It’s Only Stanley – Jon Agee

51D8-hSfXeL       It’s Only Stanley – Jon Agee, Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4

What did you like about the book? The Wimbledons have a very strange beagle dog, Stanley. Each time they hear a strange noise in the night, one of the children reports it and Walter, the Dad, goes to explore. Stanley is up to all manner of extraordinary things but we do not find out until the end just what the purpose of his work is. Agee’s signature illustrations accompanied by his outrageous sense of humor create a very unique picture book.

What didn’t you like about this book? Some might find the humor a little bit over the top – into nonsense.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend this one to those kids who can understand and appreciate the absurd. It might work well in a story time session.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries

Where would you shelve it and why? Picture books

Should we (librarians/Readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  For Jon Agee fans, yes, though you might be scratching your head….

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Gardner High School, Gardner, MA

Date of review: 3/4/2015

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Use Your Words, Sophie – Rosemary Wells

51ww6LDXk0L     Use Your Words, Sophie – Rosemary Wells, Viking, 2015.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 5

What did you like about the book? Rosemary Wells’ beloved illustrations highlight this delightfully droll story of little Sophie and her reactions to the new baby. Sophie is still talking in gibberish/baby-speak – but, of course, not only do her grandparents understand her perfectly, they can speak the same language! Sophie, of course, not only saves the day when her new baby sister will not stop howling, but names her new sister as well.

What didn’t you like about this book? Nothing at all.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This might be a good book to read to toddlers who are expecting a new sibling in the house but it is cute enough on its own to just enjoy reading.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries

Where would you shelve it and why? Picture books

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Gardner High School, Gardner, MA

Date of review: 3/4/2015

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20 Big Trucks In the Middle of the Street by Mark Lee and illustrated by Kurt Cyrus

51Hz23uoBLL  20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street by Mark Lee and illustrated by Kurt Cyrus, Candlewick Press, 2015

Format: Boardbook

Rating: 5

What did you like about the book? For a child who likes trucks, this is the perfect book. From one to twenty, trucks line up in the street and get into a huge traffic jam. Of course, the one truck left at the end of the story is the ice cream truck. I especially liked how all different types of trucks were highlighted and how the little boy on the bike figured out how to solve the traffic jam.

What didn’t you like about the book? I liked everything about this book

To whom would you recommend this book? The pictures of the trucks are extremely appealing for young children who love trucks.

Who should buy this book? All libraries

Where would you shelve it and why? Picture books

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sandra Pacheco, Gardner Public Schools, Gardner, MA

Date of review: March 3, 2015

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Wish by Matthew Cordell

51VDJxvSrBL      Wish by Matthew Cordell, Disney Books, 2015

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 3

What did you like about the book? An elephant mother and father wish, prepare for and wait for a new baby. At one point in the story, it looks like their waiting is in vain, however, after a while, the new baby arrives. The illustrations are endearing and the whole book is pleasant visually.

What didn’t you like about the book? It is a little confusing when the couple doesn’t get their wish and then go back to their lives. Then, out of the blue, the baby arrives. Confusing for me and I’m sure confusing for kids hearing the story.

To whom would you recommend this book? New moms and dads will like reading this story to their toddlers.

Who should buy this book? All libraries

Where would you shelve it and why? Picture books

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sandra Pacheco, Gardner Public Schools, Gardner, MA

Date of review: March 3, 2015

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There, There by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Ivan Bates

   51FMMn2yeHL      There, There by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Ivan Bates, Templar Books, 2015

Format: Boardbook

Rating: 5

What did you like about the book? “There, there, Hansie Bear, You’ll be better soon,” is what Hansie’s dad says to him every time he hurts himself. This board book is perfect for a toddler who can identify with the little bear who needs his dad to comfort him. When Hansie’s dad gets a thorn in his foot, Hansie knows just what to say to comfort his dad. It is illustrated in adorable pictures and is very kid-friendly.

What didn’t you like about the book? I liked everything about this book

To whom would you recommend this book? This is an especially good book for young toddlers, as the illustrations are colorful and the story is repetitive enough that it makes for an interactive read.

Who should buy this book? All libraries

Where would you shelve it and why? Picture books

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sandra Pacheco, Gardner Public Schools, Gardner, MA

Date of review: March 3, 2015

 

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Utopia, Iowa by Brian Yansky

51bN81DXRhL   Utopia, Iowa by Brian Yansky, Candlewick Press, 2015.

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  4

Genre:  Paranormal

What did you like about the book? Many residents of Jack’s town have a special ability, such as an uncanny ability to find things or unfailing good luck. Jack’s ability is that he can see and talk to ghosts and as a result, he keeps showing up at murder sites. Unfortunately, the detective working the cases doesn’t believe in ghosts, so he thinks Jack is somehow involved in the murders. The only way Jack can clear his name is to figure out who (or what) is responsible for the deaths. Despite its horror elements, the story’s tone is ultimately homey and reassuring as family and neighbors reveal themselves to be people on whom Jack can count. Jack’s family dynamics ring true as he and his little sister try to weather a rough patch in their parents’ marriage. Oh, and there’s a hint of romance between Jack and his long-time best friend, Ash, though she brushed him off when he tried to kiss her last year.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  It was over too soon, but there are enough loose ends that a sequel may be planned.

To whom would you recommend this book? Recommend to girls (and boys) who enjoy paranormal mysteries, especially fans of Rachel Hawkins’ Hex Hall series and of Katie Alender’s books, such as Famous Last Words.

Who should buy this book?  Middle schools, high schools, YA collections in public libraries.

Where would you shelve it? Shelve in fiction or with Paranormal Fiction if you are using genre shelving.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Not necessary, but it is an entertaining read.

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

Date of review: 3/3/15

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Over the Hills and Far Away: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes – collected by Elizabeth Hammill, illustrated by more than 70 celebrated artists

61HAyhwo8TL  Over the Hills and Far Away: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes – collected by Elizabeth Hammill, illustrated by more than 70 celebrated artists, Candlewick, 2015.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 5!!

Genre: Nursery/Mother Goose Rhymes +

What did you like about the book? This is the best book of Nursery rhymes I have ever seen and there are lots and lots of really good ones out there. Not only does this one include rhymes you have probably never seen (I hadn’t) along with many of your favorites but each is illustrated by a different children’s book illustrator! So the flavor of the book is difficult to describe. Read it aloud to your children.

What didn’t you like about this book? Absolutely nothing

To whom would you recommend this book?  Everyone everywhere! Public libraries and day-cares and lower elementary schools

Who should buy this book? Public Libraries

Where would you shelve it and why?  398.2

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Gardner High School, Gardner, MA

Date of review: 3/3/2015

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