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Saturday, July 20, 2013

REVIEWS!!!!! Friends-ala-pal-ooza!

My friend and children's librarian Nina Sachs has been holding F&Gs (fold and gathers for not in the know, they're used for corrections and advanced reviews) for me and I scored big time (two boxes full). I confess I picked out my friends (and some of them were Christmas and Halloween books, which I can't wait to review, but want to be a bit more timely about) and will review all 2013 books. Next week I will mix it up because it's great to see the new stuff, but there are so many WONDERFUL books, I want to keep interspersing the young and the old, because it's all GOOD!





You're Wearing That to School?!
Lynn Plourde
illustrated by Sue Cornelison
Disney/Hyperion Books, 2013

The illustrations are fun and delightful and remind me a little of Felicia Bond's adorable drawings.
I love the joy and whimsy of the main character Penelope (she's a hippo after my own heart as well as having a similar fashion sense) as well as the worry and caution of her best friend Tiny (he's the kind of conscience I have)! Plourde expresses so well the angst and concerns of a first day of school in a lively manner. I love the ending of this book as well!

other books by Lynn Plourde: Lost Trail: 9 Days Alone in the Wilderness (Donn Fendler co-author, Ben Bishop, illustrator); Thank you Granpa (Jason Cockroft, illustrator); Wild Child (Greg Couch, illustrator); Only Cows Allowed (Rebecca Harrison Reed, illustrator); Dino Pets Go To School (Gideon Kendall, illustrator); Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud (John Schoenherr, illustrator)

other books by Sue Cornelison: Bitty Baby Brave (Kirby Larson, author); Sofia's Dream (Land Wilson, author); We Share (Monica Bradford, author); Paulo's Wall (Rachelle Desimone, author); Tales of Beauty (L.L. Owens, author)





A Day in the Deep
Kevin Kurtz
illustrated by Erin E. Hunter

Sylvan Dell Publishers, 2013

For the burgeoning scientist or oceanographer, wonderful for homeschoolers this was such a fun read. The book comes with four pages of activities as well as more free activities online. Told in rhyme, it's a fairly quick read that journey's lower and lower to the depths of the ocean, descending all the way to 5,000 feet. The introduction to bioluminescence and the effects of being under pressure, the strange creatures adapting to their surroundings will intrigue kids, no doubt. I enjoyed Hunters illustrations, as the creatures could have been more fearsome, but her deft handling of light and color/contrast, it was a much safer journey than in the cage shown. I learned lots of new things, so I'm caught up on a few days of one of my life's goals: to learn something new everyday.

Other books by Kevin Kurtz: A Day in the Salt Marsh (Consie Powell, illustrator); A Day on the Mountain (E.E. Hunter, illustrator); Mortimer and the Powerful Sword

Other books by Erin E. Hunter: The Great Divide (Suzanne Slade, author); The Plateau: Voices of the Earth (Maureen Dudley, author); Warriors, Omen of the Stars #1 and 2




Bugs in my Hair!
David Shannon
Blue Sky Press, imprint of Scholastic, 2013


There seems to be a plethora of exclamation points in titles. This one is deserved (and from one of the original punctuationists!)Told with Shannon's signature humor and illustrations, it subdues the "ick" factor enough to move the story along. A common problem that receives scant attention, it's informative, funny, interesting, and best of all, defuses the "shame" of being a lousy person! A great service, this book, though I'm still itching, just like Mom!

Other books by David Shannon: No, David!; A Bad Case of Stripes; Too Many Toys; Jangles: a Big Fish Story; Alice the Fairy; The Rain Came Down; Good Boy, Fergus!





Community Soup
Alma Fullerton
Pajama Press, 2013

Kioni has a herd of goats  that goEVERYWHERE, like Mary and her lamb and are quite mischievous! It certainly makes soup day, when everyone should be collecting vegetables more of a challenge. Fullerton masterfully runs through the paces and emotions of tracking down the pesky, calico haired goats, her illustrations colorful and very tactile. Very different and visually appealing with her mixture of painted and reference materials, cloth and cut outs, I really liked the feel of the illustrations. And a recipe (and yes, I will be trying it, and I'm very biased as I love recipes in children's books!

Other books by Alma Fullerton: A Good Trade (Karen Patkau, illustrator); Libertad; In the Garage; Walking on Glass; Burn


Who Goes There?
Karma Wilson
illustrated by Anna Currey
Margaret McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster, 2013

Wilson is best known for her impeccable rhyme, and though this is a mixture of prose and rhyme, it still reads easily as a poem. Louis Mouse loves his home and is settling in for the winter, when an ominous Scritch, Scratch, tap, tap, tap, intrudes. I really love the BeatrixPotter-y feeling to Currey's illustrations, and the refrain just begs to be repeated by young listeners.

Other books by Karma Wilson: Bear Snores On (Jane Chapman, illustrator);  Bear Gives Thanks (Jane Chapman, illustrator); Bear Wants More (Jane Chapman, illustrator); The Cow Loves Cookies (Marcellus Hall, illustrator); Baby Cakes (Sam Williams, illustrator); A Frog in the Bog (Joan Rankin, illustrator); Never, Ever Shout in a Zoo (Doug Cushman, illustrator)

Other books by Anna Currey: When the World was Waiting For You (Gillian Shields, author); The Wishing Club: A Story About Fractions (Donna Jo Napoli, author); Dancing Magic (Silverlake Fairy School) (Elizabeth Lindsay, author);  Chick 'n' Pug (Jennifer Sattler, author); A Babysitter for Billy Bear (Miriam Moss, author)



Hey Charleston! The True Story of the Jenkins Orphanage Band
Anne Rockwell
illustrated by Colin Bootman
Carolhoda books, a division of Lerner books, 2013

I don't know if the bias is because it's an inspirational time, inspirational subject, or because it's similar in feel in my w-i-p, but I JUST LOVE THIS BOOK. I was not aware of some of the pre-history of jazz, and this story is wonderful history and read. I thought I'd filled my learning quota with the other books, but I learned a lot from this book as well. Great connections to music, giving, integrity, it recounts the story of Reverend Daniel Joseph Jenkins, an orphan himself, taking on the plight of orphans at turn of the century South Carolina. His giving resulted in hope, self-sufficiency and a new art form. I had never made the connection for instance between The Charleston, and with one of the original mash ups, African and band music born from repurposed Civil War instruments. Just WONDERFUL.

Other books by Anne Rockwell: Thanksgiving Day (Liz Rockwell, illustrator); Three Bears and Fifteen Other Stories; Big George: How a Shy Boy Became President Washington; In Our House; My Flowers are Growing; 100 School Days (Lizzy Rockwell, illustrator); The Gollywhopper Egg; Clouds (A Read-and-Find-Science book- Stage One) (Frane Lessac, illustrator)

Other books by Colin BootmanIn My Momma's Kitchen (Jerdine Nolan, author); Grandma's Pride (Golden Kite Honors) (Becky Birtha, author); Dad, Jackie and Me (Myron Uhlberg, author); Don't Say Ain't (Irene Smalls, author); A Storm Called Katrina (Myron Uhlberg, author)




Hopefully I'll have all my programs up and running by Monday, so will resume coloring pages. I'm sharing a bunch of my kanji designs which you can find at After Midnight Art Stamps (I think they still make them, but there's other images of mine there! Have a wonderful weekend all!