The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig – Emer Stamp

71sH+mtpovL The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig - Emer Stamp, Scholastic Press, (9780545694667), 2015

Format: Paperback.

Rating: 3

What did you like about the book? This is a funny story about a pig trying to escape the supper pot, with the help of his best friend, Duck. When Pig discovers that the Farmer isn’t giving him “lots of slops” because he loves him, he teams up with his enemies the “evil chickens” to escape to Pluto. Pig tells us about the chickens: “They is EVIL, but they is smart as haystacks too.” Pig will be their astronaut on a rocket they have built that is powered by poo. The black and white illustrations add to the fun. Sure to be a hit with young fans of potty humor, it also tells a nice story about friendship.

Anything you didn’t like about it? There was one British word that most children might not recognize “sat nav” instead of gps, but most will be able to figure it out.

To whom would you recommend this book?  The humor, especially the references to poo and farts, will be very much enjoyed by fans of Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants and Super Diaper Baby books and for older fans of Doreen Cronin’s Giggle, Giggle, Quack.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries.

Where would you shelve it and why? I would shelf this in my Chapter Book section for grades 2-4.

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Not really.

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

Date of review:  3/27/15

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Bluffton: My Summers with Buster Keaton – Matt Phelan

51e9hpAGY+L Bluffton: My Summers with Buster Keaton, Matt Phelan, Candlewick Press, 2013

Format: Hardcover.

Rating:  5

Genre: Graphic novel

What did you like about the book? Matt Phelan has created a beautiful graphic novel that perfectly captures the turn of the century in a small Michigan town. We met young Henry, whose quiet summers are changed forever when a vaudeville troupe comes to stay nearby. They come to town with an elephant and several performers of Henry’s age, one of whom is Buster Keaton. Through the artwork, the reader comes to see that while Henry longs for the freedom of the stage, Buster longs for everyday things like baseball and fishing. Each summer is depicted as filled with fun and high jinx, while the rest of Henry’s year passes with ordinary days filled with school and working at his father’s hardware store. The book ends by jumping forward in time, where Henry has found his own place in the world of show business, while Buster becomes a celebrated actor and filmmaker. This graphic novel is a lovely story about friendship and growing up. The illustrations, in pencil and watercolor, are full of muted colors and are a perfect complement to the text. An author’s note gives a bit more background information about Bluffton and Buster Keaton.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is one to hand to children who love the graphic novel format.

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

Where would you shelve it and why? I would shelf this with graphic novels due to the format.

Should we (librarians) put this on 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:    3/27/15

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My Family Tree and Me by Dusan Petricic

91MahvklE9L     My Family Tree and Me by Dusan Petricic, Kids Can Press, (9781771380492), 2015

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 5

Genre: picture book

What did you like about the book? This is a very different book that can be read from both ends. Starting the book the traditional way, we follow a child’s background and ancestors who came from Europe. Starting the book from the other end, we see the other side of his family coming from a Chinese family. Both families end in the middle with the marriage of the two people from 2 different backgrounds and cultures. It is a great way of showing the blending of cultures.

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

To whom would you recommend this book? Children from bi-racial families will love to read this book.

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 27, 2015

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So Cozy by Lerryn Korda

51BHHYORXvL     So Cozy by Lerryn Korda, Candlewick Press, (978-0763673734), 2015

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4

Genre: picture book

What did you like about the book? Dog’s bed looks so cozy that lots of animals join dog for a nap in his bed. When a tiny mouse tries to join the group, it is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Unfortunately, the mouse had tickled the elephant’s nose and had caused him to sneeze, upsetting everyone in the bed. When the dog is left alone in his bed at the end, the little mouse snuggles up to him, so cozy.

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

To whom would you recommend this book? Toddlers will like this book, as they can see the progression of adding more and more animals to the bed.

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 27, 2015

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Little Bird Takes a Bath by Marisabina Russo

51s4bX+uBnL     Little Bird Takes a Bath, by Marisabina Russo, Schwartz & Wade Books, (978-0385370141), 2015

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4

Genre: picture book

What did you like about the book? Little Bird sets off in search of the perfect puddle in order to take a bath. We watch him try puddle after puddle, only to be pushed aside by the children, balls, cars, and dogs. Eventually he finds a public fountain and takes the perfect bath.

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

To whom would you recommend this book? This is a cute book for toddlers. The illustrations are bold and the toddlers will root for the little bird as he looks for a place for a bath.

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 27, 2015

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Room for Bear by Ciara Gavin

 518Zqg1mdDL   Room for Bear by Ciara Gavin, Alfred A. Knopf, (978-0385754736), 2015

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4

Genre: picture book

What did you like about the book? Bear finds the perfect family one spring – a duck family. He moves in and becomes a part of the family and a part of their hearts. When his size makes the living arrangements unbearable, Bear leaves. The happy ending comes when they work out their living arrangements in order to accommodate Bear’s size. This is a book about unconditional love in families.

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

To whom would you recommend this book? This is a good book for children who come from non-traditional families. It’s a great read-aloud book as the illustrations are bold and they seem to illustrate the ideas of the story perfectly.

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 27, 2015

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Hippos are Huge by Jonathan London and illustrated by Matthew Trueman

61KSKIiLkdL    Hippos are Huge by Jonathan London and illustrated by Matthew Trueman, Candlewick Press, (978-0763665920), 2015

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 5

Genre: picture book, non-fiction

What did you like about the book? This is the first non-fiction book that I have read that is truly child-oriented, yet informative. The illustrations are both detailed and funny. This book follows a hippo through its life cycle and makes a huge scary hippo not only huge and scary, but also cute. The illustrations have the hippo smiling and swimming with its babies.

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

To whom would you recommend this book? Toddlers will love the illustrations and will grab onto the facts of the hippo.

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 27, 2015

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