Friday, March 30, 2012


From Vivian the children's librarian at the Casa Verdugo Branch Library:

Chicken, Pig, Cow and the Class Pet by Ruth Ohi

Three adorable toys lend a helping hand to a class pet hamster who has escaped from his home.  Ruth Ohi’s illustrations bring these toys to life, and old and new fans of this series will want to share this over and over again with a young audience.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Very nice collection of bilingual classic folktales told in English and Spanish gather by the author Joe Hayes from the rich tradition of Northern New Mexico. This book is full of lively characters and laugh out loud stories, such as the story of a dog whose life has been saved by a coyote, or a spotted cat who is like a guardian angel that saves a young man from the treachery of his jealous brothers, or a girl befriends a small snake she finds in a cabbage and is granted a wish in exchange, or a greedy man who learns his lesson on a day when couldn’t stop dancing. In many of the stories, animals with their wisdom teach life lessons to humans. Others, human cleverness will help to overcome the injustices presented by the environment, Tortillas coyotes, snakes and desserts are in these stories, as well as kings and princesses, magical gardens and castles.These are few of the wonderful tales you’ll find in this bilingual collection. Format of the book left page in English and right page in Spanish. Written by Joe Hayes, illustrated by Antonio Castro L. Recommended for 4th graders and up.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

From Children's Librarian Mr. B at the Grandview Branch Library:

WOLF STORM by Dee Garretson

In this survival adventure, it’s all about storytelling, and Dee Garretson tells a swell story. Child actors, novice Stephan, 14; demanding starlet Raine, 13; and support Jeremy, 9, are on location at an abandoned Slovakian ski resort. They are cast as siblings returning to a desolate Earth with their pet wolves, played by domesticated wolves under the care of an animal trainer. With a blizzard approaching, all the adults but one featured actor trek to the distant town to take care of anticipated needs, leaving the children and wolves under the care of the veteran actor. The blizzard arrives early, followed by an avalanche that destroys the resort and the cell phones. The children and wolves escape the destruction, but the veteran actor is trapped in the ruins, and suffers a devastating heart attack. The remainder of this very readable tale of courage and survival shows the children grappling with snow banks, injuries, wet firewood, wild wolves, failed escape plans, and other sudden realities. Can’t wait for the movie. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Rafe Khachadorian decides on the first day of school to break all the rules in the school rule book. His friend, Leo, is encouraging him to do his worst, who eggs him to do some self destructive things, single mom who works a lot, and is being bullied by his mom's fiance. He's trying to cope but he can't seem to make the right choices. the cartoon drawings Rafe makes are your typical goofy and outlandish of kids his age, until you realize that they are his manifestions of his exagerations of reality, like his teacher as a dragon.

Middle School : The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson is a dark tale of a boy who is just trying to figure out how to live life.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


From Children’s Librarian, Kristine Markosyan at the Adams Square and Pacific Park Branch Libraries:

Vanished by Sheela Chari is a story about a young girl named Neela who has received a musical instrument as a gift from her grandmother.  This musical instrument, known as a veena, is an Indian instrument that has been rumored to be cursed.  When the instrument is stolen, Neela is determined to find the person who took it and find out why it was stolen it in the first place.  This mystery and adventure takes Neela and her friends all the way back to India to find the veena.  Will Neela, with the help of her friends and family find the veena and finally break the curse?

This is a great read for readers who enjoy a mystery and also interested in reading about another culture.  With so much suspense, readers will not want to put the book down in the last 100 pages.

Best for readers in grades 4 and up.

Monday, March 12, 2012


From Children’s Librarian, Kristine Markosyan at the Adams Square and Pacific Park Branch Libraries:

Ten Rules for Living with My Sister by Ann M. Martin is narrated by third grader, Pearl.  As the younger sibling, Pearl’s relationship is like any relationship between two sisters.  She compares her sister, Lexie’s life and experiences with her own and naturally portrays the role of the pesky younger sister.  In the beginning of the story, her sister Lexie is able to avoid Pearl by closing her bedroom door and putting a sign to keep her out or giving her the silent treatment.  When their grandfather, Daddy Bo’s health issues arise, he moves in with the family and the girls have to share a room.  How will the sisters manage sharing a room?  

This is a great read for girls ages 7-12, who are either a younger or older sibling.  The narrators experience with her family, school life and personal growth keeps young readers interested throughout the book.  

Best for readers in grades 4 and up.

Friday, March 09, 2012


In this sequel to My Life As a Book, Derek gets a chance to be a skateboarding stunt double for a famous actor. Only it's for a famous GIRL actor. His best friend is totally jealous of him and starts making fun of him and he strikes back. He makes a deal with his parents to keep up with his tutoring and take care of his foster monkey in order to get the stunt job but one tiny mistake might undo the whole thing.

I think My Life As a Stunboy by Janet Tashjian and illustrated once again by Jake Tashijian is even better than the first book. Lots of action, humor and some emotional tugs on the heart strings will keep the reader hooked until the end. For readers in 4th-8th grade.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Funny Perico is a parrot that lives a boring life in a pet store and he’s desperate to find a new home. He only speaks Spanish and when he speaks, he is always misunderstood. He waits in the pet shop and tries to interact with the owner and customers; however, no one seems to understand him. He takes “mal” for “mall and “si” for “sea” so the potential buyers keep returning him to the store. The pet man tells Perico that he’ll have to learn some phrases in English if he wants a new home, giving him “I am fine today” and “I am a pretty bird” as examples. Poor Perico stays up that night practicing the phrases. A little Latino boy and his mother visit the store and hear Perico speaking English and Spanish. Perico uses all his new phrases to impress the boy. The boy ignores the bird completely until Perico starts squawking in fluent Spanish. The boy being bilingual himself, finds Perico to be the perfect pet.

Cute book that teaches about the differences in languages. Bright illustrations. Includes Spanish glossary with pronunciation guide at the back of the book.

Ages 4 and up. Written by Trudy Harris, illustrated by Cecilia Rebora.
Juvenile fiction; animals – birds; animals – humor; parrots; pet stores; Spanish language.

Monday, March 05, 2012


I have just now finished RUBY RED by Kerstin Gier, the first of three books, and I CANNOT WAIT for the next one! The story takes place in England, so some of the language takes a little getting used to, but the characters will jump under your skin from the very first page. Gwen/Gwyneth is an ordinary modern day girl, or so it seems. But her family has many secrets, ones for which her cousin Charlotte has spent her entire life preparing. What's the secret? The ability to time travel! That much I can tell you, but you'll be surprised what happens to Charlotte, Gwen and a boy named Gideon in this century and throughout centuries of the past! I'm ordering Sapphire Blue as soon as possible! For grades 6 and up.

Thursday, March 01, 2012


When he wakes up in the tent the first morning of a camping vacation with his mom, Jake discovers that she along with her gear and the car are nowhere to be found. This is not the first time that she has done this, disappeared, but the other times he was at home and not stranded on an island in Maine with only a few dollars and a small plastic elephant, an animal that fascinates him, in his pocket. After his search of the island proves fruitless, he sets off to walk back home to Boston. The author tells the story of how Jake not only survives this experience but also learns some important truths about his capacity to move ahead in spite of his family circumstances in Small As An Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson