Seek and Find National Parks – illustrations by Maud Lienard

       Seek and Find National Parks – illustrations by Maud Lienard, Auzou Publishing, (9782733848210), 2017.

Format: Board Book

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

Genre: Search and Find Picture Book

What did you like about the book? This is a fun, colorful search-and-find picture book set in each of twelve national parks, such as Yosemite, Mount Rushmore, and Yellowstone. Twenty items to find are shown along the left-hand side of each double-page spread plus a bonus item in the upper right corner. The pages are swarming with activity making the specific animals, people, vehicles, and assorted items harder to locate than might be expected. Unlike many board books, this is generously sized to about the same dimensions as an average picture book only thicker.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend to children who enjoy seek-and-find type books and puzzles. This works for even very young children since the items they are trying to find are conveyed in images, not words.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve with general picture books.

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

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

Date of review:  7/21/17

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Ruby Redfort Pick Your Poison – Lauren Child

        Ruby Redfort Pick Your Poison – Lauren Child, Candlewick Press, (9780763654719), 2017

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre:  Mystery

What did you like about the book?  Ruby Redfort, teen spy, is back in action in her fifth book.  In this adventure, Ruby must save the day and the world while being grounded and forced to babysit a 1-year-old.  Ruby uses her smarts and code-breaking abilities for her job at Spectrum and is watched over by Hitch who blends in as the family butler.  Being a thirteen year old is hard enough without adding in poisonous snakes, rumors and traitors.  Set in 1972, this series allows the reader to travel back to a time before ipads, Snapchat and apps.  Today’s readers will be amazed at what Ruby can do without having the internet to fall back on. Readers who love solving codes will love trying to solve them along with Ruby. A fun blend of espionage, mystery and humor this one is sure to please Ruby Redfort fans.  Readers new to the series may want to start from the first book, although the author does try to describe the previous cases.  Ruby is a strong , independent heroine.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?  This one will be enjoyed by fans of Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew series and the Sammy Keyes series by Wendelin Van Draanen.  

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes, if you enjoyed the others in the series.

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

Date of review:  7/21/17             

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All About Cats – written and illustrated by Monika Filipina

         All About Cats – written and illustrated by Monika Filipina, Child’s Play, Inc., (9781846439346), 2017.

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

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

What did you like about the book?  This story is perfect for those who fondly believe cats have a mysterious life when their owners are not looking, sort of a “Secret Life of Pets”. A pile of drowsy contented cats greets readers as the story begins.  A narrator cat states, “Cats spend the whole day sleeping in a chair. Or do they?” Once their human leaves, the plump, colorful cats show what they actually do all day. It turns out that they engage in all kinds of antics – reading, cooking, knitting, swimming in the bathtub, drawing and dancing. They of course take time out for a nap, lodged in nooks and crannies in cabinets.  On the last page, the cats are back huddled together in the chair contentedly believing that their activities will never be discovered. However, observant readers will notice the mess they’ve left behind that might tip-off their owner. The cats are adorable with distinct, often humorous, personalities. The drawings are vibrant with color yet convey a sense of coziness.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend to families who love pets in general and cats in particular.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve with general picture books.

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

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

Date of review:  7/21/17

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Beanstalker and Other Hilarious Scarytales – Kiersten White

  Beanstalker and Other Hilarious Scarytales – Kiersten White, Scholastic Press, (9780545940603), 2017

Format: Advanced Reader’s Copy

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

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book?  In this collection of intertwined and very twisted fairy tales, some favorite fairytale characters have taken on a much darker persona.   Rapunzel is the owner of a very large and hungry snake, Cinderella and her prince are pyromaniacs, Snow White is a vampire and Red Riding Hood is a zombie.  Joining all the stories together is the very frazzled Stepmother who does her best to keep her charges in check in order to protect the citizens of the kingdom.  Filled with clever puns, just enough scariness and a dose of humor, the tales are sure to please.  The illustrations were not complete in the advanced copy, but look as if they will be a nice complement to the tales.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No, although it might be a bit frightening for readers looking for a Disneyfied tale.

To whom would you recommend this book?   This is one that will be enjoyed by fans of twisted fairytales and horror books such as the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine and Adam Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark and Grimm series.

Who should buy this book?  Public Libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Fiction

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

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

Date of review:  7/21/17             

 

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Hello Bugs, What Do You Do? – Loes Botman

    Hello Bugs, What Do You Do? – Loes Botman, Floris Books, (9781782503835), 2017

Format: Board Book

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

Genre:  Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  This title introduces young children to a variety of bugs.  The text begins, “Hello bugs! What do you do?”  What follows are 12 close up illustrations of common insects accompanied by a descriptive verb.  Bees “buzz,” butterflies “flutter,”  ants “scurry,” and spiders “spin.”  The soft, bright pastel renderings give detail to each insect.  Children may be inspired to act out the simple verbs for each insect.  A nice book for little backyard gardeners.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  The insects are not named, but most will be familiar to adults.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a fun one to share with children who are curious about bugs.

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Board Book

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

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

Date of review:  7/19/17             

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More Than Balloons – Lorna Crozier, illustrated by Rachelle Anne Miller

   More Than Balloons – Lorna Crozier, illustrated by Rachelle Anne Miller, Orca Book Publishers, (9781459810280), 2017

Format: Board Book

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

Genre:  Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  This sweet board book is an ode to parental love for a child.  “I love you more than…balloons love the moon/More than pudding loves a spoon/More than a tuba loves a tune.” The illustrations beautifully complement the story with smiling bunnies, bears and bees, and swirling leaves, flowers, snow and music.  A sweet bedtime story.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?  A perfect bedtime story that would pair well with Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney.

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Board Books

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

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

Date of review:   7/19/17             

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Will You Help Doug Find His Dog? – Jane Caston, illustrated by Carmen Saldana

 Will You Help Doug Find His Dog? – Jane Caston, illustrated by Carmen Saldana, Barefoot Books, (9781782853206), 2017

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre:  Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  Readers take part in the story to help a little boy find his dog at the dog park.  Readers ask Doug questions about his dog and then must find the corresponding dogs among the many.  The number of dogs is narrowed down as Doug describes its attributes. His dog is scruffy, spotted, small, and has a big wet nose and a long tail.  Along the way readers are asked to call, pat, tickle and kiss the dogs.  Finally, there is only one dog left, but Doug says “..my dog is white,  not brown.”  The reader is asked to give the book a shake to reveal a white dog under the brown mud. All is well, until Doug drops the leash and his dog runs off to join the many dogs once again.  The sturdy pages will hold up well and the illustrations are full of color and fun.  

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a book for children who love dogs.  Readers who love interactive books such as Herve Tullet’s Press Here will also enjoy this one.

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture Books

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

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

Date of review:  7/19/17             

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