Book Review

Little Green Peas by Keith Baker

Little Green Peas book cover: title in rainbow colors, small green peas are playing an assortment of outside games"Blue boats, blue seas, blue flags...and little green peas."

If you enjoyed the books LMNO Peas and 1-2-3 Peas, also by Keith Bakers, then you will not want to miss this new book! Using vibrant illustrations, the little green peas take us on a colorful tour of the world around us. Perfect for little ones just learning about colors!

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Bridget, Kids World

Another Day As Emily By Eileen Spinelli

Another Day as Emily book cover: brown haried girl on bicycle looks back and a much younger boy racing after her in a black cape"This is to let you know that the ice cream offer is off.  I’m really sorry.  I’ll be spending a lot of time alone now...”

Do you ever wish that you were someone else?  Maybe someone famous? 

Envious of her brother’s sudden fame as town hero, eleven-year-old Suzy extends her feelings of disconnection into an extreme identification with Emily Dickinson, the reculsive 19th century poet.  This novel in verse invites the reader inside Suzy’s head as she tries on being Emily instead of Suzy.  She enjoys the temporary solitude but is drawn back to becoming herself by her warm friends and family, the appeal of doing theater and an invitation to a Phillies game.  Suzy ultimately recognizes the simple gifts of her regular life as herself.

This book is a simple novel in verse and would be ideal for a third grade reader who enjoys realistic fiction or a reluctant reader who is ready for the transition to chapter books.

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Mary Jo, Kids World

The Beatles by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom

The Beatles book cover; the Bristish falg serves as backdrop as in the center in a white circle as illustrations of the four Beatles musicians“John was a rebel, but he still changed into his rocker's jeans at the bus stop so he wouldn't upset his aunty Mimi.”

Do you ever wonder what the big deal was about The Beatles?  If you don’t believe your grandparents, take a trip through the 1950s, 60s and 70s with this colorful picture book.  Starting with John and Paul's boyhood stories, it traces the formation, wild success and then the end of the Fab Four’s musical journey.  The two-page spreads offer vivid drawings overlaid with multiple cartoon boxes and panels, many revealing funny little insights about the boys' personalities or musical skills.  The chronological account also relates the Beatle’s storyline to dramatic, related world events --- rock and roll, hippies, the Vietnam War --- and how teenagers were becoming a distinct cultural group in Europe and America.

This book will appeal to kids whose parents make them listen to “oldies” in the car as well as to music fans and, er, … adults.

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Find music recorded by the Beatles in the Library

Mary Jo, Kids World

Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes

Words with wings book cover: solid blue background, green school chair with 'desk arm', book resting open on desk items of fantasy coming out/in“The word fly
had set me free,
and I wondered,
Are there other words
that can carry me away?”

Have you ever gotten caught daydreaming, by your mom or your teacher? Gabriella’s thoughts and feelings flow like mini poems that tell her story,  Her Dad is gone, she and Mom have to move and she feels invisible at her new school.  Sensitive Gabby is a daydreamer; words constantly prompt memories and fantasies and submerge her there.  Her dreaminess helps her both escape and cope with all of the change that she is experiencing.

Gabby’s daydreaming problem is, predictably, identified as a skill by her teacher and she then feels free to express herself in writing.  Award-winning author Nikki Grimes conveys the power of words, memory and imagination in this sparse, accessible novel in verse.  Words with Wings would appeal to third through fifth graders, especially girls, who are dreamy, sensitive and/or experiencing family changes or new school adjustments.

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Find more of Nikki Grimes’ work in the Library

Mary Jo, Kids World

The Curse of Maleficent by Disney Press

The Curse of Maleficent book cover: Aurora (young girl with long hair) is bathed in a golden glow. Behind her in the shadows stands Maleficent (black cloak, turned away for her but watching out of corner of eye, staff in hand with a drak crystal on top)"One thing was certain, however. Maleficent was a hero in the Moors that night."

Easily one of the most majestically evil characters in any animated movie, Maleficent serves as the villain in Disney's movie adaption of Sleeping Beauty. Now we are told she was a hero when she was younger? What changes a hero into a monster?

Betrayal. A thirst for vengeance.

Does Maleficent's story truly end with her death as a huge black fire breathing dragon as is suggested in the climax of Disney's Sleeping Beauty?

Based upon the story in Disney's new movie, Maleficent, this chapter book contains beautiful color illustrations that invite you to step into a "once upon a time, in a far away kingdom," circle around the question of "what makes a monster?" and stay for a "happily ever after." (It is a fairy tale after all...)

But, in-between lies a wondrous world of magic fairies and dragons, and all the adventure a fourth, fifth, or sixth grade fairy tale fan could want.

Find The Curse of Maleficent in the Library.

Celeste, Kids World

Children's Songs and Rhymes

http://catalog.swanlibraries.net/search~S46?/tChildren%27s+illustrated+classics./tchildrens+illustrated+classics/1%2C4%2C19%2CB/exact&FF=tchildrens+illustrated+classics&1%2C16%2CAre you looking to share traditional songs with your child, but cannot quite remember the words? Want to your child to experience traditional rhymes, but the Mother Goose nursery rhyme collections are just too big and bulky?

A new series has hit the Picture Book shelves perfect for one-on-one reading with two and three year olds. Rhymes like "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and songs like "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" each have their own book. The simple illustrations provide grounding for new vocabulary words. When you are ready to recite the words "off book," the song books include an activity section with movement suggestions.

Perfect for a first introduction or a refresher, these song and rhyme books make the learning fun.

Find the Childrens Favorite Songs and Rhymes in the Library.

Celeste, Kids World

The Short Giraffe by Neil Flory

"The GirThe short giraffe book cover: brown sky with a few small washed out clouds; from bottom center pops up just the head of a yellow giraffe smilingaffes were very excited. They wanted it to be perfect."

It's picture day! Boba the baboon is the taking a picture of the giraffes, but there is one small problem - Geri is the shortest giraffe who ever lived. He doesn't fit in the picture! The other giraffes try to help by putting Geri on stilts, making him wings and other crazy ideas, but it's no use. Will Geri be able to get into the picture at all?

Humorous, colorful pictures support the important message of accepting and celebrating our differences!

Find The Shortest Griaffe in the Library

Bridget, Kids World

What’s Your Favorite Animal by Eric Carle and Friends

What's Your Favorite Animal? Book Cover; mixed-matched animal in center of cover: head of a gray cat with brown horns coming out of each side, red wings, blue stomach, one elephant foot, one green foot of a reptile, and a brown bushy tail."When he is happy he jumps straight up into the air and kicks his feet.  His name is Mr. Hopper and he is a real member of our family.”

 If you don’t recognize them by name, you will probably recognize some of their artwork!  Twelve favorite authors/illustrators of children’s books show and tell their favorite animals.  Each two-page spread includes an animal image and a short personal narrative describing or explaining their choice.  Some are funny, some poetic, some personal pet stories and some simple poems.  This book is worth reading and then reading again.

This picture book will appeal to readers of any age, especially those who love animals and/or the art found in contemporary American picture books.  Short biographies in the back of the book mention each artist’s most well-known books and provide their website information.

So, what is YOUR favorite animal?

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Mary Jo, Kids World

Hidden by Loic Dauvillier

Hidden Book cover: blue background, title in white text along bottom. Brown haired girl is looking down at the yellow star on her red jacket"Some people suggested that we become a family of sheriffs...There aren't any sheriffs in France."

The story of the treatment of the French Jews during WWII is related through the eyes of a young girl, "Dounia," and is narrated by the grandmother the girl grows up to be. The child's experience is very relatable and the older narrator's voice breaks in just enough to explain the intangible to her granddaughter (and the reader).

"Your daddy was a liar!" "My daddy didn't want to hurt me. He made up that story to protect me."

The two-point perspective allows the graphic novel to have just enough of the dark elements to stress the seriousness of its subject matter while staying appropriately hopeful for a 3rd grader. The art successfully brings the harsh and scary subject to its intended audience by using a darker palette where appropriate, but not lingering there in the shadows. Likewise, the author gives a reader an ending that is as happy as it can be while still being realistic.

Thought provoking and a good discussion starter.

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Celeste, Kids World

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

The Year of Billy Miller book cover: blue baseball cap flies across the top of the cover, the upper portion of the face of a brown haired boy. Silver Medal: Newberry Honor Book"It was the first day of second grade and Billy Miller was worried. He was worried that he wouldn't be smart enough for school this year." 
 
His father promises that it will be a great year for him, despite his frightening summer head injury and the goose egg that he can still feel on the back of his head. But, what if he’s not smart enough for second grade? What about his new teacher’s irritation with him? That looming poetry assignment? His mean-spirited classmate, Emma? His annoying and embarrassing little sister, Sal? As second grade progresses, Billy gains more self-confidence with what he is capable of and who he is.

This chapter book would likely appeal to second and third-grade readers who enjoy realistic fiction. Many patrons have probably enjoyed Kevin Henkes’ picture books (Chrysanthemum, Owen, Julius, the Baby of the World, and more) and might like to give his second grade point of view a try.

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Find author Kevin Henkes other works in the Library

Mary Jo, Kids World

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