Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mr. Wayne's Masterpiece

Title:  Mr. Wayne's Masterpiece
Author:  Patricia Polacco
Illustrator: Patricia Polacco
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40
Reading Level:
Series: No
Reviewer: Clarice

Anyone who has read my blogs throughout the years may remember that I LOVE books by Patricia Polacco.  Many of her books are based on her life or family and always have some sort of message embedded in the story.  This book did not disappoint! Not only is it a wonderful story about school life, but it teaches us all about overcoming our fears, especially the fear of the unknown which many are now experiencing as their school year begins.    It is another story of Patricia's school experience.  When the book starts we are told that Patricia loves reading and even writing until she is asked to read one of her essays in class.  This is when she is faced with her fear of public speaking.  She is so frightened to talk in front of a group that she cannot even utter a sound and ends up sitting back down.  In an attempt to get her more comfortable with public speaking, her teacher introduces her to the drama teacher, Mr. Wayne.  Although Patricia is somewhat surprised that Mr. T., her teacher, thinks she would be a good candidate for the drama club, she quickly finds her niche painting scenery.  While she is painting and listening to the others practice their lines, Patricia memorizes the lines of each character!  Shortly before Opening Night, the student who has the lead suddenly moves.  They are in dire need of a person to take her place.  Could Patricia really overcome her stage fright and take over the lead?  Read on and find out.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mister Max the Book of Lost Things

Title: Mister Max The Book of Lost Things
Author: Cynthia Voigt
Illustrator: Iacopo Bruno
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Pages: 367
Reading Level: Ages 9-13
Series: No
Reviewer: Sandy

In this Victorian comic mystery, Max Starling is a twelve year old boy who is left alone after his parents mysteriously disappear. He has to figure out how to make some money while he searches for his parents. It turns out Max has a talent for finding things. His parents are theatrical people and Max uses various costumes and becomes a master of disguise which makes for some fun situations. If you are looking for a non violent mystery with lots of quirky characters, this is the book for you. It was our Family Book Club choice for August as well as our One Book One Kirkwood book.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Emma's Journey

Title: Emma's Journey
Author: Claire Frossard
Category: Picture Book
Reading Level: K-2
Series: Yes
Reviewer: Chelsea

Emma's Journey is a charming story about a little bird who lives in New York City. Emma spends her days in Central Park eating ice cream, making worm jam, and hanging out with her friend Duckyduck. After Duckyduck leaves home, Emma finds herself bored, and longing for her own adventure. When her Uncle Bob tells her they have family in Paris, she soon decides to "leave the nest" and make her way to the city of lights. Not having ventured outside of Central Park, Emma discovers the fast pace of the city can be a bit overwhelming. On her way, Emma sees the sites of New York, which are shown throughout the book in real pictures with the illustrated animals of Emma's world interposed. Being taken around the city with Emma makes you feel as though you're there too.

To see how Emma's adventure turns out you can check out this book, along with the equally adorable sequel Emma in Paris. You'll be sure to enjoy exploring these two great cities with one fun loving bird.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I Can Do It

Title:  I Can Do It!
Author: Tracey Corderoy
Illustrator:  Caroline Pedler
Category:  Picture Book
Pages: 18
Reading Level: Ages 5-6
Interest Level: Ages 3-5
Series: No

Reviewer: Clarice

Baby Bear is a toddler bear who wants to do everything himself.  After many tries and with much determination he learns to work the button on his new backpack.  This is very important as he wants to carry his books back to the library - all by himself.  At the library he wants to get a book off a top shelf - all by himself. Come check out this book to find out how successful he is in all his attempts, and what happens when he really does need some help. Another interesting feature of this book is the texture of his backpack.  Young readers will enjoy searching for the 'feely' part of the backpack whenever it appears on the pages.

Dog Days of School

Title: Dog Days of School
Author: Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrator: Brian Biggs
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40
Reading Level: Ages: 6-8
Interest Level: Ages 6-8
Series: No
Reviewer: Clarice

Dog Days of School is about a boy and his dog.  Sounds pretty typical until the reader discovers that Charlie, the boy, is tired! Tired of writing, tired of drawing, and basically tired of school!  One Sunday night, dreading another week of school, Charlie wishes he could be a dog like Norman.  Much to his surprise the next morning he wakes up on Norman's pillow on the floor and watches his mother wake up Norman to go to school.  The book shows a full week of Norman going to school and attacking all the routines encountered there.  Charlie, however, stays at home initially enjoying the life of a dog.  We even see him drinking from the toilet like dogs sometimes do. Continue to read this book to find out if/when Charlie returns to school.  For those readers who are worried about going to Kindergarten for the first time, this would be a good book to show them some of the activities they may encounter during their first week of school. Find other activities you may encounter at Kindergarten by attending the Countdown to Kindergarten on Sat. August 16 at KPL.  Sign up on line!

Ivy + Bean Read Alikes

If you love the Ivy + Bean series then look no further than this list of books to find your next read!


Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary 

                  Amber Brown by Paula Danzinger

Junie By Jones by Barbara Park

            Clementine by Sara Pennypacker


Roxie and the Hooligans by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

 Judy Moody by Megan McDonald


Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry