All Aboard! – Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Mike Lowery

51Fj-Vie3PL          All Aboard! – Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Mike Lowery, Alfred A. Knopf, 2014

Rating: 1-5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 3

Format: Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  The book will be welcomed by young train enthusiasts.  Two children board a train for a trip, illustrated on the inside cover pages, across the plains, the mountains and into the city.  They even travel though a ghost town.  Each two page spread is filled with rhyming text: “Who wants to ride aboard a train? A train that rumbles through the rain, and into the fog, and under the moon…Hop On! The train is leaving soon.”   The author includes a lot of onomatopoeia:  “Clatter and Chug”,  “Click-Clackety-Click.”  The colorful, line illustrations by Mike Lowery bring a sense of whimsy to the trip – the whistling train engine, a mountain goat and a smiling cloud are some of the sights. Children will enjoy taking this imaginary ride.

What didn’t you like about the book?  At times the rhyming pattern stumbles, but overall it is pretty easy to read aloud.

To whom would you recommend this book?  (Read-alikes if you can think of them) This will appeal to preschoolers who love trains and Thomas the Tank engine.  It would also be useful for a child taking their first train trip.

Who should buy this book? (Middle schools, high schools, small libraries, all libraries, etc.)  Public libraries and lower elementary schools.

Where would you shelve it and why?  Picture Books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Not really.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library

Date of review: 10/24/14

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I Want to Be a Ballerina, Anna Membrino and Smiljana Coh

61gKvkv43fL   I Want to Be a Ballerina, Anna Membrino and Smiljana Coh, Random House, 2014

Format: Picture Book

Rating: 1-5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4

What did you like about the book?  A little girl want to be a ballerina just like her much older sister.  I love the sibling relationship.  Mia at first thinks that dressing the part will make her a ballerina, but her sister gives her some things to practice – Balance, coordination,  and ballet class.  After a tiring first class, Mia’s sister tells her : “’Well. It was your very first class. And you know, Mia…Now we can practice together!’” Smiljana Coh’s soft illustrations against patterned backgrounds are a lovely complement to the text.   The ballet class is made up of both boys and girls of all ethnicities.

What didn’t you like about the book?  Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book?  (Read-alikes if you can think of them)  This is a book for any child interested in ballet and also for sisters.

Who should buy this book? (Middle schools, high schools, small libraries, all libraries, etc.)  Public libraries

Where would you shelve it and why?  Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Not really.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library

Date of review: 10/24/14

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The World of Mamoko in the Time of Dragons, Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinska

61SQIIuZw1L   The World of Mamoko in the Time of Dragons, Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinska, Candlewick Press, 2014

Format: Picture Book

Rating: 1-5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4

What did you like about the book?  This latest in the series of Mamoko books,  allows the reader to tell their own story by following the characters through each wordless, heavily illustrated page.  On the idea of the Where’s Waldo series, but featuring a large cast of characters as well as other hidden objects.  The pages are on sturdy cardstock so that one can peruse each spread with ease.  The illustrations are not a dense as in the Waldo series, so there is no eyestrain.  This is a great opportunity for early readers to be able to read a book multiple times – you can change the story every time.  This is the 3rd book in the series and in this book the setting is in a medieval world of kings, princesses and dragons.

What didn’t you like about the book?  Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book?  (Read-alikes if you can think of them)  This is definitely one to hand to those who love Martin Handforth’s Waldo series.  It is also a nice book for pre-readers and beginning readers to stretch their narrative skills.

Who should buy this book? (Middle schools, high schools, small libraries, all libraries, etc.)  Public libraries, lower elementary school libraries especially where Search and Find and Waldo books are popular.

Where would you shelve it and why?  Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? If you like storytelling or Waldo, sure.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library

Date of review:  10/24/14

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The Never Girls, The Woods Beyond, by Kiki Thorpe

The Never Girls, The Woods Beyond, by Kiki Thorpe, Random House, 2014

Format: chapter book

Rating: 3

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book?Once again, the four friends, Lainey, Kate, Mia and Gabby embark on another adventure that brings them closer together as friends. The four Never Girls find an underground hideout and try to find out if there are other children in Never Land. This is and excellent series for new readers who want a fast moving adventure. The font is large and there are pictures to aid comprehension. The chapters are also short, so a reluctant reader can feel a sense of accomplishment after finishing each chapter.

What didn’t you like about the book?I liked everything about this book.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a great book for girls who are struggling with reading chapter books. It is a series, so kids can read about the same girls in all the books.

Who should buy this book?The children’s room in any library

Where would you shelve it and why?Beginning readers

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?sure

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sandra Pacheco, Gardner Public Schools

Date of review:May 23, 2014

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100 Hungry Monkeys, by Masayuki Sebe, Kids Can Press, 2014

Format: Picture

Rating: 3

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book?100 Monkeys are hungry and set off to find something to eat. The book is jam packed with monkeys looking for food, eating food, playing, and working.It is also a book where children search for items. It is a very busy book and for some children who like miniscule detail, it would be perfect.

What didn’t you like about the book?Although it was too busy for my taste, I can see the “child appeal” in the busyness.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a great book very young children. It would also lead to the child’s language development if he were look at the book with an adult.

Who should buy this book?The children’s room in any library

Where would you shelve it and why?Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?sure

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sandra Pacheco, Gardner Public Schools

Date of review:May 23, 2014

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Count 1,2,3 on the Subway, by Paul Jacobs and Jennifer Swender

Count 1,2,3 on the Subway, by Paul Jacobs and Jennifer Swender, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino, Knopf Publishing, 2014

Format: Picture

Rating: 3

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book?This counting book takes the reader through the subways of New York. Yaccarino’s illustrations are colorful and bold and capture the frenzy of catching a train in New York City. A mother and daughter rush into the subway to catch the 3 train, go through 4 turnstiles and pass 5 singers. What is different about this counting book is that everything is reversed as the people leave the subway and the counting is backward from 10.

What didn’t you like about the book?Children from places other than New York City might not have the same draw to this book, as the places, names and sites would be unfamiliar.

To whom would you recommend this book. Very young children, especially children from New York City.

Who should buy this book?The children’s room in any library

Where would you shelve it and why? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?sure

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sandra Pacheco, Gardner Public Schools

Date of review:May 23, 2014

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Peppa Pig and the Great Vacation

Peppa Pig and the Great Vacation, Candlewick. 2014

Format: Picture

Rating: 3

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book?This is another book in the Peppa Pig series, which is based on the TV show from England. It follows Peppa on her vacation to the beach with her family. Peppa Pig does all the typical beach activities with no crisis, except that she misses her fish at home. Young children who have gone on a vacation at the beach can relate to the story and share in the memories.

What didn’t you like about the book?You would have to be a Peppa Pig fan to enjoy these books. Young children who have seen the tv show might like the books. This book would probably not hold much interest for the adults reading the book.

To whom would you recommend this book. Very young children, especially who have seen the tv show.

Who should buy this book?The children’s room in any library

Where would you shelve it and why? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?Not really

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sandra Pacheco, Gardner Public Schools

Date of review:May 23, 2014

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