Thursday, July 24, 2014

Great CD'S for a Car Trip

Looking for something to listen to on a car trip?   Try these CD’S.  They’ll keep the kids entertained and parents will also enjoy them.
Throw A Penny In The Wishing Well – by Jennifer Gasoi 
Blue Clouds – by Elizabeth Mitchell 
Recess – by Justin Roberts
Can You Canoe? – by The Okee Dokee Brothers
Kids in the City – by  Laura Doherty

Throw a Penny in the Wishing Well, Blue Clouds, Recess and Can You Canoe are all Grammy Award Winning CD’s.

Kids in the City is a great CD to listen to if you are traveling to Chicago.  Laura Doherty is a Chicago native and most of the songs have a Chicago theme, such as “El Train”.

A Poor Excuse for a Dragon

Title:  A Poor Excuse for a Dragon
Author: Geoffrey Hayes
Illustrator: Geoffrey Hayes
Category: Beginner Reader
Pages: 48
Reading Level: Grade 2
Interest Level: Age 7-8
Series: No 
Reviewer: Kim

Fred the dragon was ready to leave home for the first time. He has his list of how to be a good dragon but he finds that he doesn't seem to be mastering it. He can't scare anyone and he would rather eat pancakes than people.  After some fun adventures with a frog, a princess, a bird, a hooty witch, a giant and a smart boy named John Little he learns what it finally means to be a good dragon for him, and it might not be what you think.  This is a great book for a beginning reader.  

Two Speckled Eggs

Title: Two Speckled Eggs
Author: Jennifer K. Mann
Category: Picture Book
Interest Level: 5-8
Reviewer: Chelsea

Ginger is having a birthday party and wants to invite all the girls in her class, except for Lyla Browning. Lyla is kind of weird and smells like old leaves. She likes to do her own thing, where Ginger is more comfortable fitting in with everyone else. Ginger's mother says she can only have a party as long as everyone is included, so Ginger begrudgingly gives Lyla an invitation. Ginger's much anticipated birthday party ends up going a bit differently than she had hoped, as girls complain, create a mess, and end up ruining all of her games. Everyone that is, except for Lyla. Ginger realizes how nice Lyla's been throughout the whole party, even gobbling down the pineapple and coconut cake that others refused to eat. Their friendship is solidified with Lyla's gift, a homemade bird's nest with two malted milk eggs. This is a great book to discuss seeing beyond the way people look or are perceived, and the value of  true friendship.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hopper and Wilson Fetch a Star

Title: Hopper and Wilson Fetch a Star
Author: Maria van Lieshout
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40 pages
Reading Level: 5-8 years
Reviewer: Chelsea

Hopper, an elephant, and Wilson, a little yellow mouse are the best of friends. Looking into the sky one night they have a wonderful idea to go and fetch a star for a night light. Wilson and Hopper make their paper airplane, powered by lemonade of course, and set off on their adventure. Waving goodbye to their friend, Cactus, they journey among the stars in search of the perfect one. While taking a pit stop on the moon Wilson gets lost and can't find his way back to Hopper. Thankfully, a beautiful and bright star illuminates the sky for the two best friends to find their way back to one another. Hopper and Wilson have the cutest friendship, and the illustrations throughout are darling.You can also check out Hopper and Wilson's first adventure in Hopper and Wilson.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ruthie and the (not so) very busy day by Laura Rankin

Author/Illustrator: Laura Rankin
Category:  Picture Book

Number of Pages: unpaged
Reading Level: Ages 5-6
Interest Level: Ages 3-6
Series: Read another book featuring Ruthie: Ruthie and the (not so) teeny tiny lie
Reviewer: Sarah

We’re planners in my family. As days off approach, we grab a piece of construction paper and markers and write out the things we want to do. Recently a list made by my daughter included: “make cupcakes, go to the playground and run around outside wearing goggles.” So we get how frustrating it can be when something unexpected and not so fun gets in the way of those plans.

And this is why we love Ruthie so much in our house. Ruthie has been looking forward to Saturday – a no work, no school, no events kind of day. She has big plans – baking, cartoon watching, playing with her mom and dad! But the day takes a turn when Ruthie’s dad has to go help grandma with a wet basement and Ruthie’s mom remembers a birthday party for a mean cousin they are supposed to attend. Well if she has to go to this birthday party, Ruthie at least wants to wear her pretty dress. But it’s dirty and the washing machine breaks! The disappointments pile up and sweet Ruthie gets so frustrated that she stomps out of the house. What I love as a parent is that she works through those emotions and ends up coming back up to her mom who is also disappointed about how the day has gone. The two of them share such a sweet moment.  And rest assured that Ruthie’s day ends up alright after all.

Such a lovely book about families with bright, colorful pictures that really capture the emotions. Enjoy!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Title:  Mommy's Little Sunflowers

Author: Angela McAllister
Illustrator: Alison Edgson
Category:  Picture Book
Number of Pages: 32
Reading Level: Ages 7-9
Interest Level:: Ages 4-7
Series: No
Reviewer: Clarice

Scurry, the little mouse, is going to plant a sunflower seed he got from school to grow the sunflower for his mom.  When he wakes up the next morning ready to plant the seed, Sucrry discovers that his younger brother, Scamp, has eaten it!  When they set out to find some more seeds they realize there are many different yellow flowers, and they are too small to reach the sunflowers.  Read on to find out how they solve the problem of being too small to reach the sunflowers to get a seed and how they solve the problem of quickly getting a sunflower for their mom.

Three Times Lucky

Title: Three Times Lucky
Author: Sheila Turnage
Illustrator: none
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Pages: 312
Reading Level: Ages 9-13
Interest Level:  Ages 9-13
Series: No
Reviewer: Sandy

Eleven year old Mo LeBeau is clever and funny in this mystery set in a small town in North Carolina. When she was a baby, Mo was rescued from the river by the Colonel, who runs the local café. He and Miss Lana, the hostess, have raised her. We get to know many of the quirky characters who live in town by their visits to the café, which also serves as a meeting place for various activities such as karate class and baby showers.  Mo and her best friend, Dale, become detectives while trying to solve a murder in town.  I loved the give and take between Mo and Dale. She is outspoken and confident while Dale is a bit nervous. Mo is ready to charge in---Dale not so much. While the story is fun and mysterious, the author touches on some serious issues such as alcohol addiction and spousal and child abuse. Three Times Lucky is the book choice for our Juvenile Book Club on July 14. It was also a Newbery Honor Award book for 2013.