Wednesday, January 30, 2013


A review from Mr. B of the Grandview Branch: 

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
Re-told and illustrated by Mo Willems

Some of Mo Willems’ books are best enjoyed by readers and listeners a year or two beyond the pre-school level.   Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs (“ages 4 and up”) re-told and illustrated by the ever-so-clever Mo Willems (of Knuffle Bunny fame) is definitely for the slightly older reader and the youngster hiding in that reader’s parent's lap.  In this version, the Dinosaurs (Papa, Mama, “and some other Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway”) use three bowls of chocolate pudding to set a trap for what they hope will be a “chocolate-filled-little-girl-bonbon.”  How she, Goldilocks, takes the bait (all three bowls of it!) only to discover she’s in the wrong story is jaw-dropping funny at any age level; made even funnier by Willems’ witty illustrations. If you are a young reader, share it with your parents. If you are a parent, share it with your friends.

RL: 2-4 / Age: 6+

Monday, January 28, 2013


A review from Mr. B. at the Grandview Branch 

How To Survive A Totally Boring Summer
By Alice Delacroix / illustrated by Cynthia Fisher

One of our after-school library youngsters saw How To Survive a Totally Boring Summer by Alice Delacroix on my desk, and said, “WOW! Are you reading that? It sure gave me some good ideas.” That’s when it struck me: until recently, Glendale’s elementary schools were on the “year round” system, and there were no long summer breaks. This charming “must read” for middle-grade students and their parents as they attempt to cope with summer breaks concerns Randall and Max and their friends during the long summer vacation between third and fourth grades. They form a chess club in the park; deal with a misunderstood school bully; pursue a lost pet; and come to terms with grumpy Senior Citizens and the library’s Summer Reading Club. Their adventurous summer is a fun read and as a bonus, author Delacroix includes several pages on how to play chess at the end of the story.

For readers ages 8-10, grades 3-4

Friday, January 25, 2013


Change can sometimes be a good thing, but other times, not so great.  For Elise, starting middle school brought on many challenges. When she started school her locker mate bulled her for being “babyish”.  She found herself distancing herself from her best friend.  In addition, she had to learn to share her home with her Aunt’s sister and baby.  This was all too much for Elise to handle.  However, after her 12th birthday, things began to look up for her.  She started discovering some mysterious keys her late-father left for her to find and each key opened a door to a room.  As she unlocked each room, she began to find herself.   With the help of her friends and family, Elise learned about her past, overcame her present challenges and began to look forward to her future. 
Eight Keys by Suzanne La Fleur is a great story about a girl coming of age.   For 4th grade and older.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


When Dan Hogg said he would help his uncle with his hot dog business at the fair, his uncle never mentioned that he would be passing out samples in a hot dog costume.  It's a hundred degrees and no one wanted the yucky samples until a beautiful girl comes along.  He's so smitten, he begins looking for her and let her try out the thousand dollar costume.  With nothing to do but hang out in the bathroom stall in his underwear, Dan overhears a conversation about something criminal happening at the fair.   What's a 15 yr. old boy gonna do, but try to protect his beloved crush, even if he is in his undies.

Hold the Pickles by Vicki Grant is part of the Orca Currents series that's short and easy to read. The Orca Currents are perfect for those older students who hate to read but have to.  This one is full of puns and humor for readers in 7th grade and older.     

Friday, January 18, 2013


Saturday through Monday, January 19-21, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  We will see you all on Tuesday January 22. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Friday, January 18th, The Children's Room will present a whole hour of games and crafts for Captain Underpants fans.  We will make stuff and listen to a reading from the newest Captain Underpants novel.  See you Friday afternoon at 4PM.  


When Peter Augustus entered the fortuneteller’s tent, he was looking for an answer – was his sister alive?  What the fortuneteller told him did not make sense because she told him to follow the elephant and he would find her.  He knew it was impossible to find an elephant where he lived…but one day there was a magician who made an elephant appear.  Did that mean she was alive or was it just coincidence?  If she was alive, how would an elephant lead her to him?  Read this book to find out!. 
Magician’s Elaphant by Kate Dicamillo is a beautiful story. Peter is an innocent, sweet boy who has grown up without love and family.  The suspense of what will happen to this boy makes this a turn pager.  Great 4th grade and older.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Join us twice a month at two locations for a book club designed just for the beginning chapter book readers.  Come and check out some fun and unusual stories which may be new to you.

This month we'll dive into the first of the Franny K. Stein: Mad Scientist series by Jim Benton.  We will begin reading the book at our first meeting and then discuss the book the second time we meet.   

Central, Children's Room:  1/15 & 1/29 at 4pm - 818-548-2035
Casa Verdugo: 1/16 & 1/30 at 4pm - 818-548-2047

Monday, January 14, 2013


A book review from our librarian at the Grandview branch, Mr. B: 

Matilda by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake

In one of his final books, Roald Dahl tells the story of Matilda with his famous mixture of humor, exaggeration, ironic understatement, and a nod to the fantastic. Unlike Dahl’s mostly obedient Charlie (of Chocolate Factory fame) or world-wise Danny, Champion of the World, Matilda is a very practical, super intelligent, sweet little girl who is alternately abused and ignored by a family that does not realize her worth; and nearly worshiped by her teacher, Miss Honey, who does. The true villain of the story is the two hundred pound former athlete turned head-mistress, Miss Trunchbull, who abuses everyone equally. The fun part of the story is seeing how Matilda gets the best of Miss Trunchbull; and escapes her abusive family as well. There are always dark sides to a Dahl story, but with humor, grace, and a little magical skullduggery, good triumphs over meanness. Even if you and your children have seen the charming film version (also available from The Glendale Public Library), re-visiting the story in Dahl’s own voice (maybe as a family read-aloud) will be a treat.

RL: 4+  Age: 7-adult 

Friday, January 11, 2013

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Jessica loves running.  There is nothing that makes her feel more empowered or more alive.  Her life revolves around running.  Running on the track, in her neighborhood, with her dog.  All of her friends run track with her at her High School.  Then one day, on the way home from a track meet, the bus gets into a terrible accident and Jessica loses her leg below her knee.  She doesn’t know what to do.  She feels like she’s lost everything her life was about.  Everything her life was heading towards.  And then, she gets her first prosthetic leg.  It’s ugly and hard to use, but with support from her family, friends, and team, Jessica finds it within herself to become the runner she was and will be again.  Experience the journey of searching inside yourself for strength you never knew you had and fulfilling dreams you never thought possible.

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen is a great book for sports lovers and realistic fiction lovers in Grades 7 and up.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013


Growing up, Jeff Butler always did funny things, and that is where he got the nickname “Goofball.”  Ever since the first grade, he and his friends Brian, Mara and Kelly, started solving mysteries and expanded this into “the Goofball private eyes.”   From one case to another, the goofball private eyes kept themselves very busy solving small mysteries around town.  When Thunder, a pony, goes missing, his owner Randall Crandall asks them to help find his pony.  Will the Goofball private eyes find Thunder and bring him back home?   Will they be able to gather all their clues in time to find Thunder, or will this remain one mystery that stays unsolved?

Goofballs: The crazy case of the Missing Thunder by Tony Abbott is the first in the series.  This is a pleasant story for children who enjoy reading mystery and detective stories with elements of humor.  For 2nd grade and older.

Monday, January 07, 2013


Archie must be absolutely exhausted because everyday is an unusual day, full of misunderstandings and strange events,  for him;  Pianos roll down a hill past him, people are stuck in cars, and everyone in such a panic that they won't stop to listen to him.  This happens each and every day and of course his mother never believes him and is exasperated with him since he never comes home with the item that she asked him to go fetch.  Poor, poor, Archie.  

I Don't Believe It, Archie!  by Andrew Norriss is a hilarious campy  read for beginning chapter book readers in 3rd - 4th grades. 

Friday, January 04, 2013

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We all like to imagine what kind of magic and fantasy could be hidden right under our very own noses. Normal looking train platform? Or, a portal to a school for wizards? Ordinary chest of drawers? Or, a door to another land? How about, a boring looking forest on the edge of town? Could magic, mystery, and even danger lurk there?
In Wildwood by Colin Meloy, Prue’s day starts out average enough, yet quickly turns extraordinary when her baby brother, Mac, is carried off by a flock of crows into the forest. When Prue frantically follows, what she finds in the woods is a world of creatures unlike any she’s ever seen in a desperate struggle against threatening forces. This is no ordinary forest. This is the Impassable Wilderness and little does Prue know, there is more at stake than simply bringing Mac home.
Grades 5 and up.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013


James is a very picky eater.  He does not eat broccoli because it is disgusting, lasagna smells funny, milk is repulsive, oatmeal is lumpy and eggs are slimy.  In order to get James to eat his food, his father comes up with creative stories to encourage and guilt him into eating the different foods.  Either he eats the oatmeal or oatmeal will continue to grow and eat the things James likes, such as ice cream, cake and his dog.  His father’s reason for why James should eat certain food becomes even more creative as you read through each chapter.  Will the reasons and explanations James’ father give be enough for him to try new foods? Read and you shall find out!

Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider, is a great book for beginning chapter book readers, grades 1 and up.  This story will also be a great read-a-loud, especially by parents who have children that are picky eaters.  For 1st grade and older.