The Land of Nod – by Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Hunter

51tqluubcl   The Land of Nod – by Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Hunter, Flying Eye Books, 9781911171041, 2017

Format: hardcover

Rating: (1-5, 5 is an excellent or starred review) 5

What did you like about the book? The Land of Nod is taken from Robert Louis Stevenson’s poetry collection, A Child’s Garden of Verses from 1885. This remake is a wonderful way for children to experience the beauty of the poem. The illustrator, Robert Hunter, has drawn the illustrations in an ethereal manner with pinks and blues that feel other-worldly. The pictures show a little boy who is recovering from a broken leg in bed and how he is able to escape to the fantasy Land of Nod by night. Not only is this a wonderful bedtime story, but it is also a great book to give to a child who is bedridden. The back page has the words “get well soon” written on a note.

Anything you didn’t like about it? I liked everything about the book.

To Whom Would You Recommend this book? Children ages 3-6 will understand the fantasy and the ideas of dreams. Great present for a bedridden child.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries and public libraries with children’s rooms.

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: Sandra Pacheco, ESL teacher, Washington, D.C.

Date of review: Feb. 21, 2017

 

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Peter and Lotta’s Adventure – by Elsa Beskow

51mgdny5tel Peter and Lotta’s Adventure – by Elsa Beskow, Floris Books U.K., 9781782503033, 2016

Format: hardcover

Rating: (1-5, 5 is an excellent or starred review) 3

What did you like about the book? This book was first published in Sweden in 1929. The illustrations and story are reminiscent of the olden days. Children will immediately this story is from times past and also takes place in a country other than the U.S. Because of the otherworldliness of the story, it reads like a fairy tale. Two children have to give away a kitten and because they remembered their uncle saying that if you do something good for someone who is mean, they might turn good, they decide to give the kitten to an old washer woman. The story gets complicated as they try to get home from the washer woman’s house. A happy ending brings them home.

Anything you didn’t like about it? As in the Flika, Dika and Rika books, there is a moral of the story. Unfortunately the adventures they had trying to get back to their house were scary and I’m not sure a sensitive kid would be ok with the images, they go swimming in a pond and an old lady takes their clothes, so when a woodcutter finds them, they have to walk back to his house naked to get some clothes. They find a chimney sweep in the forest who directs them home, and of course they go the wrong way. The two little blond children come across this man alone in the forest who is covered in soot, and the imagery can be construed as racist.

To Whom Would You Recommend this book? This book reminds me of the Flika, Dika and Rika books from Sweden, from the illustrations to the story. This is a longish book with a complicated story so very young children will have a hard time sitting for the story. Ages 4-7 would enjoy it.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries and public libraries with children’s rooms.

Where would you shelve it ? picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  It’s a classic, but not sure I like it.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Sandra Pacheco, ESL teacher, Washington, D.C.

Date of review: Feb. 21, 2017

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Enough Water?: A Guide to What We Have and How We Use It – by the Editors of Firefly

71sw1yobnul    Enough Water?: A Guide to What We Have and How We Use It – by the Editors of Firefly, Firefly Books, (9781770858183), 2016.

Format: Paperback

Rating: 1-5:  (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5

Genre:  Non-fiction

What did you like about the book? This informational text uses clear explanations and easily understood infographics to introduce young people to the idea of a water footprint by showing how much potable water is required to produce food and other products. In addition to infographics that display the finite amount of drinking water in the world, the majority of the book displays a variety of items and indicates the relative cost in terms of water used to produce each item. It may surprise readers to learn that to produce 2 pounds of beef requires 4,068 gallons of water while 2 pounds of chicken takes a substantially smaller 1,136 gallons. If readers want to compare apples (33 gallons) to oranges (21 gallons) – they can! And they might want to rethink watermelon (264 gallons)! Useful tips for conserving water appear at the end followed by a bibliography, glossary, and index.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Given that the goal is to show the relative water costs of items, it was surprising that the units of water in the infographics were not standardized. Both eighteen liter water coolers and one liter bottles were used, and for a few water-intensive items (blue jeans, handheld electronics) 250 liter drums were used.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend to patrons from grade 4 – 7 and to their teachers to communicate how the products we choose impact the amount of clean water available in the world.

Readalikes: Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel

Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries, middle school libraries and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve in 333.91 with other books about water conservation.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Not necessary unless the topic interests you.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review:  2/21/17

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Under Rose-Tainted Skies – Louise Gornall

51zzywc2vll Under Rose-Tainted Skies – Louise Gornall, Clarion Books,  9780544736511, 2017

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre:  YA Realistic Fiction

What did you like about the book? An important story that tackles agoraphobia, anxiety and OCD all in one fell swoop. Norah is housebound, terrified of staircases, and is rocked by turbulent thoughts and images on a near constant basis. Despite the fact that she is dealing with a horrifying illness, it will be easy for teens to relate to her. However, I didn’t feel that the romance was welcome. Is mental illness cured by a little heart-to-heart action? I don’t think so. To be fair, the romance with the boy next door doesn’t take the reins and guide the entire story to its end. There is quite a bit of character development as Norah shares her daily struggles and challenges with her readers.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Predictability. Subject matter is uncomfortable at times. 

To whom would you recommend this book?  Fans of Everything, Everything and OCD Love Story

Who should buy this book? Libraries where realistic fiction is popular

Where would you shelve it? YA fiction

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Kasia Piasecka, Falmouth Public Library, Falmouth, MA

Date of review: 2/20/17

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Frostblood– Elly Blake

518ml5yebsl  Frostblood– Elly Blake, Little, Brown and Company, 9780316273251, 2017

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre:  YA Fantasy 

What did you like about the book? An unremarkable book with a prominent cover. Doesn’t it look like Red Queen? That’s not an accident. Ruby is a Fireblood in a world of Frostbloods. A divergent world that reveals it is strikingly similar to worlds seen in Red Queen, Carve the Mark, among others. The drama of a fiery romance is also very reminiscent of Divergent. Skip this one, but recommend it to your teens because they will gobble it up.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Everything.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Fantasy fans / high schoolers

Who should buy this book? Libraries where fantasy and dystopias are popular

Where would you shelve it? YA fiction

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Kasia Piasecka, Falmouth Public Library, Falmouth, MA

Date of review: 2/20/17

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Blood for Blood – Ryan Graudin

51qfzwqhopl  Blood for Blood – Ryan Graudin, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316405157, 2016

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre:  YA Historical Fiction

What did you like about the book? In Blood For Blood, the conclusion to Graudin’s alternate history duology, Yael seeks to finish what she started after the assassination attempt on Hitler is thwarted by the same people who turned her into a skinshifter. Not everyone has realized that Yael did not kill the real Hitler, but her actions have set off a series of events, meant to signal a revolution. Across Europe, resistance fighters are rising up, willing to give their lives if it means crushing the Nazi regime for good, not knowing that the vile dictator still lives. As members of the resistances fight for their right to live, Yael and the people she’s met along the way are faces with difficult choices, between doing what is easy and being brave enough to do what’s right.

Blood For Blood is just as heart-wrenching as its predecessor. Many of the characters are broken in different ways and healing is a slow process.

Anything you didn’t like about it? That it was a sequel and it was sluggish compared to Wolf by Wolf. 

To whom would you recommend this book?  Fans of Wolf by Wolf. 

Who should buy this book? Libraries where the first book was well-received. 

Where would you shelve it? YA fiction

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Kasia Piasecka, Falmouth Public Library, Falmouth, MA

Date of review: 2/20/17

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Messenger – Carol Lynch Williams

517wahor3l      Messenger – Carol Lynch Williams,  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781481457767, 2016

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre:  YA Supernatural / Fiction

What did you like about the book? Evie can see and speak to ghosts. This is a problem for her. What does she do about it? Don’t read this and find out. Evie’s voice is immature, devoid of personality, and bordering on robotic. Blah. This book was a disaster. Avoid at all costs!

Anything you didn’t like about it? Everything was terrible. 

To whom would you recommend this book?  No one.

Who should buy this book? No one.

Where would you shelve it? YA fiction

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Kasia Piasecka, Falmouth Public Library, Falmouth, MA

Date of review: 2/20/17

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