Thursday, March 31, 2016


The classic nursery rhyme, There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, has been retold many times since its origin. This particular retelling has been adapted into a playful picture book. Author-illustrator Jane Cabrera illustrates an old woman who not only adopts nine multiracial children but several animals as well. As problems arise throughout the story, the old woman manages to find solutions to each one. Whether it's repairing clothes or fixing furniture, she manages to get by with what little resources she has and, through it all, she always has a smile. The last page is sure to leave a smile on your face as well.

This modern adaptation of a nursery rhyme has beautiful illustration and is a great read-aloud or lap reading that's sure to keep children engaged. This story is recommended for infant-kindergarten.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Emily Gravett’s perfect pair from Bear & Hare Go Fishing return for another sweet story in Bear & Hare: Snow!
One morning, Bear and Hare don their winter scarves and venture out into an unexpectedly snowy world. Hare loves snow, and his exuberance is plain to see as the two friends spend the day catching snowflakes, making snow prints, forming snow angels, building snow creatures, and rolling snowballs. Meanwhile, Bear’s somewhat aggrieved expression throughout the pair’s activities belies the gentle text, providing an undertone of gentle humor.
This is lovely story to share with younger children to introduce the concept of snow. Many young children, particularly in Southern California, have never seen snow before. Sharing books about unfamiliar things can help children become aware of new things and new experiences in the world. The pictures and stories in books also help pave the way for more in-depth understanding when they eventually see the real thing.
Explore more wintry stories for younger children (ages 0-2) with Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin, Jingle Jingle by Nicola Smee, and Red Sled by Lita Judge. For preschool aged children, check out Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London, Rabbit's Gift by George Shannon, and Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson.
Ages 0+

Monday, March 28, 2016


Sunny is sent off to stay with her grandfather for a month in a retirement community in Florida with visions of Disney World dancing in her head but instead they do "fun" stuff like go to the post office and early bird specials - all you can eat dinner at 4 p.m. with the "girls".  

Her summer seems like a bust because her parents have to deal with an incident with her older brother drinking and using drugs until she meets another kid at the retirement home who introduces her to finding golf balls and superhero comic books.  

Sunny Side Up is a touching story set in 1976 that's semi-autobiographical by Jennifer Holm and her brother Matthew regarding substance abuse and keeping secrets.  For readers 5th-8th and fans of Jennifer Holm's other books with similar tones such as Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf and Turtle in Paradise.  

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Sometimes the sweeter the treat, the ruder the cake.

If that statement sounds ridiculous, it’s only in keeping with the tone of this droll picture book by Rowboat Watkins. How else could you describe a book in which an ill-behaved, two-tiered, pink confection learns the value of politeness when she finds herself in the company of surprisingly well-mannered giant cyclopes who favor jaunty little hats?

At its core, Rude Cakes is a book about manners. It’s a tale for those who never say please or thank you, never play nicely, never listen, never share, and absolutely never apologize. It’s also a story for anyone who already does all those things, because it’s just hilarious and silly fun for everyone.

For other quirky books about manners, please check out and share Meg Rosoff’s Meet Wild Boars, Ame Dyckman’s Tea Party Rules, and Laurie Keller’s Do unto Otters. Thank you for reading!

Ages 4+

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


A review by Theresa: 

Daniel and his sister Erica are moving to a new home in West Virginia.  This is not their choice, as it seldom is with kids. Their parents have moved them into an old farmhouse surrounded by a forest and miles from town. The family does not flourish in this new environment, the parents have trouble finding jobs, Daniel can’t make friends and Erica withdraws further into herself having long conversations with her doll. The local kids don’t want much to do with these outsiders except to fill them in on the local legends about their old house and a child who disappeared. 

Of course there are also ghosts and very spooky critters rumored to actually eat folks appearing in these tales. Daniel doesn’t want to believe any of what they tell but when his sister suddenly disappears, he knows that he must do something. In the very exciting and spooky book TOOK by Mary Downing Hahn the author tells this tale from Daniel’s perspective with the occasional voice of the ghost of the old conjure woman. 

This one will have you on the edge of your seat at times and is a good choice for the lover of “scary stories.” Best for readers in grades 5 and older.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


Bad Kitty is at it again in Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble by Nick Bruel. This wacky entry in the series doubles as a primer on story writing and structure in addition to being a hilarious tale in its own right. Over the course of the story, young readers will learn about protagonists (the one and only Bad Kitty, of course), antagonists (Puppy, the long-suffering and none-the-wiser foil to our main character), conflict (time to go on a diet Bad Kitty!), and plot points (a frequently-interrupting turnip, giant octopuses, and creepy zombies to name a few). But what kind of ending should a story have? When kids are the authors of their own stories, it will be up to them decide! 

Not only will this Bad Kitty book leave second through fourth graders literally laughing out loud, it might just inspire them to write a story of their own. 

Fans of Bad Kitty take note: There will be a Bad Kitty Library Hunt the week of March 20th, in addition to a Bad Kitty Party on Saturday, March 26th. Come join us in the Children's Room for activities and crafts celebrating the wild and wonderful world of Bad Kitty! 

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Shapes, colors, months and more…turn to All Year Round by Susan B. Katz.  This book is filled with wonderful information concentrating on two concepts shapes and months.  Each page describes what each month is like and how connects with each month. For example, oval is March’s shape. It is the shape of an egg.

The pages are also filled with bold and colorful illustrations by Eiko Ojala that complement the rhyming words. 

For ages 4-6

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Come one, come all and read something truly spectacular! Prepare to witness the Greatest Show on Earth in Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley with striking black-and-white illustrations by Diana Sudyka. Micah has grown up hearing his grandfather Ephraim spin some pretty amazing tales of his time spent at a magical circus when he was a young boy, and Micah is totally convinced that magic is real.

And now more than ever, with his beloved grandfather on his deathbed and his truly awful great-aunt stepping in to take care of him, is the time Micah needs a miracle to happen in order to cure the person he loves most in the world. What's more the Lightbender--the most powerful magician at Circus Mirandus--had promised Ephraim a miracle once upon a time, so what could possibly stop him from making Micah's grandfather well again? Unfortunately, something is preventing the magician from keeping his promise, but Micah refuses to take no for an answer and, with the help of his new friend Jenny, is determined to do anything it takes to get the Lightbender to grant the miracle he needs before it's too late.

With humor, heart, adventure, and more than a little magic, this captivating and poignant middle-grade fantasy will have readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.Best for readers in 5th to 8th grades.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


Bear and Hare Go Fishing by Emily Gravett is really a sweet story about two friends spending time together. They try to fish but bear and hare are not very good at fishing. They catch everything but fish.  

Short sentences on each page go with the beautiful silly illustrations.  It's perfect for a read a loud between two people or for group storytime.

For toddlers through Kindergartners. 

Wednesday, March 09, 2016


A Recipe for Bedtime, written by Peter Bently and illustrations by Sarah Massini, is the perfect book for reading aloud during bedtime and storytime.  A baby’s bedtime routine is unfolded in each rhyming verse.  On each page, the animals work together to guide a child through a bedtime ritual.  Once they have followed all the “ingredients” for bedtime, the animals end with a sweet lullaby.

With bright and colorful illustrations and wonderful writing, this book is highly recommended to be shared with young children.   

For ages 1-5.

Monday, March 07, 2016


Clemmie is an intrepid and vigilant mouse catcher. The adorable ginger kitten has carefully honed her hunting and chasing skills through relentless training. Don’t be fooled by that exuberant yarn play; it’s a huntress at work. Yes, Clemmie would be very proud indeed to say that she has never ever seen a mouse in her house.
Problematically, however, Clemmie has never actually seen a mouse. Period. Gathering her knowledge from books, the little kitten stalks from page to page, pouncing at wispy pink (hat) “tails” and round (stuffed panda) ears. Meanwhile, a ridiculously disguised mouse saunters in the background, leaving the kitten none the wiser. But never fear! A true mouse catcher will always find a way to catch her prey, even if it means taking a leaf out of her target’s book.
How to Catch a Mouse by Philippa Leathers is a charmingly playful picture book read. Observant young children will enjoy tracking the little mouse’s stealthy appearances throughout the story. Share with cat lovers and other pet fans. For other great feline reads, check out Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes, There Are Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz, and Katie Loves the Kittens by John Himmelman. Continue the cat and mouse chase with Ed Vere’s Max the Brave and Ellen Stoll Walsh’s classic Mouse Paint.
Ages 4+

Saturday, March 05, 2016


ICE CREAM! ICE CREAM! Who doesn't love ice cream? It was an ideal class field trip for Splat, Plank, Spike, and Seymour. When the class arrived at the ice cream factory they were taken to the back room where Mr. Jellybean lectured about freezers. This isn't what the friends anticipated and splat became so bored that he dozed off and accidentally hit the emergency button. After that the ice cream factory was a scene of destruction. 

Splat the Cat: I Scream for Ice Cream by Laura Driscoll is another hilarious story from the Splat the Cat Series. This book is for beginning readers and is part of the Level One I Can Read Books. This series allows the reader to learn to sound out words and sentences. 

Ages 5-8

Thursday, March 03, 2016


Abbey Force is living with her awful uncle Charlie, a degenerate drunken gambler,  and his wife after her father falls into a coma in what looked like an attempt to hide jewels he had stolen from a wealthy client.  Still living on the plantation her family had once owned she yearns for everything to return as it once was, her father healthy, having Reward Plantation back, riding her horse and going to her old school.  

Alas, she's now helping the new owner also named Force, whose ancestors were once slaves owned by Abbey's ancestors.   Beatrice, the daughter her age, while recovering from a car accident explores her new home with Abbey and they accidentally stumble on some suspicious activities on a piece of the bay that should belong to the new plantation owners, Beatrice's family.   

Follow Abbey Force, one spunky and determined twelve year old who has more character than most adults, as she seeks to right  injustices, find truths and a way to pull her father out of his coma.  

The Girl From Felony Bay by J.E. Thompson is a fantastic new mystery series with a two amazing sleuths. The author beautifully weaves the issue of slavery and what it means in present day South Carolina through the point of view of these amazing protagonists. The second title, The Hangman's Bluff,  is also available.