Sunday, June 30, 2013

P.K. Pinkerton and the Petrified Man by Caroline Lawrence - ADVISABLE

Lawrence, Caroline P.K. Pinkerton and the Petrified Man, 306 pgs, G.P. Putnam’s Sons 2012. $16.99. Language: PG (edited and misspelled swears) Mature Content: PG; Violence PG.

12-year-old P.K. Pinkerton - Master of Disguise, has vanquished the Desperados in the first book and has now set up business as a Private Detective in Virginia City, Nevada - 1862.  His first real client has witnessed a murder and fears for her life! Can “Pinky” solve the case before he kills again? 

This second book in the series stands easily on its own.  The old west feel is still there; gunfights, saloons, jail and a deputy marshall.  The seedier aspects of the western experience are told through the voice of our 12-year-old, so Lawrence is able to maintain the grit of a western while maintaining appeal for a younger audience.   

EL, MS - ADVISABLE  Lisa Librarian

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Frogged by Vivian VandeVelde - ESSENTIAL

VandeVelde, Vivian Frogged, 198 p. Harcourt, 2013.  $17.  Content: G.  

Princess Imogene, 12, was just trying to help the poor enchanted frog who said he was a cursed prince.  However, she instead finds herself the new bearer of the curse – yes, she’s a frog.  On one hand it gets her out of princess lessons.  On the other hand, it gets her frog-napped by a tiny band of travelling players, who are not in a hurry to listen to her royal tale and instead want to exploit her talking-frog abilities.  How in this world will she be able to escape and hop all the way back home before her birthday?  

Cute, cute, cute!  VandeVelde has created a wonderful new fairy tale twist that little girls will thoroughly enjoy!  

EL - ESSENTIAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Bedtime is Cancelled by Cece Meng - ADVISABLE

Meng, Cece Bedtime is Cancelled, illustrated by Aurelie Neyret.  Clarion (Houghton), 2013.  $17.  Content: G.  PICTURE BOOK.  

A brother and sister try to fool their parents with an “official” announcement that bedtime has been cancelled.  Of course the parents aren’t fooled.  The message, however is swept away by the wind and end sup being picked up by newspaper, tv and radio and a real proclamation, with unintended consequences.  

Neyret’s cartoon-y style works with this silly message.  Pair this with Scaredy Squirrel at Night and you have the bones of a fun bedtime-themed read aloud session!  

Pre-K, EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Friday, June 28, 2013

Thrice Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris - ADVISABLE

Ferris, Jean Thrice Upon a Marigold: A Royal Kidnapping Caper, 250 p. Harcourt, 2013.  $17. 

Content: G (danger, but nothing explicit or violent).  

Christian and Marogold are supposed to live happily ever after.  But, when their new baby girl Princess Poppy is kidnapped, they will have to look for help from unexpected allies – the children of their greatest enemies. 

Ferris continues her series about the Zandelphia-Beaurivage in a fun, but dangerous way as we follow the royal couple into their future.  

EL, MS – ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Bluebird by Bob Staake - ADVISABLE

Staake, Bob Bluebird.  Schwartz & Wade (Random), 2013.  $18.  WORDLESS PICTURE BOOK.  

A young man trudges to and from school with his eyes downcast and a dejected look on his face.  A little bluebird notices and befriends the boy, even helping him make friendly overtures to a few other children.  Bullies interfere, however and things change for the worst – Boy and Bird are not to be together forever. The sweet ending, however, helps to assuage the pain.  

This book is very sweet.  Many of the illustrations are very small, though, so it is best to be “read” on a lap or with a document camera to get the full effect.  Staake’s geometric, retro feeling illustrations are black and white except for that little bird; such talent to be able to illustrate his own message in such a skillful fashion.  

Pre-K, EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

What We Become by Jesse Karp - ADVISABLE

Karp, Jesse What We Become, 424 p. Harcourt, 2013.  $17. 

Language: PG-13 (6 swears, 1 ‘f’); Violence: PG-13; Mature Content: G.  

Something is wrong with Laura’s life.  Her parents are kind; her boyfriend is attentive – everything is going well.  Too well.  Almost as if someone dropped her into what they thought would be the perfect life.  So when the too smart boy with the too advanced technology comes looking for her, she is more than ready to let him along on her journey – even though his is a little too cocky for any of their own good.  Mal, on the other hand, is what Laura was supposed to forget.  He is still in that other world – trying to hold on and hold back the greatest evil – the kind that wants to control the world.  Not until the two of them are back together will they have everything they need to save us from an enemy we don’t even know exists.  

I had no idea that this was a sequel when I picked it up.  And I really don’t even need to read the first – though I probably will.  This stands alone just fine.  Tense, taut, and terrible, terrible decisions to be made.  

HS – ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher