Love from Peter Rabbit

     Love from Peter Rabbit – (no author or illustrator credited), Frederick Warne and Co. Ltd, 9780241301340, 2017

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre:  Picture Book

What did you like about the book?   Rhyming text tells of the many ways love makes the day better.  Sometimes the love is parent to child, sometimes between peers or siblings.  Sweet images of Flopsy, Mopsy Cottontail, and Peter, along with their mother, depict the concepts in the poem.  Flowers and other nature elements round out the decorations in a palette of pink, periwinkle, pale orange, and golden green.  The small format (not quite 6” x 7”) makes it easy for small hands to hold.  The words are soothing.  Short and sweet, this might make a nice bedtime read when you little one asks for ‘just one more book.’  

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Not really.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Parents with children 5 years old and younger, public libraries with larger collections.  This is a warm fuzzy type of book that might be well received as a baby shower gift, or as a gift from a very young person to mom on Mother’s Day.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries.

Where would you shelve it ? Picture 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:  Robin Shtulman, Athol Public Library, Athol, MA

Date of review:  17 January 2018

 

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Song of the Wild: A First Book of Animals – Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horáček

      Song of the Wild: A First Book of Animals – Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horáček, Candlewick Press, (9780763691608), 2017.

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

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

Genre: Non-fiction, Poetry

What did you like about the book? The amazingly diverse animal species that can be found around the world are the subject of short, informative poems in this oversized, dramatically illustrated book. Entries are organized into sections on size, color and shape, action, babies, and homes that bridge numerous continents and biomes. For instance, the section on animals in action features a cheetah, followed by Arctic terns, then a koala, sloth, fireflies, and bees. The heavy, glossy pages, loaded with dramatic illustrations make this a treasure for browsers.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommended for readers in grades 1 – 3. Would also work with younger readers if accompanied by an adult to assist with reading and interpreting the text.

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

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve in 811 with poetry 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:  1/17/18

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Spiders!: Strange and Wonderful – Laurence Pringle, illustrated by Meryl Henderson

    Spiders!: Strange and Wonderful – Laurence Pringle, illustrated by Meryl Henderson, Boyds Mill Press, (9781629793214), 2017.

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

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

What did you like about the book? This non-fiction entry is informative to the max, admirably providing readers insight into spiders’ “quiet, amazing lives”. Starting with features spiders share vs. what differs from their fellows in the arachnid class: scorpions, mites, and ticks, the majority of the book focuses on the “strange and wonderful” features of spiders, providing thoroughly illustrated fascinating facts. For instance, one arresting page displays seven oversized spider heads for comparison purposes! Another section describes different kinds of webs spiders make from funnel webs to the diving bell spider that uses an underwater web to store oxygen. This is a must-have for elementary school library collections.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommended for readers in grades 3 – 5.

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

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve in 595.4 with other books about spiders.  

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes, you might end up fascinated by spiders, even if they previously creeped you out!

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

Date of review:  1/16/18

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Nature Timeline Stickerbook:From bacteria to humanity: the story of life on Earth in one epic timeline! – Christopher Lloyd and Andy Forshaw

   Nature Timeline Stickerbook (What on Earth?) – Christopher Lloyd and Andy Forshaw, What on Earth Publishing, (9780995576667), 2017.

Format: Paperback poster and stickers

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

What did you like about the book? This removable poster folds out to display a colorful five foot long timeline covering the time period from 4.5 billion years ago to present day. Along the timeline, blank outlines occur where ninety-six stickers (located on separate sheets) can be added. Dates run along the top and bottom; the middle contains above ground plants and animals as well as undersea. This seems like a fun way to introduce children to a few of the countless diverse species that have inhabited the Earth throughout history.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommended for early elementary.

Who should buy this book? This seems most appropriate for purchase as a gift for a young person to make.

Where would you shelve it?  Not recommended for library lending, although it might possibly be able to be used in a makerspace.

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:  1/16/18

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Bim Bam Boom – Frederic Stehr

   Bim Bam Boom – Frederic Stehr, Gecko Press, 9781776571369, 2017

Format: Board Book

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

Genre:  Board Book

What did you like about the book?  This charmingly illustrated book (translated from the French) depicts a group of young bird friends discovering the joys of making music together with household items.  It starts with one small owl-like creature banging on a saucepan with wooden spoons.  A long-beaked, long-legged yellow friend joins in with cymbals, tish-tish-tish.  Before long, three more young birds join in, playing colander, pie plate, and ladle.  The music rings out in rhythmic onomatopoeia that will be fun for toddlers and their grown-ups to sing out together.  Viewing this may inspire the littles to empty out the pot cupboard and experiment with sounds.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Not long after the young friends get the band together, a grown up owl enters the scene, asking “What ARE you doing?”  The disapproving tone is clear.  On the next page, the big bird is confiscating all the pots and pans, and the small birds look scolded and dejected.  Big bird returns with a sweet dessert and the littles rejoice.  Young readers may interpret that the musical experimentation was a bad thing – Better to stop being curious and active and eat something instead.  The mischievous conclusion, in which the young birds paint the inside walls of the house with carefully canned fruit preserves from the pantry, seems to equate innocent musical play with deliberate destruction of the parents’ hard work putting up food.  It’s such an odd and jarring message.  I gave this book to several other people to read (without sharing my thoughts) to see if their interpretation would be similar.  It was.  It may be that Stehr was contrasting the joy of the music-makers with the displeasure of those within hearing range, but that message, presented in this way, is not age-appropriate for the board book crowd.

To whom would you recommend this book?    I would not recommend this book.

Who should buy this book?   Libraries with unlimited budgets.

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:  Robin Shtulman, Athol Public Library, Athol, MA

Date of review:  16 January 2018

 

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George Shrinks by William Joyce

   George Shrinks by William Joyce. Atheneum, 2017. 9781481489539

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book? This is a reprint of Joyce’s book about a little boy who wakes up to find he is tiny. The reader follows him as he goes about his day, trying to accomplish the list of chores left to him in a note by his parents. The illustrations tell the story completely and perfectly, and are as entertaining and kid friendly as the day the book was first published in 1985. The endpapers show George’s footprints as he changes size. This is an essential title for any children’s collection.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This book is perfect for story time or lap reading.

Who should buy this book? Day cares, and elementary school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? If you haven’t, then you should!

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

Date of review: January 15, 2018

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Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece by Marc Harshman and Anna Egan Smucker. Art by LeUyen Pham

   Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece by Marc Harshman and Anna Egan Smucker. Art by LeUyen Pham. Roaring Brook, 2017. 9781596437180

Format: Hardcover

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

What did you like about the book? The inspiration for Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous house is examined in this lovely picture book. Why build on a waterfall? How should one build on a waterfall? These questions and what it takes to answer them are at the crux of this examination of the creative process. Pham’s gorgeous watercolor and ink art portrays the man, the setting, the time (1930s) and the process of building with equal affection, using colors that pulse with life. The lyrical prose describes simply and beautifully. Back matter includes a wealth of supplemental information, including a bibliography.

Anything you didn’t like about it? I wonder if the audience intended for this book, 5-8 yr olds, will get the importance of Wright’s work. This may be a book that is more loved by adults than the children they read to.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Folks who like books about building and biographies; art teachers.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? 728 or biography

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, especially if you’re a fan of Pham, as I am.

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

Date of review: January 15, 2018

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