Une ideé pour Papi by Heather Smith, illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan

Une ideé pour Papi by Heather Smith, illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan. Translated by Rachel Martinez. Orca, 2019. ISBN 9781459822054

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

Genre:  Realistic/family

What did you like about the book? Every Saturday Lou loves visiting his grandfathers, a mixed-race, same sex couple. Papi and Grand-Papa are very different from one another, but Lou loves them both. When Papi falls and goes to the hospital, Lou wonders if things will be the same. So much to love here: the normalization of a same sex, mixed race couple as grandparents, coming to terms with the aging of a loved one, and how love can continue even as our beloved elders change in their abilities. The simple but expressive text and the adorable mixed media illustrations complement one another to produce a sweet exploration of love and family. This is a translation of A Plan for Pops, published simultaneously.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Perfect for families looking for books on aging grandparents, especially where same sex or mixed race or French language books are needed, for ages 4 and up.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries

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

Date of review: March 19, 2019

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Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat: Enemies by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenowth, illustrated by Robb Mommaerts

  Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat: Enemies,#2, by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenowth, illustrated by Robb Mommaerts, Penguin Workshop, 9781524787226, 2019

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre:  Fantasy/Humor

What did you like about the book?  This is the second book in the Klawde Evil Alien Warlord Cat series and, like the first,  it does not fail to deliver laughs and engage readers of all kinds. Klawde reluctantly remains on Earth, an exiled emperor from a far away cat planet, and has found a best friend in Raj.  Raj has moved from New York to Oregon and is about to start middle school in a new town. Both friends face unexpected run-ins with figures from their past and must navigate these complications in very different ways.  The pen and ink illustrations are a welcome addition, adding humor and an added perspective to the characters. Told with large doses of humor, this second book in the series proves to delight and entertain readers just as the first Klawde book does.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Readers looking for a story full of humor, fans of Dav Pilkey and The Bad Guys

Who should buy this book?  Elementary school libraries, public libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes,  if you enjoyed the first Klawde book

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State:  Jennifer Brown, Newbury Elementary School, Newbury, MA

Date of review:  3.18.19

 

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Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth, illustrated by Robb Mommaerts

   Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat, #1 – by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth, illustrated by Robb Mommaerts, Penguin Workshop, 9781524787202, 2019

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre: Fantasy/Humor

What did you like about the book?  Klawde, the former High Commander of Lyttyrboks, has been banished to the most dreadful of places…Earth.  Klawde must navigate this new land and finds himself on the porch of Raj who has also been displaced from his home and friends in New York to the outskirts of Oregon.  These two form an unlikely alliance and friendship and Raj thinks his bad luck will be turning around soon enough. The pen and ink illustrations provide added humor to the changing perspectives in each chapter between Raj and Klawde.  Giggles will surely accompany the reading of this funny chapter book and have readers eager to read the second installment of the Klawde series.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Readers who love funny stories, especially fans of Dav Pilkey and The Bad Guys

Who should buy this book?  Elementary school libraries and middle school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Fiction

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State:  Jennifer Brown, Newbury Elementary School, Newbury, MA

Date of review: 3.18.19

 

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George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spies Who Saved America – Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger, Viking; (9780425288986), 2019

   George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spies Who Saved America – Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger, Viking, (9780425288986), 2019

Format: hardcover

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

Genre: nonfiction

What did you like about the book? In this young reader edition of a popular adult nonfiction book, the authors set out to explain how the American underdogs were able to defeat the powerful British army using espionage. Five people in the Culper Ring are described as the patriots who succeeded in helping the Americans and General Washington outsmart the British. This should be a page-turner. Unfortunately, it’s not.

Includes appendices with information like methods of espionage and postwar lives of the Culper Ring. Timeline, selected sources and index are included, also.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Students who like reading about espionage and early American history

Anything you didn’t like about it?  I found this book fairly dull. The information itself is ultimately interesting, but it hasn’t been written in a way that will excite young readers in my opinion. An entirely different format may have been a better choice. The short chapters help move the story along, but at times they feel too short and choppy. In addition, in some instances entire letters of correspondence between spy agents and General Washington are included in their original language with little explanation. I would have preferred this text be in a different font with explanatory text to accompany it in a young reader edition like this one.

Who should buy this book? Large middle school libraries who need this text for curriculum purposes

Where would you shelve it? nonfiction

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Laura Gardner, Dartmouth Middle School, Dartmouth, MA

Date reviewed: March 19, 2019

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Baby Dream by Sunny Scribens/ Baby Food by Stephanie Paige Wieder/ Baby Play by Skye Silver

     Baby Dream by Sunny Scribens, Barefoot Books, 9781782857297, 2019

Baby Food by Stephanie Paige Wieder, Barefoot Books, 9781782857303, 2019

Baby Play by Skye Silver, Barefoot Books, 9781782857280, 2019

Format: Board Book

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

Genre:  Concept Board Book

What did you like about the book?  Black and white photographs of babies and caretakers. Photos show lots of diversity with families, children, and caretakers. In Baby Food babies are shown drinking from a cup, a bottle, and breastfeeding. Lots of rhyming and repetition within the short text. While using black and white photos, and black and white contrast page designs with a hint of bright colors, these pages will be very engaging to young eyes.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  New parents, child development students, baby story-hour

Who should buy this book? Public libraries, day-cares/preschools

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: Lindsey Hughes, Marstons Mills Public Library, Marstons Mills, MA

Date of review: 3/16/19

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Le Silence se glisse près de toi by Alison Hughes, illustrated by Ninon Pelletier

Le Silence se glisse près de toi by Alison Hughes, illustrated by Ninon Pelletier. Translated by Rachel Martinez. Orca, 2019. ISBN 9781459822085

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

Genre:  Concept/parent collections

What did you like about the book? Poetic prose touts the benefits of quiet for a little girl who is sensitive to loud noise. Silence is equated with coziness, calm and peace, and is depicted as a tall, fluffy white bear-like creature with a sweet, caring face. Silence comforts the girl as she sleeps, reads, and tries to cope with the noisiness of everyday life. The gorgeous pencil and charcoal illustrations depict kids of all races in bright, happy colors, and Silence is such an avuncular calming presence. This is a translation of The Silence Slips In, published simultaneously.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Noise, depicted as an annoying green monster, shouldn’t always be the bad guy!

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a great book for collections that include books on intense emotions, and may be used for kids with noise sensitivity, especially in libraries actively collecting French language picture books. For ages 4 and up.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? French language picture books or concept collections

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

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

Date of review: March 19, 2019

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Le bateau magique by Kit Pearson, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard

Le bateau magique by Kit Pearson, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard. Translated by Rachel Martinez. Orca, 2019. ISBn9781459823242

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

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book? A little girl at the beach with her grandmother is too shy to play with any other kids there. When a slightly older girl invites Ellie to join her on her magic boat, Ellie gives it a shot. Her new friend, Piper, imagines adventures where the old abandoned rowboat takes the two girls on sailing adventures on the open ocean and undersea, with fabulous aquatic animals on view. When Piper doesn’t show up one day, Ellie is sad. But she takes a step in conquering her shyness and invites a little boy to join her on the magic boat. I like that the reader sees the benefits of trying something new and that the rewards are not only overcoming shyness, but also enjoying the flights of fancy that imagination can bring. I like that Piper is black, and that race has nothing to do with the friendship. The pencil and watercolor art is very pleasing, with scenes of the beach and the sea animals depicted realistically and in luminous color. This is a translation of The Magic Boat, published simultaneously.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  For anxious youngsters getting ready for the beach, pair this with Carolyn Crimi’s There Might Be Lobsters, and for anyone, age 3 and up, who likes a sweet beach story.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries, especially where French language picture books are needed.

Where would you shelve it ? French language picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, whether in French or English

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

Date of review: March 19, 2019

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