the creatures takes his best friend away forever, he is determined to find out why. In the midst of his investigation, he encounters a slew of fairies and like creatures who are being targeted, sorted, and taken away; another mystery for him to solve!  

Jack is a ten year old who learns that his father is Death, and he's not to interfere with whatever is going on. It's troubling to him to see innocent lives being drastically affected, so with the help of a few friends he's able to learn more about what it will take to stand up to injustice and his father.

M.L. Windsor writes a story for those interested in mystical creatures or would like to enjoy a Lemony Snicket read-alike.  Jack Death is a fast paced novel that's sprinkled with humor and unforgettable characters, but note that there are also grisly scenes (Spoiler Alert: bad guys can eat their victims in three bites) that will leave readers bug-eyed and maybe wanting a sequel. 

For grades 6-8, not for the faint of heart.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


In Tidy a fanatical badger likes everything neat and tidy but he may be just a tad too neat for his own good.  When Pete the Badger's excitement over a supremely neat and clean forest makes it impossible for him to get into his home because he has laid concrete over the entire forest floor was just too much, even for him.  The only thing left for him and the forest friends to do is to break up the extremely clean habitat with a bit of a mess and enjoy a picnic with friends. 

Emily Gravett has given us another wonderfully illustrated story of all things in moderation, even ecology conservation.  

For ages 4 and up.  

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Like all of Todd Parr’s books, this book also sends a great message to children about always loving yourself and embracing uniqueness.  The colorful and child-like illustrations with simple text make the simple message of the book clear to its audience.

Be Who You Are by Todd Parr, is a great addition to any collection.  Children as young as newborn to first grade will enjoy this title.  

Thursday, May 04, 2017

1, 2, and NOW 3!

Sara O'Leary's thoughtful story brings to light the many exciting changes that occur when a child turns three. The experience of discovery, conversation, socialization and wonder is packaged in this one picture book. "Three is a busy age.." and Karen Klassen captures the three year old's day by showing photographs of a diverse group of children in mixed media illustrations with beautiful hues of orange, blue, and green

For 2- 5 years.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017


Who doesn’t love a story about baby animals? Especially when the vibrant and adorable illustrations include humorous rhyming text on each turning page.

Animal Babies Do theStrangest Things is written and illustrated by Charles Fuge.  With little fun facts about different animals, this book will not only entertain but also teach children about different baby animals.  Great read aloud for toddlers to kinder.     

Thursday, April 27, 2017


If everyone else is yawning, will it make you yawn too? Just try to avoid it when reading Everyone Is Yawning written and illustrated by Anita Bijsterbosch--it's not an easy feat! From snake to turtle, the youngest readers will delight in each page, as we lift up the flap to reveal what it looks like inside each animal's mouth when it yawns. And of course there's a glimpse of what it looks like when children yawn too! 

This simple but totally captivating interactive book featuring adorably bold illustrations is bound to be a crowd-pleaser and a favorite bedtime read for babies to preschoolers. As contagious as an actual yawn, this book is sure to be one that's asked for again and again. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Summer vacation has begun and the Fletcher Family has set off for Rock Island!  One of the main attractions to see is a beloved lighthouse, but once they make their way to it there is something undeniably different about it.  Many changes occur this vacation season, and each of the Fletcher boys experience a memorable summer, but will Jackson, the Fletcher's African-American son's memories be as wonderful as the others?

Dana Alison Levy's The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island adventure is still rich with fun, humor, love, and support of one another. What was surprisingly different in this story and yet, important to note, is that the novel lightly touches upon the treatment of others based on race and ethnicity.  A good read and possibly a discussion starter on racial diversity.  

For 5th grade and up. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Pete the Cat is back and this time instead of losing his “groovy buttons,” the cupcakes he and his friend Gus made for their cupcake party mysteriously go missing.  As Pete and Gus look for clues to find their missing cupcakes, the cupcakes continue to disappear in twos. 

This Pete the Cat series addition, Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes, is written and illustrated by Kimberly & James Dean.  It makes for a great read aloud and with the cupcakes missing in twos, kids will enjoy counting down the cupcakes. 

A great read for children in Pre-K to Kindergarten. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg is another fun twist on the Sherlock Holmes craze.  Only this time the great genius detective is a young girl and Watson is the new neighbor living with his single mom in the same New York apartment building.  Shelby is years younger than any other sixth grader but John, being new and it's summer, has no choice but to befriend this strange girl.

Her reputation in the neighborhood is that of a great problem solver, everyone knows her, she knows everyone AND she's a know it all. When a classmate pulls up in a chauffeured car and asks Shelby to help find her missing dog, John Watson jumps in as well because no matter how odd she is, she is one interesting kid and it is bound to lead to some great excitement.  

For readers in 4th- 6th grades. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017


This book takes readers on an adventure into the life of a bird.  With the turning of the pages, readers are introduced to an array of birds of which they can pretend to be.  The beautiful and vibrant illustrations, accompanied by the creative rhyming text makes this book a wonderful read-aloud.  Children will also enjoy acting out the different behaviors of the birds.

Hooray for Birds! by Lucy Cousins is a wonderful addition to any library.  This is appropriate for newborn to preschool age.  

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Hippo and Red Panda are tired of their neglected and rundown zoo so they go out to the human world and in order to find amazing jobs.  Each new job comes with a different hat and skill set but none are right for them.  After being fired from all of these amazing jobs (cook, dental assistant, construction worker, etc.), Red Panda runs out of optimism and Hippo is feeling down in the dumps. Hippo and Red Panda realize how their true skills and talents can best be put to use.

A new graphic novel filled with humor, a lot of silliness but at it's core it's a story of friendship and self-discovery. 
Hippopotamister by John Patrick Green is great for beginning readers, graphic novel lovers and anyone else who enjoys a read aloud.   

For Kindergarten through 4th grade.

Thursday, April 06, 2017


A peek through Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker by Jessica Ahlberg takes a jump through different fairy tale locations--literally--through a hole in each page when a little girl runs after her dog, an escapee from her bedroom, into the three bear's house because he didn't want to listen to another a story.   As the reader turns the page, the dog leads him/her into a new fairy tale until they all end up back in the little girl's bedroom where she now has a larger audience who will listen to her stories.

For readers ages 3 and up. 

Tuesday, April 04, 2017


"It's way too early. My beak is cold. What's with all the squawking, you guys?" Those are just the first few of many, many complaints laid out by the contrary penguin narrator of Penguin Problems by Jory John and illustrated by Lane Smith. From the frigid temperatures to some dubious encounters with fellow wildlife, from his flightlessness to his waddle, just try to stop this penguin from airing a relentless barrage of grievances, whether or not anyone really cares. But when a concerned and supportive walrus stops by to wax philosophical and offer advice about looking on the bright side, will our lovably misanthropic penguin have a change of heart and adjust his outlook on life from #penguinproblems to #blessed? 

This delightfully droll picture book from the beloved author-illustrator team makes a great read-aloud to share with preschoolers through second graders, and offers something for everyone, pessamists and glass-half-full types alike.  

Thursday, March 30, 2017


Yoshitsune was a young boy when his father’s life was taken ruthlessly during the war. This was the way of life for a samurai warrior during 12th Century Japan.   As in any war there are two sides: the winning side, Taira, and the losing side, Minamoto.  Both samurai clans fought to the end.

Afterwards Kiyomori, a Taira leader, allowed baby Yoshitsune to live with the monks rather than have him killed. Young Yoshitsune did not grow up to look like a warrior from a long line of samaurai, but was a frail, unskilled man who  yearned to escape the monastery in order to live up to the Minamoto legacy and overthrow the Taira clan.

It is not often that a reader will find a non-fiction children’s book that captures one's attention like a novel.  This particular book is captivating when describing the characters and the battles in careful detail. The author, Pamela Turner, does not hold back nor does she sugarcoat scenes; instead, she has shared the story in such a way that leaves the reader completely immersed in history. Turner does a noteworthy job providing pronunciations of names in Japanese as well as offering notes for her sources.

Samurai Rising is highly recommended. Find out what became of young Yoshitsune. 

For ages 13 and up.