Sunday, April 20, 2014

Remembering Roy E. Disney: Memories and Photos of a Storied Life by David A Bossert - OPTIONAL

Bossert, David A. Remembering Roy E. Disney: Memories and Photos of a Storied Life, 208 pgs. Disney Editions, 2013. $22.99. INFORMATION Language: G (1 swear); Violence: G; Mature Content: G.  

Author David Bossert recounts his and others’ memories of Disney icon Roy E (Walt’s nephew).  Not necessarily a biography, more of a collection of anecdotes from his colleagues and associates.  

I think the intended audience is more nostalgic adults (who will love all the photos - - - what a great collection) than children or young adults, however, the right kid would find this a fun read. MS HS - OPTIONAL Lisa Librarian

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Shapes by Sophie Pelham - OPTIONAL

Pelham, Sophie  Shapes  Penguin, 2012.  $6.99  BOARD BOOK  Content: G.  

This is a lift the flap book that covers basic shapes like square, circle, rectangle, oval, triangle, hexagon and heart.  The flaps are tiny on some pages.  The page asks a question like: find all the green squares, so the reader doesn’t just identify the shape but needs to know their colors and how to count.  The colors are bright and geometric throughout and the last pages shows how all the shapes come together to make the picture of a monkey.  The book is bright and appealing, but it there are better shape books out there.  

PREK-OPTIONAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.

Colors by Sophie Pelham - OPTIONAL

Pelham, Sophie  Colors  Penguin, 2012.  $6.99  BOARD BOOK  Content: G.  

This is a lift the flap book that covers the colors of the rainbow.  It asks questions that cause the reader to not just learn the color, but to count the number of balls, sunrays, or whatever the picture might be.  The flaps are half circles and when the flap is lifted it’s not a particular picture as much as a zig-zag  or geometric designs.  Instead of blue and purple it calls them indigo and violet, which might be a bit of a stretch for little readers.  Overall it’s a visually appealing book that labels colors, but has more complex terms than your younger reader might understand.  The pages are made with heavy card stock, but not quite as strong as a normal board book.  

PREK-OPTIONAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson. 

The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen by Nicholas Christopher - - OPTIONAL

Christopher, Nicholas The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen, 271 pgs. Random House Children’s Books, 2014. $17.99.  Language: PG (5 swears, 0 Fs) Violence: PG;  Mature Content: PG13 (Teenage prostitution)  

14-year-old Nicholas Zen is a gifted musician with an enchanted Clarinet, but in 1714 Venice, the newly invented instrument is uncommon.  Recently orphaned, and disguised as a girl, he is admitted to the elite girl’s orchestra at the Ospedale in Venice, under the direction of Master Luca.  But, when girls start disappearing, can Nicolas keep his identity secret? 

This historical fiction is a nice travelogue of major European cities, and the action is well written and exciting, however it often gets lost in the descriptions which slows down the story, has a few anachronisms (matches in 1714?) and the magical elements feel forced.  This opened with a bang, but didn’t deliver.  

MS HS - OPTIONAL Lisa Librarian

Friday, April 18, 2014

Dee Dee and Me by Amy Schwartz - ADVISABLE

Schwartz, Amy.  Dee Dee and Me.  Holiday House, 2013. $16.95.  PICTURE BOOK.  Content: G.  Hannah's older sister is Dee Dee and she isn't always very nice.  Dee Dee takes the last chocolate chip muffin, cuts up Hannah's favorite apron, shakes her ladybug, takes her toys, and makes Hannah be the butler.  Hannah has had enough of her sister and packs her suitcase, but can't find her one-eyed Brown Bear.  Who has it?  Dee Dee and she has sewn on a second eye.  And they play together and no one has to be the butler.  This story is a refreshingly honest and mostly unsentimental view of sisterhood.  Young girls with older siblings will appreciate the dynamic between the two sisters and the resolution.  The illustrations are colorful and fun.
Pre-K, EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE.  Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.

Urgency Emergency: Itsy Bitsy Spider by Dosh Archer - ESSENTIAL

Archer, Dosh. Urgency Emergency: Itsy Bitsy Spider. Albert Whitman & Company, 2013.  $12.99.  EARLY READER.  Content: G.  There is another nursery rhyme urgency emergency…the itsy bitsy spider has suffered an injury while climbing the water spout.   Luckily, Miss Muffet came upon poor Itsy and brought Itsy to the hospital.  Doctor Glenda (a dog) gave Itsy a checkup and then stitches with the help of Nurse Percy.  The illustrations are warm and whimsical.  Beginning readers will enjoy this new twist on a nursery rhyme they know well.

EL (K-3)-ESSENTIAL.   Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.

Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Beth Coulton - ADVISABLE

Schwartz, Corey Rosen and Beth Coulton  Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears  Illustrated by Nate Wragg  G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2014.  $16.99  PICTURE BOOK  Content: G.  

This book follows the story line of Goldilocks and the Three Bears with a musical twist.  The three bears like playing their instruments, but they don’t have much of a following so they go to find a soprano to add to their band.  While they are gone, Goldi enters the bears’ room and plays with their instruments and eventually falls asleep.  When the bears return they wake her and she sings a perfect C.  They join together and start touring with their successful band.  

This is a cute play on the original story.  The illustrations keep the reader entertained and Goldi has funny facial expressions.  The writing is a part rhyming and part not, which is a little off putting, but the cute story makes up for the inconsistency.  

EL (K-3)-ADVISABLE.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.