Big Little/Grande pequeño; Quiet Loud/Silencio ruidoso by Leslie Patricelli

Big Little/Grande pequeño 9780763699666; Quiet Loud/Silencio ruidoso 9780763699765 by Leslie Patricelli. Candlewick, 2018.51xLTuofGaL__AC_US218_

51D+WSDVdxL__AC_US218_Format: Board books

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3.5

Genre:  Concept books: opposites

What did you like about the book? Patricelli’s adorable diapered, one-haired baby returns to illustrate the concepts of big and little, and quiet and loud. In parallel English and Spanish text, familiar objects and creatures are compared in the author’s signature acrylic drawings outlined in black. Both books end with naptime, and spreads of other objects which illustrate the concept. I can imagine little fingers pointing to the sweet pictures regardless of whether they are old enough to grasp the concepts.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Families who seek to increase dual language acquisition for young children should enjoy this

Who should buy this book? Day cares and public libraries, especially where Spanish language books are popular

Where would you shelve it ? Board 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: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: September 24, 2018

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Dig to Disaster: A Miss Mallard Mystery by Robert Quakenbush; Texas Trail to Calamity: A Miss Mallard Mystery by Robert Quakenbush

Dig to Disaster: A Miss Mallard Mystery 9781534413139; Texas Trail to Calamity: A Miss Mallard Mystery 9781534413108, by Robert Quakenbush. Aladdin Quix, 2018.

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51nD-Ro-kxL__AC_US218_Format: Hardcover

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

Genre:  Mystery

What did you like about the book? These short, easy to read mysteries feature short sentences, action and intrigue that begin right away, and a glossary of words, bold in the text, that may be unfamiliar to readers. The main protagonist, Miss Mallard, is likeable and reasonable, and her feathered cohorts are blundering and comic. Profuse illustrations add to the accessibility of the story. Originally published in the 1980’s, these still have a place in children’s collections for their warmth and readability. The typeface is quite large, making this series a contender for readers with limited sight.

To whom would you recommend this book?  For animal loving young mystery readers, ages 5-8, these are on the same level as the Cam Jansen mysteries.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Children’s fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Take a look at one, as the series may be the perfect book for an early or reluctant reader.

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

Date of review: September 24, 2018

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Field Tripped – Allan Woodrow

   Field Tripped – Allan Woodrow, Scholastic Press, 9781338116915, 2018

Format: ARC Paperback

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

Genre:  Mystery/ Realistic

What did you like about the book? Field Tripped is a book that navigates the difficulty of friendships while incorporating a touch of mystery. The fifth graders of Liberty Falls Elementary go on their first field trip to the Minks Mansion. In an unfortunate turn of events, the students are snowed in and find themselves trying to save the mansion they came to visit.

Woodrow uses four characters to show the various perspectives of the students in the mansion. These various points of view show the reader how one event can affect people in different ways. There is Aaron, who struggles with making friends at a new school.  Chloe, who is realizing how friendships sometimes need to change in order for you to feel good about yourself. Eddie, the loner, who might finally realize that sometimes asking for help is okay. Then Jessie, the quiet animal lover, who finds out that she is braver than she thinks. All of these characters create an interesting story that keeps you interested until the very end!

Anything you didn’t like about it? Although the age range for this book is for grades 3-7, I think the number of perspectives within the novel will be difficult for elementary school students. The story switches between four characters and at times can be confusing to keep track of.  One way the author combats that problem is by adding small pictures that correlate to the character in that chapter.  If students recognize that, it could support their understanding.

To whom would you recommend this book?  I think this book is appropriate for upper elementary and middle school students who like stories of friendship and mystery. It also is great for teachers who are teaching various points of view.  Also for students who enjoyed Woodrow’s Class Dismissed.

Who should buy this book? Upper elementary classroom libraries, Middle schools, public libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Realistic Fiction—Chapter 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: Marisa Marion, Dutile Elementary School, Billerica MA

Date of review: 9/23/18

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The Door to the Lost – written by Jaleigh Johnson

        The Door to the Lost – written by Jaleigh Johnson, Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, 9781101933169, 2018

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review4

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book?  The day the door to Vora sealed shut is the day magic died in Talhaven, becoming a dangerous and coveted thing. Now only children from Vora, with no memory of their homeland or even their names, carry this power, making them both exiles and hunted in a world where magic can create and destroy.

With this complex yet intriguing premise, author Jaleigh Johnson presents another fantasy adventure packed with pages of action and charming characters.  Along with intense scenes of hiding and running readers are able to catch their breath with introspective moments as these characters grapple with emotions and feelings of loss or belonging.  These elements are all paired with a stunning world of magic and power conveyed through descriptive writing that allows us to smell the fresh-baked scones or feel the trickle of rain as Rook journeys with her companions.  Finally, to top off this swift story, chapters are kept fairly short (ranging from about 4 to 15 pages) to allow readers easy pieces to devour as they speed through this story of friendship, fantasy, and adventure.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  It is unfortunate that this book begins with a prologue that serves as little more than an expository info dump.  With so many features that will draw in reluctant readers, this is something that may make starting this book a bit of a challenge to those who are struggling to get into a book.  This is a very short barricade, however, and the action immediately begins on page 3 with a chase scene!

To whom would you recommend this book?  Fans of fantasy worlds such as Auxier’s Peter Nimble or Messenger’s Keeper of the Lost Cities will love this short(er) story.  

Who should buy this bookLibrary collections (public and school) with fantasy fans

Where would you shelve it ? Juvenile fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? If you’re looking for a quick trip into a fantasy world… sure!  There are plenty I would more highly recommended, however, including Townsend’s Nevermoor.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Melissa McCleary, Pembroke Public Library, Pembroke, MA

Date of reviewSeptember 23, 2018

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Ella & Monkey at Sea – Emilie Boon

   Ella & Monkey at Sea – Emilie Boon, Candlewick Press, 9780763692339, 2018

Format: Hardcover, Picture Book

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review4

Genre: Adventure, Immigration, Overcoming fear.

What did you like about the book? This is an endearing tale of immigration that pulled at my heartstrings. The combination of whimsical watercolour illustrations coupled with the written prose tell the story of  a young girl named Ella, her stuffed toy Monkey, and her Mother, as they left the only home they had ever known (the Netherlands) and moved to a foreign land (America) where everything is very different.   Both illustrations and story combined provide wonderful transitions that focus on Ella’s journey across the Atlantic via steamship and into the arms of her awaiting father.   Moving specifically from her feelings of sadness and fear when leaving, to anger in the tempest in the storm at sea, to the joyous rays of sunshine as depicted in Ella’s drawing for the Ship’s Captain when they arrived in Port.   

I enjoyed this story very much as I, too, am an immigrant to the United States. I immigrated, though much later in life, but felt great sadness at leaving my family behind.   Likewise my Mother is an immigrant to North American as well.  As a young child, she emigrated with her family from the United Kingdom in the 1950s by steamship, like Ella, to North America.  She went through a similar journey of sadness and fear when leaving the only home that she had ever known.  

Anything you didn’t like about it? No.  I enjoyed this tale of immigration and

To whom would you recommend this book? I would recommend this book for parents to read to their children.  Or have a storytime on the subject of immigration.

Readalikes:  Saffron Ice Cream by Rhasin Kheiriveh.

Who should buy this book? Elementary School Libraries, Public Libraries, and daycares.

Where would you shelve it ? Picture Books under the author’s last name.  Or if you are genrefying: Immigrant Tales.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? It was a lovely read, but I wouldn’t put it at the top of my pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Kira McGann, Library Media Specialist at the Rita E. Miller Elementary and Norman E. Day Elementary Schools.

Date of review: 9/23/18

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Let’s Go ABC! Things That Go, from A to Z – written by Rhonda Gowler Greene, illustrated by Daniel Kirk

        Let’s Go ABC! Things That Go, from A to Z – written by Rhonda Gowler Greene, illustrated by Daniel Kirk, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 9780802735096, 2018

Format: Hardcover

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

What did you like about the book This rhyming alphabet book is all about getting you from point A to point B as it takes you through your ABCs!  Greene & Daniel’s title features 26 different vehicles from motorized to self-propelled, from land to air, and from small to vast!  The diversity does not end with transportation as each page contains animals and objects that also begin with the featured letter.  For example, the page for letter S (for submarine) also contains a snowman, a shovel, some snakes, and more!  While each page varies with the number of extra items, the layout is used to its full potential with color in every corner.  These hidden (and not-so-hidden) extras add entertainment value for an optional “I Spy” game as well as a fantastic educational opportunity.

The final page is a charming surprise which will certainly bring smiles as well as encourage abstract thinking.  After all of these vehicles, the book concludes that there are many ways to move including… feet!

Anything you didn’t like about it?  The rhymes vary in their rhythm, enough that a first reading would be clunky.  While this is easily remedied with practice, the rhymes themselves actually add little to the book; the same information could be conveyed without poetic composition and may even be better as small snippets of paragraphs to allow readers and listeners to learn more about the vehicle without the constraints of rhyme and rhythm.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a fun book to read to a group for an alphabet or a transportation storytime, but would be even more fun in one-on-one readings to allow kids the time to examine favorite or intricate pages. Recommended for ages 2-5 in either setting.

Who should buy this book? Libraries (public and elementary school)

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? If you plan storytimes, yes!  Be sure your second story is a short one, though, as this is a bit longer.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Melissa McCleary, Pembroke Public Library, Pembroke, MA

Date of reviewSeptember 22, 2018

Posted in Alphabet books, Book Review, Vehicles | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Reptile Club – written by Maureen Fergus, illustrated by Elina Ellis

        The Reptile Club – written by Maureen Fergus, illustrated by Elina Ellis, Kids Can Press, (9781771386555), 2018.

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

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

What did you like about the book? His new school has plenty of clubs (Glee, Ballet, Knitting…) that curly red-haired Rory could join.  He tries out the Astronaut Club, Prancing Unicorn Club and Extra Math Homework Club, but they are just not the right fit.  His parents suggest that he start his own club, so Rory focuses on his favorite thing — reptiles. On opening day of the Reptile Club, Rory waits a long time in an empty room with his plastic reptile collection and lizard shaped cookies. Imagine his surprise when three new members finally show up, and they are actual reptiles: a gecko, an anaconda, and a crocodile. Rory welcomes them, and they immediately start sharing information and bonding with each other. Eventually, Rory’s classmates join in on the fun. Later, when it is time for the reptiles to move to a warmer climate, Rory is sad, but he finds he now has plenty of human friends, too. So many messages we want children to absorb can be found here: accept those that are different from you, welcome newcomers, stay true to yourself, be open to those quirky kids who are passionate about unusual subjects… The messages may be weighty, but they are delivered with a light touch featuring just the right mix of whimsy and humor.

Anything you didn’t like about it?   No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommended especially for elementary classrooms. Messages about making friends are always valuable, but would be especially timely at the beginning of the school year.

Who should buy this book? Elementary libraries, elementary classrooms, and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve with Picture Books.

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

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

Date of review:  9/22/18

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