Thursday, February 11, 2016

A JACK IN THE BEANSTALK FRACTURED FAIRY

Sophie and her family live in a quiet town.  They work hard, enjoy each other's company, love to read, and share stories.  When night comes, their town is awoken by the  STOMP! STAMP! SHAKE! of the Giant who lives at the top of the beanstalk.The people are frightened by the loud, disruptive noise.  Sophie decides that something must be done, so she climbs to the top of the beanstalk to see what's going on.  

When she discovers that Giant has a hard time sleeping, she attempts to share ideas of what people do in order have a peaceful slumber.  Things are difficult at first, but they change when she refers to a good ole' storybook  Sophie ends up learning more about Giant, and caring for him even more. 

The Princess and the Giant written by Caryl Hart and illustrated by Sarah Warburton is fairy tale with a twist. It includes roles that are not found in traditional fairy tales.  Princess Sophie is courageous and takes charge.  Princess Sophie is a true heroine in every way!  A wonderful story to enjoy alone, or with a group, and for those who believe in the power of reading. 

For PreK- 3rd grade.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

STRANGE NEIGHBORHOOD

Reviewed by Theresa: 

Meet the Iremongers a very large and quirky, to say the least, family who live in a strange pieced together dilapidated mansion in the middle of a vast pile of junk near London, England. When a new Iremonger is born they are given what they call, a birth object that represents them and shapes who they become. One of the narrators, Clod Iremonger, aged 15, has a bath plug for a birth object. Some of the others have items that are even stranger. Clod though has the ability to hear these items speaking and when they start whispering more loudly and start disappearing, he teams up with Lucy, one of the servants, to solve the mystery.

If you enjoyed Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, then this new series is a good match for you.   Heap House by Edward Carey is best for readers in grades 6-8.


Saturday, February 06, 2016

KEEPING UP WITH AUNT KATE



In the 1860s before Abraham Lincoln became president, an orphan girl, Nell Warne, was dropped off at the doorstep of her only living relative Aunt Kate.  Aunt Kate wanted no part of Nell since leaving their small town after the death of her husband. You see, she blamed Nell's beloved father for that particular tragedy and has never gotten over it.  Nell was determined to change Aunt Kate's mind by being helpful as possible so she won't be sent away to some orphanage to live with total strangers which Aunt Kate kept threatening her with.

So begins the relationship between Nell and Aunt Kate based on necessity and mutual respect as the two hire themselves as undercover female detectives with The Pinkerton Detective Agency to root out crime and deceit.  The story is loosely based on the real life Kate Warne told through the point of view of fictional Nell through narrative and letters with her best friend of the same age whose family escaped slavery by using the Underground Railroad.  

Readers will enjoy the adventures of Nell and her no nonsense Aunt Kate in The Detective's Assistant by Kate Hannigan. For readers in 6th- 8th grade who enjoy historical fiction and strong female protagonists in an action packed story. 

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

THREE LITTLE PIGS AND THE BIG BAD COLD


Blow Your Nose, Big Bad Wolf! In this fractured fairy tale written by Steve Smallman and illustrated by Bruno Merz, the classic story of the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf is revisited and interwoven with a humorously presented lesson about spreading germs.

Three little pigs each leave home with money, a box of tissues, and mother pig’s gentle admonishment to please use a tissue when sneezing. Following the structure of the original fairy tale, the three little pigs each meet a seller and build homes from straw, stick, brick in turn.

Meanwhile, poor Big Bad is suffering from a nasty cold with a dreadful runny nose. All the (really quite nice) wolf wants when he knocks politely on the newly settled pigs’ doors is  A-A-A-A-TISSUE! * for his nose. But when each little pig in succession rejects his plea, Big Bad’s enormous, snotty, slimy, sneezes inadvertently blow their houses down!

Big Bad ultimately gets A-A-A-A-TISSUE! * that he so desperately needs, while the three little pigs get A-A-A-A-LESSON! * much deserved in sharing and germ control.

For other fun fractured versions of The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf, check out The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs allegedly by “A. Wolf” as told to Jon Scieszka and Huff & Puff by Claudia Rueda.

Ages 4+

(*Gesundheit!)

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

SQUISH, THE SUPER AMOEBA IS HERE!

Squish is a science wiz who enjoys eating Twinkies and reading his comic-books.  When his teacher announces that a science exam is coming up, it becomes clear to Squish that not all of the students are prepared to take it.  Squish is likable and would be willing to help others prepare for the exam.  But his generosity is tested when a classmate insists that he should help (or else!).  What would you do if you were an amoeba named Squish?  

The is the first adventure of Squish: Super Amoeba by Jennifer and Matthew Holm.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

DOUBLE THE TROUBLE

Miles and his family move to Yawnee Valley.  Miles had been known as the prankster at his previous school and hopes to maintain his reputation at his new school, the Yawnee Valley Science and Letter Academy.  Upon his arrival, Miles discovers that there is another prankster already at work.  Someone has already managed to move Principal Barkin’s car to the top of the stairs of the school entrance, where it is blocking any access into the school.  Miles is very impressed with the prank but is surprised when the principal begins to suspect that it was him.  

As Miles begins to familiarize himself at his new school, the student helper, Niles Sparks, is asked to show him around.  As the days and weeks go by, Miles is surprised that there are no signs of who the prankster could possibly be.  Even though the principal continues to suspect it’s him, he doesn’t want to take credit for something he didn’t do, so Miles gets to work on creating his own prank. 

With two unknown pranksters in the same school, this is a formula for a very interesting and unexpected school year.  Will the school pranksters reveal their identity and collaborate with one another to prank Principal Barkin and the Yawnee Valley Science and Letter Academy? Read to find out.

The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John, with illustrations by Kevin Cornell, is a funny book that will appeal to students grade 3-6. This is the first book of the series. 



Thursday, January 28, 2016

LOOKING FOR MOM IN MANY STRANGE PLACES


Julia lives with her grandmother and aunt in an old house called Windy Ridge. Her mom has been gone quite some time, and Julia has pretty much settled into a life with her friend Belfry, taking pictures with her Brownie camera of things she finds interesting. Well, her grandmother decides to die one day, so Aunt Constance and Julia pack up the house and head out on the road to find Julia's mother. Without any idea of where they are going, quite a quirky, entertaining adventure unfolds. With a bit of humor and a whole lot of weird, this historical fiction just may capture the attention of even the most reluctant reader. JULIA AND THE ART OF PRACTICAL TRAVEL by Lesley M. M. Blume is an entertaining read for 5th - 8th grades.

NOV 2015

DOES BAD KITTY NEED A BATH?

Kitty is smelly, dirty, and grimy.  Although she uses the traditional technique of licking herself clean, she would benefit from a proper bath in clean, cool aromatic suds. It sounds simply divine, but Kitty would rather not take one. Will she ever take a bath? or will she be content simply licking her fur for cleanliness.  Kitty is neither completely good or bad. She just knows what she wants, and its up to the readers to decide if her reputation as Bad Kitty holds true.

Bad Kitty Gets A Bath is the first chapter book in this series by Nick Bruel.  He introduces a fun loving, smart, and mischievous kitty who is bound to have many fans! For a list of books in the series, visit Novelist K-8.  This resource can be found on our library's website under Articles and Databases, or click on the link: http://www.glendaleca.gov/government/departments/library-arts-culture/articles-databases


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

SURE BEATS BOILING OIL

If you read Harry Potter or the Hunger Games, and you like stories where society is out to destroy the lives of children, then THE UNWANTEDS by Lisa McMann is a good book to read along the same lines. In the dark, dreary land of Quill, some kids become "wanteds" and some are relegated to "unwanted" status, which means they are sent to die in a giant pit of boiling oil. Only the unwanteds actually end up in a magical world of creativity and free thought, something completely frowned upon in the land of Quill. Kids learn magical fighting techniques, in preparation to fight for their beliefs in a battle that comes when not everyone is prepared to fight. It's not to difficult to read, it is action-packed, and reflects positively on those that are more creative than calculating. For grades 4 and up.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

WHERE ARE BAD KITTY'S PRESENTS?

It's Bad Kitty's birthday, and her owner wants to celebrate with an event to remember.  A number of cats, each with distinct personalities, bring a unique gift to the party.  Kitty goes with the flow and enjoys the party until she learns that someone has tampered with her birthday gifts.  That's when another side to Kitty comes out.  Will she behave as she tries to solve the mystery of her missing gifts? Readers are left to wonder if she's truly a bad kitty or one they'd want in their homes.  A fun read with adorable characters that will leave others wondering why you-the reader-is laughing out loud!  

Nick Bruel's second book, Happy Birthday Bad Kitty is filled with comical black and white illustrations which makes this series even more fun!  For Ages 8-10.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

WE'RE NOT IN BROOKLYN ANYMORE!


First they visited their long-lost mother in Oakland in One Crazy Summer, they returned to life with their father in Brooklyn in P.S. Be Eleven, and now the Gaither girls are back--this time visiting their paternal relatives in rural Alabama--in Gone Crazy in Alabama, the third and final installment of the series from award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia

Much like the previous two novels, Williams-Garcia paints an all-at-once funny, poignant, and unflinchingly realistic look at life in the 1960s for these three young black girls and their family. As their father reminds 12-year-old Delphine and her younger sisters Vonetta and Fern while he's telling them to be on their best behavior, "the South's not like Bed-Stuyvesant and you can't get more southern than Alabama." 

And truer words have never been spoken: they get their milk and butter from a cow, the best entertainment is hearing their great-grandmother and great-aunt tell conflicting stories about their decades-long feud, and, perhaps most notably, they experience the very real presence of the KKK. But when a potentially deadly storm strikes, things get even more real as Vonetta goes missing after a fight with her sisters. Will the Gaither girls and their family ever be the same after their time in the deep South? 

This historical fiction novel really tells it like it was, and will make a gripping read for 5th to 8th graders, whether or not they've already enjoyed the previous two books in the series. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

WHERE WILL BEAR SLEEP?

Bernard is exhausted, but he can't find a quiet and comfortable place to sleep.  He goes for a walk through the forest to find an ideal location.  He encounters a number of animals who kindly offer their homes.  A lily pad, a tree, or burrow might be right for those animals but not for Bernard.  A small unassuming mouse offers a suggestion which piques Bernard's interest but will it be the right bed for Bear?

Clive McFarland's A Bed For Bear is a wonderful story to share with young children during the fall and winter seasons, especially before bedtime.  

For PreK-2nd grade.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

THE SKY IS FALLING!

Is the sky really falling?  Ask Chicken Little why she’s in a frenzy as she does the mambo.  Well it all started one day when an acorn fell on Chicken Little’s head… and it went downhill from there.  Chicken Little truly believed that the sky was falling, so of course she didn't listen to Squirrel's explanation and created chaos on the farm. 

Chaos meaning all the chickens began to dance; they did the moonwalk, the twist and the waltz.  Soon enough all the other farm animals joined in the dance even though they knew better; the animals even did the hokey-pokey.  It wasn’t long before the clever Fox showed up to stir some trouble. He believed that he could actually fool the animals to come to his den.  Read to find out if the Fox accepts the chickens challenge.

The Sky is Falling by Mark Teague is a hilarious read-a-loud picture book. This is a great twist for a classic tale, teaching the importance of listening skills, especially when creating unnecessary confusion. The illustrations are colorful and cartoon-like.  

Ages 3-5

Saturday, January 16, 2016

IS THE MOON REALLY FOLLOWING YOU?


The Moon is Going to Addy's House written and illustrated by Ida Pearle takes a simple but universal idea and turns it into an inventively breathtaking picture book. On her way home with her family after a playdate at her friend's house, Addy is intent on watching the moon in the sky as it appears to follow her along the way. 

Pearle uses the perspective in her brilliant cut-paper art in mesmorizing ways to relate that familiar childhood feeling that the moon is moving across the sky as you travel, alternately high and low, near and far. The simple yet rhythmic text--"Look way up high and way down low. There it is, still!"--pairs seamlessly with the dreamy illustrations to explore this enigmatic natural phenomenon. 

This versatile book is perfect both for sharing with a group or exploring one-on-one at bedtime with toddlers and preschoolers alike. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

HOLIDAY CLOSURE

THE LIBRARY WILL BE CLOSED FROM SATURDAY JANUARY16 - 18, 2016 FOR MLK DAY.  WE WILL REOPEN ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 19. 

SEVERAL OF OUR BRANCHES WILL BE OPEN ON FRIDAY JANUARY 15 FOR YOUR LIBRARY NEEDS.