Archive for December, 2008


wingsThis fairy tale, based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, includes some of the original characters: Queen Tatania, fairies, and a world apart from ours that treats humans like playthings. Tamisin, a girl of fifteen, knows she is different. Years ago, on one Halloween night, she saw that the costumed creatures leering at her were not human but true goblins. She made her escape by commanding lightning to strike her pursuers.  Now, the evil goblins want her underground with them. They send Jak, a half human-half goblin to her high school to bring her back. Jak and Tamisin confront very unlikable people both on earth and below. At one point Tamisin sprouts wings, but hides them beneath her clothes. Like the unused wings on Tamisin’s back, Baker’s story remains flat.


Not recommended.  Lillian Hecker- Pelham


December 30, 2008 at 4:07 pm 2 comments

WARRIORS : Cats of the Clans by Erin Hunter and illustrated by Wayne McLoughlin

warriorsFor old fans as well as for those discovering this author’s Warrior series of mythical cats stories— now in more than twenty titles—this is a guide to the lives and personalities of the main characters.  With full color portraits, “biographies” and maps of their world.

Ages 9-12, 96 pages.  Recommended, Amelia Carling-Pelham

December 23, 2008 at 5:01 pm Leave a comment


ottolineOtoline is a girl who lives with Mr. Munroe, a hairy creature from a bog in Norway, in a great big house filled with collections of things from around the world that her absent parents have gathered in their constant travels.  Otoline loves to figure things out and soon she and Mr. Munroe become involved in solving a case of a feline thief who uses lap dogs to carry out her heists.  With the non-stop pace of a graphic novel, a lot of humor, and nonsense, the reader is entertained following Otoline as she, with Mr. Munroe’s help, seamlessly solves the mystery.  Black and white line drawings with a touch of red, keen detail, and sparse text tell the story with atmosphere and hilarity.

Ages 9-12, 184 pages.  Recommended.  Amelia Carling- Pelham

December 23, 2008 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

CRICKET MAN by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

cricket-manKenny Sykes has too much time on his hands. He is new to the neighborhood and has just completed seventh grade in middle school. It’s now summertime and every day he watches over his younger brother Davy and swims in his backyard pool. It’s there that he sees crickets hop into the pool and drown unless he skims them off. For this life saving service, Kenny decides that he is Cricket Man and designs a logo for himself of a large “C “and “M’. He tells only Davy what the letters stand for and Davy promises to keep it secret. Kenny is all too aware of the hoots and jeers he would get if some of the kids in school knew about his deeds. Along with a new interest in learning how to skateboard, Kenny also wants to know more about his beautiful sixteen-year-old neighbor, Jodi, who hangs out on her roof and looks sadder week by week. It’s not enough to save crickets; Kenny knows that Jodi is out of her depth as much as any creature and he makes it his mission to help her. This book includes a brief description of child birth that is not too graphic. Kenny is an appealing boy on the cusp of manhood with good instincts and a strong sense of altruism.

YA.  Recommended.  Lillian Hecker-Pelham 

December 23, 2008 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

BIG WORDS FOR LITTLE PEOPLE by Jamie Lee Curtis and illustrated by Laura Cornell

big-wordsLearning big words like “stupendous”, “celebrate”, “respect”, “patience,” and“inconsiderate” among others can be fun and easy with Cornell’s wild illustrations. Each page defines one or two big words with simple explanations illustrated humorously with children and animals cavorting around them.

Ages Preschool – 3, 40 pages.  Recommended.  Amelia Carling-Pelham



December 23, 2008 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment

DOES A SEA COW SAY MOO? Written by Terry Webb Harshman and illustrated by George McClements

sea-cowFlash, a creature from outer space, has questions about “some names in the sea [that] are the same as on land.”   With his friend Jack, Flash finds the answers as they explore a school of fish and a school in town, a sea cow and a cow in the field, a clown fish and a clown in the circus, a seahorse and a horse in the hay, a bed of clams and a bed to sleep on, and a star fish and a star in the sky.  With illustrations in contrasting styles alternating between sharply defined graphics and loose watercolors, the reader learns the difference in the meaning of those names.

Ages 4-8.  32 pages.  Recommended.  Amelia Carling- Pelham



December 23, 2008 at 4:39 pm Leave a comment


Abraham Lincoln’s two sons had the White House as playground, and they got into lincolns-boysmischief at every turn.  Lincoln lovingly indulged their pranks even as they annoyed the staff. When the boys find themselves in a dilemma of their own doing, they turn to the President and his powers to help them resolve it.  Realistic, masterly illustrations with a perspective on Lincoln as a father and the boys’ imaginative world celebrate an intimate portrait of family life.

Ages 6 up.  36 pages.  Recommended, Amelia Carling- Pelham


December 23, 2008 at 4:06 pm Leave a comment

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