Sol (¡Haga el tiempo que haga!) by Carol Thompson

    Sol (¡Haga el tiempo que haga!) by Carol Thompson, translated by Teresa Mlawer. Child’s Play, 2017. 9781846439803

Format: Board book

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

What did you like about the book? Very young children experience weather through all their senses. This delightful Spanish translation portrays activities related to the sun with simple text. Mixed media collage art depicts a tribe of racially diverse toddlers reveling in the sun.

To whom would you recommend this book?  (Read-alikes if you can think of them) This reminds me of Helen Oxenbury’s simple board books.

Who should buy this book? Day cares and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Board books

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: August 17, 2017

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Lluvia (¡Haga el tiempo que haga!) by Carol Thompson

   Lluvia (¡Haga el tiempo que haga!) by Carol Thompson, translated by Teresa Mlawer. Child’s Play, 2017. 9781846439797

Format: Board book

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

What did you like about the book? Very young children experience weather through all their senses. This delightful Spanish translation uses onomatopoeia and simple text to explore the sights, sounds and feel of rain. Mixed media collage art depicts a tribe of racially diverse toddlers reveling in rain.

To whom would you recommend this book?  (Read-alikes if you can think of them) The style reminds me of Helen Oxenbury’s simple board books.

Who should buy this book? Day cares and public libraries, especially where books in Spanish are desired.

Where would you shelve it ? Board books

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: August 17, 2017

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Two Times a Traitor – by Karen Bass

  Two Times a Traitor – by Karen Bass, Pajama Press, 978-1-77278-024-6, 2107

 Format: Paperback

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

 Genre: Historical Fiction

 What did you like about the book? Laz’s growth in the book is evident. Hard times often force maturity and Laz dealt with his situation well considering. The connections Laz made to those around him were especially poignant.

 Anything you didn’t like about it? The wrap up seemed a bit rushed. The arrival of a sympathetic doctor at the end seemed convenient. However, he was a nice plot tool for setting up Laz’s immediate need to form a plausible excuse as well as decide on his next steps.

To whom would you recommend this book? Any child looking for regional historic fiction like Forbes’ Johnny Tremain.

 Who should buy this book? Middle Schools and Public Libraries

 Where would you shelve it? Juvenile Fiction

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

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

 Date of review: 08/16/2017

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Sit – by Deborah Ellis

    Sit – by Deborah Ellis, Groundwood Books, 9781773060866, 2017 

Format: Paperback

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

 Genre: Fiction / Short Stories

 What did you like about the book? The brevity of the stories did not take away from the diversity or perspective of each child. The stories also feel as if they come full circle. The first and second stories find a sense of closure when we meet them again in the last two stories. The title, Sit, insinuates that these children are stationary in life. However, each child seems to be hyperaware of their environment and finds measures to exert their autonomy in difficult situations. As readers, the idea that each child can define their place in their surroundings across such varying backgrounds encourages us to see a sense of community between them.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No.

To whom would you recommend this book? Great for any child who enjoyed books focused on children’s lives around the world like Laroche’s If you Lived Here: Houses of the World or Perrin’s At the Same Moment, Around the World.

Who should buy this book? Middle Schools and Public Libraries

 Where would you shelve it? Fiction / Short Stories

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

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

Date of review: 08/16/2017

 

 

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Once in a Blue Moon – written and illustrated by Danielle Daniel

   Once in a Blue Moon – written and illustrated by Danielle Daniel, Groundwood Books, (9781554989751), 2017.

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

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

Genre: Poetry

What did you like about the book? Fourteen short poems starting with the phrase, “Once in a blue moon…” introduce young children to the idea of observing small wonders in the natural world around them. Each poem is only four lines long, “Once in a blue moon, / riding my red bike, / I spot a row of ducks / crossing the dirt road.” The brevity of the poems allows them to be displayed on an ample background of inviting white space. Each poem is illustrated on the facing page with a charming picture utilizing a cast of multicultural children. The overriding message is a worthy one – remember to notice the simple wonders that happen around us every day and regard them with the reverence they deserve.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  An explanation of what “Once in a blue moon” means would have been nice for children unfamiliar with the phrase.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend to elementary school teachers to introduce children in grades K-2 to poetry as a genre. Children could be encouraged to imitate the format to write and illustrate their own “once in a blue moon” poems.

Readalikes: Recommend to young readers who love Nature but are not yet ready for When Green Becomes Tomatoes.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve in 811 with poetry books.

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

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

Date of review:  8/16/17

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Pattan’s Pumpkin: A Traditional Flood Story from Southern India – by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Frané Lessac

  Pattan’s Pumpkin: A Traditional Flood Story from Southern India – by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Frané Lessac, Candlewick Press, (9780763692742), 2017.

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

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

Genre: Myths

What did you like about the book? When flood waters threaten to wash out his peaceful valley, Pattan, a farmer, climbs into an enormous pumpkin he grew, and with the help of local animals, hollows it out enough to float himself, his wife, and the small community of plants and animals that share their homestead to safety. Pattan’s kind-hearted personality is revealed by the way he tends the sickly pumpkin vine, shares the fruits of his land with the animals around him, and leaves no one behind when the flood comes. Illustrations showing the smiling Pattan, his wife, and their contented-looking animals are rendered in vivid hues of blue, aquamarine, orange, brown and green. An author’s note explains that this story is a modified version of a traditional tale she first read in her native country of India that featured a giant gourd instead of a pumpkin.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Readers may be left with questions. For instance, if the pumpkin floated for days, doesn’t the survivors’ trek back to their valley merit some description? Also, why would Pattan only save one seed from such a wondrous pumpkin?

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommended for reading aloud for fairy tale/myth units for grades 2 – 4.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve with Picture Books.

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

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

Date of review:  8/17/17

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The Incredible Magic of Being – by Kathryn Erskine

 The Incredible Magic of Being – by Kathryn Erskine, Scholastic Press, 9781338148510, 2017

 Format: Hardcover

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

 Genre: Magical Realism

 What did you like about the book? Julian finds space for magic and science in their world view. Magic seems to thrum in the background of Julian’s family, stringing them together. It is apt to parallel the truly unconditional love that is built around family with magic. Julian understands that science can clarify a lot, but there will always be something just beyond explanation when it comes to the interconnectedness of love. It really hits home the idea that the family we have and the family we build around us will always be there.

 Anything you didn’t like about it? No.

To whom would you recommend this book? Children looking for a touch of magic to explain what binds a family together.

 Who should buy this book? Middle Schools and Public Libraries

 Where would you shelve it? Juvenile Fiction

 Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? If not at the very top, this is still a book that should be read by everyone.

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

 Date of review: 08/15/2017

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