The Dragonsitter’s Castle (Dragonsitter, book 3) by Josh Lacey, illustrated by Garry Parsons

51l3dZbMLbL._SX342_BO1,204,203,200_ The Dragonsitter’s Castle (Dragonsitter, book 3) by Josh Lacey, illustrated by Garry Parsons Little Brown and Company, (9780316382403), 2016.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book? An entertaining romp with dragons, composed entirely of emails exchanged between young Edward Smith-Pickle and his uncle Morton. Uncle Morton’s dinosaurs show up at Eddie’s house right before Christmas, and he has a heck of a time managing his parents’ chagrin with the unwanted guests, especially since his parents are divorced. This easy to read chapter book relays the challenges Eddie faces as he juggles two rascally dragons with vacation, miffed parents and the ever-on-his-way-but-never-quite-arriving Uncle. It was easy to pick up on the back story in this third book in the series.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Kids who like dragons. Reminds me of Ursula Vernon’s Dragonbreath series.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Fiction

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

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

Date of review: Jun 24, 2016

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Escrito y Dibujado por Enriqueta por Liniers

 51pKY8nYDyL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_      Escrito y Dibujado por Enriqueta por Liniers, Toon Books, 2015,  9781935179917

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  5

Genre:  Graphic novel

What did you like about the book? Henrietta’s mom gives her a box of colored pencils. She gets so wrapped up in drawing and writing a story for herself about a three-headed monster that she scares herself. But, she realizes that she is in control, so she creates a happy ending. I love that the little girl is creating her story while describing her creative process to her pet and the reader.  Outlined ink and watercolor cels on each page narrate Henrietta’s creative progress, while large pastel drawings show her story as she writes it. The author is Argentine cartoonist Ricardo Sir, who goes by his middle name, Liniers. Spanish and English editions both came out in the U.S. in September 2015. The book was originally published in 2013.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Beginning readers who like comics

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries with Spanish-speaking populations

Where would you shelve it ? Graphic novels/Easy readers/Spanish language collections

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

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

Date of review: June 23, 2015

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Good Night, Baddies written by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Juli Kangas

61Amqj02j7L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_        Good Night, Baddies written by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Juli Kangas, Simon and Schuster, (9781481409841), 2016.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5:  5 (Starred review)

Genre:  Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  As day draws to a close, tired “baddies” from famous folk tales and fairy tales head home for supper and bedtime. In rhyme, the narrator walks them through their evening routine, asking the giant, “Did you get your treasure back? / Did you catch that awful Jack?” and to the evil queen, “Tuck your poisoned fruit away. / Find Snow White another day.”  The illustrations of the now mellow wolves and witches and dragons feeding each other supper and tucking each other into bed are adorable. Attentive readers can match up the sleepy “baddies” with the folk and fairy tales with which they go.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No, it’s all good.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Parents and children who enjoy humor in their bedtime books, elementary teachers for a humorous addition to fairy tale units and to discuss point of view, counselors to open a discussion of how even “baddies” have companions who care about them.

Who should buy this book? Public and school libraries, classrooms, and home settings.

Where would you shelve it? Shelve with other picture books.

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:  6/23/16

 

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The Lighthouse Family: The Octopus – Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Preston McDaniels

51c5lONU2lL         The Lighthouse Family: The Octopus – Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Preston McDaniels, Beach Lane Books, (Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers), (9780689862465), c2005, 2016

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre: Fiction

What did you like about the book?   This is a beautiful and gentle story about friendship and family. The Lighthouse Family “…is a happy family. Pandora, the cat, and Seabold, the dog, are raising three mouse-children, in addition to keeping the light.” This is a lovely mixed family that chose to be together. The back story is told in the very beginning for readers not familiar with the series. In this adventure, the two older mouse-children, Whistler and Lila, are allowed to head down the beach to explore during a very low tide.   They are packed a breakfast and set off to explore. The two see a lot of the usual creatures such as crabs and starfish, but then they find Cleo, an octopus. Whistler and Lila agree to keep Cleo company until the tide comes back. There is a bit of danger, when Cleo gets stuck in the mud as the tide returns, but Cleo saves the day. The three friends agree to meet the next day, and Cleo brings his parents. The pencil illustrations have a soft texture and perfectly capture the sweetness of the story. Readers will be eager to read the other titles in this series.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a lovely story for readers who are moving into chapter books. It is always nice to see a non-traditional family, even if they are animals. Children who have read other Lighthouse Family titles will welcome this new adventure.

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

Where would you shelve it? Fiction – chapter 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:  6/23 /16

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Big Friends – Linda Sarah, illustrated by Benji Davies

51p0blGhCzL         Big Friends – Linda Sarah, illustrated by Benji Davies, Henry Holt and Company, (9781627793308), 2016

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre: Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  In poetic text that flows like a free verse poem, a young boy learns that he can have more that one friend. Birt and Etho are two friends who spend the day with two cardboard boxes that become part of their imaginative play. “Sometimes they’re kings, soldiers, astronauts. Sometimes they’re pirates, sailing wild seas and skies. But always, always, they’re Big friends.” Birt loves being with Etho and “…loves their two-by-two rhythm.” One day a shy younger boy named Shu gathers the courage, and a large cardboard box, to ask if he cam play too. Etho is happy to befriend Shu, but Birt isn’t sure he likes sharing his friend. Birt stomps on his box and retreats to his house where he ignores the pleas of Etho and Shu to come out and play. But being alone is not so fun and when Shu and Etho show up with a huge contraption made of various cardboard boxes complete with wheels, Birt decides to join them. “It’s amazing! An incredible Monster-Creature-Box Thing!” The three play together and Birt realizes that he “…loves their three-by-three rhythm. It’s new. And its good.” The soft illustrations complement the lovely theme of friendship.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book? This is a great story to hand to a child who is trying to make friends. The imaginative use of the cardboard box will inspire some readers. A good addition to story times about friendship.

Who should buy this book? Public 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:  6/23/16

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Dog Diaries: Secret Writings of the WOOF Society, Betsy Byars, Betsy Duffy and Laurie Myers, illustrated by Erik Brooks

51+A87HVSEL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_   Dog Diaries: Secret Writings of the WOOF Society, Betsy Byars, Betsy Duffy and Laurie Myers, illustrated by Erik Brooks, Square Fish (Henry Holt and Company), (9781250073297), c2007, 2016

Format: Paperback

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

Genre: Fiction

What did you like about the book?  The canine members of WOOF ( Words of Our Friends) Society meet to share their stories and those of their ancestors. Chapters include “Abu: the dog who ruled Egypt,” “Dawg Strikes Gold,” and “Bo versus Bank Robber.” Dogs are present at such historical events as the California Gold Rush and Pompeii. There are also some ordinary pet dogs telling of their daily lives. One dog tells of his enemy the Disposal, which gets all the leftovers. “In “Mimi’s Guide to Life” we learn from a poodle that”People prefer to send you outside to do your business,…This is fine…if the weather permits…If rainy or snowy to otherwise disagreeable weather, feel free to use the carpet or floor, but be sure to hide it.” The pencil illustrations add to the story and break up the chapters for beginning readers.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be a great book for readers moving beyond easy readers. The short chapters and plentiful illustrations would make this a good introduction to chapter books. Of course, children who love dogs will really enjoy this one.

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

Where would you shelve it? Fiction

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: 6/22/16

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Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood – Liesl Shurtliff

51WA5TVTA3L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_        Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood – Liesl Shurtliff, Alfred A. Knopf, (9780385755832), 2016

Format: Hardcover

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

Genre: Fantasy

What did you like about the book?   This is a wonderful reimagining of classic fairytale characters. Red, is of course, Red Riding Hood, but in this version she has magic. Her grandmother is actually “the Witch of the Woods” as well as Rose Red. Granny tries to teach Red to use her magic, but things always seem to go wrong – such as roses springing from her nose instead of the ground. But, when Granny becomes ill while Red’s parents are away, she realizes that it is up to her to save Granny. Red sets off to find ingredients for a potion, the “Curious Cure All” and is soon joined by her annoying neighbor Goldie. The loquacious and constantly positive Goldie drives Red crazy, but she can’t seem to shake her. The two girls soon meet up with various mythical and fairytale creatures – dwarves, pixies, water sprites, wolves, bears and even a Beast. Red comes to realize that she need to have faith in herself and in her magic in order to have a happy ending. This is a story full of adventure, humor, friendship and love.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers whole fairytales will love this reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood. Recommended for readers who enjoyed the author’s previous novels, Rump: the true story of Rumpelstiltskin and Jack: the True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk.

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

Where would you shelve it? Fiction

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: 6/22/16

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