Otis and the Kittens – Loren Long

3812962      Otis and the Kittens – Loren Long, Philomel Books, 9780399163982, 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4

Genre:  Adventure, Children Picture books

What did you like about the book? Loveable Otis saves the day again, in his quiet determined way. The book gives lots of opportunities to explore various relevant themes under the broad story line. Conservation/ecology – why is the ground so dry with so much hay; the value of play even if you don’t want to win; the power of the group; bravery and cute kittens! The story builds to a dangerous and scary climax, when Otis falls through the barn in a fire trying to save the kittens. Thankfully the resolution is earned through the power of a friendly community, that further resolves to adopt the kittens. It is a positive and heartwarming story, with lovely expressive and emotional artwork.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Reinforcing fire safety rules for children (never go into a burning building) were overlooked, but can be justified as a unique heroic exception for adults!

To whom would you recommend this book?  Otis fans, young children and their parents who enjoy a good action story.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, parents and children that love Otis.

Where would you shelve it ? picture books

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State:Diane Neylon, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA

Date of review: 9/28, 2016

 

Posted in Book Review | Tagged | Leave a comment

Mac & Cheese – James Proimos

51cifcsuokl  Mac & Cheese – James Proimos, Henry Holt and Company, (9780805091564), 2016

Format:  Paperback arc picture book

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 2

What did you like about the book? I’m not sure to what audience this book is aimed. It has silly illustrations reminiscent of Spongebob, and lots of words. Cheese is asking questions of Mac like what is one plus one and what is the second letter in the alphabet. They come upon two jars playing catch, PB and Jay. No, I just don’t see the point of this one at all.

Anything you didn’t like about it? All of it.

To whom would you recommend this book? No one I can think of.

Who should buy this book? No one.

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Moderator, Youth Services Book Review

Date of review: 9/28/2016

Posted in Book Review | Tagged | Leave a comment

Tell Us Something True – Dana Reinhardt

3792958  Tell Us Something True – Dana Reinhardt, Wendy Lamb Books/Random House, (9780385742597), 2016.

Format:  Hardcover

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

Genre: Romance/Realistic fiction

What did you like about the book? On page one of the story River is dumped by his girlfriend of two years, out-of-the-blue. He is crushed; so crushed that he refuses a ride home from her even though he is more than five miles from home and does not drive. He walks. And on his way home, he sees a sign that says A Second Chance – which turns out to be a support group. River goes in but is too embarrassed to admit the truth so he says he is overcoming an addiction to weed.   The support group becomes his lifeline; he likes the people there and begins a relationship with one of the girls – but he has still told no one there the truth. This story is so realistically told; River is a very believable and sympathetic character. It should appeal and resonate with many.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No.

To whom would you recommend this book? Give this one to those who like humor with their romance and to fans of Dana Reinhardt.

Who should buy this book? High school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? YA fiction

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Moderator, Youth Services Book Review

Date of review: 9/28/2016

Posted in Book Review | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Cat King of Havana by Tom Crosshill

          71zd75egwslThe Cat King of Havana by Tom Crosshill. HarperCollins, 9780062422835, 2016 

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre:  Realistic fiction

What did you like about the book?  Manhattanite Rick Gutiérrez is known as “That Cat Guy” at school, but the reputation does not lift his social standing. He spends all his free time working on his funny cat video website CatoTrope.com. When a girlfriend dumps him on his sixteenth birthday, frustrated that he hardly leaves his computer to go out, he knows something has to change. At home, his grieving dad is not much company, and home brings up memories of his dead mom, so he decides to take up salsa dancing. With salsa comes the woman of his dreams, Ana Cabrera. She’s a great dancer, she’s smart, and cute, and they become friends. Ana makes it clear that friends is all it will ever be between them, but Rick holds out hope. When the opportunity comes to go to Havana for the summer to take salsa dancing lessons, Rick invites Ana to come and stay with relatives of his mother in Havana. Maybe this is the chance to make something grow between him and Ana, and, at the same time, learn about his mother and why she left Cuba. A sweet and funny romance, with travel adventure, family secrets and a view of the dark political and practical complexities of life in Cuba.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is like a Junot Diaz novel for younger readers.

Who should buy this book? Public library teen collections

Where would you shelve it ? Teen fiction, with crossover appeal for adults.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, if you like salsa, cats and Cuba!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: September 28, 2016

Posted in Book Review | Tagged | Leave a comment

Mr. Putter & Tabby Hit the Slope

51tzrmo49kl        Mr. Putter & Tabby Hit the Slope – written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Arthur Howard, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 9780152064273, 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4

Genre:  easy reader picture book

What did you like about the book?  It’s wintertime and Mr. Putter & Tabby are a little bored.  There are no flowers to tend or berries to pick.  So Mr. Putter thinks “What can we do in the wintertime?” He thinks back to when he was a little boy and remembers how much fun he and his friends had sledding! So they decide to find a sled in Mrs. Teaberry’s garage and go sledding!  Zeke and Tabby go on a sled together and Mrs. Teaberry & Mr. Putter share another one. They have a lot of fun going down the big hill- so much fun, in fact, that they are exhausted.  They go home, take a nice warm bath, eat a snack and have a good night’s sleep.  The illustrations are so cute! Seeing Mr. Putter as a child is so hilarious.  And Putter wears a sweater to keep warm which is so funny!

Anything you didn’t like about it?  There is nothing I didn’t like about this book

To whom would you recommend this book?  I would recommend this to kids who are advancing in their reading but still learning.  This is broken up in chapters to make it easier.  Some read-a-likes are other books in the Mr. Putter & Tabby series and the Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel.

Who should buy this book? Elementary School libraries and children’s libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Juvenile easy reader books

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State:  Laureen Cutrona, Townsend Public Library, Townsend, MA

Date of review:  September 27, 2016

Posted in Book Review | Tagged | Leave a comment

Bear’s Big Day -written and illustrated by Salina Yoon

81v1uu76f6l  Bear’s Big Day – written and illustrated by Salina Yoon, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 9780802738325, 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4

Genre:  picture book

What did you like about the book?  Its Bear’s first day of school and he feels like a big boy! He doesn’t even need help cutting his pancakes.  But when he gets to school, he realizes that he can’t do everything himself.  He learns that its okay to need some help and that its okay to need his bunny.  After this, he has a much better day.  Salina Yoon’s books are always so well illustrated.  This one is no exception.  On the inside cover, there are tons of backpacks lined up and they are so cute! They even include the penguin from her Penguin series!

Anything you didn’t like about it?  There is nothing I didn’t like about this book

To whom would you recommend this book?  I would recommend this to kids who are anticipating their first day of school.  It’s also good for parents who have kids who are starting school and want them to see what it could be like.  If you like Salina Yoon’s other books, you will like this one.  Some read-a-likes are “Llama Llama Misses Mama” by Anna Dewdney, “Oliver and His Alligator” by Paul Schmid, and “Little Critter: First Day of School” by Mercer Mayer.

Who should buy this book? Elementary School libraries and children’s libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Juvenile picture books

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State:  Laureen Cutrona, Townsend Public Library, Townsend, MA

Date of review:  September 27, 2016

Posted in Book Review | Tagged | Leave a comment

They All Saw A Cat – Brendan Wenzel

81pp76kkgil They All Saw A Cat – Brendan Wenzel, Chronicle Books, 9781452150130, 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 3

Genre:  Children’s Picture book

What did you like about the book? Learning to see other perspectives in life is a very worthy life goal. In this simple and creatively illustrated story, the reader practices and learns to value other perspectives. The child, dog, fox, fish, mouse, etc. all see the cat differently, and the illustrations artfully display this alternative cat representation. At the end, the cat looks in a pond illustrating the greatest mystery, how the cat views himself.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Animal lovers, naturalists of all ages.

Who should buy this book? Elementary School librarians, habitat and nature centers

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Diane Neylon, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA

Date of review: 9/27/2016

 

Posted in Book Review | Tagged | Leave a comment