We are Growing! – Laurie Keller

51czrah3wnl             We are Growing! – Laurie Keller, Hyperion Books for Children, (9781484726358), 2016

Format:  Hardcover Beginning Reader

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

What did you like about the book? There are eight blades of grass, all different in size and shape. Boing! One discovers it is growing! Suddenly they are ALL growing – differently, of course, since they are all different. One may be the tallest, but one is the silliest and one is curly, two are pointy and one is crunchy and one… is a dandelion! Then comes the lawn mower and we learn that one is the neatest! Everyone is unique and everyone is the something-ist.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Not a thing.

To whom would you recommend this book? Share this one with children who might be uncertain about how special they are. This is a good confidence builder while being silly and funny.  Also very good for fans of Mo Willems.

Who should buy this book? All public libraries, day-cares and lower elementary school grades.

Where would you shelve it? Beginning readers

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Moderator, Youth Services Book Review

Date of review: 9/26/2016

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The Cookie Fiasco – Dan Santat

51nd9s61bpl       The Cookie Fiasco – Dan Santat, Hyperion Books for Children, (9781484726365), 2016

Format:  Hardcover Beginning reader

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

What did you like about the book? Really, really big type-face! There are four animals and only three cookies. Oh no!!! What to do?? A great math lesson here. A great lesson in sharing and friendship and problem-solving – with lots of silliness with silly, silly illustrations and silly words. Kids will love this book.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Nope.

To whom would you recommend this book? Great, fun book for beginning readers, especially those who like Mo Willems. A sure hit for storytime.

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

Where would you shelve it? Beginning Readers

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Moderator, Youth Services Book Review

Date of review: 9/26/2016

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Midsummer Tomte and the Little Rabbits – Ulf Stark and Eva Eriksson

3790191    Midsummer Tomte and the Little Rabbits – Ulf Stark and Eva Eriksson, (translated by Susan Beard), Floris Books, (9781782502449), 2016

Format:  Hardcover

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

Genre: Fantasy

What did you like about the book? Tomtes are small persons native to Scandinavian countries who look something like a garden gnome. The one in this story, Grump, is all alone after the departure of the family he used to care for – except for his good friend, Bee. Though named Grump, he is not really, just lonely. When a big bad storm destroys the homes of the rabbits, squirrels, mice and birds, they all head over to the Tomte to stay in his cottage. This is a sweet magic-filled fairytale with lovely pastoral illustrations.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Not a thing.

To whom would you recommend this book? For children who like fairytales and animal stories, this is a good one to recommend and a lovely readaloud.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries and elementary schools

Where would you shelve it? Shelve in juvenile fiction or fairytales.

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Very close to.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Moderator, Youth Services Book Review

Date of review: 9/21/2016

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Meltdown! – Jill Murphy

617e6fuetll         Meltdown! – Jill Murphy, Candlewick Press, (9780763689261), 2016

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre: Picture Book

What did you like about the book? Any parent who has ever had to deal with a toddler’s temper tantrum will sympathize with the rabbit mother in this story. Roxy is very excited to go grocery shopping with her mother. Things start out well but soon Roxy’s exuberance is causing problems. Roxy squeezes a bag of chips, throws the bread in the air, rolls a can of beans down the aisle and takes off with the carriage. Mom reprimands Roxy and plunks her in the grocery cart seat.   Then they pick out a piggy face cake for dessert. Roxy begs her mother to let her hold the cake and when mom gives in the meltdown begins. Roxy is shown holding the cake with a devilish look: “‘HAVE the piggy cake!’ said Roxy very loudly.’HAVE the pigs cake NOW!’ Roxy squeezed the box, and the cake fell out.” The illustrations are wonderfully expressive. The other shopper’s expressions range from disapproval to empathy. Roxy’s mom is embarrassed and Roxy has completely given into her feelings, ending up plunged headfirst into the grocery cart. All the way home, Roxy continues her tantrum. Mom is upset and annoyed, but she is very patient. When they finally get home Mom tells Roxy that she behaved very naughtily. “‘So what do you say to Mommy?’ asked Mom. Roxy smiled her best, sorriest smile, and said in a teeny, tiny voice, “Have the piggy cake…please?’”   The humorous look at a very typical situation and the wonderful illustrations are sure to make this a popular title.

Anything you didn’t like about it?   No

To whom would you recommend this book? This is a book that any toddler will enjoy, especially if they are prone to meltdowns. Parents and children will be sure to recognize themselves. Fans of Jill Murphy’s previous books, especially Five Minutes Peace, will welcome this new title. Pair it with Sometimes I’m Bombaloo by Rachel Vail.

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? Yes

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

Date of review: 9/24/16

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My Book About Christmas – Dr. Seuss

51a89yshkpl  My Book About Christmas – Dr. Seuss, Random House, (9780553524468), 2016

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre: Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  This is a book to give as a gift to children who love Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas. It is meant to be a personalized book about a child’s favorite things about Christmas.

Anything you didn’t like about it?   The book is an interactive personal memory book, so it would not be useful in a library.

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be a nice gift for Christmas and would be a way to preserve a child’s memories.

Who should buy this book? This would be a good gift book.

Where would you shelve it? Not a library purchase.

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:  9/24/16

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Dogs In Cars – Felix Massie, illustrated by Emmanuelle Walker

518k1hyjspl        Dogs In Cars – Felix Massie, illustrated by Emmanuelle Walker, Flying Eye Books, (9781909263871), 2016

Format: Hardcover, Paperback, Board Book

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

Genre: Picture Book

What did you like about the book?   In bold graphic illustrations against a white background, readers are invited to count a variety of dog breeds as they travel about in cars and trucks. Beginning with one afghan hound readers can count by ones up to twenty-five Yorkshire terriers. Each double page spread has the number in bold color, followed by the written number in the verse: “15 Fifteen Old English sheepdogs…” The book skips from 25 to 50 and then 100 cats. The end page challenges readers to go back and do some more counting “Can you count all the…Animals in the book, Dogs wearing collars…” and so forth. A fun counting book for dog lovers.

Anything you didn’t like about it?   The rhyming text is often forced and doesn’t scan well: “Nine Irish Setters avoiding a pothole of gold/ Ten Jack Russells going off-road!”

To whom would you recommend this book? Children enamored of dogs will enjoy the illustrations of the well-known and more exotic dog breeds. Pair it with Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman for another story about car riding canines.

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: 9/24/16

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Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit – Jaye Robin Brown

51ukc-r-lbl Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit – Jaye Robin Brown, Delacorte Press, (9780385743921), 2016.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5:  4.5

Genre:  GLBTQ, Christian, Romance

What did you like about the book? The daughter of a preacher, Jo has been “out” and a member of Atlanta’s gay community for years. She is taken aback when her father’s previously accepting stand stumbles after his recent marriage. When they move with his new wife to Rome, a hick town in Georgia, Jo’s dad asks her to tone down her gay during her senior year in high school because he fears for her safety. As an incentive, he offers to let Jo do what she has wanted for years – host a show geared toward youth on his radio network.  Jo promises to keep her true identity a secret, figuring she can do anything for just a year. She finds this more challenging than she ever would have thought when she finds herself attracted to one of the girls in her new circle of friends. Jo is a wise, caring person, and readers will root for her to find her way out of her complicated situation and into true love. Her comfortably gay, staunchly christian viewpoint is one that is seldom represented in YA literature. An Author’s Note tells readers to keep in mind, “there are many people in the world who think you are perfect just the way you are,” which is a welcome theme of the book.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Although it was necessary to drive the plot, it seemed out of character and wrong for Jo’s father to ask her to live a lie.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend to high school readers who would appreciate reading about a funny, complex lesbian who embraces both her identity and her faith.

Who should buy this book? High school libraries and public libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve in General Fiction or with Romance if you have Genre Shelving.

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

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

Date of review:  9/24/16

Posted in *Starred Review, Book Review, GLBTQ | Tagged | Leave a comment