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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Room with a review... or two-or few

Lion vs Rabbit
Alex Latimer
Peachtree, 2013

A fun and funny tale on...bullying. Lion is used to being the big foot on the steppe, the tangle in the jungle, the sortee on the savannah... sorry, this one made me giggle. Without being overly pedantic, Alex brings the big cat to heel, and I could see little one squealing. Alright, I showed this to my fourteen year old and the delightful snorts and squeals of delight, and my own reaction, perhaps it's a book appreciated best by the young at heart. I really loved the quirky illustration style and the humor of this book.

Other books by Alex Latimer: Penguin's Hidden Talent;  The Boy Who Cried Ninja

Xander's Panda Party
Linda Sue Park
illustrated by Matt Phelan
Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013

Xander plans a panda party that changes with every new challenge. Starting with his initial idea for a panda party-- but he's the only panda and one panda does not a party make. A sweet, fun tale, Linda Sue tells in a swingy rhyme, and Matt Phelan's watercolors are expressive, joyous and perfectly fit the style of the words. The social story doesn't hit you over the head, and the author's note at the end talking about the characters and showing the logic behind the changes in the story is interesting, fun and thank you so much for feeding my inner geek!

Other books by Linda Sue Park: See-saw Girl (illustrated by Mou-Sien Tseng and Jean Tseng);The Single Shard; When My Name was Keoko; The Kite Fighters; A Long Walk to Water; Bee-Bim Bop! (illustrated by Ho Baek Lee); Project Mulberry; The FireKeepers' Son; Archer's Quest; Keeping Score

Other books by Matt Phelan: The Storm in the Barn (Scott O'Dell award, YALSA great Graphic novel for teens, ALA Notable); Around the World; I'll Be There (written by Ann Stott); The New Girl and Me (written by Jacqui Robbins); Rosa Farm (written by Liz Wu); The Higher Power of Lucky (written by Susan Patron, Newbery Award); Big George (written by Anne Rockwell); Spilling Ink (written by Ann Mazer and Ellen Potter); Flora's Very Windy Day (written by Jeanne Birdsall); Where I Live (written by Eileen Spinelli)

Whimsy's Heavy Things
Julie Kraulis
Tundra Books, September 2013

Julie's book feels nostalgic, but in a good way to me. A metaphorical, sweet story, the illustrations embody the title in a sensitive way. It's a thoughtful story that could be used to talk with children about depression and dealing with harsh life events, or as a simple story to uplift. This is one I will keep for my personal library as a lovely reminder of how process the more difficult in life.

Julie's BLOG

The King of Little Things
Bil Lepp
illustrated by David T. Wenzel
Peachtree, 2013

One of the advantages of reviewing books on my blog, I don't have to pretend any impartiality at all. I really loved the batch of books I reviewed, and in light of the ones I did not choose (the companion post to these reviews), I'm in deep thought about what is sent into the world and why. That's all well in good, I JUST. LOVE. THIS. BOOK. I love it on so many levels, I promise not to wax poetic about it, but will mention it in the other post and why it's so important. Suffice it to say, I hope this book does extremely well, I know children who sometimes FEEL as little as they are will most definitely delight and relate to this book. It's an important yet gentle reminder without the head bonking of a hammer to the noggin. Oh yes, and it's quite a delightful fun read, and the art sparkled for me. All of these books are keepers for me, they BELONG on my shelf.

Other work by Bil Lepp: Buck Meets the Monster Stick (co-written by Paul Lepp); The Monster Stick and Other Appalachian Trail Tall Tales (co-written with Paul Lepp); Half Dollar; Inept Impaired Overwhelmed: Tall Tales from West Virginia and Beyond; Team Up! Tell in Tandem: A "How To" Guide From Experienced Tandem Storytellers (co written with, Jonatha Hammer Wright, Charlotte Blake Alston, Judith Black and Jenny and Rick Carson); Mayhem Dressed Like an Eight Point Buck

I did something slightly different and will be doing it from now on (I may get ambitious on a rainy day and do this retroactively, but I do this now as good practice, honing my critical skills and as a service to get it out- or I don't get paid, so it'll have to wait, lol). If there's a blog, I will create another link in the other works or one specifically. I primarily do this for me (if you want to write something you should not only read it but know what's being offered is the way I feel about it). And when I started out, I wanted to know about process and all of it. Hence the links to the other things. So for my own sake if I ever want to come back and locate some of this info quickly (okay, just PRETEND the search engines need a tune-up!) or if someone is reading these reviews wants to know more about the books, the creators. Anyhow. Just so you know. The links to the tags under the titles go to the sites, the links in the lower are to the blogs, in case you want to get to know more about process....