Sunday, January 31, 2016

Rory the Dinosaur: Me and My Dad by Liz Climo - ADVISABLE

Climo, Liz Rory the Dinosaur: Me and My Dad.  PICTURE BOOK.  Little Brown and Company, 2015. $17.00.  Content: G.

Rory loves his dad, but when his dad is busy reading and Rory has to be quiet, he decides to go on an adventure all by himself.  He packs a lunch and heads out without telling his dad, but little does he know, his dad follows behind him and watches out for him so Rory doesn’t get into any trouble.  The pictures are what really help to tell the story. At the end of the adventure when Rory goes home to tell his dad all about it, his dad is dirty and scratched up yet there is no mention of it.  It’s fun book to read and one to use as a teacher to teach predicting skills.

EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE.  Reviewer: SM

Paddington at the Beach by Michael Bond - ESSENTIAL

Bond, Michael Paddington at the Beach, Illustrated by R.W. Awlley.  PICTURE BOOK.  Harper, 2008. $17.99.  Content G.

Paddington Bear goes to the beach, but is quickly accompanied by seagulls. Each page brings a new seagull all the way up to ten seagulls.  This is a great book for a Paddington fan, but also for little ones learning to count to ten. The seagulls think they have outsmarted Paddington by taking his bread, but what they don’t know is he always keeps a marmalade sandwich under his hat.

Falls the Shadow by Stefanie Gaither - ADVISABLE

Gaither, Stefanie Falls the Shadow, 341 pgs. Simon & Schuster, 2014. $18.99. Language: PG (10 swears, 2 deity) Mature Content: PG  Violence: PG-13 (fighting for survival, use of weapons, blood but no gore)  

While cloning has become a reality and many people choose to have a clone created, just in case, there are still many that don't agree with the practice.  When Caitlyn's sister, Violet, dies, her parents decide to activate her clone and pretend like they haven't actually lost a daughter but there is so much controversy surrounding their decision.  It doesn't help that her father is the mayor and trying to make it seem normal.  Fast forward four years and Caitlyn is just trying to get by without anyone noticing her.  She tries to defend Violet while simultaneously trying to avoid getting into it with others about her, but Violet doesn't help the situation by continually getting into trouble.  Then Samantha, Violet's friend, is found dead and Violet is the prime suspect and, of course, nowhere to be found.  As the media and others begin to close in on her family, Caitlyn isn't sure what to do, and while she doesn't believe Violet killed Samantha, she does believe that Violet knows something and sets out to find her. 

I enjoyed this book -- it was a little bit dystopian, little bit sci-fi with mystery and action and a bit of romance.  I liked the characters and there were parts that kept me on the edge of my seat as I wasn't always sure  who was good and who was bad and I like a story that I can't always predict what's going to happen.   


Side by Side by Rachel Bright - ESSENTIAL

Bright, Rachel and Debi Gliori Side by Side.  PICTURE BOOK.  Scholastic Press, 2015. $17.99.
Content: G.

Little Mouseling was the smallest mouse in her family.  She loved being with them, but sometimes they forgot about her because she was so small.  She cried a sad song to get someone to stay by her side.  She had lots of offers from other animals in the woods, but didn’t find a true friend until she met a vole. Now the two of them are side by side.  

This is such a cute story full of rhyming couplets. The illustrations are beautiful as well.

Pre-K, EL (K-3) - ESSENTIAL.  Reviewer: SM

Anastasia and Her Sisters by Carolyn Meyer - ADVISABLE

Meyer, Carolyn Anastasia and Her Sisters, 308 pgs. Simon & Schuster, 2015. $17.99. Language: G (0 swears) Mature Content: PG Violence: PG 

Anastasia's father, once known as the Emperor of Russia, along with her mother and one of her sisters, has been taken to Moscow to stand trial by those who have seized power.  Anastasia and her other siblings wait in Siberia for news of the trial, afraid for their father and unsure about the future.  While waiting, Anastasia recounts through her diary and her older sister's diary the years that led up to the revolution.  Years that included the end of her childhood, her education, parties, friends, her family’s house arrest, sickness, and ultimately the war that changed Russia.  

I enjoy and appreciate Carolyn Meyer's attention to detail in bringing Anastasia to life and making her seem real.  There are a few moments that are a bit dry but Anastasia’s humor lightens things up a bit, and I especially like it when she discovers her older sister's "real" diary and reads how she truly feels about many things.  It gives the reader insights to what is actually happening during those years that a young Anastasia may not have completely understood.  As I neared the end of the book, I was surprised at how much I would have liked a different ending to her story.