Monday, September 25, 2017

Remy Sneakers vs. the Robo-Rats by Kevin Sherry - ADVISABLE

Sherry, Kevin  Remy Sneakers vs. the Robo-Rats, 124 pgs.  CHAPTER BOOK  Scholastic, 2017.  $9.99  Content: G.  

Remy is a raccoon who likes to collect things, but he makes a point to never steal.  So when the city catches a raccoon on camera stealing from a museum, Remy goes about trying to clear his name.  He gathers allies in the rats and mice and they track down a toy store owner who is making robotic animals that are committing crimes.  Remy and his friends help the police catch him, but it looks like there are more adventures to be had for Remy.  

This is a cute chapter book that is mostly illustrations.  Some pages only have one sentence and others 2-4 sentences.  The illustrations are cute and Remy and his mouse friend, Stix are likable.  The ending definitely sets up for the next book with a new mystery ready to be solved.   

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

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Super Turbo vs. the Pencil Pointer by Lee Kirby - OPTIONAL

Kirby, Lee Super Turbo vs. the Pencil Pointer.  128 pages. CHAPTER BOOK.  Little Simon (Simon & Schuster), 2017.  $5.99.  Content: Language: G (0 swears) Mature Content: G  Violence: G.

Super Turbo is the pet hamster in Classroom C, at Sunnyvale Elementary.  In this book, Turbo teams up with the other members of the Super Pet Superhero League to take on the Pencil Pointer.  It’s big, loud and will soon bury them all in pencil shavings. But all the kids love it and it makes their pencils really pointy.  So who will win this battle? 

This is the third book in the Super Turbo series.  For those familiar with the Captain Awesome book series, Turbo is Eugene’s sidekick, who now stars in his own series.  This book has short chapters and lots of illustrations, including comic panels, which will appeal to its targeted audience of 5-9 year-olds.  I personally was never a fan of this series.  In my opinion, the story lines are pretty weak.  While my nine-year-old son really enjoyed the first two books in the series, he thought this one was just okay. 

EL (K-3) – OPTIONAL. Reviewer:  Nancy W

Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht - ESSENTIAL

Toht, Patricia Pick a Pine Tree.  PICTURE BOOK.  Illustrated by Jarvis.  Candlewick, 2017.  $17.

Celebrate the joy of picking and decorating a Christmas tree with this delightful book.  Beware - if you read this to anyone, they will want to immediately go out and get their tree, invite guests over to help decorate and not even grinches will be able to avoid the Christmas spirit.

Pre-K, EL (K-3), GIFT - ESSENTIAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Elf in the House by Ammi-Joan Paquette - OPTIONAL

Paquette, Ammi-Joan Elf in the House.  PICTURE BOOK.  Illustrated by Adam Record.  Candlewick, 2017.  $16. 

When the girl hears noise on Christmas Eve, she investigates and finds a small cast of characters to hang out with before she gets tired enough to go back to sleep and be ready for the big day.

From the title I thought this would be more of an elf-on-the-shelf kind of book and I felt a little robbed at the actual story line.  It s a pretty basic Christmas book.

Pre-K – OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Counting Sheep by Jacqueline Kelly - ADVISABLE

Kelly, Jacqueline Counting Sheep, 104 pgs. Henry Holt and Company (Godwin), 2017 $15.99 Language: G (0 swears 0 “f”); Mature Content: G; Violence: G. 

It’s spring in 1904 Texas and Calpurnia Tate is busy keeping her little brother Travis out of trouble (he wants to keep every animal he catches).  But on an afternoon walk with her grandfather, she discovers what are probably butterfly eggs on a leaf, and collects them to study. When one of the butterflies has an injured wing, Calpurnia and her grandfather figure out what to do.  

The 2nd in a new series (Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet)  this heartwarming easy reader is a sweet story.  A little bit of action when a ewe has trouble delivering a lamb, but so well handled and not gross at all.  A spin off of the older book (The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate) no prior understanding of that book or of Skunked is required to enjoy this fun historical read.   

EL - ADVISABLE  Lisa Librarian

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz - ESSENTIAL

Gratz, Alan Ban This Book, 243 pages.  Tom Doherty, 2017.  $16.  Content: G.

Because a parent complained, Amy Anne’s favorite book is being pulled from the shelves of her elementary school!  Not only that book, but a whole list of others, too.  As Amy and others get to talking and trading the books from this banned list among themselves, the Banned Book Locker Library is born.  All of the kids keep the secret , even as more books are getting banned.  The kids take things one step too far, however, and the whole thing comes tumbling down around their ears – and getting the librarian fired.  Amy Anne, so shy in public speaking,  must get the courage to stand up and speak for herself, for the students, and for her library.

Gratz has really done his homework here.  I’m guessing that he has first hand knowledge of book challenges, perhaps? He weaves together a compelling story with true-life circumstances in an authentic heart-filled look at knee-jerk book bannings..  Didn’t every library see that happen when Thirteen Reasons Why came out on Netflix (a must read book and a must see series for teens and their parents)?  Hand this to every PTSA, parent, teacher, and administrator you know as a MUST READ.  For a similar story for older teens, read Sledding Hill by Chris Crutcher.

EL, MS, ADULTS - ESSENTIAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Mrs. White Rabbit by Giles Bachelet - NO

Bachelet, Gilles Mrs. White Rabbit. PICTURE BOOK.  Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.), 2017. $17. Content:  PG.

This book is the diary entry of Mrs. White Rabbit.  She writes about the challenges of being married to Mr. White Rabbit.   Yes, the Mr. White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland who is always running late.  Things don’t seem to be going so well on the home front based on Mrs. White Rabbit’s writing.

As a fan of Alice in Wonderland, I found this to be a fun book.  The detailed illustrations are colorful and humorous and the guest appearances from the Cheshire Cat and Alice add to the enjoyment of this book. However, I am unsure who the intended audience of this book is. With references to an older daughter with a possible eating disorder and rantings from a disgruntled housewife, this is not a book intended for young children.  Plus, much of the humor would be lost on them. I don’t think older kids would pick a picture book up like this to read nor do I recommend money be spent to have this book in a school library. 

EL (K-3) – NO.  Reviewer:  Nancy W.