Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Laurie Calkhoven, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic

   Ruth Bader Ginsburg (You Should Meet) by Laurie Calkhoven, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic, Simon Spotlight, 9781534448582 (hardcover), 9781534448575 (paperback), 2019

Format: Hardcover

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

What did you like about the book? This early reader successfully introduces the “Notorious RBG” to the younger set. As each chapter unfurls, we learn the details of Ruth’s childhood, her inspirations, and just how hard this iconic figure has worked throughout her life to make an extraordinary difference for any cause she believes in. The illustrations are boldly colored and strike a nice balance between being child-friendly without becoming cartoonish. The text closes with additional interesting facts about Ginsburg, coupled with brief biographies of the other two female Supreme Court justices. A lovely tribute to Ruth’s husband, Martin, also rounds out this informational text. Additionally, a short ten question quiz challenges the reader to recall some of the important aspects of Ruth’s life. While this book is marketed to early elementary students, its level of detail and slightly more complex vocabulary renders it useful as a text for upper elementary students to utilize for biography research or reports.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Anyone who has enjoyed the “You Should Meet” series will want to add this to the collection, as well as those who wish to explore strong female role models.

Who should buy this book? Elementary and public school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Early readers, biography

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Linda Broderick, Lincoln Street Elementary School, Northboro, MA

Date of review: 9/14/19

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Sweep – Louise Greig, illustrated by Julia Sarda

  Sweep – Louise Greig, illustrated by Julia Sarda, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, 9781534439085, 2019

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre: Picture Book

What did you like about the book? I like this book but it did take a minute to understand what was happening. In this story, we see a young boy who is in a bad mood. The bad mood is represented in the illustrations as a big pile of leaves. As the boy’s bad mood increases he continues to sweep this leaf pile. Over time, the pile has grown to include not only leaves but cars, bikes, people, buses–basically anything that crosses his path. His “bad mood leaf pile” reaches epic proportions when he finally realizes that it might not be worth all the fuss–maybe he could change what is happening. Finally, a cool breeze comes along which clears the massive pile and provides this boy with a new perspective on his mood. From this point forward, he will remind himself that he controls his mood and next time he will not let things get so out of control.

I did enjoy this book and the message is very important for even very young children but I think the thought of a huge leaf pile representing a bad mood might get lost on some kids. However, this is such a beautiful book that it is still worth the read (and maybe any discussion about moods that might follow). The illustrations are beautiful and very detailed.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  This is an interesting book and I did like it but I can see how it might be a little esoteric for young children.

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children between the ages of four and eight.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, daycare centers, preschools, anyone that works with children between the ages of four and eight.

Where would you shelve it? Picture Books

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

Reviewer  Kristin Guay, former youth librarian

Date of review: September 12, 2019

 

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Sleep: How Nature Gets Its Rest – Kate Prendergast

  Sleep: How Nature Gets Its Rest – Kate Prendergast, Candlewick Press, 9781536207989, 2019

Format: Hardcover

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

What did you like about the book? This beautifully illustrated book shows the very interesting ways that animals sleep. We see common sleep habits such as cats and dogs curled on a bed, cows in a barn, or a harvest mouse in a tiny nest of grass. However, we also see some more unusual sleeping routines such as the giraffe that sleeps standing up, sloths and bats that sleep upside down, fish that sleep with their eyes open, and ants that only sleep for a few minutes at a time. A special feature of this  book is some of the additional facts in the back about these animals. For example, a group of meerkats is called a mob, there are more than 900 different kinds of bats, rhinos can run up to 35 miles per hour, and tigers can grow to almost 11 feet long with a weight of 660 pounds.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children between the ages of three and seven. The text in the story is very simple but the additional information provided in the back of the book will appeal to older children.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, daycare centers, preschools, anyone that works with children between the ages of three and seven.

Where would you shelve it? Beginner Nonfiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, a great nonfiction book for young children.

Reviewer  Kristin Guay, former youth librarian

Date of review: September 12, 2019

 

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No Room For A Pup! – Elizabeth Suneby and Laurel Molk, illustrated by Laurel Molk

  No Room For A Pup! – Elizabeth Suneby and Laurel Molk, illustrated by Laurel Molk, Kids Can Press, 9781525300295, 2019

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre: Picture Book

What did you like about the book? This funny story is based on the Yiddish folktale “It Could Always Be Worse” (one of my personal favorites!). In this story we meet Mia who lives in a tiny city apartment with her mother. Mia wants nothing more than a little puppy but her mom tells her that they simply do not have the space–not even for the smallest puppy. As Mia is sharing her woes with her grandmother, they see a notice on the bulletin board “Puppies To Good Homes”. This is too difficult for Mia to pass up so her grandmother hatches a plan and calls a few friends for assistance. First, Mia’s grandmother comes to the apartment with her pet parrot stating that they both need to stay the night because her apartment is being painted. Next come some other tenants with their pets asking if Mia and her mother could watch them for just one night. To top it off, the grandmother’s book club has their meeting in Mia’s apartment–and one member brought her pet pig. Pretty soon the entire apartment is filled with a parrot, a cat, a bunny, two dogs, a pig, and several people. At the end of the evening, everyone comes to collect their pets and Mia’s mother has a chance to relax in a comfy chair. Much to Mia’s delight, her mother states that the apartment does not feel so small after all–perfect because Mia has stashed away a little spotted puppy for herself. Her mother agrees to keep the little puppy because there are no parrots, bunnies, cats, pigs, or other dogs–just one tiny puppy. The problem – the puppy grows up to be a huge GREAT DANE!

I have always loved the book It Could Always Be Worse by Margot Zemach and this is a wonderful version of this folktale.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? Perfect for children between the ages of three and eight. The message of this folktale spans a large audience.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, daycare centers, preschools, anyone that works with children between the ages of three and eight.

Where would you shelve it? Picture Books

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

Reviewer  Kristin Guay, former youth librarian

Date of review: September 12, 2019

 

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Hide-and-Seek: A First Book of Position Words – Sakshi Mangal and R. D. Ornot

     Hide-and-Seek: A First Book of Position Words – Sakshi Mangal and R. D. Ornot, Kids Can Press, Ltd., 9781771387941, 2019

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre: Picture Book

What did you like about the book? The first thought that came into my head after reading this book is how it would be such a perfect book for a preschool storytime. In this story, three friends (Owl, Bear and Fox) are playing a game of hide-and-seek in a park playground. As they each take turns seeking the others, the reader learns all kinds of wonderful position words such as “beside”, “on”, “among”, “through”, “around”, “across” and “between”.  We also see opposite such as “inside” and “outside”, “in front of” and “behind”, and “over” and “under”. The illustrations are fun because kids can see a glimpse of each animal as they are hiding (if they look carefully) and this is a fun activity throughout the book.

What I really liked about this book is that it can be used far beyond just simply reading the text on the pages. While reading, children can guess the opposite, they can respond to different positions pointed out by a reader, and they can try to find the hiding animal (and maybe even describe the correct position). There is a wealth of possibilities with this book for really engaging children in a fun and educational story.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? Perfect for children between the ages of two and five.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries, daycare centers, preschools, anyone that works with children between the ages of two and five.

Where would you shelve it? Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, many possibilities for library storytimes.

Reviewer  Kristin Guay, former youth librarian

Date of review: September 12, 2019

 

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Twinkle, Twinkle, Fairy Friend – Jeffrey Burton, illustrated by Zoe Waring

      Twinkle, Twinkle, Fairy Friend – Jeffrey Burton, illustrated by Zoe Waring, Little Simon, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, 9781534439771, 2019

Format: Boardbook

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

Genre: Picture Book

What did you like about the book? This is a perfect little book for any young child that is particularly fond of fairies. The familiar rhyme of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” is modified to fit a fun-filled day of a little fairy and all her friends. She flies through the air with insects, meets up with other fairy friends (representing various races), gathers flowers with woodland creatures, and slides down a rainbow of happiness.

The illustrations are very colorful and detailed. Though there is very little text, children will enjoy seeing flowers, ladybugs, butterflies, a mouse, a chipmunk — all kinds of fun things to see while spending a day with a tiny fairy.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for babies to age three. The sturdy pages, rhyming text, and colorful illustrations will appeal to even the youngest child.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries, daycare centers, preschools, anyone that works with children between the ages of birth and three.

Where would you shelve it? Board Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, fairy stories always seem to be a big draw in libraries.

Reviewer  Kristin Guay, former youth librarian

Date of review: September 12, 2019

 

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The Stone Circle – Elly Griffiths

  The Stone Circle (A Ruth Galloway Mystery) – Elly Griffiths, narrated by Jane McDowell, Recorded Books, (9781501986406), 2019

Format: cd audiobook

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

Genre: Mystery

 What did you like about the book? What I really like about the Ruth Galloway mysteries is the personal stories, ever continuing and evolving, with each new addition.  Characters with whom we are familiar – if you are reading this series- return like old friends making the mystery almost secondary to the plot.  This one involves a cold case; the remains of a young girl who disappeared and was presumed murdered some thirty years previously are discovered.  Many a suspect is examined throughout the story, with the reader trying to guess the real killer.  There is, of course, also an archeological dig going on complete with a stone circle and the kidnapping of a newborn baby.  This will not fail to please Ruth Galloway and Elly Griffiths fans.

Anything you did not like about the book.  No.

 To whom would you recommend this book? Those who have been following Elly Griffith’s Ruth Galloway mysteries will definitely appreciate this new one.  Mystery lovers who like a personal story with continuing characters with an archeology bent will also be rivetted.

Who should buy this book? Upper high school grades and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? audiobooks, Mystery

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes, especially if you have been reading/listening to the Ruth Galloway mysteries

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

Date of review: 9/11/2019

 

 

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