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.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Max just finished cleaning his room and off he zooms on a super adventure: dodging volcanoes, dealing with sharks and super secret underwater caves, and just having a good time. An adorable preschooler, Max is drawn with bright simple illustrations, shown having a good old time imagining himself in fun and exciting fantasy play.  

Max Speed by Stephen Shaskan makes for great read aloud fun with your toddlers up through kindergarteners. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


It’s springtime again, and a new picture book by author-illustrator Christie Matheson is blossoming once more.

Following the success of Tap the Magic Tree (a storytime favorite for all ages!) and Touch the Brightest Star, Plant the Tiny Seed presents a simple interactive story of growing zinnias from seed to flower. As in previous books, readers are invited to tap, clap, wiggle, and rub images to progress the story. Nature is a marvel, and this book beckons to young listeners with the promise that magic is everywhere.

For a complete toddler-friendly gardening experience, check out Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert and Dig In! by Cindy Jenson-Elliott. To explore more interactive app-like picture books for a screen-free audience, look for Get Out of My Bath! by Britta Teckentrup, This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne (previously reviewed here), and books by Herve Tullet.

Ages 2+

Thursday, March 16, 2017


A book review by Theresa: 

One of the things I always tell people browsing the shelves for something to read is to just look at the spines of the books, pull out a title that sounds interesting, look at the cover and if you are still interested, read the inside flap and see if that convinces you. This one fails the first two miserably; spine black, outline of a cloud, author’s name and the word “moo;” cover author’s name, title and a less than appealing drawing of a black and white striped cow. Even I, who really likes this author, had a hard time settling down to read this one. 

MISTAKE! If I had never opened up Sharon Creech’s book Moo, I would have missed some of the best characters in all of stories. Meet Reena, her brother Luke and their parents who have decided to abandon city life and move to rural Maine. Meet also their very unusual neighbor Mrs. Falala and her animals, a pig named Paulie, a cat named China, a snake named Edna and a very special cow named Zora. They are the central characters in Reena and Luke’s summer when their parents offer Mrs. Falala, who was very old and rumored to make weird things happen, the services of their children to help out around her small farm. 

Less than thrilled the two kids find themselves doing chores way out of their comfort zone—shoveling out a barn, not fun. Slowly there is a change of attitude when they are challenged with Zora, the loud, belligerent cow and lose their initial fear, ultimately becoming very attached to her. Zora expands their world and teaches them that a little kindness works well for both animals and people. 

This novel is written partly in prose and partly free verse which helps heighten the emotion and the mood and make this a story and characters that will stay with you for a long time. 

For grades 5-8

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


James' father tells him some outrageous tales to get him to eat broccoli, smelly lasagna, slimy eggs, lumpy oatmeal, and repulsive milk ( I'm with you on this one, James).  The story James is told is that if he doesn't eat the smelly lasagna, then the troll chef that made it will have to go back to his awful job at the rat circus.  When James turns down smelly broccoli, his other food choices are sweaty socks, the finest dirt or specially chewed gum. Delishhhh! 

The stories keep getting wilder and wilder with an increasing less gullible James. By the end of the story, James knows how it works and just gives in to the delicious eggs sitting in front of him.  Tales For Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider is for beginning reader in 1st - 2nd grades who enjoy silly humor.  

Thursday, March 09, 2017


Abbie Wu is suffering from an extreme case of the middles.

Not only is Abbie a middle child (squarely between her amazingly good at everything older brother Peter and her annoyingly adorable younger sister Clara), she’s now starting middle school, and she’s currently in the middle of an identity crisis!

It seems like her best friends know exactly where their talents lie: Maxine is natural actress, while Logan is a young tech genius. Meanwhile, Abbie has tried plenty, but has yet to find her Thing. So when it comes time to choose the ever-important elective class, Abbie finds herself in dread study hall instead. But it’s once there that Abbie is drawn into a campus-wide underground lunch revolution that may reveal to everyone, including herself, just how much she has to offer.

With an air of dramatic doom and plenty of attractive cartoon illustrations on every page, Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom by Booki Vivat is a great read-alike to middle grade staples like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries. Perfect for the humorously hyperbolic and melodramatic middle grade reader in your life.

Grades 4-6

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

THE BEST (almost) MAN

 A review by Theresa: 

Newbery Award winning author, Richard Peck starts his latest book The Best Man at one wedding and ends it with another. Narrated by Archer, who was six years old and the reluctant ring bearer at the opening wedding, the story continues until he is in the sixth grade. The events of that take place at that opening wedding are equal to another very funny story also told by a boy* and will have you laughing with tears running from your eyes as one mishap after another happens. Fortunately for Archer the rest of his story runs more smoothly. 

Aside from getting off to a funny start this is a story that has the elements of several stories. It’s a family story about the men Archer wants to be like when he grows up; his grandfather, a great architect; his dad, a great remodeler of cars; and his uncle Paul, who is just plain great. It’s a school story since so much of the action takes place at school and that is the spot where we meet one of the important characters, Mr. McLeod, the student teacher for Archer’s fifth-grade class. There’s also a touch of romance, a bully or two and a lot of growing up that takes place on these pages in this easy to read very enjoyable novel for grades 5-8.

*The funny book referred to here is Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen. If you like to laugh and have missed this one, get yourself to the library immediately and check it out, along with a copy of The Best Man, of course.  

Thursday, February 23, 2017


These are two more children's cookbooks from the library's collection and with the holidays and vacations coming up, take a through some of these recipes to see if there's some fun cooking to be had with your family.

The Piccolo Chef Cookbook :  Healthy Cooking With Your Kids 
by Fanelli Moraccini and Lilian Palmieri from the children's culinary school in Los Angeles. This book is full of easy recipes for children to follow.  

Chop Chop:  the Kid's Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family by Sally Sampson is the bound book version of their magazine's recipes for kids.   On top there's a bar that tells you prep time, cook time and if adult help is needed (mostly yes).