The Boy on the Page – Peter Carnavas

616+NoQKsqL  The Boy on the Page – Peter Carnavas, Kane Miller,  2014.

 Format: Hardcover

Rating: 5

What did you like about the book? This is an unusual picture book asking “Why are we here?” It follows a young boy through his adolescence and on into adulthood, experiencing and enjoying all that life has to offer. It is sweet and subtle with illustrations very similar to those of Bob Graham.

What didn’t you like about this book? Perhaps the only problem with this story is “Is it for children?”

To whom would you recommend this book?  The obvious complement would be Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places you’ll go”.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries and lower elementary schools

Where would you shelve it and why? Picture books

Should we (librarians/Readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Gardner High School

Date of review: 10/31/2014

                    

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Kate the Great, Except When She’s Not – Suzy Becker

 51qQtl9VfKLKate the Great, Except When She’s Not – Suzy Becker; Crown Books for Young Readers- Random House; 2014

Format: Hardback

Rating: 4

What did you like about the book? Kate is a flawed but funny fifth grader who steps up when she has to in order to fix her relationships. My favorite line is Kate’s response to the art teacher who wants her to copy the Great Masters: “No offense, but when I make things, I only want to copy what’s inside my head.”

Anything you didn’t like about it? Maybe it could have more emotional depth, but I think the situations Kate gets into at school and with her family are believable.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Fans of the Dork Diaries or Diary of a Wimpy Kid- kids who like the mix of graphic material with the text. Probably girls would relate to it more than boys.

Who should buy this book? Public and school libraries

Where would you shelve it ? In Juvenile Fiction, or in a Middle Grade section, if a library has one.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Not at the top, but not the bottom- it was a quick and surprisingly entertaining read.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Hilary Nolan, Westhampton Public Library, Westhampton

Date of review: 10/30/2014

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The Ghost and Max Monroe by L.M. Falcone.

51SFcDr2JqL    The Ghost and Max Monroe by L.M. Falcone,  Kids Can Press, 2014.

Format: Early Chapter Book

Rating: 3

Genre:  Mystery

What did you like about the book? The mystery itself would be interesting for readers to solve.  The main character, Max Monroe discovers an abandoned detective agency in this grandfather’s backyard and learns his Uncle Larry, who is now a ghost, still resides there.  They are given a new mystery to solve and round-up suspects and readers will enjoy trying to solve the mystery with Max and Uncle Larry.  The illustrations are well done and a nice added feature.

Anything you didn’t like about it? The story was at times confusing and the characters were lacking in development.  There are bolded titles throughout the chapter which are distracting.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Readers who love mysteries and are starting to read chapter books.

Who should buy this book? School and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Jennifer Brown, Newbury Elementary, Newbury

Date of review: Oct. 29, 2014

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Digby O’Day in the Fast Lane – Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy

51LULonEChL    Digby O’Day In the Fast Lane by Shirley Hughes & Clara Vulliamy,  Candlewick Press,                                 2013.

Format: Hardback Easy-Reader

Rating: 4

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book? The short chapters are perfect for early readers.  Digby and his best friend and co-pilot make a great pair and young readers will love following them on this adventure.  The story line is similar to the Tortoise and the Hare, Digby has entered his old, yet much-loved auto into a countryside race. Lou Ella is Digby’s rival in the race and is determined to leave him in the dust.  Digby encounters obstacle after obstacle and it is uncertain whether he and Percy will reach the finish line.  It is a story with a delightful storyline and characters with some English flair.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Readers of the Mercy Watson series.

Who should buy this book? School and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Early Reader

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? If you are looking for a simple and sweet story, yes.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Jennifer Brown, Newbury Elementary, Newbury

Date of review: Oct. 29, 2014

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Two Girls staring at the Ceiling – Lucy Frank

 51O5GJ2oATL      Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling by Lucy Frank, schwartz and wade, 2014

Format: Hardcover YA Realistic Fiction

Rating: 4

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

What did you like about the book? This was a short but incredibly good book.  Written in a style of short-prose this chronicles one week that 2 girls spend in a hospital room together; one newly receiving her diagnosis, the other a veteran to the illness.  The pace is fast, the worries real, and the characters immediately relate-able.   

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Some of the “big reveal moments” were not as dramatic as expected

To whom would you recommend this book?  Readers who like Ellen Hopkins and similar works will find this a bit short but easily and eagerly devoured.

Who should buy this book? Good for public or school libraries with teens wanting more of the easy-to-get-through prose style books or fast reads or “illness stories” not about cancer or anorexia

Where would you shelve it ? YA Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? It should be in the middle

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: April Duclos, Hudson Public Library

Date of review: 10/29/14

 
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Uncle Henry’s Dinner Guests – Benedicte Froissart and Pierre Pratt

61CNAZS3HDL Uncle Henry’s Dinner Guests by Benedicte Froissart, illustrated by Pierre Pratt, Annick Press, 1990.

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4

Genre:  Picture – relatives, imagination

What did you like about this book?   Everyone needs an uncle like Uncle Henry.  He can be very serious when he comes to dinner and very fun when he is the babysitter.  Sometimes the two Uncle Henrys combine to create a raucous family evening.  When he shows up for dinner wearing a shirt covered in tiny chickens of many hues, astounding things are bound to happen.

What didn’t you like about the book?  Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book?  School aged children who would “get” the imaginary angle.

Who should buy this book? School librarians, art teachers

Where would you shelve it and why? Picture books

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

Reviewer’s Name:  Lynn Lesperance    Library: Yarmouth Port Library     City: Yarmouth Port, MA

Date of review: October 29, 2014

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Anamachines – Debora Pearson and Nora Hilb

5140Y3GGT8L      Anamachines by Debora Pearson  Art by Nora Hilb, Annick Press c. 2003

Format: Picture

Rating: 4

Genre:  Concept

What did you like about this book? 

Children will enjoy comparing an animal and a machine.  Each page has fun noises to make.  The pictures are bright and uncomplicated.  There’s a little brownie to search for on each double-page spread who also illustrates the word being defined.

What didn’t you like about the book?  

I think this book would be better in either hardcover or boardbook format, considering the wear and tear it is bound to get from its target audience.

To whom would you recommend this book?  

This is a great book for very young children as well as preschoolers.  I plan to test it out with my toddler storytime and expect it to be a hit.

It would also be an enjoyable one-on-one read aloud.   Searching for the brownie together adds an extra layer of playfulness.

Who should buy this book? Parent’s, pre-school teachers and librarians who work with very young children.

Where would you shelve it and why? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Sure – it only takes a couple of minutes.

Reviewer’s Name:  Lynn Lesperance    Library: Yarmouth Port Library     City: Yarmouth Port, MA

Date of review: October 25, 2014

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