Friday, August 31, 2012


In this book children will discover how many different jobs are there in a zoo.  Workers must feed the animals, clean their dwellings, and the animals too.  They will also find that animals like children, sometimes the animals are restless and want to play. The elephants use their trunks as sprinklers and soak the workers and the llamas must be persuaded to be polite and not spit on everyone.They'll get to know monkeys, rhinos, llamas, lions and alligators.

A very entertaining, beautiful and factual story about animals.  Fun facts are included  at the end of this book written by Catherine Ipcizade and illustrated by Ben Hodson
For preschool age.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


When people think of Attachment Parenting (AP), a lot of images come to their mind.  Hippies, children who don't grow up independant, and, most recently, the infamous Time Magazine cover of a mother breastfeeding her Pre-School aged child.  There has been a lot of negative press associated with AP lately, and author Mayim Bialik is here to show the truths of the controversial parenting style.  In Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way, Bialik discusses different facets of AP that work for her family.  She frequently reminds the reader that each family does everything a little differently, and there is no one way to practice AP.  Bialik goes over topics such as:  Breastfeeding, Co-Sleeping, Baby Wearing, Gentle Discipline, and Elimination Control.  I'll let you figure out what the last one means, but it was definitely an eye opening chapter as to different styles and techniques of having your children use the toilet from an early age.

Bialik declares that her book is not a how-to book, but rather a book to provide insight into the AP way.  While preachy at times, for the most part, Bialik does a good job of presenting facts and has an excellent guide to resources at the back of the book for those interested in further discussion.  Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way by Mayim Bialik is recommended for parents and non-parents interested in a glimpse of the Attachment Parenting lifestyle.

Monday, August 27, 2012


From Mr. B, Children's Librarian at the Grandview Branch of GPL:

SILENT STAR: The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy by Bill Wise / Pictures by Adam Gustavson

Born in 1862, William Hoy lost his hearing to meningitis when he was three; but not his determination, agility, or creativity. He fell in love with and mastered baseball. His fielding skills were superb, and with the help of hand signals from his third base coaches, he was able to keep his eye on the pitcher instead of turning around to see the umpire’s calls. While not yet in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Centerfielder Hoy, who retired in 1903 after 14 years in the majors, still ranks in the top 25 in career stolen bases, assists by an outfielder, and double plays by an outfielder.

Silent Star brings Hoy’s story to vibrant life in words and pictures without being maudlin or preachy. It is first and foremost a well-written picture-book sports biography of a stunning but now unrecognized athlete aimed at upper graders, but suitable for baseball fans of all ages (i.e. think adult holiday or birthday gift for the baseball fan in your life).

For all ages.

Friday, August 24, 2012


A review of 13 Hangmen by Art Corriveau from Mr. B at the Grandview Branch of GPL.

Here’s a novel about baseball, time travel, murder, and history. Oh, and not just regular Dan Gutman baseball and trading card time travel, but the kind based on the theory that all of life past and present is happening all at once in parallel universes. The events at 13 Hangmen Court, Boston, are triggered by the death of amateur detective Tony’s great uncle, Zio Angelo. As his 13th birthday approaches, Tony inherits Zio Angelo’s 200 year old decaying house with the stipulation he sleep in Zio Angelo’s old bedroom. The room, Tony discovers, is a portal to parallel universes.

As 13-year-old boys appear and disappear, it becomes apparent to Tony that all the boys are living in the room at the same time, but in their own universes. The 13-year old boys include Tony; his great-uncle Zio Angelo who at 13 is friends with rookie Red Sox player Ted Williams; a run-away slave on the Underground Railroad; Paul Revere’s silversmith apprentice, and others. Together, as the portal allows, they solve a 200 year old mystery, save the house from demolition by the health and safety department, and solve the murder of Zio Angelo.

This well written, well researched, multi-leveled historical adventure may not be for every 13-year-old, but those willing to tackle it will not be disappointed. Maybe someone will send a copy to Tim Burton – it’s ripe for a film version. 

For readers in grades 6th- and older.   

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Chomp by Carl Hiaasen takes you on a trip through the Everglades of Florida where alligators, snakes and all sorts of wildlife are not just a great attraction but a matter of life and death.  Wahoo and his dad have been hired to provide animals (tame ones) as props for a reality show, Expedition Survival, but what they really have to do is make sure the show's star, Derek Badger, makes it through each scene without any mishap, mostly brought on by his own stupidity.  

Wahoo's classmate, Tuna, thinks Derek Badger is the most amazing adventurer, eating all kinds of stuff in order to survive as shown on his TV shows, but she comes to realize that's he's nothing but a fake.  If this wasn't all, she, Wahoo and his dad are trying to keep her away from her abusive, crazy and drunken father who is determined to bring her back home.  

This is one wild ride of a book with lots of adventure, and humor to boot.  For readers in grades 6th and older.   

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I don't know why, but mustache stories are hilarious to me, especially when kids or animals wear them.  Fake Mustache or, How Jodie O'Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (and some nerdy guy) Save the U.S. Presidential Election From a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind by Tom Angleberger is so over the top you can't help but chuckle while reading this. 

One day at the beginning of summer, Lenny  and his best friend were going to hang out; go into town and maybe get a hot dog, but Casper had other plans.  Evil plans it turns out.  He bought a fake mustache, not just any fake mustache, but a special one that cost over $100.00!  The next day there was news of a short man with a handlebar mustache in a fancy- man-about-town suit robbing a bank.  No one knew who this thief was except Lenny.  It seemed as if Casper had everyone under his spell and they would just hand things over to him and believe that everything he did was wonderful.  Within a few days, Casper had gone from 7th grader to Governor with the intention of becoming president of the United States!  Lenny had to find a way to snap everyone out of their trance and stop Casper and his fiendish plot to take over everything.

The mustache leads to all kinds of hijinks, robberies, mistaken identities, cross dressing, some romance and so much more.  Another outrageous fun read from the author of "Origami Yoda" books.  

For readers in grades 4th - 8th.

Monday, August 20, 2012


A review from Vivian, Children's Librarian at the Casa Verdugo Branch. 

A Giant Crush by Gennifer Choldenko

It's Valentine’s Day and everyone in class is gearing up to receive their Valentine’s Day cards.  The majority of the students in class receive standard size Valentine cards except for Cami the rabbit, who receives a flower, an extra big and extra special card.  Why would Cami receive such special treatment? 

First crushes can sometimes be fun and exciting.  A lighthearted story for those who may not always see themselves as likeable.  

For ages 3-8 years old.

Friday, August 17, 2012


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

I Don’t Want to Be a Pea! by Ann Bonweill, with illustrations by Simon Rickerty, is a wonderful story about friendship and the importance of compromise.

After being invited to a Dress-up Party, Hugo the Hippo and Bella the Bird have a difficult time agreeing on their costumes. While Hugo suggests they dress up as the theme of the Princess and the Pea—Hugo being the princess and Bella as the pea—Bella does not “want to be a pea.” She would rather have a Cinderella costume theme. Bella would be the princess and Hugo would be the pumpkin. Hugo does not want to be a pumpkin. He would rather be something else. When one friend makes a suggestion, the other opposes and makes their own suggestions. They cannot seem to agree on their costumes, but with the party that evening, will they finally come to a compromise? Or will this be the end of their friendship?

Readers are able to distinguish between the two characters because the dialogue is written in two different fonts. The illustrator does a fantastic job at bringing the characters to life. This would be a wonderful read-aloud for ages two and up.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


A hilarious story that kept me laughing from the beginning.  It all begins when Joe and his daddy went to run some errands on a Saturday morning.  When about to leave home, Joe notices that his daddy had not close the fly of his pants and his heart-patterned boxer was showing!  Wherever they stop, Joe tries to alert him to his open fly, but he can't get his attention.  As they pull into a hardware store parking lot, they bump into Joe’s teacher.  Joe tries in vain to avoid having his father be embarrassed, but his father keeps insisting  that they go greet the teacher.  Finally, the problem is resolved when Joe comes up with a great idea that his daddy cannot ignore.  

 Zip It!  is written by Jane Lindaman and illustrated by Nancy Carlson has very funny illustrations. For ages 5-10.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Imagine a world where mice run everything. It really is only a matter of time, if you believe the story told in MOUSENET by Prudence Breitrose. This is a story about a young girl named Megan who's helped her uncle develop the world's smallest computer - the "Thumbtop." When the network of mice find out about a computer small enough to fit in their mouse holes, they will stop at nothing to get their paws on one! You can learn more about the underground, online mouse network at

For grades 5-8. JULY 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012


SeƱorita Gordita, a little corn cake created by Arana the spider, escapes from the frying pan and so he chase begins! The yummy appetizing Gordita meets all the dessert creatures but she keeps running away from them fearing that they will try to eat her. The spider, lizard, rattlesnake, scorpio, javalina, coyote all lick their lips thinking about the delicious lunch they would have eating if only they could munch on the chubby Gordita. Then she meets a clever owl….

The story is and adaptation of the Gingerbread Man. A glossary of Spanish words and a recipe for gorditas is in the back of the book. Senorita Gordita has beautiful and colorful illustrations by Will Terry and is written by Helen Ketteman. For ages 4-7.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


After his father’s sudden disappearance, 12 year old Cully takes a job at Batty’s Antique Shop to help with the family finances.  Little does he know that old man Batty is interested in more than antiques.  He collects (really, though, steals) people’s shadows, which seems weird at first, but even weirder when Cully sees how people react once their shadows are in the hands of Mr. Batty.  With the help of friends, Cully uses unique spy tactics to solve the mystery of where his father went and what Mr. Batty does with those shadows once they no longer have an owner.

A cross between mystery, fantasy, and spy novels, The Shadow Collector’s Apprentice by Amy Gordon will appeal to readers in 4th – 7th grades. 

Friday, August 03, 2012


From Vivian, Children's Librarian at the Casa Verdugo Branch Library:

Silly Goose’s Big Story by Keiko Kasza

Goose always takes the lead part when he creates a story about he and his three friends, Porcupine, Squirrel and Beaver.  After three stories, Goose’s friends talk to him about his lead parts and voice their desire to be the lead character.  With a huff and puff, Goose protests the change.  In the middle of a dispute, Goose is taken by a sly Wolf.   Porcupine, Squirrel, and Beaver team up to save their friend, helping him realize the true meaning of friendship.

For Pre-K readers.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Finally, a cooking magazine for kids.
Chop Chop, quarterly cooking magazine, has a lot of easy and tasty recipes for children of all ages to cook. If you’re looking for something to do together as a family this summer, check out the two magazines we have. If they are both checked out, click on the picture of the sandwich take to see the online recipes.

The spring 2012 issue encourages little ones to try radishes, has a recipe for grapefruit granita, a taste test for different greens in a mixed bag of salad as well as how to trim and prepare an artichoke. Most recipes have a minimal amount of ingredients or prep work but. This new magazine is perfect for families and kids who enjoy cooking.